Beer bread is a simple bread based on the idea that both beer and bread have a common creation process: yeast is used to turn sugar into alcohol, which in the case of bread then evaporates during the process of baking.
Beer bread can be simply made with flour, beer, and sugar. Some bottled beers, especially craft beers may intentionally have visible live yeast sediment at the bottom of the bottle, however many mass market beers have the live yeast filtered out. Without sufficient leavening from the beer, a loaf of beer bread will be fairly dense and heavy unless an additional leavening agent, e.g., baking soda or baker's yeast and sugar, is added. Self-raising flour may be used because it is a mixture of flour and leavening agent. Beer bread without a leavening agent is very sturdy and tends not to lose moisture if it is overcooked. The only consequence of overcooking tends to be a thicker crust. Beer bread may also be purchased as a packaged mix with the dry ingredients, including leavening agents, already included.
Different types of beer bread can be made by using different beers; for instance, a stout or dark beer will give a darker bread with a heavier flavor. Using a beer that is spiced, or has a flavor added, will make a bread with a similar flavor, but less intense than the beer.
One can add any flavorings to this simple recipe when mixing the dry ingredients to enhance the flavor taste of bread. Some suggestions include cheddar and dill, sundried tomato and herb, garlic and feta, etc. A consideration when choosing flavors is that if the beer bread is not going to be eaten straight away then the flavors will become enhanced upon storage.