Guinness Bread

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Guinness BreadYou probably are wondering why I am posting a recipe using Guinness almost two months before St. Patrick’s Day.  But I was so excited about this I couldn’t wait!!

A couple of years ago we went to Ireland and made the obligatory trek to the Guinness Storehouse.  Figuring we’d need a little sustenance before imbiging sampling, we decided to have lunch at their restaurant (well, that and we had two teenage boys with us – ’nuff said).

As we sat ogling the panoramic view of Dublin (and trying to decide if a full pint was a wee bit much at lunch!!) the waiter brought us a basket of brown bread to tide us over until our entrees arrived (and probably to help soak up some of those pints we’d decided on!) . But not just any brown bread – it was  the  best brown bread of the entire trip – and maybe in my whole life.

Guinness Bread

So there was no question I had to get the recipe – but despite my efforts  it was a no – go. The waiter had no idea how the bread was made  and the pastry chef in charge of making the bread was off. The recipe book in the gift shop had lots of great Guinness recipes – but no brown bread.

Once home  I searched the web- no luck. Although  I have  a pretty darn good  Brown Bread recipe, it isn’t the same as the one  I’d had at Guinness.

Guinness Bread


So, I figured it was just “one of those things” and as they say, “life moves on”. Recently though I was surfing the web and came across the Guinness website and clicked on their recipe section – you know, just in case that brown bread recipe was there.

And it was.  Have I mentioned how much I really love the internet?

Needless to say, I ran right out and got some  Guinness and set to work on the bread. Time hadn’t dulled my affection for this loaf – it was as good as I remembered- and  it’s  the perfect thing to go with soups, stews and winter salads – or as a little snack, toasted and spread with some good Kerrygold butter and a bit of Dubliner cheese.

Guinness Bread


Oh, and it’s a “quick bread” – which totally works for me since as you know, I sort of have a problem remembering to make bread.

Guinness Bread
Prep time
Cook time
The original recipe can be found on the Guinness website. I've converted from the metric and made a couple of changes. The original recipe calls for black treacle which is very similar to molasses. If you can find black treacle, by all means use it, but I found molasses works as well. Also, the original recipe called for twice as much molasses/black treacle which to me made the bread sweeter than I remembered it so I reduced the amount by half. Finally, I sprinkled additional oats on top of the loaves which of course is entirely optional!
Serves: 2 loaves
  • 3¾ cups whole wheat flour
  • 1¼ cups white flour
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 2½ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2½ Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 7 Tbsp. plus 2 tsp. unsulfured molasses
  • 1 cup Guinness
  1. Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees and grease two 81/2 x 41/2 loaf pans. In the bowl of a food processor combine the flours, baking soda and brown sugar with the butter until the mixture resembles coarse sand. Stir in ¾ cup plus 2 Tbsp. of the oats. Add the milk, molasses and the Guinness. Stir to combine (the dough will be very wet). Evenly divide the dough between the two loaf pans. Sprinkle the tops with the remaining 2 Tbsp. oats. Bake for 40 - 45 minutes until the bread is nicely browned and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.





  1. says

    This is going on the dinner table soon, since I have all of the ingredients (except for Guinness… ha!) on hand. While I love to bake bread, it’s often too hard to plan for it in a busy schedule. Quick breads that still have that hearty warmth are much appreciated. Hope you’re well, Nancy!

  2. says

    I LOVE when an ‘elusive’ recipe just suddenly shows up – it’s like the 4th of July and X-Mas rolled into one! LOL I can almost taste it just by looking at your beautiful photo – moist, dense, with a toasted oat, deep, slightly sweet flavor. I think I need to file this one away too!

  3. says

    Oh you have my full attention!!! Guinness is my favorite beer, it is soooooo delicious:-) Your bread sounds fun, really great for sandwiches, or just because:-) Love your photos! Hugs, Terra

  4. says

    I’m always baking bread, so far I’ve made french bread, focaccia, savory muffins and others but I’ve never made guinness bread it looks great

  5. says

    I have such fond memories of our trip to Ireland a few years ago, too. We did all the obligatory touristy things, including the storehouse, but also spent days exploring back roads and tiny little villages. I’d go back in a heartbeat. And now I wish we’d had lunch at Guinness. Oh well, at least I can try the bread!

    • says

      Hi Lana,
      We loved Ireland and we hit the back roads as well – spent a couple of nights in Killaloo and Ballina which is where my family is from – husband still has nightmares about those narrow streets though!! Hope you enjoy the bread – with a little Kerrygold it’s “almost” as good as being back in Ireland!

  6. says

    This is a very grat recipe! I baked beer bread before, and made guinness cake once, but never thought about matching the two for some reason! I am going to Dublin I two weeks, better get prepared with this one (for breakfast :D).

  7. says

    Isn’t the internet great? Instant access to everything is literally at your fingertips. And I plan on having some of this brown bread at my fingertips and into my mouth very soon! Can’t wait to try it. Thanks for “discovering” it and sharing it with all of us :)

  8. says

    I’ve never tried making beer-based bread before, but this sounds and looks delicious! Plus being a quick-bread is such a bonus – baking with yeast intimidates me a little so I usually shy away from baking my own proper bread, but I think I’ll have to try this one out!

