Wrapping Up Your Meal with Dessert Beers

Posted by BeerMaven | Food & Beer | Posted on January 28th

Dessert beers always pique my interest when I am searching for new beer online. Most people don’t think of beer as an after-meal treat, but there are a lot of great beers that will go well alongside a dessert— or as dessert on their own. I always enjoy a great Lambic, spiced ale, stout or Imperial stout to wrap up a really nice meal. The key to enjoying your dessert beer is to weigh the character of your beer against your actual dessert.

Lambics are sweet, fruity beers that greatly resemble the character of champagne or sparkling wine. They pair well with light desserts and fruit, such as strawberry shortcake, pound cake or a fruit truffle. Pairing a lambic with rich desserts or chocolates is generally not a great idea, as the dessert will overpower the beer; just as a stout, spiced ale or Imperial stout will drown the flavors of lighter desserts.

Ale clubs usually release numerous spiced ales and holiday ales throughout the fall and winter months, and these beers tend to compliment spiced cakes and cookies extremely well. Use discretion when pairing spiced ale with any food and be sure that you match the spice in the beer to the character of your dessert. Cinnamon, for example, pairs well with sweet pastries and vanilla notes, but may not do so well with chocolate.

Stouts and Imperial stouts are a chocolate lover’s best friend. These rich, toasty and chocolaty beers bring out the richness in any chocolate dessert. I like to pair them with dark chocolate truffles and occasionally, French silk pie or German chocolate cake. Stouts also pair well with caramels or any dessert that contains notes of coffee or cappuccino.

Finally, there are often times when I consider the beer that I am drinking to be a dessert itself. The other day, I finished a delightful meal with a raspberry lambic that was so sweet and fruity that I had no desire for anything else to compliment it. Sweet or spiced beers can often present enough character and rich flavors on their own to be the perfect substitute for a dessert and eating food with these beers can actually downplay the experience.

If you have not had the opportunity to discover the dessert side of the beer world, do a quick search for dessert beer online. You will be surprised how many dessert beers exist and you will begin to see beer from a different perspective.

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