IPA Lemon Bars

Before I get to the lemon bars that were more than a year in the making, I need to talk about these beer glasses.

These glasses are more than just vessels of craft beer glory, they are a indicator of the thread of craft beer weaving itself through the mainstream.

Crate and Barrel, a mecca for the upwardly mobile, midwestern tract homeowners, and suburban housewives is carrying an entire line of glassware devoted to the service of well-made beer. (I need to stop to note that none of the previous descriptors were meant to be derogatory, merely  an illustration of the mainstreamness of the giant housewares retail store.)

This is proof that craft beer is moving forward, growing in respect and popularity in the minds of Americans and capitalist marketers. I couldn’t be happier. I pillaged the entire line, necessitating a new shelf just for beer glasses.

 Eagle Rock Populist with Beer Mug

The lemon bars I made for you have been in the works for over a year. There have been other recipes in the past that haven’t lives up to my expectations. The filling wasn’t creamy enough, or the crust and filling weren’t distinct layers, or other assorted issues. This recipe finally gave me the results I wanted.

IPA Lemon Bars

A great crust with a slight flakey crispness, not too sweet, and lemony with the right touch of beer flavor.

The beer I used is from Eagle Rock Brewery, a brewery that is just down the road from me, a little over a mile in fact. It would be walking distance if it wasn’t for the hill I live on and the nasty walk home that would create.

IPA Lemon Bars3 Eagle Rock Populist Bottle_

Populist is what I think of as a gateway IPA. It’s an accessible beer with more malt that an IPA usually gives you, and a balanced hop flavor. This isn’t the palate wrecking, massively hopped flavor that most American IPA’s give you, it’s more subtle.

I love a high hoped beer, and I also love a malty balanced pale ale, the amazing thing about this mainstream-craft-beer-glass-world we live in is that there is room for both types of IPA’s. If you aren’t an IPA fan, this might convert you, it shows you hops without punching you in the mouth with them. It might even lead you to further IPA exploration.

Or maybe just some lemon flavored baked goods.

IPA Lemon Bars2

IPA Lemon Bars


  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 6 tbs unsalted butter
  • pinch salt
  • Filling:
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 2 tbs corn starch
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ¼ cup IPA beer
  • Powdered sugar for dusting
  • Yield: 10 to 12 cookies


  1. In a food processor add the flour, powdered sugar, butter and salt. Process until well combined.
  2. Press into the bottom of a greased 8X8 pan (for a 9x13 pan, double the entire recipe).Chill for 15 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 350.
  4. Bake at 350 for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool to about room temperature, about 15 minutes (this will help the crust and the filling to stay in two distinct layers.)
  5. In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, sugar, flour and corn starch. Add in the lemon juice and beer, stir until combined. Pour the filling over the cooled crust. Bake until the center has set, about 20 to 25 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before refrigerating. Chill for 2 to 3 hours before cutting. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.

Crust adapted from Shockingly Delicious

47 thoughts on “IPA Lemon Bars

  1. Thanks for this recipe – I love lemon bars! And I think I’ll have to invest in some new beer glasses for my husband’s birthday. Those look amazing! Thanks for the link. 🙂

    1. Paul! He should. I buy a lot of those 22 ounce tall specialty beers, and those need glasses for sure. I do sampling parties where I have people over and we try a few of those large bottles, glasses are definitely needed for that!

  2. IPA is a favorite beer style in our house and pairing it with the lemon flavor is just genius. Can’t wait to try these bars out.

  3. I’m always on the lookout for “Gateway IPAs” to get my bitter-beer-hating girlfriends more into the hoppy stuff. For me, Lagunitas IPA was the perfect gateway but it’s still too bitter for some. I will keep an eye out for Populist 🙂

    Lemon bars are one of my favorite desserts, and adding beer sounds like quite an ordeal as far as recipe development goes.. but if the pictures are any indication, it seems like you have hit the jackpot!

    1. You should check out the Populist, it’s a great one to serve. Also, look at the Hanger 24 pales, more hop but they’re clean.

