Guinness BBQ Sauce

Today is the first day of spring but here in Toronto it feels like the first day of summer. All this week we have been breaking records and it is supposed to get even warmer tomorrow. Yesterday I walked to pick up the kids at school and I was wearing shorts and sandals. This was the last day of winter. It was wonderful watching all the kids play soccer after school. We did not have a bad winter but everyone is happy that the warm weather has come a little early this year!

Guinness BBQ Sauce

This past Saturday was St. Patrick’s Day and I did not have an Irish themed post on that day. I did not even have a ‘green’ dish. Even though it is a bit late, here is my contribution to the many St. Patrick’s Day posts. Guinness Draught is the popular drink on St. Patrick’s Day as it originates from Ireland. A dry stout that has a sweet caramel flavour with a hint of coffee, Guinness has been used in many different recipes from desserts to bread to main dishes. This BBQ sauce has the wonderful flavour of Guinness and goes perfect on ribs, chicken, pork chops and more!

Guinness BBQ Sauce

I love the flavour that Guinness brings to food. Check out this Guinness Bread recipe.

Guinness BBQ Sauce

5 out of 5
3 reviews
This BBQ sauce has the wonderful flavour of Guinness Draught and goes perfect on ribs, chicken, pork chops and more! Great St. Patrick's Day BBQ beer sauce.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 4 cups


  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 onions , minced
  • 5 garlic cloves , minced
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1 cup Guinness beer
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1 cup (8oz can)tomato paste


  • Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the onion, and garlic to the saucepan and saute until they are tender and beginning to caramelize, about 8 minutes.
  • Add the molasses, beer, brown sugar, vinegar, salt, pepper and cayenne Bring to a boil. Let it cook with a low rolling boil for about 10 minutes. Stir occasionally so that nothing sticks to the bottom of the saucepan.
  • Stir in the tomato paste and lower the heat. Let the sauce simmer for 30 minutes, stirring every few minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and let the sauce cool to room temperature.
  • Puree in a blender until smooth.


Did you try this recipe?

Leave a comment and let me know how it turned out. Or, take a picture to share on Instagram and tag me @theblackpeppercorn.

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  • I like this idea.. My St Patrick’s Posts were also very savory leaning. This used with brisket would certainly bring a different twist to corned beef

  • Oh this sauce looks so good! I can’t wait to make it and crank up the bbq. Yum.

  • Just made my first BBQ Sauce over break. So easy, SO much better than the bottle. Can’t wait to keep trying new ones!

  • I’ll enjoy this sauce on St. Patty’s Day or any day. It looks fabulous. I know what you mean about the warm weather.. did we really have a winter this year? I think I could live with these mild winters forever. Of course, my kids are very upset they never got a snow day or got to go sledding.

  • Ooooh, this would be a hit with my dad!

  • I’m always on the look out for recipes that incorporate Guinness, so this is bookmarked to try. Thx for sharing Steve.

  • This BBQ Sauce sounds amazing I have been looking for a good BBQ sauce recipe. I am definitely going to try this on ribs in my smoker. So it’s off to the store to buy the ingredients. Thanks for sharing the recipe. Ivie

  • This looks like a great barbecue sauce. I’ll need to keep it in mind for when I get into the DIY sauce mood.

  • This sounds good. I just made BBQ sauce for the first time a week or two ago and loved it. I bet the Guinness worked very well in yours!

  • Wow! That looks amazing, Guinness is such a versatile drink!

  • I make several types of bbq sauce and have used a Budweiser based sauce, but never heard of the Guinness idea. Thanks! I will have to give this a try.

  • This sounds great! Might have to try making this for my dad for father’s day – he’s very into homemade anything! How long does this stay good for?

    • Reply
    • I am sure he will love it! When I make it, or any bbq sauce, I fill a cleaned out large squeezeable ketchup bottle and keep it in the fridge. It would stay good in the fridge for 4-6 weeks if not longer. There is a lot of sugar and vinegar in the sauce that would preserve it for a long time. Now, if you actually can it and preserve it in a sealed jar, it would have a shelf life of a year easily.

  • […] Christmas for him.  To go along with his steak, I made some homemade BBQ sauce.  I found this recipe for a Guinness BBQ sauce and whipped it up while Brian was out of house (side note: it was super […]

  • How long would this BBQ sauce last if I made a batch and stored it in a air tight jar?? I think its the perfect birthday gift for my dad… thank so much for sharing this recipe!!

    • Reply
    • Are you going to process it in a hot water bath? If not, it would need to be refrigerated. But if you plan to process it in a hot water bath and seal it properly it should stay good on a shelf in a cool place for months. I have tripled this batch and sealed multiple jars and given them away as gifts. They are always a big hit!

  • How many servings does this make? Or how many pints would this make if I were to can it?

