This beer & dessert pairing event was held a few weeks ago at a private residence. Initially I was going to turn down this opportunity because I no longer had any culinary support as the two girls who used to the cooking for us were no longer available to me. I discussed this with my buddy and we decided to just purchase the desserts we would be pairing with the beers.
In my past beer & food events, I’ve usually only paired one beer with one course. In this case, because it would be dessert, I decided to pair two beers with every course. I’ve seen other places do this and I wanted the folks who were attending this event to feel like they were getting their money’s worth. In any event, the menu is listed below along with my personal notes.
Dessert: Mini Nut Tart
Beer: Newcastle Brown Ale (4.7% ABV) and Franziskaner Weissbier (5.0% ABV)
Notes: I chose to pair this dish with Newcastle to echo the nutty flavors of the tart with the beer. The Franziskaner was the more bold pairing as I was attempting to counteract some of the buttery/greasy characteristics of the nut tart with the beer’s effervescent carbonation while trying to compliment the tart’s nutty characteristics with with the beer’s banana-like aromas and flavors. Kind of like a banana nut bread.
Dessert: Pumpkin Pie
Beer: Samuel Adams Winter Lager (5.8% ABV) and Dogfish Head Punkin Ale (7.0% ABV)
Notes: The Sam Adams Winter Lager is a bock brewed with “winter spices” such as cinammon, ginger and orange peel. I was looking to the beer’s spice character to compliment the spices with the slight sweetness of the bock to match the intensity of the sweetness of the pie. As for the Punkin Ale, this was a straightforward pumpkin pie spice on spice match.
Dessert: Carrot Cake
Beer: Avery Brewing Company India Pale Ale (6.3% ABV) and Lagunitas Brown Shugga (9.5% ABV)
Notes: To contrast the sweetness of the carrot cake I decided to pair this dessert with an IPA. There are some IPAs out there that are ridiculously bitter so I picked the more balanced Avery IPA. The idea for pairing carrot cake with Brown Shugga was to echo the flavors present both in the beer and the carrot cake, more of a sweet-on-sweet thing.
Dessert: Homemade dark chocolate brownies baked with raspberry jam and liquer
Beer: North Coast Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout (9.0% ABV) and New Belgium Brewing Company Frambozen (6.5% ABV)
Notes: Since the dessert was made with rich, bittersweet, dark chocolate, I was looking to for a beer to echo and compliment those flavors and I found it with the deeply roasted, coffee and dark chocolate flavors of Old Rasputin. With New Belgium’s Frambozen, I was simply looking to echo the flavor of the raspberries baked within the brownies. The raspberry character is noticeable in Frambozen but not overwhelming like in a Framboise.