Beer Bread & Why We Have So Many Bottle Caps


We drink beer around here.

Beer Bottle Caps

Can you tell?

Got an “A”: drink a beer.
Lost my wallet: need a beer.
Chips is on: grab a beer.
Tuesday morning: breakfast beer.

Are you feeling me? We really don’t need a reason in this house. Beer time=anytime.

There’s nothing like the first pull of an ice cold beer-for real. Yesterday, after waking early and having a very productive morning I realized I lost my wallet. Yeah, that really happened. Why? C’mon, you know why. I’m a hot mess. After searching in the hot-ass sun for an hour there was really only one thing left to do…cry on the floor in a fetal position get some beer. The dman came to my rescue and picked up a sixer of Hangar 24 Orange Wheat Ale. I love this beer. Golden. Tangy. Refreshing.

Hangar 24 Bread

The following morn I had one beer left. What should I do…drink or bake?

I decided to bake beer bread then immediately regretted my decision. That was my last beer! What was I thinking?  An hour later with a fresh cold one in hand, a calm came over me and I had changed my attitude. This bread takes less than five minutes to put together and then the oven takes care of the rest. That’s my kind of recipe as sometimes I can be slazy* in the kitchen.

I’d say this beer bread was a wee bit on the sweet side. Dried thyme and oregano were added to the batter but the herbs got lost in the mix. I’m thinking…next go ’round I’ll throw in a handful of raisins and 1 tsp of cinnamon for a sweet treat. Or perhaps, I’ll cut the sugar by 1 Tsp and add some fresh herbs with grated cheese. Either way, I have a bread recipe that requires no yeast, kneading or proofing and that makes me smile.

Beer Bread on Bottles

Now, if you’ll excuse me…Chips is on in five.

*slazy (adj.): simultaneously smart and lazy. Originated by Karen of The Art of Doing Stuff.

Beer Bread Photo Notes

by David


I wanted this one to be warm and low key. Most food photography is super bright, but beer bread is a comfort food that called for something a little different.


To achieve this look, I used a simple light panel and a white bounce card. The panel is made of 400 Leelux that has a warm tint. Most of the time I correct for this tint with a custom white balance, but I shot everything on “Daylight” and left the images warm.

When lighting anything, you have to consider the nature of the object. Bread screams “texture,” so I placed the panel 45 degrees behind the subject and let light scrape across the surface. This gave the bread dimension and created contrast. To fill in the shadows, I placed a white board opposite the light.

The fill was minimal and left deep shadows to accentuate the texture.

beer bread lighting diagram

Bonus Round

After styling the bread to perfection, Mondo put the bottle caps together for the last shot. For this one, I wanted crisp, long shadows to give the bottle caps dimension. I hit them with a 20 degree gridded spot light from behind that created directional light with limited wrap. This gave the image a lot of punch and I filled in the dark side of the caps with a white fill card …. simple and effective.

beer bread lighting diagram 2


This was a smooth session and we actually finished early. After the shoot, we went out and celebrated with our good friend Nadia Elahi who just got a full-time professorship at Los Angeles City College. Congratulations Nadia, tenure is just around the corner.

Tech Notes

Camera: Nikon D90
Lens: Tamron 17-90mm 2.8
Strobes: White Lightning x1600
Tripod: Manfrotto
ISO: 200
Shutter: 125
Aperture:  f/11

Beer Bread Recipe

Recipe slightly adapted from Ezra Pound Cake

Beer Bread
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Makes 1 loaf
Serves: 4-6
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 bottle (12 ounces) beer
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted (Note: Feel free to reduce to ¼ cup.)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-x-5-x-3-inch loaf pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and any herbs and/or cheese, if using.
  3. Using a wooden spoon, stir the beer into the dry ingredients until just mixed.
  4. Pour half the melted butter into the loaf pan. Then spoon the batter into the pan, and pour the rest of the butter on top of the batter. Slide a baking sheet onto a lower rack to catch any butter that might overflow from the loaf pan (there is no need for this when you use ¼ cup of butter).
  5. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until golden brown. Brush loaf with melted butter. Serve immediately (or wait until later. I had mine for breakfast the next morning).