  4. Lemon bars are up there among my favorite desserts, but I have never attempted to make them myself. But now I’m feeling totally motivated to give it a try because I know I can’t buy lemon bars made with beer!

  5. Every word in this piece of post is perfect and your passion for beer is obvious. Please continue to do this awesome work, and great recipes.

  6. I’ve been wanting to make lemon bars for so long and keep putting it off! Ugh. Now that I see these I know I just have to suck it up and do it… like TOMORROW! I just showed these to my boyfriend who A.) loves lemon B.) loves IPA and C.) As I’ve already told you has major adoration for your recipes
    – so we’re making these as a couple tomorrow afternoon!

  7. I made these tonight and they were fab!! Even my husband who is not an IPA fan loved them. I used Meyer lemons and next time will try regular lemons for a little more pucker, and maybe add a touch of salt to the lemon mixture. But they were a huge hit! Thanks for the recipe.

    Wondering if they would also be good with a hefeweizen?

  8. I made the double-batch, and after I figured out that ‘set’ means it needs to solidify (amateur cook here…) and cooked it a bit longer — ultimately it came out simply amazing – thanks! Next time I need to have two lemons on hand to get my tartness and ratio’s right!!!

  9. I made these for a barbecue for my birthday/mother’s day/graduation celebrations today and they were a HUGE hit. I caught my dad eating them out of the pan with a spoon. And my mom said “they are like a lemon merengue pie in bar form!” and “if your grandfather were here, he’d love these!” Which are all the best compliments you can get on anything in my family. And they loved the fact that it had beer in it.

    Also, it was super easy. I started making them last night after I submitted a paper at 1am. While I was up for awhile baking it was totally worth it (and it took only about an hour and half even with all the cooling time), and not too difficult for my exhausted brain. I used Deschutes’ Inversion IPA, which is one of our favorites and thankfully you can get it in Texas.

    So thank you! This recipe is amazing, as is everything I’ve made from here!

  10. I followed the links from Food Riot, and found your site. I did a bit of a double take when I saw Populist! (I have a feeling we’re neighbors–are you closer to The Verdugo than to Eagle Rock Brewery?)

  11. Just made these for my boyfriend. But they’re so good they might not make it to them. Great recipe. Thanks for sharing!

  12. Just made these for my boyfriend. But they’re so good they might not make it to him haha! Great recipe. Thanks for sharing!

  13. ACK! What happened?! Mine did NOT turn out right! The lemon formed this slightly brown crunchy sugar crust and refused to set. Plus my crust was so overbaked, I don’t even want to talk about it. I’m reading this right… right? Chill 15 mins, bake 20 mins, cool15 mins, bake 20 mins, cool some more, chill for 3 hrs. HELP!

    p.s… the lemon stuff STILL tasted good. LOL

    1. I’ve got these in the oven and the exact same thing is happening! It’s been in for the full cooking time, has now formed a crisp brown sugar crust and is wobbly underneath. I’ve turned the oven down, put it on a lower shelf and am hoping leaving it in there longer will ultimately still render it edible. Otherwise I will be sad. 🙁

  14. SO yummy! I tried out a few of your recipes before Valentine’s Day to see what would make the cut for my beer-loving boyfriend. These bars went over really well at work (my taste testers!).. not many could taste the beer though. I could taste it, maybe because I had drank the beer while making them! I used Victory’s Golden Monkey. The recipe was really easy — no stirring and stirring over the stove! They didn’t make the cut for Valentine’s Day dinner, but I’ll definitely be making them again. The only change I would make is to add lemon zest for a more zippy lemon flavor!

    Also, I wasn’t sure from the recipe, is the butter in the crust supposed to be melted or mixed cold into the flour? I went with cold, it worked out pretty well. Just wondering!

  15. Just made these, substituting a Blueberry Lemonade Gose for the IPA, and drizzling with Blueberry preserves before baking, and a sprinkle of candies lemon zest after come out of the oven. Super pleased! Your recipes always inspire me!

  16. Anyone have suggestions for some good IPAs to use? My husband is the IPA fan in the house, so I can’t really be the judge of which one to use in the bars.

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