Beer Braised Short Ribs

8 Servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 15 minutes

Beer-Braised Short Ribs are perfectly tender and juicy cooked in a beer, tomato, and Worcestershire sauce in the slow cooker or stovetop.

Classic Short Ribs get even more depth of flavor in this version by adding dark beer to the cooking liquid. It’s a delicious and comforting Dinner Recipe that the whole family is sure to love.

Beer Braised Short Ribs served over creamy polenta

Beer-Braised Short Ribs are the ultimate comfort food recipe. During the slow cooking process, the beef rib is cooked in a flavorful braising mixture with layers of flavor. As it cooks, the meat absorbs the flavor and juices from the cooking liquid, so by the time it’s done the tender meat just falls off the rib bone.

While this recipe does have a long cooking time, it is still super easy to make. Beer-Braised Short Ribs only take a few minutes of prep and very little active cooking time. For the most part, it’s just a matter of leaving the meat to cook low and slow with the flavorful liquid. You can do this using a slow cooker or dutch oven method, both of which are included in the instructions! It makes a great meal for guests, because you can get the prep work done early in the day and then have plenty of time to prepare sides and get ready to host.

The slow cooking allows the beer to break down some of the tougher parts of the meat for a more flavorful and juicy dish. When it comes to choosing what kind of beer to use, any dark beer is going to work well. Try a stout beer, dark American lager, or dark ale. The alcohol will cook out so the whole family can still enjoy this delicious dish.

It’s the perfect indulgent meal to serve up with egg noodles or Creamy Mashed Potatoes and enjoy on a cold night. Serve with sauteed vegetables or a crisp, bright Winter Pear Salad and some Easy Dinner Rolls to sop up all that yummy leftover sauce.

Beer Braised Short Ribs adding beer to pot

What are Short Ribs?

Short ribs are cut from the lower portion of the rib cage in the front of the cow. The meat can vary in thickness depending if it comes from the brisket, chuck, or plate section of the cow. They are called short ribs because the rib bone is shorter than back ribs, but they tend to have larger chunks of meat attached.

How to Make Beer Braised Short Ribs

  • Prep time: Start by seasoning the meat with salt and pepper. Then roll it in flour until coated. Tap off any excess on the side so that there’s not too much.
  • Sear: Add oil to dutch oven, or another large pot that you have a lid for. Place the floured ribs in the base of the pot and cook over medium heat for 4-5 minutes on each side. Remove the beef and set it to the side.
  • Braising mixture: Slice a medium onion, and cook for 5-6 minutes until they begin to caramelize. Once the onions are translucent, you can add in the minced garlic cloves and cook for 30 more seconds. To make the sauce, pour in the crushed tomatoes, beer, tomato sauce, and Worcestershire sauce. Stir until well combined.
  • Dutch oven method: Add the beef back into the pot and stir to coat with sauce. Cover the dish with a lid and cook on low for 3 hours.
  • Slow Cooker recipe: Another option is to make crock pot beef. Simply add the meat and the braising liquid to the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.

More Beef Recipes

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to use a dutch oven for braising short ribs?

While the Dutch oven method is most common, any heavy, oven safe pot with a tight fitting lid will work for this recipe. If you don’t have such a pot, use a baking dish covered tightly with two layers of heavy duty aluminum foil.

What kind of beer should I use to make Braised Short Ribs?

Dark beers have a milder flavor than their reputation suggests. Just because a beer is dark in color, does not mean it has a strong, hoppy flavor. In fact, darker beers tend to be slightly sweet and malty, which adds a nice layered flavor with the onions, tomatoes, and beef. If you don’t have a dark beer, choose a light beer such as a lager or pilsner. Just stay away from the hoppy IPAs that will have a more sour flavor.

How do I know when short ribs are done?

Unlike a steak that you want to be careful not to overcook, beef short ribs are usually finished when they become fall apart tender. The slow cooking method breaks down and tenderizes the meat, leaving you with savory, melt in your mouth beef.

Beer Braised Short Ribs served over creamy polenta

Key Ingredients in Beer Braised Short Ribs

  • Beef Short Ribs: When selecting short ribs, look for well marbled, meaty ribs without too much fat. Look for chuck short ribs for the best ratio of meat, fat and bone. The meat should be firmly attached to the bone, and you’ll need about ½ lb per serving.
  • Dark Beer: Stout, amber, or a dark lager will all work well for the beer braising liquid. If you don’t have a darker beer, use one with a milder flavor like lager, pilsner, or kolsch.
  • Onions and Garlic: Aromatic vegetables like onions and garlic enhance the beef flavor of the short ribs.
  • Canned Tomatoes: The crushed tomatoes and tomato paste mix with the beer to create a flavorful braising liquid. They help to blend together all the other rich flavors of the dish.