    • Reply
    • It makes about 2.5 pints. I actually doubled the recipe when making it recently and canned 4 pints and keeping the fifth (which did not fill completely up) in the fridge.

  • I made this last night for my boyfriend’s birthday present. I think my molasses might have been old or my stove was too hot because I ended up with a pile of goop before blending.
    I added water while blending and it eventually turned out the correct consistency.
    He and his dad love it, though! Thanks for the recipe!

    • Reply
    • Yes, it could have just been that more moisture left during the simmering process and adding water would have solved that. So glad the guys liked it!!

  • How long do this BBQ last. I am looking to make this and jar it for some guys Christmas gifts, but I dont want to make it if it goes bad in a week.

    • Reply
    • If you keep it in the fridge it would last as long as storebought sauce. But if you want to make it and stick it on a shelf you would need to ‘can’ it in a jar and seal it in a hot water bath. I made a triple batch of this during the summer and canned them which allowed me to give them away as gifts. 500ml jars should be in a hot water bath for 20 minutes.

  • what type of onions are you using? Red onions? Or just minced onions already in a jar?
    This recipe looks great thanks!!

    • Reply
    • I use the standard yellow cooking onions but any fresh onion would work great. Hope you enjoy it!

  • Making this vey soon and can’t wait. Did you use plain old distilled vinegar or can I use apple cider vinegar?

    • Reply
    • I use just the plain old white distilled vinegar. I am sure you could use the cider vinegar, but it might change the taste a bit. Hope you enjoy it!

  • This was delicious! I made 1/2 a batch to start but plan on making a batch times 6 for Christmas gifts…you said you’ve doubled the recipe…do you think I could triple or quadruple, etc it as long as long as i have a big enough pot? And if so, will that change the cooking times? Thanks!!

    • Reply
    • Yes, I have actually quadrupled the recipe once and made a lot. You need to make sure that you have a large enough pot (obviously) and make sure that you stir often. There is the possibility that the bottom could stick and maybe burn on the bottom of the pot. Just be careful of that and everything else would be fine. No need to adjust the ratio of ingredients. Enjoy!

  • I think I might have to make this for Christmas presents for my Uncles – they’re both hard to buy for, and since I plan on making presents, this seems a pretty good option considering they both LOVE BBQ!

  • I made this about 3 weeks ago (first BBQ sauce I have tried homemade), but I had a couple problems. First, I only ended up with 1.5 pints (I see that you normally get 2.5) so I am not quite sure what I might have missed. Could I have just boiled it too hard and lost that much? I felt that I kept the boil low.

    2nd, mine was much darker than what I see from your photos. Your photo looks almost like a tomato sauce and I thought that mine looked more like BBQ sauce. However, the flavor of mine was sweet and the onion flavor was noticeable.

    A couple notes:
    1) I substituted a homebrewed porter for the Guinness.
    2) I used white onions. I am not sure if I sauteed them long enough. They became tender and I could detect a change in their scent, but they had not started to brown.

    Do you have any suggestions for someone without homemade BBQ experience if I try this again in the future? I put it on half the ribs I smoked, and Sweet Baby Rays on the other half and the consensus was that the Sweet Baby Rays was better. I am not being critical of the recipe, just thinking that I may have messed up somehow.

    • Reply
    • If you only ended up with 1.5 pints (3 cups), my feeling is that you likely cooking it too long and that would have probably heightened the concentrations of flavours. That is almost a 50% reduction which would be more than you would want. That would have also darkened the colour as well. The colour of mine is similar to Heinz Chicken and Rib BBQ Sauce. I cannot comment on the beer you used and how it might have changed the balance of flavours. If you try it again, I hope it turns out better!!

  • Random questions to any who may be wise with the answers:

    1. I just made a few jars of this – tastes great! I can’t wait to give them as gifts to my dad and father-in-law. Question is, if I am planning on shipping them out of state, would I have to process them in a water bath the way one would with making jam or canning tomatoes?

    2. I’d like to put a rough expiration date on the jars for their reference – how long would you say this is good for? That goes for both if I send them as-is or if I process them (cans would have an airtight seal) and then send them?


    • If these jars are not processed, then they would need to stay in the fridge therefore could not be shipped. Unprocessed jars stay good for a few weeks in the fridge.

      I make triple batches often and process the jars to put in our pantry downstairs. They should have a shelf life of up to one year if stored properly.

  • I just made a batch of this to give as Christmas gifts to all the guys on my list and it smells and tastes amazing! I did use Guinness Black Lager instead of original Guinness. I’m making a batch of your Corona and Lime BBQ sauce a little later to gift as well. Thanks for the great recipe!

  • I’ve made this two weekends in a row now. I will not be buying bbq sauce again. Amazing recipe man! I have a jar left in the fridge that will get used tonight once I dust the snow off the grill and shovel my deck.

