I think I can speak for the rest of the Foodspin staff when I say that we love it when you try out the recipes we publish. It's even better when you tell us how they turned out for you, and even better when you make them your own. So go ahead and play with your food so we can show everyone else the fruits of your labor based on the fruits of our labor.
Reader SaltyGary baked himself up some of our beer bread using two different kinds of suds; here's his report:
OK I made two different batches. One batch was with an Imperial Black Ale that is very close to a porter and the other with an imperial pumpkin ale. I couldn't find the Belgian style I was looking for (I live in the sticks) so I did the pump.
The first round was the Black ale. After mixing the dough it smelled like scotch, which was amazing but after cooking all that malty flavor in the beer was gone. It tasted like beer was in it, but not high quality beer. It also had a bite in the after taste. I am thinking it was due to either being 9 ABV or being too hoppy.
The imperial pumpkin came out fabulous. The beer itself tastes like the Great Pumpkin took a dump in your mouth. No spices and all pumpkin. It advertises pureed pumpkin and it has a ABV of 8.6. The bread itself had a nice light pumpkin flavor no more, no less. Kids went crazy for it so either it tasted good or the alcohol didn't cook off.
So in the end I feel the right Belgian is the way to go if you can't get a good pumpkin beer. Some Belgians have so much spice in them, I am sure it will come through. I also would not waste a good regular micro-brew in it because it probably tastes no different than Bud. The bread really subdues the flavor.
Last note this is probably the easiest recipe ever. If someone has never baked before they can make this. The ultimate recipe for the man that wants to eat all the bread but can't cook. This will be in my rotation for a while.
Round of applause for SaltyGary—those loaves look awesome.