Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Beer & Girl Scout Cookies Pairing Year 5

Our annual sugar fest in which we support the Girl Scouts and use as an excuse to play with beer happened Sunday. Last year we split the event into two separate days since we were able to get our hands on some out-of-state offerings and while that was fun, what we have access to here is more than enough to put us into sugar shock.

Here was our lineup:
- Do-Si-Dos (aka Peanut Butter Sandwich)
- Samoas (aka Caramel De-Lites)
- Savannah Smiles
- Shortbreads (aka Trefoils)
- S'mores (the non-vegan graham cracker sandwich version)
- Tagalongs (aka Peanut Butter Patties)
- Thin Mints
- Toffee-Tastic (gluten-free)

Per our usual we gathered at our favorite watering hole (which by the way was just named as Oregon's favorite beer bar by's readers), opened all the boxes and started hitting the coolers to pull out beers to pair with the cookies.

First up was Chris' pick of Berried at Sea from Pelican, their Tsunami Stout that was aged in oak barrels with blackberries and currants to re-ferment. Along the lines of a sour stout, the acidic profile somewhat distracted from the overall profile of the beer. Nonetheless, it found a peanut butter partner to its "jelliness" in the Do-Si-Dos and Tagalongs. Going a lighter route it created an acid-expected berry lemonade flavor with the Savannah Smiles, which we've agreed is The Best Beer Cookie (more on that below).

Another beer that made fast friends with the two peanut butter cookies was Fort George From Astoria with Love, the Russian Imperial Stout is the base beer for all of Fort George's Matryoshka variants. Mag was impressed by Do-Si-Do's ability to hold its own against the 9.4% beer while Kris would be happy to sit down with a box and a few cans to fully indulge in the rich pairing. Speaking of decadent pairings, Left Hand Wake Up Dead Russian Imperial Stout made for a great one with the other peanut butter cookie, Tagalongs. For a more complimentary pairing to the Do-Si-Do's, reach for Crooked Stave St. Bretta. Now available in 12oz cans, the beer pleasantly lightened the richness of the cookie while the cookie brought to the forefront more of the dryness in this Saison.

Samoas, historically a difficult cookie to pair due to the coconut and over the top sweetness, found many beer friends this time around.
- Falling Sky Juniper Rye became more malty, in a very pleasant way
- Boulevard Rye on Rye, a rye-heavy beer on its own, was moderated and made more enjoyable
- Baerlic What the Fluff NE-style IPA accentuated the saltiness of the cookie while toning down its sugar forwardness
- Evil Twin B is for Blueberry brought the chocolate component in the cookie to prominence
- Left Hand Nitro Bittersweet found its only cookie buddy here

Falling Sky Juniper Rye, Boulevard Rye on Rye and Baerlic What The Fluff also paired well with the S'mores graham cracker sandwich cookies. So, too, did pFriem Cognac barrel-aged Belgian Style Dark Ale. The 10.3% beer was well balanced between its booziness and its Belgian characteristics.

Toffee-Tastic, the Girl Scout's gluten-free offering, is a cookie that has surprised us from day one both with its flavor and texture as well as its ability to pair well with beer. This year our favorite beer we paired it with was pFriem Cognac which accentuated the rich butteryness of the cookie. For those who prefer to have that buttery quality tempered, we suggest going with Crooked Stave St. Bretta.

Thin Mints, one of the staples of the Girl Scout cookie line up, have typically been most successfully paired with stouts and that trend continued this year when paired with Left Hand Wake Up Dead Russian Imperial Stout. The boozy beer balanced nicely with the cookie's minty profile. Shortbreads were another cookie we'd paired often enough that we didn't dive too deep into that well but found Pelican Berried at Sea, especially once it had warmed, made for a nice companion.

Thanks to our Sunday Monger, David, for keeping an eye on us.
Saving the best for last, our picks for the top beers to pair with The Best Beer Cookie, the lemony, powdered sugar coated, crescent shaped Savannah Smiles.
- Pelican Berried at Sea, as mentioned above
- Evil Twin B is for Blueberry for a lighter version of the Berried at Sea pairing
- Little Beast Tree Spirit for a trip down the cherry lemonade path
- Baerlic What the Fluff's hoppiness for a pairing that brings out the lemon even further in the cookies
- Crooked Stave St. Bretta for the cookie to accentuate the lemon-citrus notes of the beer
- Falling Sky Juniper Rye for a surprising pairing where the cookie brought out the malty qualities in the beer and increased its drinkability (for our group)

Beer is tasty, beer is fun, beer is better with friends. We're already brainstorming on our next beer and [something] pairing. If you have ideas for what you'd like us to play with, leave it in the comments.

No comments:

Post a Comment