PA Dutch Birch Beer BBQ Sauce Recipe

Lancaster, Pennsylvania is home to expansive farms, covered bridges and one-room schoolhouses. Visitors flock to the Pennsylvania Dutch communities of Intercourse, Bird in Hand and Paradise in search of beautiful scenery, handmade quilts and hearty Amish country cuisine. Barbecue dishes are frequently found on the menu in area restaurants, along with the local soft drink favorite, birch beer. The following original recipe for homemade PA Dutch Birch Beer BBQ Sauce combines traditional ingredients with birch beer soda to create a bold and flavorful sauce that's perfect for brushing onto grilled ribs, chicken and burgers.

PA Dutch Birch Beer BBQ Sauce Recipe Featured Image of man holding a plate of juicy grilled beef steak with a cup of Dutch Birch Beer BBQ Sauce

PA Dutch Birch Beer BBQ Sauce Recipes

Homemade PA Dutch Birch Beer BBQ Sauce offers a uniquely complex, yet traditional barbecue flavor. As any barbecue pit master will tell you, there's simply no comparing a homemade BBQ sauce to store-bought, bottled varieties.The taste difference is like night and day, with the birch beer-based sauce delivering a classic barbecue flavor that's great on beef, poultry and pork.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time57 minutes
Total Time1 hour 2 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: BBQ Sauce, Birch Beer Sauce, Dutch Birch Beer BBQ Sauce, PA Dutch Birch Beer BBQ Sauce
Servings: 32 Servings
Author: William Clay


  • 1 can Pennsylvania Dutch Birch Beer
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter (Do not substitute)
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 medium-sized Bermuda or Spanish onion finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons shallots finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon garlic minced
  • 2 teaspoons mild chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper finely ground


  • In a non-reactive saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until just beginning to develop color, about 10-12 minutes.
  • Add in the can of Pennsylvania Dutch Birch Beer along with the remaining ingredients. Stir slowly and constantly with a wooden spoon until the Birch Beer BBQ sauce is smooth and well combined.
  • Simmer uncovered for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally until the sauce begins to thicken. Adjust seasonings to taste.
  • Remove from heat and allow the Birch Beer BBQ sauce to cool for 10-15 minutes. Using a "stick" or immersion blender, puree the sauce until reaching a smooth, thickened consistency.
  • Important: Hot liquids expand when blended. If using a traditional blender, work in small batches. Be sure to allow for venting. Remove your blender's lid vent plug and cover the opening with a clean kitchen cloth.
  • Cool the sauce to room temperature, then use as desired, Use a BBQ sauce mop or the back of a large spoon to apply the PA Dutch Birch Beer BBQ Sauce to pork, chicken or beef.
  • Apply sauce liberally and continue cooking/grilling for 5 minutes. Reapply a light coating of Birch Beer BBQ Sauce then continue cooking for another 5-10 minutes before serving.
  • Store unused PA Dutch Birch Beer BBQ Sauce in the refrigerator. Brush it on food 5 to 15 minutes before the cooking time is finished. If desired, serve extra on the side.

Can't barbecue outside due to the weather? Try the following year-round recipe for Slow Cooker Ribs which works nicely with the recipe for PA Dutch Birch Beer BBQ Sauce. While there are quite a few ingredients involved, the results are well worth the effort. Although there's no substitute for real charcoal BBQ, the recipe below yields a smokey, super-tender, meat-falling-off-the-bones result.

Looking for something meaty that's delicious? Try making a brisket, we've perfected our brisket on gas grill recipes and also included recipes for smokers.

Slow Cooker Ribs with PA Dutch Birch Beer BBQ Sauce

Slow Cooker Ribs with PA Dutch Birch Beer BBQ Sauce

For those who can't BBQ due to the weather this recipe lets you make smokey, super-tender, meat-falling-off-the-bones ribs in a slow cooker.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time8 hours 20 minutes
Total Time8 hours 30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: BBQ Sauce, Birch Beer Sauce, Dutch Birch Beer BBQ Sauce, PA Dutch Birch Beer BBQ Sauce, Pork Spareribs, Ribs, Slow Cooker
Servings: 8 people


  • 6 lbs pork spareribs separated
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Better Than Bouillon Chicken base
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Crystal hot sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon liquid smoke
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper


  • Combine the water, apple cider, tomato sauce, brown sugar, Better Than Bouillon, Worcestershire sauce, Crystal hot sauce, soy sauce and liquid smoke together in the bottom of the slow cooker. Stir until the brown sugar is completely dissolved.
  • Quarter the onions and arrange the pieces on the bottom of the slow cooker. Set the temperature to low.
  • In a small bowl, combine chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, sea salt and cayenne pepper. Apply the dry rub liberally to all sides of the ribs.
  • Carefully arrange the ribs in the slow cooker on top of the onions, meat side up. Cover and cook on low for 7 to 8 hours.
  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. When ribs are done, carefully remove from the slow cooker. Place ribs on a parchment-lined baking sheet and allow to rest at room temperature for 5 minutes. Evenly apply the Birch Beer Barbecue Sauce to the ribs using a spoon or pastry brush.
  • Transfer the ribs to the pre-heated oven and bake for 10 minutes. Apply a second, thin layer of Birch Beer BBQ Sauce and continue cooking for about 5 minutes, or until sauce reaches desired color and doneness.

A smoker is a game-changer for any BBQ master. We've spent countless hours on our electric smoker reviews for anyone looking to take BBQing to the next level.

View some of our other famous recipes

About the Author William Clay

William Clay is a BBQ enthusiast dedicated to sharing his grilling (and overall cooking) expertise with FireFoodChef's readers.