Photo courtesy of Kerry Fannon / Odell Brewing Co
Have your dessert and drink it, too
Newly popular pastry stouts taste like cookies and candy, while fruity sours are as refreshing as sorbet. Whatever your sweet tooth desires, we’ve got a beer to match.
Photo courtesy of Goose Island Beer Co.
Goose Island – Bourbon County Mon Cherí Stout
The full line-up of Bourbon County Stouts from Goose Island Beer Co. is pretty fantastic, and create a frenzy among beer lovers when they’re released each year on Black Friday.
From this year’s variants, the Bourbon County Mon Cherí Stout stands out for tasting pretty much like cherry cobbler, made with Balaton and Montmorency cherries, oats and a dash of brown sugar. The oats create a velvety finish and the beer is a love letter from brewer Quinn Fuechsl to his cherry-loving wife. What could be sweeter than that?
Photo courtesy of Saint Archer
Saint Archer – Tusk & Grain Coffee Porter
Saint Archer’s chocolate-forward Tusk & Grain Coffee Porter is aged in brandy barrels to imbue aromas of black currant, oak and chocolate, making this much more sophisticated than your typical coffee beer.
“We wanted to create the perfect nightcap beverage,” says Saint Archer’s brewing and R&D manager Greg Garrity. “It can stand alone, or pair perfectly with your dessert. The roasty porter backbone, brandy sweetness, and coffee round out your palate and your evening.”
The secret ingredient? Direct-trade coffee from Kenya roasted locally by Bird Rock Coffee Roasters. “We add the coffee to the beer using a ‘quick cold brew’ extraction method post-barrel aging,” Garrity says. “We coarse ground the coffee and recirculate the beer through it.”
Photo courtesy of Daredevil Brewing
Daredevil Brewing – Oatmeal J.W.P. American Stout
The first time Daredevil Brewing made their oatmeal stout variation was purely an accident. Due to a grain shipment mix-up, they received a few bags of oatmeal flakes instead of the proper order for the original J.W.P.. American Stout.
The brewing team decided it was fate and adjusted the recipe to make what is now Oatmeal J.W.P. in 2017. It’s become one of their bestsellers for its creamy espresso and chocolate notes. At Daredevil Hall, they pair brioche bread pudding with the Oatmeal J.W.P. but it’s also great in ice cream floats, featuring local Lick Ice Cream.
Photo courtesy of Kerry Fannon / Odell Brewing Co
Odell Brewing – Hot Fudge Sundae
In Colorado’s craft beer capital of Fort Collins, this Nitro Imperial Milk Stout stands out for its creamy chocolate-y body and chocolate cherry finish. Odell brews Hot Fudge Sundae with Nuance Chocolate’s leftover cacao husks, cherries and Cryo Hops.
“I instantly thought of Nuance, our local chocolate maker to lend the cacao aroma and flavor we were after,” explains Odell’s cellarist Marni Wahlquist. “This will pair well with spicy dishes, buttery well-aged cheddar, cream puffs and chocolate truffles.”
Try it with Nuance Chocolate’s bourbon cream truffle made with dark milk chocolate and heavy cream.
Photo courtesy of Burial Beer
Burial Beer – Skillet Donut Stout
This seasonal stout by Burial Beer Co. is made from a blend of nine barley malts, a blend of Counter Culture coffee beans, milk sugars and a healthy scoop of molasses.
“Milk sugar is lactose, which does not break down into sugar that can be fermented by brewers’ yeasts,” explains co-founder Doug Reiser. “Thus, it leaves a lasting sweetness and signature creaminess. Molasses sugars are raw or virtually unrefined, leaving it more fruity and caramel-like. We use both in their graduated forms during the boil of the beer.”
The end result is a flavor profile of rich chocolate and caramel and an abundance of diverse coffee aromas unlike any other. Pairs great with…you guessed it, donuts!
“Skillet was made for the chocolate glazed donut,” Reiser says. “There is enough chocolate perceived in this beer that you can go straight glazed though – and that’s my preference. I think that Vortex has nailed the pairings year after year, finding our Skillet variations as perfect challenges for their donut-making skills. This year’s Nitro S’mores Skillet paired quite well with their Vanilla Graham donut.”
Photo courtesy of Bhramari Brewing
Bhramari Brewing – We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Badges
“Our daughter is a Girl Scout, so we decided to support her troop by buying a bunch of cookies and featuring them in beers,” says Bhramari Brewing’s Allison Simpkins. The resulting blonde stout features Samoas Girl Scout cookies, French Broad Chocolate cacao nibs and Hexe barrel-aged coffee.
“We use the cookies both during the ‘hot side’ of the brewing process, during the boil and post fermentation just before the beer is finished,” Simpkins says.
She explains, “We add the cookies in a way that allows the sugar to ferment out, so there’s not much residual sweetness. The cacao amplifies the chocolate character in a complex way and the coffee heightens the roasted flavors without imparting a lot of color. These heavy bitter flavors are balanced by the caramel & coconut from the cookies.”
Bhramari also partners with Kali Cakes, a local cakery, to serve up slices of seasonal creations at the bar. Try the dark chocolate, banana and Bulleit bourbon cake with this one.
Photo courtesy of Brewery Ommegang
Brewery Ommegang – Three Philosophers
This rich blend of two traditional Belgian style ales – a quadrupel and a kriek – is one of Brewery Ommegang’s flagship beers. The dark chestnut beer is highly effervescent, with a secondary fermentation within the bottle like champagne.
Brown sugar and cassis aromas mingle with flavors of caramel, vanilla and tart cherry. It’s great for pairing with dessert and the Tap House at Brewery Ommegang serves Three Philosophers-infused cupcakes too.
Photo courtesy of Schlafly Beer
Schlafly – Mexican Chocolate Stout
Each year, the audience vote at Schlafly’s annual Stout and Oyster Festival in March determines the winning beers included in Schlafly’s Stout Bout variety pack. The Schlafly brewing team brews over ten specialty stouts for the event and last year’s unique flavors included a Latte Stout and Peanut Butter & Jelly Stout.
The Mexican Chocolate Stout was also a favorite, and lead brewer Jared Williamson was inspired by Mexican-style hot chocolate to enhance the beer with cacao nibs and cinnamon. “We wanted to create a creamy chocolate based brew with a touch of spice,” he says.
Photo courtesy of Taryn Ferro
Crafty Bastard – Reese’s Cup Pastry Stout
This rich, full-bodied pastry stout tastes exactly like your favorite chocolate peanut butter cup. Head brewer Aaron McClain breaks up full-size Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups into several pieces and adds 240 Reese’s per barrel to a secondary vessel for infusion – that’s the equivalent of one per pint!
McClain loves drinking this for dessert after grabbing a bite at the rotating food trucks that pop up at Crafty Bastard.
Photo courtesy of 10 Barrel Brewing
10 Barrel Brewing – Cinnamon Cherry Crush
Brewmaster Tonya Cornett of 10 Barrel Brewing made this seasonal sour to be approachable and easy to drink, using tart Montmorency cherries with a light Berliner-style Weisse base.
A hint of cinnamon brings out the inherent cinnamon flavors naturally present in the cherries, which results in a unique sweet and sour profile. Try it with Oregon-based Tillamook vanilla ice cream for a refreshing ice cream float.