Brown Ale And Cheddar Grits With Pancetta And Crispy Sage

I like homebrewers. Mostly because they give me beer, but also because there is this fascination with flavors and a “What Would This Taste Like?!” attitude that is at the core of every food bloggers culinary soul. I feel like they get me. They have an understanding of why I write down crazy ideas, unexplored flavor combinations that may be doomed to fail, just to see if it can be done.

I’m not a homebrewer, its actually a little intimidating to me. Someday, when my life is a little less hectic, I want to take the Mash Tun Plunge. But for now, I’ll setting for drinking the concoctions of others. I did learn recently that the more recent rise in popularity of brown ales has been credited to the massive increase in homebrewing and the popularity of the style with the homebrewer. I’d never though of it, but it seems to be true. Most of the brown ale I’ve had in the past few months has come from someones closet. I do love a great brown ale, to drink with as well as to add to my cheese grits. I guess saving the Brown Ale from extinction is another reason I can love the homebrewer.

Brown Ale And Cheddar Grits


Brown Ale And Cheddar Grits With Pancetta And Crispy Sage


  • 2 ½ cups whole milk
  • ¾ cups brown ale
  • 1 cup regular corn grits (not instant)
  • 1 cup smoked cheddar
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • pinch cayenne
  • 3 tbs butter, diced
  • 3 oz diced pancetta
  • 5 Sage leaves, chopped (about 2 tbs)


  1. Add the milk and beer to a large pot, bring to a gently simmer, slowly whisk in the grits. Allow to simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 20 minutes.
  2. Slowly whisk in the cheese, milk, salt, pepper, onion powder and butter, stir until completely combined.
  3. In a separate pan add the pancetta and cook until browned and most of the fat has been rendered, do not burn. Add the sage and cook for about 30 seconds or until crispy. Drain.
  4. Serve grits topped with pancetta and sage.

Brown Ale And Cheddar Grits4

19 thoughts on “Brown Ale And Cheddar Grits With Pancetta And Crispy Sage

  1. Brown ales aren’t my favorite, but I can see how they would be delicious paired with salty pancetta and cheddar! Sounds great. I bought my boyfriend an IPA making kit for his birthday last month…can’t wait to try it out!

  2. What Erin said!! Hmmm will have to try a brown ale next… I haven’t had many. The hubby and I have a Russian River Blind Pig clone in the queue, waiting to be brewed. We’re still on the extract, but I want to move to all-grain soon. We’re getting the basics down now, so we’re following recipes rather than creating our own. All in good time!

    The grits sound sooo good.

    1. I never had grits when I was in the south, but recently some great southern restaurants in LA have been serving them, and I finally understand why people love them. And seriously, go eat some!

  3. Beer and grits? Yes please! I just found your blog and I am totally a fan! great recipes and although I don’t brew my own beer, I sure love drinking microbrews!

  4. This recipe sounds delicious, but one question: why does the ingredient list have basil on it, and no sage? Mistake?

  5. I think the reason that brown ales are popular with home brewers especially starting out is the quickness with which the beer goes from wort to drinkable. You can enjoy it in as quick as two to three weeks depending on if your kegging or bottling. My first beer brewing experience was a brown ale and I’m glad I did. Learned a lot and I feel this style beer is a bit more forgiving flavor wise than a complicated style involving dry hopping and and long lists of ingredients and steps. If your truly interested in home brewing I’d recommend starting with extract brewing. It’s not impossible to start with all grain especially if you have help from a more experienced brewer but you can make great beer with extracts as well. Recipe looks great and I think Ill need to give it a try. Most of my grit experience has been plain with butter and pepper or cheese grits.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.