The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Brewpub-Bread Recommendations

brewninja's picture

Brewpub-Bread Recommendations

Hello Everyone,

I've been a long time lurker on this forum and learned quite a lot from all of you (thank you :) ).


I am in the process of opening a small brewpub outside of Philadelphia.  My partner and I obviously love beer and brewing it, but we are also quite passioned home bakers.  We plan to offer a simple menu featuring locally sourced ingredients, prepared in some soups, salads, and sandwiches featuring house made bread.

We both have a few favortie loaves we bake pretty regularly, mostly variations of baguettes (mine are sourdough); but I was wondering if any of you might have some good bread/recipe recommendations for our situation.  Your favorite hoagie rolls, Italian bread, sandwich loaves, best breads for paninis, etc...

Thanks for any suggestions!

And by all means, if you're in the area come check us out when we open!!!


Gerard Olson

Future Owner/Brewer

Forest & Main Brewery and Pub

Ambler, PA

cranbo's picture

For something more exotic, beer and bread are common in Scandinavia and the Baltics, you may want to look there. 

Crackers are another kind of bread. I was just watching a Jamie Oliver video on youtube (google "youtube Jamie Does Stockholm"), which talks about a rye/whole wheat cracker with caraway seeds that could go good with beer. Seems like that would go good with a full-flavored lager (I'm thinking Stella Artois)

In Lithuania, kepta duona (literally "baked bread") is a common beer snack. It's black (actually dark rye) bread, fried in oil (or butter) and rubbed with garlic, often served with beer, which is usually a full flavored lager. Check out Lithuanian beer "Svyturys" (lighthouse) or "Kalnapilis".

Or how 'bout a beer bread? To go with a cheddar beer soup :)

breadsong's picture

Hello Gerard,
There is some beautiful countryside around Philadelphia and I have fond memories of New Hope; I had the pleasure of spending some time there many years ago.
Wishing you the best with the pub!
Re: breads, I recently came across a "beer bread" which has a "beer crust" - post is here; in case that appeals to you.
from breadsong

flyboy912's picture

Several years ago in Huntington Beach, I went into a great place named BrewBakers. In there they baked bread and you could brew your own beer with rented equipment. Or buy a beer that had been brewed there. Seemed a natural fit and I really enjoyed it.

Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

75th ST Brewery in KC, MO makes an oversized roll/ small boule with spent grains to go with their entrees.

Over in Lawrence, KS, the Free State Brewery sources their breads from Wheatfields Bakery. FSB's owner also has a financial stake in Wheatfields from what I've heard. They use baguettes and focaccia from the bakery.

ehanner's picture


Good luck with your new venture. I would experiment with spent grain crackers or something  simple you could break up and use as bar snacks. Salty, cheesy, garlicky, pick one and change the flavor now and then. They will be inexpensive to make since you have the grains from the last batch of brew and people will remember you for your snacks as well as your Porter.

I have a Po Boy hoagie bun that works pretty well if you want to serve sandwiches, let me know and I'll post it. I would serve things unique to your operation.


brewninja's picture

great ideas!

I'd love to see the hogie bun :)

ehanner's picture

Send me your email and I'll send you the word doc with the photos and method. It's a good recipe for sandwiches or meatballs.


Serge's picture

I have a friend of mine that runs a local microbrewery. I have made bread with spent grains and beer (replacing some of the water with beer). The variations are endless - you can use different beers as well as spent grains from different types of beer (IPA, Blonde, Lager, Stout, Porter, Barleywine, etc). The results are great since the grains are nice and tender from the mashing - no need to soak the grains. As for the flavours, the beer adds to the complexity as it adds some malty sweetness (depending on the type of beer of course) and the grains add an earthy flavour to the bread. I made beer bread last week and here is the formula I used... it turned out great.

White flour 75%
Stone Ground Whole Wheat 25%
Water 45%
Beer (Winter Warmer) 25%
Salt 2%
Instant yeast 1%
Spent grains from stout 20%

It was a pretty wet dough, so a few stretch and folds were needed.

Good luck


Edthebread's picture

You may want to look in Peter Reinhart's excellent book, Whole Grain Breads.  The recipes make outstanding bread, and there is one that uses spent grains, which looks fantastic!

Azazello's picture

Dan Lepard's simple milk loaf is a wonderful bread for sandwiches - my wife and kids love it (as do I)!

brewninja's picture

thanks for the great ideas!

We figured on using some spent grain, but I guess I hadn't considered the myriad uses (ie:not just spent grain bread)

A friend of mine did mention spent grain scrapple (apparently oats are typically the majority of the filler)


We'll be brewing primarily English style session beers (eg: bitter, pale ale, IPA) and Belgian/French Farmhouse ales (saison, biere de garde); two styles that we both love, that we believe will compliment eachother well. And both styles that I think go very well with rustic style breads (our whole feel is gonna be pretty rustic).


Home Baker's picture
Home Baker

A scaled down version of this formula for Jeffrey Hamelman's deli rye bread for has beeen indispensible to me since the first time I ever tried it. For one thing, it scales beautifully (duh!) but even better it's completely foolproof. It makes great sandwiches, of course, but it's also quite adaptable to variations of the spice profile (try adding some chocolate malt) and it makes a great base for savory bread pudding.

Azazello's picture

Pinpastry on here uses barm for his bread - you could look into that - would make sense if you're brewing.Pinpastry makes reference to a formula in Elizabeth David's "English Bread and Yeast Cookery". There's a good blog on barm bread by Shiao-ping too.

As an avid English beer drinker, I can recommend these two beers, one an English bitter, the other a Scottish IPA.

Maybe you could track them down to see if they fit your style - they're both superb beers,



Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

Here's an address for a spent grain bread formula from an American Homebrewers Association article.