Beer and Brown Sugar Chicken Skewers

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Beer and Brown Sugar Chicken Kebabs recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen

Lightly caramelized bites of beer and brown sugar marinated chicken are grilled and ready to eat in just a few minutes. This chicken was so tasty, I made it two nights in a row.

My family was sad that there weren’t any leftovers the first night; so as soon as we were done eating dinner, I started a second batch of chicken marinating.

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My husband’s beer of choice is almost always an IPA and his favorite IPA these days is a beer called Grumpy Monk. When I saw the label, I cracked up laughing and knew that I’d be playing with that beer in a new recipe soon. My husband suggested Grumpy Monk Chicken and one thing led to another. The whole family loved this chicken and it disappeared in minutes.

* Side note for NON-BEER drinkers: I do NOT like beer. I don’t drink it myself and I don’t like the taste or smell of it at all. I do however, enjoy a great beer 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. Trader Joe’s sells individual bottles of beer for less than $1 and they often have IPA’s in their selection. You can thank my awesome little sister for that tip. If you don’t have a Trader Joe’s in your area, the recipe is still worth it, even if you need to buy a six-pack.

Beer and Brown Sugar Chicken Bites recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen

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Beer and Brown Sugar Chicken Skewers

4 from 1 vote
Servings: 6 servings


  • 2 ½ - 3 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into 3/4" pieces
  • 1 12 ounce Samuel Adams Grumpy Monk beer or an alternative IPA beer
  • 1/2 cup light flavored olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 4 cloves garlic smashed
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper


  • Combine all ingredients in a gallon size ziploc bag or large bowl with a lid. Place in the refrigerator and let the chicken marinate from 2-24 hours.
  • GRILL / BROILER SKEWERS METHOD: Preheat the grill to moderate heat or set the oven to broil with the rack six inches from the heat. Thread the chicken onto skewers and grill or broil for 5 minutes, then turn and cook another 2-3 minutes until cooked through. Test doneness by slicing into the chicken with the tip of a knife. The center should be white or very light pink.
  • ALTERNATIVE BROILER METHOD: Spread the chicken pieces across a large baking sheet. Broil for 5 minutes, stir and broil another 3 minutes, until cooked through and lightly browned.
  • STOVETOP METHOD: Warm a large skillet over medium high heat, until it is very hot, you should be able to hold your hand a few inches over the skillet only for a few moments. Drain the marinade off the chicken and add half the chicken to the skillet. Flip with tongs or stir with a spatula, letting the chicken cook for less than a minute on each side. The total cooking time should be about 3 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a dish and repeat the process to cook the remaining chicken. Enjoy!


If you are using wooden skewers to cook the chicken, soak them in warm water for  at least 20 minutes before threading the chicken onto them. If you are using metal skewers, serve the chicken immediately or remove the chicken from the skewers once cooked. It will continue cooking as the metal skewers cool and the chicken will dry out. With each of these methods, be careful to avoid overcooking the meat. It only takes a few minutes to fully cook the small pieces of meat.
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Beer and Brown Sugar Chicken Skewers recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen

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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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    • Mary says

      Yes, most beers contain gluten. There are some gluten free beer options available, but the Grumpy Monk IPA that we used is NOT a gluten free beer.

  1. JFG says

    Good recipe .

    I diminished th brown sugar by half but added some molasses and maple syrup. Finally, I added 1/4 cup of soma sauce. Turned out great !4 stars