Monday, June 01, 2009

Dessert & Beer

Guest Post by Stephen Beaumont, co-author of The beerbistro Cookbook

Quick, when was the last time you tried to pair a wine with dessert? (Cheese courses don’t count.) Bet it’s been a while, and if you recall its success or lack thereof, I’m willing to bet it was more the latter than the former.

Let’s face it, wine simply doesn’t play that well with sweet things.

Beer, on the other hand, has no problem with desserts, so long as the cardinal rule of keeping the beer sweeter than the dish is observed. Otherwise, you run the risk of the beer winding up tasting sour in comparison. But bear it in mind and the list of sweet-friendly styles is almost limitless, from barleywines to fruit beers and Belgian and Belgian-style dubbels to fruity and strong golden ales.

What’s more, when chocolate is on the menu, you can throw even that one rule out the window, since the natural bitterness of true chocolate can mesh with a wide variety of beers regardless of sugar content. Imperial stout and dark chocolate, British-style old ale and high cocoa-content chocolate, spiced ales and bitter or Mayan chocolate, brown ale and nutty chocolate...

I tell you, it’s enough to make a person want to skip the appetizers and main and go straight to dessert!

(Join me and beerbistro chef Brian Morin at Brick Brewing's Red Baron Lounge on June 14 for a night of food and beer pairing fun, presented by Words Worth Books. Details available here.)

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