  9. says

    I am so excited to have found this recipe! I love beer breads and Guinness, so this is right up my alley. I’m always kicking myself for not waiting in line to go into the Guinness brewery when I was in Dublin. Dumb!

  10. Family News says

    Thank you for this post. I love baking quick breads and I’m sending this to my sisters right away.

  11. Jessica says

    I am getting ready to put this in the oven now. I didn’t have guinesse so I used an amberbock dark lager. I also added a little bit is toasted coconut to the dry ingredients. Can’t wait for it to finish baking :)

  12. says

    I LOVE this recipe! I didn’t have Guinness so I used a Gingerbread Stout. It was AMAZING! I also accidentally put in baking power. then realized, so i added the baking soda…It still turned out perfect :) Thanks agaiN! This will be a regular visitor to our dinner table! Oh…and it accompanied my Guinness based pot roast:) Double yummy!


    • says

      Hello Helen!! I am so glad that you liked it…. when we had it at the Guinness brewery I couldn’t get enough of it, searched all over for the recipe and finally was able to get it – woot!!!

  13. says

    I found you on Pinterest, and I was so intrigued by this bread. I have made beer breads in the past, but it was just mixing self-rising flour with beer and done. I was very interested in using whole wheat flour and molasses! I used oatmeal stout instead of Guinness, but I love the subtle sweetness of the bread, and also how hearty it is. I will probably reblog it sometime before this year’s St. Patty’s Day. Great recipe!

    • says

      So glad you liked the bread Elizabeth! I bet it was wonderful with the oatmeal stout! When I had it at the Guinness brewery in Dublin I was hooked and was ecstatic when I found the recipe!!!

  14. says

    Made this tonight! While the ingredients called for salt, the instructions didn’t say when to add it, so it didn’t make it in my batch. Cooking time was more like 55 min & probably could have gone longer. This may be due to the high humidity in south Louisiana. Other than a tiny bit sticky still it came out pretty good!

    • says

      Hi Lindsay!! So glad the bread came out well… and yes, baking times really vary – depending upon humidity, actual oven temperature, etc. Also, THANK YOU for catching the omission regarding the salt – will go back and fix it ASAP! Despite proof reading my recipes, I still miss things!!!!!

  15. Jody says

    This recipe caught my attention when I was looking for St.Patriks Day meal ideas for my family. I am curious if anyone has ever substituted buttermilk for the whole milk? I just made a marvelous Irish Soda Bread and it had buttermilk and I thought maybe it would be good in this recipe too. Any imput?

    • says

      Hello Jody! Sorry about my late reply – I’ve been traveling and my “wifi connection” has been pretty much non existent! You definitely could try the buttermilk, but I think with the guinness regular milk works better – I think the buttermilk would mask the flavor the guinness adds to the bread!

  16. Alison says

    Just got back from a trip to Ireland and found your recipe. I also have the recipe from the Guinness Storehouse, so thanks for converting it. I just made this bread this last weekend, then found some KerryGold butter at the local store here and oh it is so good! Just like the brown bread I had in Ireland! I shared it with work all week. Everyone loved it!

    • says

      Hello Megumi! When I made the original recipe, there was too much batter for one of the tins I normally use. Although the guinness recipe doesn’t specify the tin size, based on the amount of batter, it appears that the tin size is larger than most home cooks possess. I found that two – 8 inch pans worked best in terms of baking the bread – the inside cooked properly as did the outside!!!

  17. says

    There were two ‘brown breads’ that we had all across Ireland. One was more of a brown soda bread and one was the sweet Guinness bread that we had at the Storehouse. I dreamt of the Guinness bread for a year before we could get back over the Ireland to taste it again. I picked up one of the recipe cards for it that they gave out for free on the culinary wall where they showed mini videos of the chefs preparing different recipes. I tried making the recipe when we got back but it was not the same… “Wholemeal” is different then American whole wheat or other flours. Molasses is extracted at the beginning of the sugar refining process and is sweeter than Dark Treacle which is extracted at the end of the sugar refining process (which is probably why it didn’t work one-for-one). The question I still have is, the oats…. Are they steel cut pin oats or flaked oats (aka quick oats) or rolled oats… the Guinness recipe doesn’t say. If they are steel cut pin oats, are the soaked any before use like 80% of the Irish recipes I have? They sure don’t work if you don’t soak them! I’m still searching of the elusive secret as I’m sure many are. I suspect it has something to do with not being at the source of the Guinness and its Chef who created it. You can guarantee I’m giving your recipe a try this week! Thank you for sharing it!

    • says

      Hi Denise!!

      Yes, “wholemeal” flour is different – you can buy Irish style wholemeal flour on the King Arthur website. I haven’t made this bread with it yet, but plan to soon! You are right about the molasses – which is why I decreased it!!! I used old fashioned oats in the recipe and since the original recipe doesn’t call for soaking the oats, I assumed they used old fashioned oats!!! The bread isn’t exactly the same but comes very close – hope you enjoy it!!!

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