Drunken Balsamic Bacon Jam on Peppercorn Rye Ale Bread

Appetizers are the perfect way to prepare guests’ taste-buds for an indulgent feast. But traditional appetizers like wine and cheese can be so….. formal… and sometimes stuffy.  So we switched out wine for beer and cheese for bacon to make an epic drunken treat that will easily spark conversation among your guests. Here’s what to expect- It’s a balsamic bacon beer jam slathered on top of a creamy layer of goat cheese. It’s adorned with peppery arugula and all this rests nicely on top of a hearty slice of Peppercorn Rye Ale bread. It’s a symphony of flavors- savory, salty, sour and sweet; it’s truly the perfect starter to any meal. It has all the flavor complexities without all the conventional stuffiness. Enjoy the finer things in life…like bacon and beer in spreadable form….Click Continue for Full Post

What You’ll Need

  • Balsamic Bacon Beer Jam (see recipe below)
  • Peppercorn Rye Ale Bread slices (see recipe below)
  • Goat Cheese, 8 oz
  • Arugula ( 2-3 cups)

Bacon Beer Jam


  • 16 oz bacon (smoked or peppered)
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/2 cup yellow onions
  • 1 cup Dahntahn Brahn from Milkman Brewing Co.
  • 1 tsp spicy yellow mustard (saved a packet from Chinese takeout)
  • 1/4 cup malt vinegar
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2- 2/3 cup light brown sugar (depends on how sweet your tooth is)


  1. In a large pot, cook the bacon. You may need to work in batches to avoid overcrowding.
  2. Remove cooked bacon from pan and roughly chop. Set aside. Keep 1 TBSP of bacon grease in pan- discard the rest.
  3. Put pot back on stove and cook the onions for about 3 minutes, or until they are soft and translucent.
  4. Add garlic and cook very quickly- 30 seconds.
  5. Add beer, spicy mustard, malt vinegar, balsamic vinegar, and brown sugar. Stir well to deglaze bottom.
  6. Simmer on low with lid 3/4 of the way to allow steam to escape for about 45 minutes. The mixture should reduce and look thick and almost syrupy.
  7. Using a food processor or hand blender, pulse mixture to break down large pieces of bacon.
  8. Set aside and let cool.

Peppercorn Rye Ale Bread 


  • 1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 4 1/2 cups AP flour, divided, additional for dusting
  • 1/2 cup warm water (not hot it will kill the yeast)
  • 12 oz Peppercorn Rye Ale from Milkman Brewing Co.
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cracked black peppercorns


  1. In the bowl of a standing mixer, combine yeast, 1/2 cup flour, and warm water. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes.
  2. Stir in the beer, remaining flour (4 cups) and salt/ pepper into yeast mixture. Using the dough hook attachment, stir on low until the dough forms a ball and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Cover and let rise for 2 hours, or until it has doubled in size.
  3. Remove dough from bowl and generously flour the top and bottom. Place floured dough on a baking sheet and form into a loaf shape. Cover loosely with a towel and let it rise again for 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 425. Place a small pan of water on the bottom shelf of oven.
  5. Slash a few decorative slits on the top of the dough loaf. Place the baking sheet on the rack above the pan of water. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until loaf is golden brown.
  6. Carefully transfer to cooling rack to cool completely before slicing.

beer jam 5


  1. Slice Peppercorn Rye Ale bread into one-inch slices
  2. Spread goat cheese on bread
  3. Spread beer bacon jam ontop of goat cheese
  4. Garnish with spicy arugula
  5. Enjoy this hearty appetizer with friends and family

About the Beer- Milkman Brewing Co.

Dahntahn Brahn is Milkman’s American Brown Ale. It pays tribute to Pittsburgh’s industrial days by adding a hint of cherry-wood smoked malts to the brew.

Peppercorn Rye Ale is a Milkman’s brewing original. Rye makes up over 40% of the grain in this spicy brew. But rye isn’t the only spicy ingredient found here- the brewers threw in green, white, and black peppercorns into mix. This brew won Pittsburgh’s 2011 BruFest Judges’ Award.

Cheers N’at


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