Trader Joe’s Beer Bread Mix Review

Trader Joe's Beer Bread Mix
Trader Joe’s Beer Bread Mix

If you, like me, have been tirelessly searching for an excuse to combine beer and baking without the judgmental glances from your nosy neighbor, then rejoice! Trader Joe’s has gallantly stepped into the ring with their Beer Bread Mix, an offering that suggests you can actually have your beer and eat it too. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves – just because you can mix beer into your bread, doesn’t mean you should. I mean, who asked for this culinary Frankenstein? Nevertheless, armed with a mix of skepticism and a strangely adventurous spirit (or maybe just the desire to justify drinking beer before noon), I decided to give this latest TJ’s concoction a whirl. Spoiler alert: it’s a journey… Let’s dive in!

I have been cooking and drinking beer for many years. I think this all stems back to the time when I lived in Germany and if you’ve ever been there, beer and bread are held in high esteem and people take them seriously. So, I jumped at the chance to review this product this year. (This is a seasonal product that Trader Joe’s releases every spring)

This product is a little more involved than a regular slap in the microwave product. You will need a little preparation. You’ll need a half of stick of melted butter and a beer. (Trader Joe’s says any carbonated beverage but I think you need the richness of beer or cider). While I used a Pilsner style of beer with a higher hop level, you might use a stout or an amber for a little more malty flavor and color in the bread.

As you can see, I included a bag of cheese and if you read the instructions on the side of the box, the suggest putting cheese in the bread. Three of my favorite things! Bread, Cheese and Beer! On the Trader Joe’s website for this product, they suggest putting pickled jalapeno peppers into the mix which could be an interesting combo too. You could go a different direction and put stout beer and chocolate chips! The world is your oyster!


12 oz. beer or carbonated beverage
1/2 stick of butter (melted)
1/4 cup shredded cheese (optional)


  • Preheat oven to 350 °F.
  • Pour beer or other carbonated beverage into a mixing bowl and add mix. Gently stir until moistened (do not overmix). If desired, gently fold in shredded cheese until well incorporated. Spread dough into a greased 9″ x 5″ loaf pan.
  • Pour melted butter evenly over top.
  • Bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick placed in center of loaf comes out clean.
  • Cool 10-15 minutes before serving.
Trader Joe's Beer Bread out of the oven
Trader Joe’s Beer Bread out of the oven

I followed the instructions to the letter and made the optional enhancement by adding cheese to the mix. I used Trader Joe’s Mexican Style Cheese Blend as I thought that would complement the beer bread. I used a Reuben’s Pilsner since that is what I had. But use any beer you like. Fruit beer might be interesting here.

Let back up a second, this is not a traditional bread like loaves you buy in the store, this is a quick bread like banana bread and coffee cakes. Traditionally they are on the sweet side, but Irish Soda bread is one example that is more savory.

Final Thoughts

Once I smoothed out the batter and put it in my greased pyrex bread baking dish, I put it in the oven and set the timer for 45 minutes and wandered off to do other things.

I came back and the kitchen smelled wonderful. Beer and bread! Took it out and let it cool for a while then popped it out of the pan and let it cool on a rack for another 30 minutes. 

The bread smelled fairly strongly of beer and hops and baked bread and a little cheese. I thought this would be wonderful but when I started chewing a piece, I was underwhelmed. While I definitely got the beer flavor, it seemed like the bread itself fell flat. Also, I don’t think I added enough cheese. I added the suggested 1/2 cup and I think I would double that next time. I also think a darker beer like an Amber, Porter or even a Stout might bring more flavor. 

I’m not sure what I would do with this bread. You can’t really make a sandwich out of it. It didn’t toast up very good when I tried. It was better fresh out of the oven and the next day, it didn’t taste nearly as good.

All in all, I think I am going to rate Trader Joe’s Beer Bread Mix only 6 out of 10 because of everything I mentioned. If you all have some ideas on enhancing it, let me know in the comments!


Trader Joe's Beer Bread Cut
Trader Joe’s Beer Bread Cut


  • SALT


  1. I plan on making it this weekend with a maple brown ale and adding cooked maple flavored bacon to it. The leftovers will go to french toast the next morning.

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