Best Beer for French Dip: Ultimate Pairing Guide

Best beer for french dip

Learn more about best beer for french dip.

French dip sandwiches have long been a favorite comfort food for many, with their tender meat and savory dipping sauce, making them undeniably delicious. However, when it comes to finding the perfect beer to pair with this delightful dish, one may wonder which brew will truly enhance the flavors of the sandwich, turning a simple meal into a culinary experience. In this article, we will explore the best beers to complement a French dip, taking taste, texture, and aroma into consideration.

It is essential to find a beer that not only matches the rich flavors of the roast beef but also balances the saltiness of the au jus. As beer has become increasingly popular and diverse, a wider range of options are now available for pairing with a variety of dishes, including the French dip. While certain brews may enhance specific ingredients within the sandwich, others may provide a harmonious balance that elevates the overall dining experience.

In considering which beers to pair with a French dip, one must take into account the complexities of the sandwich’s ingredients, the style and characteristics of the beer, and personal taste preferences. By finding the perfect balance between these factors, one can create a memorable combination that not only satisfies the palate but also leaves a lasting impression. Moreover, the exploration of different beer options may lead to new and exciting flavors, providing an exciting opportunity for culinary experimentation. For more, read our article on the best beer for bread.

Best Beers for French Dip

Best beers for french dip
Dark beers are often well-suited for pairing with French dip

When it comes to finding the best beer for French dip, there are several factors to consider. The richness and savory flavors of the dish require a beer that can enhance and complement those flavors. In this section, we will explore some of the best beer options for French dip, including dark beers, light beers, ales, and lagers.

Dark Beers

Dark beers are often well-suited for pairing with French dip, as their flavors tend to bring out the best in the savory, meaty flavors of the dish. Some popular dark beer options for French dip include:

  • Stout: A strong, dark beer that has roasted, slightly bitter flavors; it pairs well with the richness of French dip, enhancing its savory notes. One example of a stout that goes well with French dip is Slow Cooker Garlic Beer French Dips.
  • Porter: Another dark beer option, porters have robust, malty flavors with hints of chocolate and coffee, which can offset the savory meatiness of the dish.

Light Beers

Light beers can also be considered for pairing with French dip. These beers tend to have a more subtle flavor profile, making them a suitable choice for those who want a beer to complement, rather than overshadow, the dish. Some light beer options include:

  • Pilsner: A light, crisp beer with mild hoppy notes and a slightly floral aroma, pilsners can work well with French dip by cleansing the palate between bites.
  • Wheat beer: With its smooth, refreshing taste and slight hints of citrus, wheat beer can help to balance out the rich flavors of French dip.


Ales tend to be versatile and come in a wide range of flavors and styles, making them a popular choice for pairing with French dip. Some ale options to consider include:

  • Brown ale: With its malty, caramel-like flavors and a slight nuttiness, brown ale can be an excellent companion to French dip, bringing out the rich, savory notes in the dish.
  • Amber ale: Another option in the ale category, amber ales offer a balance of maltiness and hoppy flavors. This balance works well to enhance the meaty flavors of French dip without overwhelming them.


Lagers are also suitable for pairing with French dip, particularly when considering fuller-bodied options. Some lager options include:

  • Dunkel: Dunkel is a malty lager with notes of toffee and chocolate, making it a great choice to complement and enhance the flavors of French dip.
  • Vienna lager: With its toasty malt flavors and subtle bitterness, Vienna lager can provide a balance to the dish, helping to accentuate the meaty and savory notes of French dip.

In conclusion, the best beer for French dip ultimately depends on personal preference, but considering the options mentioned in this section should help you find the perfect pairing to delight your taste buds.

Classic French Dip Sandwich

Classic french dip sandwich
Explore the essential ingredients and recipe for creating the perfect French Dip Sandwich

The Classic French Dip Sandwich is a delicious and iconic dish that features tender roast beef served on a warm hoagie roll, topped with melted cheese, and accompanied by a savory au jus. In this section, we’ll explore the essential ingredients and recipe for creating the perfect French Dip Sandwich.


For a serving of 6 Classic French Dip Sandwiches, you will need the following:

  • 2 pounds of boneless ribeye steaks or roast beef
  • 6 hoagie rolls
  • 6 slices of provolone cheese
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups of low-sodium beef broth
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Horseradish-spiked mayo
  • Baked French fries for serving

In terms of nutritional value, French Dip Sandwich provides essential elements like calcium, iron, potassium, and vitamin C.


