Monday, October 28, 2013

Buffalo Bill's Jerky - Beer Jerky

buffalo bills jerky
Recently, Buffalo Bill's Jerky released a new flavor, "Beer Jerky". It's beef jerky marinated in honey brown ale. They sent me a package for review. These are their 12.5oz package of strips, instead of 3.5oz/16oz pieces.

Beef jerky marinated in beer is not a new concept, it's been done before. But often companies use a cheap, light beer, like Coors Light, which itself is very watery. But of course, beer is not a cheap ingredient either. I'm assuming this honey brown ale will be heavier on malt than the fizzy yellow watery stuff other brands have used.

Buffalo Bills Jerky is a brand of Choo Choo R Snacks, based out of Lebanon, PA. They've been around since 1990, and were one of the first brands we reviewed on Best Beef Jerky.


Beef, soy sauce, beer, brown sugar, corn syrup, honey, flavorings, cultured dextrose. Smoke flavoring and caramel color added.


The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a smokiness, followed by a light saltiness, and a light oily flavor. Afterwards, the saltiness changes into a soy sauce flavor.

The chewing brings in a sweetness, with a bit of honey. There's a light malty, beer flavor back in there in as well. I can pick up light natural meat flavors towards the latter part of chewing.

For being marketed as, "Beer Jerky", it seems to hold up. I do taste a malty flavor in the background adding a great deal of body to the chewing flavor. Towards the latter part of chewing, when the natural meat flavors come in, I can really taste the malty flavor. The touch of honey seems to pair up with it really well, making it a bit more sweet. The oiliness as well, gives the chewing flavor more body and creates a well-satisfying taste.

Overall, the flavor that seems to define this jerky is largely the heavy body of malt, sweet, and oiliness. The smokiness, which is light to moderate in intensity, contributes a significantly to the initial flavors that hit you. But once you get into the chewing, the soy sauce kicks in first as saltiness, and then later reveals itself more clearly. After eating a few strips, I get a light black pepper spiciness in the back of my mouth.

What you get is a great piece of beef that initially strikes you as a smokehouse jerky, but wins you over with a deep, satisfying body that makes you feel warm and fuzzy all over. Yet it doesn't stop there, half way into the chewing, you get the soy sauce marinade and a light natural meat flavor.

This jerky is totally mild, and I found the level of saltiness to be light-to-moderate.

Meat Consistency

These are slices of whole meat, cut into strips of 7-8 inches in length, and sliced medium thickness.

This is a dry jerky with a oily surface feel. They have a stiff, yet rubber-like flexibility, and I found the chewing to require a little effort to get through.

The chewing texture starts out with a fair amount chewing resistance, and feels rather rubbery and chunky at first. But as the chewing goes on, it breaks down into something more meaty. By the time it chews down to a soft mass, it feels more steak-like, or perhaps something like ground round.

I do see some streaks of fat on most strips, and on a few strips there were significant streaks. I did not see any gristle nor encounter anything unchewable. I didn't find any stringiness either.

As for clean eating, it's not. The high oiliness will require you to keep a paper-towel handy to wipe before touching keyboard, smartphone, or steering wheel.

beer jerky

beer marinated jerky

Snack Value

Buffalo Bills Jerky sells this Beer Jerky from its website at a price of $24.49 for a 12.5oz package. If you buy two packages, the total, plus shipping, comes to $54.97. That works out to a price of $2.20 per ounce.

For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $2.20 per ounce price, it's a good value. Compared to other jerky brands sold in stores, this is priced similarly, or slightly higher, yet offers much better flavor and chewing.

As a beer marinated jerky, at the same $2.20 price per ounce, it's also a good value. I'm getting a well-noticed malty flavor, both up front and in the natural meat flavors. Compared to other beer marinated jerky brands I've tried, this offers good bang for the buck.


beer jerky nutrition
I'm giving this a best rating.

This Beer Jerky from Buffalo Bill's impressed me with the amount of malt flavor that I'm picking up in the chewing. Initially, I can taste its footprint via the thick body it adds to the meat, but further into the chewing, as the natural meat flavors intensify, I can really taste its unique marinade effects. It almost mimics an aged beef flavor. Half way into the chewing, the soy sauce comes in slowly and finally reveals itself. I also picked up a light sweetness and smokiness.

If you've ever had a lot of beer marinated meats, whether as jerky, steaks, or roasts, you know that you won't taste beer the way you get it out of a tap or bottle. What you taste are its effects, and this one from Buffalo Bill's does a good job by creating a big, satisfying body, and intensifying the natural meat flavors.

The meat consistency seemed good, though a few strips seemed excessive in fat streaks, and the oiliness is rather heavy, making for some messy snacking. But I still found enough of a steak-like chewing, and still somewhat easy enough to chew through, that it retained an enjoyable experience.

If you choose to buy some of this Beer Jerky, also order some of Buffalo Bill's Premium Hickory for comparison, to really see what a beer marinade tastes like in beef.

Rating: Best

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