Beer and Garlic Grilled Chicken

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Juicy, incredibly flavorful grilled chicken is easier than you might think; especially when it starts with a marinade loaded with flavor from beer, garlic, and a sprinkling of herbs. This simple Beer and Garlic Chicken Marinade has become a staple in our house over the past few years.

The chicken turns out absolutely perfect; tender and juicy every time.

Beer and Garlic Marinade for Grilled Chicken - get the recipe at



Beer Chicken Marinade

I used beer in a marinade for the first time when I made the Smoky Chicken and Bacon Burgers almost five years ago. (And yes, those burgers are every single bit as amazing as they sound!)

We loved the flavors so much I immediately started playing with a larger batch marinade recipe for grilled chicken.

I’m not a fan of beer myself and I don’t much like the taste or smell of it at all. I do, however, LOVE this marinade. 

If you do not typically have beer in your house (and don’t want to buy a six-pack just to try a new recipe), I have a tip for you. If you’re lucky enough to live near a Trader Joe’s, they sell individual bottles of beer for less than $1. (You can thank my awesome little sister for that tip.)

Beer and Garlic Grilled Chicken is perfect for quick meals all week long! - recipe at

We like to grill a good bit of extra chicken each time we are grilling and then keep it in the fridge for easy lunches, like the Southwest Chicken Salad pictured here. I frequently double this marinade recipe and will grill a huge batch of chicken all at once.

We’ll quite happily eat it all week by itself, over salads, and in sandwiches and wraps.

There’s nothing better than having pre-cooked chicken in the fridge ready to use through the week. Try it in one of these recipes for a terrifically tasty and EASY weeknight meal.

A close up of a plate of food, with Chicken and Grilling

Chicken Marinade Recipes

It’s amazing what a great marinade can do for a simple piece of chicken and I’m of the opinion that you can’t have too many awesome ways to marinate chicken. This Very Green Grilled Chicken by Kalyn’s Kitchen and Honey Buttermilk Roast Chicken by The View From Great Island both sound delicious.

Chipotle Chicken Marinade and Mojo Marinade are a couple more go-to chicken marinade recipes that I reach for frequently. Loaded with some of our favorite flavors, these chicken marinades make all the difference between just another chicken dinner and a meal that the whole family will love.

Beer Chicken Marinade is a go-to marinade that works for countless chicken dishes!

Beer Chicken Marinade Recipe

  1. Place the chicken in a gallon-size zip-close bag or an airtight container. Stir together the marinade ingredients and pour over the chicken. Seal and turn the bag or container to coat the pieces evenly.

  2. Let rest in the refrigerator for 12-36 hours. I try to marinate chicken for a minimum of 24 hours most of the time because the longer time makes a huge difference in the flavor.

Freezer Meal Instructions

Combine the marinade and chicken in a gallon-size zip-close bag and freeze them together. When you are ready to cook the chicken, thaw in the refrigerator, allowing the marinade to work its flavors throughout the meat. Once thawed, cook as directed.

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Beer and Garlic Grilled Chicken

5 from 5 votes
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Prep Time: 5 mins
Total Time: 5 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8 servings


  • 11 ounces dark Mexican beer
  • 3 tablespoons sesame seed oil
  • 5 large cloves of garlic minced, approximately 1 1/2 tablespoons
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3-4 pounds chicken I typically use 9-10 boneless skinless chicken thighs


  • Place the chicken in a gallon size zip-close bag or an airtight container. Stir together the marinade ingredients and pour over the chicken. Seal and turn the bag or container to coat the pieces evenly. Let rest in the refrigerator for 12-36 hours. I try to marinate chicken for a minimum of 24 hours most of the time, because the longer time makes a huge different in the flavor.
  • When ready to cook the meat, let the chicken rest on the counter for 30 minutes to an hour prior to cooking. Preheat the grill to medium heat. For boneless skinless chicken thighs, cook the meat 6 minutes on each side. Then increase the heat closer to medium-high and cook an additional 4 minutes, as needed. Enjoy!


The nutritionals from the recipe card are calculated based on the full recipe of marinade. However, the chicken will only absorb a small percentage of the marinade.


Calories: 244kcal · Carbohydrates: 2g · Protein: 16g · Fat: 18g · Saturated Fat: 4g · Cholesterol: 61mg · Sodium: 495mg · Potassium: 177mg · Fiber: 1g · Sugar: 1g · Vitamin A: 173IU · Vitamin C: 2mg · Calcium: 20mg · Iron: 1mg
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{originally published 1/9/12 – recipe notes and photos updated 8/6/19}

This Beer Chicken Marinade is an incredibly flavorful garlicky marinade that you're going to love!

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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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  1. Roy says

    This recipe is so easy and we are so impressed with the flavor of the chicken, moist and juicy, usually my BarBQ chicken is dry and burnt, not this time. I cooked it on a charcoal grill and with very little oil, I didn’t have any flare ups. Thanks a million for this recipe. Roy5 stars

  2. Theresa says

    Made this tonight and it was delicious! Marinated it about 12 hours. It was a nice change from ordinary grilled chicken. Thanks for the recipe5 stars

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