    Cheers to leftover Guinness in the fridge and this amazing recipe!

    Can’t wait to try the Corona Lime sauce next.

    • Reply
  • Will be good made with the 7.5% guiness foreign extra or the Caribbean dragon stout which are both quite sweet in flavour and richer compares to draught guiness. Will try today

    • Reply
  • […] can’t stand christmas adverts… they just make me feel so festive!) Favourite Recipe Guinness BBQ sauce A great stocking filler for the guys? Favourite Pastime Seeing my lovely cousin and her […]

  • […] honor of Father’s Day yesterday I decided to treat my dad to something special – Guinness BBQ Sauce. The directions are really simple, but this recipe takes a long time to cook so I started early. (I […]

  • How long will the BBQ sauce last? We are in the dead of winter right now but I would love to give it as a gift!

    • Reply
    • If it is properly sealed in jars, processed in a water bath and stored in a dark and cool place, like a cold cellar or pantry, it should stay good for up to a year. I make large batches and store the jars in our basement pantry. They have been just as great 6-12 months later.

  • this was AMAZZZZZING! it came out absolutely perfect. Every time someone would walk into the kitchen they would say “it smells SO GOOD in here!” Thank you for this recipe. I am an Irish girl from Boston always looking for new ways to cook with Guinness and this is so good I plan on having it in my fridge all the time.

    • Reply
  • Is there anything I can you instead of molasses? Will it change the flavour/outcome of sauce dramatically?

    • Reply
  • Hi Steve, been a follower of your blog ever since I bought a smoker last year. Love your sauces. I took this recipe as a blueprint, and gave it a New England flavor. I used Smuttynose Brown Dog Ale and replaced the molasses with good ol’ fashioned Vermont Maple Syrup. The brown ale and maple combo work really well together. I may try it again with a porter, keeping the maple.

    • Reply
  • […] for cinnamon rolls).I’ve been searching high and low for a Guiness BBQ Sauce recipie and finally found one!  I followed that recipie but used less garlic and aded a teaspoon of pulled pork spice […]

  • Does anyone know how much this recipe yields? Thank you!

    • Reply
  • I just finished cooking:
    As I am living in Laos, I had to use the BeerLao dark lager (333ml) instead of Guiness.

    Its so delicious and really easy. I followed the complete recepy with Heinz destilled White Vinegar, didn’t use apple cider vinegar as I usally do for my sauces. But that was a good choice for me. It was just a little tiny bit to sweet for my tastebuds, but until now I haven’t tried it with meat.

    Next batch will be quadruppled and I’ll try to add some liquid smoke on half the batch.

    • Reply
  • […] for cinnamon rolls).I’ve been searching high and low for a Guiness BBQ Sauce recipie and finally found one!  I followed that recipie but used less garlic and aded a teaspoon of pulled pork spice […]

  • Wow, my boyfriend would love this! Definitely going to make it in the near future.

  • One of my husband’s favorite beers. I think your sauce would be a great surprise for him one night. Thank you for sharing. #whatscookingwednesday

  • I made this sauce for my family and they LOVE it. We use a lot of bbq sauce in my household since we bbq all year long and this has become the new favourite. It’s good on everything from steak to fish and believe me we’ve tried it on every meat you can cook on a grill. I let a couple friends try it and now I’m having to make several batches at a time just to have enough to go around! So, thank you, so very much for sharing your amazing recipe with us.

    • Reply
    • I am so glad that you enjoyed the recipe! I have to make it in batches as well. We go through it fast!

  • I’m smoking smoke corn beef and cabbage as we speak!! My husband ( whose not Irish) said he needed a bbq sauce to go with it… well, I wanted to stick with my Irish heritage as much as possible… I found this recipe and tried it… it’s AWESOME!!! Mine came out a little to thick after I threw it in the blender… I read the reviews and one person had the same problem… I added water and it came out AWESOME!! Thanks!!! This recipe is DEFINITELY a keeper!!!

    • Reply
  • Sir, well done! Now, before I begin describing the modifications I made, please understand I couldn’t have done this without your amazing website and recipes…thank you!

    Like spaghetti sauce, I think bbq sauce is very personal for every person: everyone has their own opinion of what a good sauce is. Therefore, I combined this Guinness sauce with your Habanero sauce and cut the brown sugar down to only 1/2 cup. Plus, I upped the tomato paste to 1-1/2 can to give me just a bit more tangy. I think this is a great balance between sweet and tangy.

    Steve…this is wonderful. I’m going to smoke two racks of ribs this afternoon and sauce one up with this and the other with your Yellow Carolina sauce, which is unmodified and perfect as is! Again, thank you for this wonderful treasure trove of information!

    • Reply

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