Everybody knows that wine is indispensable even for the casual cook. Beer may not be as versatile for cooking, but some recipes call for beer specifically. For example, many Belgian recipes call for beer since they are such a beer drinking culture. I found this fantastic recipe on foodandwine.com for just such a stew. I'll try it out over the next couple of weeks and let you know how it goes. If somebody else out there wants to try it we can compare notes.
By the way, the recipe calls for two 12 oz bottles of Belgian Pale Ale. Instead, I recommend getting a 750ml bottle of Corsendonk Abbey Belgian Pale Ale, and that way you'll have a little left over to drink.