Autumnal Spinach Salad with Ale Vinaigrette

Did you know this past Friday was International Beer Day?  Until recently I didn’t know either, but there is almost always a random obscure holiday to celebrate, so why not beer?

I’ve used beer in cooking before, typically as a marinade for grilled meats, or in the occasional soup or mixed drink.

For this theme, I thought about making another marinade, but Hubs was out of town and he’s the grill master around here.  Could I grill?  Probably.  Have I ever tried? Big ‘ol nope.

So I had to think outside the box and decided to make an Ale Vinaigrette for a salad.  I called this one an Autumnal Salad since the flavors seem to be harbingers of fall.  And once August rolls around, it’s mere weeks until school starts and autumn is just around the corner.

Of course I loved this salad, because salad is my jam.  The real difference here is that I also love the dressing (something I rarely use on my salads).  As a vinaigrette, it is light and flavorful and the perfect accompaniment for these fall flavors.

Looking for more recipes with Beer?  Look no further!


Autumnal Spinach Salad with Ale Vinaigrette

Adapted from Vegetarian Times

Ale Vinaigrette

5 ounces ale beer

1 clove garlic, minced

1 sprig fresh thyme

2 blades fresh chives

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon honey (local, is possible)

1 teaspoon spicy brown mustard

Salt & pepper, to taste


2 cups fresh spinach

3 ounces cooked chicken, shredded

1 ounce goat cheese, crumbled

1 tablespoon walnuts

1 tablespoon craisins

½ fuji apple, sliced

To make the vinaigrette, place the beer, garlic, thyme and chives in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Bring to a boil and allow the liquid to reduce to about 2 tablespoons.  Cool slightly and stain the solids out.

Whisk in the remaining vinaigrette ingredients (note: this will make enough for 4-6 salads).

To make the salads, place the spinach on salad plates. Top with the remaining ingredients and drizzle with ale vinaigrette.    Enjoy immediately.


  1. This is a great looking salad and the vinaigrette is the perfect dressing for all the flavors.

  2. Never used beer in salad dressing, it must have tasted delicious in the salad!

  3. I love this idea - and that salad looks FABULOUS. I'm definitely trying this vinaigrette soon.


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