Craft Brewing and Distilling with Vanilla Beans


At Vanilla Bean Kings, we love craft beer almost as much as we love vanilla beans. We are happy to supply brewers and distillers with gourmet vanilla beans. Introduce your own unique lines of craft beer or spirits to our delicious vanilla! We are delighted to work with you to support your efforts to develop the perfect, repeatable recipe for your craft brewery or distillery’s menu! 


Premium Madagascar Vanilla in Beer

Every master brewer adds their own magic touch to each unique recipe. That’s how you develop a following of craft beer aficionados! While we will trust you to work your magic with your brew, here are a few tips to get you started.

How to Brew Vanilla Bean Beer – A History of Brewing with Vanilla Beans

Take a swig. Taste the roasted, chocolatey malts. Savor the interplay with the familiarly bitter hops and the delightfully sweet vanilla. This spectacular combination is the foundation for the latest trends in craft brewing and distilling. Vanilla Bean Beer.

Master brewers around the world now regularly nestle the rich vanilla flavors deep into stouts, darker ales, and porters. All while even more adventurous craft masters experiment with white ales, Saisons, plus wheat and IPAs.

How to Brew Vanilla Bean Beer – Achieving the Perfect Balance

Achieving the perfect balance is crucial to brewing a vanilla beer. And the secret to achieving that balance is your choice of vanilla.

How to Choose the Perfect Vanilla

Beer is pretty forgiving. You can add many flavor extracts to beer that won’t compromise the beer’s taste too much. Vanilla is a different story. No matter how high the quality of the vanilla extract, your beer will typically lack the depth of flavor you want. So, it is critical you choose and use actual vanilla beans instead of an extract.

There are many varieties of vanilla beans available. And the most expensive vanilla beans are not necessarily the best for brewing beer. But there are a few things consider as you choose the perfect vanilla for your vanilla bean beer.

  • Prime, Premium or “Grade A” Vanilla Beans have a better flavor profile for a richer, more flavorful, higher quality beer. This is why so many master brewers insist on Grade A Vanilla Beans. Fewer beans are required for more flavor over less time, making vanilla beer easier to add to the menu.
  • Grade B vanilla beans are dry, less attractive, and commonly used in other commercial applications. Few master brewers prefer this “grocery store vanilla" as it is more difficult to work with. 
  • Vanilla is grown in several different countries worldwide. Each type has a slightly different flavour. Madagascar Vanilla is rich and creamy. Especially coveted because as the very best vanilla in the entire world. The finest Madagascar Premium Vanilla Beans are ideal for brewing beer.

Using Madagascar Vanilla in Beer

  • To brew beer with vanilla beans, you can snip, split, cut up, or perforate up to 5 beans for each keg for a nice vanilla note. The vanilla undertone adds complexity and aroma to your palette.
  • As you slide into uber vanilla flavoring, add 6 to 10 vanilla beans to create a more pronounced vanilla flavor with even greater depth.
  • Wait for 2 to 4 weeks for the vanilla beans to flavor the beer. You can sample periodically, but it isn’t necessary because it is hard to add too much vanilla.
  • Usually, brewers add other flavor extracts to the vanilla, with surprisingly few pure vanilla-flavored brews. There is a good reason for this.

We learn why from the legend of New Coke and Coke Classic.

Madagascar Vanilla and the Legend of New Coke and Coke Classic

How true the legend is, we may never know. But this is the epic tale behind the introduction of New Coke and the reintroduction of Coke Classic.

The story begins with a supply chain crisis for Madagascar Vanilla Beans. The supply of the vanilla beans dropped to the point where the prices increased 6 to 8 times over previously stable pricing. The Coca-Cola Corporation decided to eliminate the vanilla in their recipe to avoid paying the higher prices.

The vanilla-free recipe was introduced with a flourish! New Coke was here! If the size of advertising campaigns could guarantee a product launch’s success, New Coke sales should have skyrocketed. But it didn’t. Consumers simply didn’t like the new flavor of this New Coke, so it fell flat.

Without knowing what was missing, consumers insisted that the Coca Cola Corporation add Madagascar Vanilla back into the recipe. And thus, we now have Coca-Cola “Classic” to demonstrate how core vanilla’s flavor is to the world’s taste buds.

Today, rumor has it that vanilla growers in Madagascar own significant shares in the Coca Cola Corporation. This lucrative equity supposedly being an exchange for a stable vanilla bean supply for the “Classic” recipe.

Is it true? Well, it rings true. And any baker will tell you how vanilla is the “salt of sweets” to bring out and meld the flavors. As someone who has added a bit of vanilla to hot chocolate knows, adding some vanilla makes even the best flavor taste even better.

Order Your Madagascar Vanilla Beans from Vanilla Bean Kings

Vanilla Bean Kings offers flexible ordering for smaller quantities, scheduled orders, and custom requests for brewers and distillers. Sculpt your own micro to macro supply of Premium Madagascar Vanilla Beans to brew your unique Vanilla Bean Beer recipe. Contact us for more information today!