It's currently Girl Scout cookie season, and it's always beer season, so what better way to celebrate than to pair the two together? Taking a page from our friends at Flying Dog, we asked around and came up with some tasty matches.
Trefoils: Deus. Bubbles cut the buttery fat of the cookies basically treating this like sparkling wine and brie. Saisons tend to have higher carbonation than most kinds of beer, and would also work here (Sierra Nevada's Ovilia saison and Ommegang Hennepin). Another option is to go with a more mild, flavor-wise, beer, like kolsch (Reissdorf, Gaffel, Schlafly) or a pilsner on the lower end of the bitterness units scale for that style, like Eggenberg.
Samoas: One could pair like with like here, using Maui’s Coconut Porter, but one could also play off the tropical coconut flavors of Samoas with tropical funk, as found in the Brewery Vivant-New Belgium collaboration Escoffier, and other beers that use New Belgium’s house strain of brettanomyces. Samoas and Tart Lychee? Yeah, I’d try that. An old-style Baltic Porter might also go well. Victory's Baltic Thunder, with just a hint of sour tang in the aftertaste, fits the bill. Samuel Smith's Stingo is a similar match.
Thin Mints: Milk stout. Thin Mints are foremost a chocolate cookie, then a minty one. Milk stouts often taste like chocolate milk, a complementary flavor, but also coat the mouth, washing over the mint. Duck Rabbit and Lancaster make world-class beer in this category. If you want to live on the wild side, try Ommegang Three Philosophers, a quad brewed with cherries that will overpower the mint, keep the chocolate, and add cherries. Think of it as the beer-and-food equivalent of those layered Trident gum flavors.
Tagalongs: Lambic. You’ve got chocolate, you’ve got peanut butter, now add jelly. Want something that more closely resembles Smuckers? Drink a California cabernet. Just kidding! I meant to say Lindeman's lambics, available in many fruit flavors. For something a bit more restrained, how about Cantillion's Lou Pepe, a kriek? Good luck finding it. Lambic would also work with Do-Si-Dos, peanut butter sandwich cookies, but nobody buys those. Speaking of which….
As fas as I can tell, Dulche De Leche, Thank You Berry Much, and Savannah Smiles cookies don’t exist. I’ve never seen them, nor have heard of anyone buying them, but if you’re curious, the malty sweetness of Scotch ales should go well with Dulche de Leche (Founders Dirty Bastard and Oskar Blues Old Chub). An alternative pairing for Dulche de Leche is Belgian-style dubble ales, like Chimay Premiere (Red) and Allagash Double, again pairing like with like. The sweetness of both beer and cookie will complement each other, allowing for other flavors to take center stage. Better yet, combine Belgian-style yeast and Scotch ales with a Scotch de Silly.
Porters will provide a nice contrast to Thank You Berry Much (DC Brau’s Penn Quarter Porter, 3 Stars Pandemic, Smuttynose, Firestone Walker), and as it turns out, our own David Slenz is a fan of Thank You Berry Much and recommends the vanilla-tinged Breckinridge Vanilla Porter. Sounds like a winner to me.
The lemony notes in some saisons (Stillwater Stateside, Pretty Things Jack D’Or) would work well with Savannah Smiles, as would Sorachi Ace-hopped beers (Brooklyn Sorachi Ace).
Like what we did? Don't like it? What works for you? Let us know in the comments.