  1. Preheat your oven to 450°F and place the beef in a roasting pan.
  2. Season ribeye steaks or roast beef with salt and pepper, then rub with olive oil.
  3. Roast the beef for about 20-25 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 125°F on a meat thermometer for a medium-rare finish.
  4. Let the beef rest for 15 minutes before thinly slicing or shredding.
  5. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine beef broth, soy sauce, and sliced onion. Simmer for about 10 minutes.
  6. Preheat the broiler and split the hoagie rolls, toasting them briefly until slightly crispy.
  7. Assemble the sandwiches by placing a layer of sliced or shredded beef on the hoagie roll, followed by a slice of provolone cheese. Broil for 1-2 minutes, or until the cheese melts.
  8. Pour the beef broth mixture through a strainer to create au jus for dipping.
  9. Serve the French Dip Sandwiches with a side of au jus and, if desired, baked French fries.

The Classic French Dip Sandwich is a satisfying and tasty meal that can be enjoyed with a variety of beverages. Philippe the Original, the Los Angeles-based inventor of the dish, serves their beef dip with a cold beer. Choose your favorite brew for the perfect pairing and enjoy this timeless classic.

Slow Cooker Recipes

Slow Cooker Shredded Beef

A delicious and simple slow cooker shredded beef for French dip can be made from a garlic beer French dip recipe. Start by placing sliced white onions at the bottom of the slow cooker, followed by a beef chuck roast, and topping with garlic cloves. Pour over French onion soup and beer of your choice, then cover and cook on low for 10 hours without opening the lid during the cooking time1. Once the cooking time is done, remove the roast and shred the meat with two forks. This method will yield tender and flavorful meat perfect for French dip sandwiches.

Slow Cooker Beef Chuck Roast

Another option for preparing French dip sandwiches in a slow cooker is by using a rump roast2. Trim excess fat from the roast before placing it in the slow cooker, and add the beer, onion soup, and beef broth. Cook on low setting for 7 hours, making sure the beef is tender and flavorful. When utilizing this slow cooker French dip recipe, experiment with different types of beer to find your preferred taste. Some favorites include dark ales, stouts, or lighter pilsners.

A few tips when making slow cooker French dip sandwiches:

  • Choose a quality cut of beef chuck or rump roast.
  • Opt for full-bodied beers with robust flavors to enhance the taste of the meat.
  • Make sure to brown the roast on all sides before placing it in the slow cooker3.
  • Consider toasting the bread before serving the sandwiches to add texture and contrast.

With these recipes and tips in mind, you can create delicious French dip sandwiches at home using different types of beer to suit your taste preferences.

Nutrition Facts and Pairings

Nutritional Information

French dip sandwiches are a popular choice for many people due to their savory flavors and juicy tenderness. When it comes to nutrition facts, let’s take a closer look at the components of a typical French dip sandwich:

  • Sandwiches: A French dip sandwich typically consists of thinly sliced roast beef, served on a hoagie roll, and sometimes topped with cheese.
  • Calories: One serving of a French dip sandwich may contain around 400-500 calories, depending on the size and additional ingredients.
  • Saturated Fat: A serving of this sandwich could have between 5-10 grams of saturated fat.
  • Cholesterol: You can expect around 50-100mg of cholesterol per sandwich.
  • Protein: A French dip sandwich offers a good source of protein, providing around 25-30g per serving.

Keep in mind that these values may vary depending on the specific type of cheese or other toppings added to the sandwich.

Complementary Food Pairings

A crucial part of enjoying a French dip sandwich is the au jus – a rich, flavorful broth used for dipping. The robust flavors of the sandwich and au jus can be perfectly paired with a suitable beverage and side dishes. Here are some suggestions:

  • Beer: Select a beer with complementary flavors, such as a brown ale, amber ale, or even a pilsner. These types of beer have a slight malty sweetness that balances the rich flavors of the sandwich and can help cleanse your palate between bites. For an alternative option, consider a slow cooker garlic beer French dip recipe here.
  • Side Dishes: Classic side dishes for a French dip sandwich include French fries, coleslaw, or potato salad. These options provide a contrast in texture and can help balance out the richness of the sandwich.

