With our Valentine’s Day Four-Play Event coming up, we wanted to craft our own pairing that can easily be recreated with any of our beers here at Draught Works Brewery! Candy may not be the first thing that comes to mind when it comes to beer, but let’s be real – everyone has a sweet tooth, and we decided to run with it! This week we brainstormed some pairings we thought might actually be worth trying… some worked out, some definitely did not, and then there were the ones that pleasantly surprised us! We sat down and investigated each flavor, tore into the ingredients, and compiled a lineup that is ‘A’ team worthy.
BEER: “That’s what she said…” Cream Ale
CANDY: Baby Ruth
This straw colored light ale is brewed using light barley malt, flaked barley, flaked corn, and lactose (sugar from milk). Lactose provides a slight sweetness while enhancing the body and mouth feel. The Baby Ruth candy bar then comes in with caramel, and chocolate-flavored nougat that simply melts in your mouth and slides down nicely with the cream ale. The nuts in the Baby Ruth also enhance the malty flavor of the cream ale, creating complete balance. And lets face it, it is hard to resist anything with nuts … or at least, that’s what she said.
BEER: Shadow Caster Amber Ale
This pairing is a match made in heaven with the strong caramel flavors appearing in both the Amber ale and the candy. The Shadow Caster has a pronounced aroma that sets the scene for rich, caramel malts on the palate. The balance of strong, and sweet maltiness with moderate hop bitterness makes for a crisp ale, with a clean finish. And with the Bit-O-Honey consisting of almond bits embedded in a honey-flavored taffy, the moderate hop is immediately balanced, and develops a sweet environment – both in the mouth, and out.
BEER: Clothing Optional Pale Ale
CANDY: Candy Cigarettes
As a kid, nothing was cooler than getting candy cigarettes from your local candy store. With a hint of mint, and some powdered sugar, this surprisingly balances the earthy aromas and deep hop bitterness with an airy presence from the mint. Just as the name suggests, being a little risqué with this pairing is all you need to ignite the atmosphere(mood) and show off your pale side.
BEER: Gwin Du Oatmeal Stout
CANDY: Milk Duds
Our oatmeal stout has a historic blend of roasted barley, black and chocolate malts that produce a smooth stout with notable dark chocolate and coffee aromas. The milk duds are a caramel candy covered with a milk chocolate coating, and together, they create a balance between bold, roasted grains and sweet, chocolaty caramel that form a smooth fusion. As history tells it the term “dud” came about because it was impossible to find a perfectly round piece, but with these two it is hard to find a more perfect pairing.
BEER: Quill Pig Czech Pilsner
CANDY: Reed’s Original Ginger Chews
Golden-hued like fields of waving wheat, our Czech Pilsner is a medium-bodied beer that has sweet biscuit-like maltiness paired with spicy, floral hop aromas that pair well with the spiciness from Reed’s Original Ginger chews. It’s always best to take a quill pig seriously, and this pairing follows suit.
BEER: The White IPA
The white IPA has high alcohol content, and is heavily hopped with Citra, Galaxy, and Wakatu hops which provide a citrus like hop character. This hop character pairs well with the flavors of the rainbow, and creates an impressive range of zests and tangs. Because white contains every color in the spectrum, it’s only right that this beer frees the rainbow and allows your taste buds to explode in an anomaly of flavors! So as the saying goes, “share the rainbow, taste the rainbow.”
BEER: Scepter Head IPA
CANDY: Sour Gummy Worms
Scepter Head IPA is a hop monster that shows no mercy. Seven insane additions of different hops create an assertive hop aroma of tropical fruits and citrus followed by fresh flavors of mango, pineapple, grapefruit and even coconut throughout each sip. Just as the beer takes a hit on your taste buds, so do sour gummy worms, which makes this pairing a battle of the fittest. With each sip the sour battles the hop bitterness, and creates a perfect war that won’t end until eventually there is only one man left. The question is which will be the last one standing, the Scepter Head or the sour gummy worms?
BEER: Nine Circles Muncih-Style Helles Lager
CANDY: Candy Hearts
This beer has a malt character that is slightly bread-like yet reminiscent of lightly toasted barley. Paired with candy hearts, this beer takes the sidelines and coaches the candy flavor down with its smooth, malty aromas. With such risqué sayings, it’s awkward to have something that may overpower the message.
BEER: 1910 Smoked Porter
CANDY: Coconut Macaroon Dark Chocolate
With a beer as strong as our 1910 Smoked Porter, we had to have something that could easily compete with its intenseness. And that is exactly what the Coconut Macaroon Truffle bar does; the dark chocolate mixed with coconut and sea salt match up well with the smokiness. The smooth center is a heavenly surprise when mixed with the chocolate and black malts.
BEER: Brussels Simmons Belgian Pale Ale
CANDY: Candy Necklace
Candy necklaces were the best jewelry any kid could wear; the problem was they never lasted! In similar fashion, the Brussels Simmons Belgian Pale Ale combines a West Coast tropical hop profile with a spicy, Belgian yeast finish that make it a delicious beer that goes down easy. With the candy necklace having a sweet, yet tart flavor, it enhances the taste, but balances against the spicy finish. As always, it’s a treat being able to drink a beer and eat candy with the same hand!
BEER: Betty Grable Salted-Caramel Apple Ale
CANDY: Hershey’s Cookies and Cream
If you love sours, and the Hershey’s cookies and cream, then I have a feeling you’ll love these two together! This is definitely our most eclectic pairing yet, but with the tartness of the Betty and the sweetness of the white chocolate, the balance between the two is an pleasurable experience.
Hope you enjoyed our beer and candy pairings, and you take your favorites and try them for yourself! We love trying new things here at Draught Works, and continue to come up with new ideas to share with you!