Slow Cooker Beer Braised Short Ribs

  • Season short ribs with salt and pepper, then roll in flour and tap off excess.
  • Sear short ribs on all sides, then remove from pan and add onions.
  • Cook onions for 4-5 minutes, adding garlic in the last 30 seconds until fragrant.
  • Add beef, onion mixture, crushed tomatoes, beer, tomato paste, and Worcestershire sauce to a Crock Pot.
  • Cook on low for 8 hours.

Instant Pot Beer Braised Short Ribs

  • Season short ribs with salt and pepper, then roll in flour and tap off excess.
  • Place Instant Pot on saute setting, and sear short ribs on all sides, then remove from pot and add onions.
  • Cook onions for 4-5 minutes, adding garlic in the last 30 seconds until fragrant.
  • Deglaze Instant Pot with ½ cup beer.
  • Add beef, onion mixture, crushed tomatoes, remaining beer, tomato paste, and Worcestershire sauce to the Instant Pot
  • Cook on high manual pressure for 45 minutes followed by 15 minutes natural release.
Beer Braised Short Ribs simmering in pot

Can Beer Braised Short Ribs be Made Ahead?

Braised beef recipes lend themselves well to being made in advance. Make Beer Braised Short Ribs up to 2 days in advance, and allow to cool to room temperature. Place in an airtight container and refrigerate. When you’re ready to serve, skim any fat off the top if you’d like. Then gently reheat the short ribs in a baking dish at 325 degrees for 30-40 minutes, adding a little beef stock if you need more liquid.

Variations on Beer Braised Short Ribs

  • Beer replacements: This is a perfectly family-friendly recipe because the alcohol cooks out of the beer. However, if you don’t want to use beer there are plenty of substitutes you can try. Instead of dark beer, you can use beef stock, mushroom stock, or apple juice. You could also use sodas like root beer or coke. Any of these ingredients will make tender beef with plenty of flavors.
  • Vegetables: You can add some of your favorite veggies to cook along with the meat like carrots, red onion, broccoli, and celery.
  • Seasonings: To experiment with the flavors, you can whisk in some of your favorite seasonings with your braising liquid. Bay leaf, fresh thyme, basil, freshly ground cumin, paprika, or celery salt would taste amazing.

Sides to Serve with Beer Braised Short Ribs

How to Store Beer Braised Short Ribs

  • Serve: Don’t leave Beer-Braised Beef Short Ribs at room temperature for more than 2 hours. If you use the slow cooker recipe, you can keep the crockpot at low heat and keep the meat out for longer.
  • Store: Wrap the recipe in aluminum foil or transfer it to an airtight container to store in the fridge for 3-5 days.
  • Freeze: You can keep the dish in the freezer for up to 6 months. Put the ribs in a freezer bag or another airtight container separated by wax paper so that they don’t stick together.
Beer Braised Short Ribs served over creamy polenta

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Beer-Braised Short Ribs

Beer-Braised Short Ribs are perfectly tender and juicy cooked in a beer, tomato, and Worcestershire sauce in the slow cooker or stovetop.
Yield 8 Servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 15 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 4 pounds bone-in beef short ribs
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 yellow onion , diced
  • 4 garlic cloves , minced
  • 15 ounces crushed tomatoes
  • 24 ounces beer , or beef broth
  • 6 ounces tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce


  • Season the beef ribs with salt and pepper.
  • Roll in flour, tap off excess.
  • Add oil to a large pot on medium-high heat.
  • Sear all the sides of the short ribs, about 4-5 minutes on each side.
  • Remove the beef and add in the onions, cooking for5-6 minutes or until translucent and just beginning to caramelize.
  • Stir in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant.
  • Add in the crushed tomatoes, beer, tomato paste, and Worcestershire sauce until well combined.
  • Put the beef back into the pot, cover, and cook for 3 hours or until fork-tender.
  • If using a slow cooker, cook on low for 8 hours.
  • Serve with mashed potatoes, grits, or egg noodles.


Calories: 435kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 98mg | Sodium: 994mg | Potassium: 1071mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 445IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 57mg | Iron: 6mg
Keyword: Beer-Braised Short Ribs
Beer Braised Short Ribs Collage

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

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