When it comes to French dip sandwiches, understanding the nutritional information and knowing what to pair it with can help enhance your enjoyment of this delicious meal. Just remember to enjoy it in moderation and pay attention to the portion sizes!

Adding Flavors and Variations

Alternative Bread Types

When it comes to French dip sandwiches, the bread plays a crucial role in soaking up the delicious flavors. Traditionally, a crusty French baguette or a hoagie roll works well. However, you can try other types of bread, such as sourdough, ciabatta, or rye, to give the sandwich a different texture and taste.

Cheese Choices

Swiss cheese is the classic choice for French dip sandwiches because it melts beautifully and has a subtle, nutty flavor that complements the rich flavors of the beef and au jus. Other cheeses to consider include provolone, gouda, or mozzarella for more variety in taste and texture.

Additional Toppings

  • Garlic: Adding minced garlic or garlic powder to both the au jus and beef marinade enhances the sandwich with a warm, aromatic flavor.
  • Worcestershire Sauce and Onion Soup Mix: Combine Worcestershire sauce, onion soup mix, and water to create a flavorful base for slow cooking the chuck roast, as seen in this Instant Pot French Dip recipe.
  • Herbs and Spices: Infuse the au jus with dried thyme, oregano, or rosemary to give an earthy, aromatic depth to the sandwich.
  • Caramelized Onions: Sauté onions in butter until they’re soft and golden, then add them as a topping for an extra layer of flavor and texture.
  • Horseradish: A dollop of horseradish cream adds a zesty kick to contrast the rich flavors of the meat and cheese.

Remember to keep your specific preferences and the general theme of the dish in mind when experimenting with flavors and toppings. With these variations, you can customize your French dip sandwich to your personal taste and elevate your culinary experience.

Preparing the Jus

In this section, we will discuss two methods of preparing the jus for your French dip sandwich – making a homemade au jus and using store-bought alternatives.

Homemade Au Jus

To prepare the perfect homemade au jus for your French dip, follow this simple recipe that brings out the rich flavors of onions and beef broth:

  1. In a skillet, melt butter or drippings over medium-high heat.
  2. Add chopped onions and minced garlic, then cook for 3-4 minutes until softened and slightly golden.
  3. After the onions and garlic have simmered, stir in some all-purpose flour to form a roux. Whisk until the flour is fully incorporated and let it cook for 1 minute to remove the raw flour taste.
  4. Gradually whisk in beef broth, allowing it to combine with the roux. Let the mixture simmer and thicken to your desired consistency.
  5. Adjust seasonings with salt, pepper, and a touch of Worcestershire sauce if desired.

When preparing the shredded beef for your sandwich, ensure it is well-cooked and moist. Use your homemade au jus to enhance the flavor and juiciness of the beef.

Store-Bought Alternatives

If you are short on time, store-bought alternatives can still provide a delicious jus for your French dip. Here are some options:

  • Ready-made au jus mix: Simply add water and follow the package instructions
  • Concentrated beef base: Just mix with hot water in the advised ratio
  • Pre-packaged beef broth or stock: You may want to simmer it and reduce it slightly to achieve a richer flavor

Remember to taste and adjust the seasoning of store-bought alternatives as well, so your sandwich turns out flavorful and satisfying.

In conclusion, whether you choose to make your own homemade au jus or opt for a store-bought alternative, it is essential to strike a balance between a rich, flavorful jus and well-cooked, moist shredded beef for the perfect French dip experience.

Serving Suggestions

Lunch and Dinner Ideas

A perfect French dip sandwich can be enjoyed during both lunch and dinner. Using a tender beef chuck roast, slow-cooked to perfection, will enhance its flavors when paired with your favorite beer. To experiment with taste, it is suggested to balance out your sandwich with a light and refreshing beer for a lunchtime meal. However, if you prefer something bolder for dinner, you can opt for a robust, more intense beer.

Side Dishes

When it comes to finding the ideal side dishes for your French dip, there are numerous options to choose from. Some of the popular choices include:

For a more unique experience, try serving your French dip sandwich with French onion soup instead of the traditional au jus.

When planning your meal, keep in mind how the flavors of your side dishes will pair with your chosen beer. For instance, light lagers or pilsners may complement the zesty taste of giardiniera, while dark stouts may enhance the richness of beer-battered onion rings. By considering these combinations, you can create a harmonious dining experience enjoyed with friends and family.