Irish Guinness Brown Bread

August 18, 2020
This post may contain affiliate links, which means that I may receive a commission if you make a purchase using these links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

The only thing better than drinking a foamy pint of Guinness is eating a slice of Irish Guinness brown bread! Slather it with salted Irish butter and thick jam, and you’ve got a sweet, salty, malty treat.

closeup of sliced Irish Guinness brown bread with oats on a wooden board

(This recipe was originally published in November 2018, but was updated with new photos and content in 2020).

I have had the privilege of visiting Ireland, truly one of the most beautiful countries I’ve ever seen. At breakfast one morning in Derry, Northern Ireland I discovered the new love of my life: Irish Guinness brown bread.

I lightly toasted a slice of it, and slathered it in Irish butter and strawberry jam. My life changed forever. I was so inspired by this delicious and simple morning treat with its hearty texture and complex flavors. I vowed I would recreate it upon my return to the states.

closeup of a slice of Irish Guinness brown bread with butter and jam

It was easier than I thought to follow through on that mission, and the results are just as delicious as my early memories of that impressive Guinness brown bread.

How does it taste? Well, it’s crumbly and crusty on the outside, and tender inside. It has a malty quality from the Guinness with an oaty note from the actual oats. It’s mildly salty and sweet at the same time, and also a bit buttery even before you add a thick layer of butter on top. In short, it’s pure magic!

I’m proud to say that this Guinness brown bread recipe is very similar to the incredible bread I enjoyed in Derry.

overhead view of a loaf of sliced Guinness bread on a board with butter and jam

How to make it

The recipe is incredibly simple. Combine the oats, whole wheat and all-purpose flours, dark brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl. In another bowl mix together the wet ingredients. This includes a bottle of Guinness, buttermilk, melted butter, and vanilla extract (PHOTO 1).

Make a well in the center of the dry mixture and then pour in the wet mixture (PHOTO 2). Stir until combined (PHOTO 3).

Generously butter a loaf pan, and pour in the bread batter. Top with a sprinkle of oats (PHOTO 4), then bake until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove the Guinness beer bread from the pan and let it cool completely before slicing it up.

step by step photos of making Irish Guinness brown bread batter

How to serve it

Although you can slice and eat this bread as is, I sometimes like to toast slices in the toaster oven. Let the slices cool completely before buttering because the butter will melt right into the bread if you’re impatient like I tend to be 🙂

Whether you enjoy the Guinness bread as is, lightly toast it, top it with salted Irish butter and/or fruit jam, this simple recipe is a surefire winner!

Irish butter is arguably the best butter in the world. Definitely splurge both in cost and calories to get the good stuff. I top my toasted slices with a generous smear of Kerrygold and a couple spoonfuls of jam. I have also found excellent quality (and reasonably priced) salted Irish butter at Aldi grocery stores. They sell their in house Countryside Creamery brand.

a loaf of Guinness bread on a board with a slice topped with butter and jam

Other recipes you may like

This Guinness brown bread recipe does not require a mixer, and comes together quickly. If you have the ingredients, you can easily make this on a whim. I try to keep a few bottles of Guinness on hand not for drinking, but for beer bread emergencies! Sláinte!

overhead view of a loaf of Irish Guinness bread with oats in a metal loaf pan

Ways to use up leftover buttermilk!

I have made this Guinness beer bread countless times since the first time, and it is constantly a family favorite. It’s so good, that I sometimes even enjoy it for dessert with jam on top. I’m not much of a Guinness drinker, but man this bread is good!

Have you ever visited Ireland? What were your favorite foods you tried there? Please leave me a note in the comments, and don’t forget to rate this recipe if you’ve tried it. Thanks!

closeup of sliced Irish Guinness brown bread with oats on a wooden board

Irish Guinness Brown Bread

The only thing better than drinking a foamy pint of Guinness is eating a slice of Guinness beer bread! Slather it with salted Irish butter and thick jam, and you've got a sweet, salty, malty treat.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Bread, Breakfast, Brunch
Cuisine Irish
Servings 1 (9-inch) loaf (about 12 slices)
Calories 213 kcal


  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant), plus extra for sprinkling
  • 2 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar lightly packed
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 (11- to 12-ounce) bottle Guinness extra stout beer, preferably at room temperature
  • 1 cup buttermilk shaken
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter melted, plus extra for brushing the pan
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Salted butter such as Irish Kerrygold


  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  • In a large bowl, combine the oats, whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the beer, buttermilk, melted butter, and vanilla.
  • Make a well in center of the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into the well. With your fingers, a spatula or wooden spoon, stir the batter from the middle of the bowl to the outside, until it’s well mixed. It will look more like cake batter than bread dough.
  • Brush a 9×5×2 1/2-inch loaf pan with melted butter. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle the top with oats.
  • Put the bread in the oven, immediately turn the temperature down to 400 degrees F. Bake for 45 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Turn the bread out onto a baking rack and allow to cool completely. Slice and serve with salted butter, toasting slices in a toaster oven if desired.

Notes & Nutrition

  • This recipe uses kosher salt (aka cooking salt, kitchen salt, coarse salt outside of the US). If you are using table salt, definitely scale down the salt as that is a saltier type of salt! The type of salt will make a big difference in how salty your food tastes, so keep that in mind.
  • Ideally your Guinness beer should be at room temperature for this recipe, however if it’s cold it will still work. It will solidify the melted butter (oops) but you can still mix up the batter and the mixture will come together just fine in the end.
  • This Guinness bread is best served within a few days of baking. After day 1 I typically will toast up the slices in a toaster oven just to freshen them up a bit before serving.
Adapted from The Barefoot Contessa
Servings 12.0 * calories 213 * Total Fat 6 g * Saturated Fat 3 g * Monounsaturated Fat 1 g * Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g * Trans Fat 0 g * Cholesterol 14 mg * Sodium 275 mg * Potassium 41 mg * Total Carbohydrate 32 g * Dietary Fiber 4 g * Sugars 11 g * Protein 5 g
*All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more.*


  • Reply
    Mary Kabakian
    February 19, 2020 at 2:50 pm

    5 stars
    I miss Ireland! I love Irish Bread!

  • Reply
    Lucy Reinbold
    August 19, 2020 at 7:58 pm

    5 stars
    Warning! This bread is absolutely evil and addicting! Smear on that Irish butter and jam and Oh. My. God. I dare you to stop at just one slice! Lol.

    • Reply
      August 19, 2020 at 8:00 pm

      I agree with all of the above! I definitely can’t have just one slice 😉 and bring on the butter!!

  • Reply
    August 20, 2020 at 4:41 pm

    5 stars
    This is delicious and it was so easy! A hit with my toddler too!

  • Leave a Reply

    Recipe Rating