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Pairs: Beer & holiday cookies

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Slated for coal in your stocking this year? Make a final plea this Christmas Eve with a pint of beer next to the plate of cookies for Old Saint Nick.

Pairings by Sean Z. Paxton


Kolache & Ska Buster Nut Brown Ale
This traditional Czech dessert deserves a drink that complements both its sweet, pillowy dough sprinkled with confectioner’s sugar, as well as the bold, tart raspberry jam filling. An American brown ale’s smooth caramel flavors thread sweetness into the pastry, while its biscuity notes bolster the dough against the strong raspberry. Subsequent nutty flavors add a tempering earthiness to the tart filling while moderate bitterness and spicy hop flavors lighten the pairing after each sip. ALSO TRY: Ale Asylum Madtown Nut Brown, Santa Fe Nut Brown

Gingerbread Man & Founders Breakfast Stout
Only a robust brew can stand up to the sharp ginger that dominates this fairytale cookie. Breakfast Stout’s roasty, chocolate flavors blunt the cookie’s zesty ginger edge while coaxing the cookie’s molasses and brown sugar out from behind the spice. Meanwhile, the beer’s thick, creamy body effortlessly blends the pair into one enjoyably seasonal snack and softens the cookie’s hard crunch. ALSO TRY: Deschutes The Abyss, Great Divide Espresso Oak Aged Yeti

Sugar Cookie & Duvel
A buttery sugar cookie coated in white frosting and sprinkles demands a drink that accentuates its flavors but tempers its sweetness. A wash of Duvel’s pilsner malts punches up the cookie’s breadiness while the beer’s honey sweetness heightens the sugary frosting. The beer’s spicy yeast and herbal hops sink into the cookie crumbs, cutting the intense sweetness down, while vibrant carbonation chases the flavors away. Want more frosting? Dunk the cookie in Duvel’s superthick, spicy, fruity head for an added treat. ALSO TRY: Russian River Damnation, Goose Island Matilda

Double Chocolate Chip & Bell’s Special Double Cream Stout
Milk and cookies: They’re a natural pair. This silky milk stout’s chocolate-coffee notes merge with this gooey cookie, boosting the already extreme chocolate flavor. While sweetness takes hold, the beer’s slightly tart, sweet milk flavor joins with gentle roasted bitterness to cut through the chocolate. Not aggressively hoppy or carbonated, this brew leaves behind just enough chocolate sweetness to create a rich take on a classic pairing. ALSO TRY: Young’s Double Chocolate Stout, Left Hand Milk Stout

Peanut Butter & Lindemans Framboise
Peanut butter and jelly’s a time-tested blend of sweet, salty and tart. Re-create the traditional brown-bag lunch with a peanut butter cookie and this ultrasweet raspberry brew. Just as the chewy cookie’s salty, sweet peanut butter blends with the sugary cookie dough, a splash of this framboise adds a familiar layer of sweet, tart raspberries that sink into the cookie like the real deal. With the tongue properly coated in gooey goodness, the beer’s carbonic punch sweeps the mouth clean. ALSO TRY: Dogfish Head Fort, Mort Subite Framboise

 


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