Any decent Beer and Dessert pairings?

I like beer and I like desserts. I’ve just never had a chance to put the two together successfully.

I’ve tried theorizing decent pairings (Chocolate Stout & Bread Pudding maybe?) but I’ve never been in a situation with beer options and dessert options that seemed they’d be good together.

Any suggestions?
Please note whether you are theorizing a good pairing or if you’ve actually tried it.

You may be on to something with the bread pudding. Not quite dessert, but I’ve made beer and pancakes for dinner. A wheat beer is what I’ve used, ShockTop’s Honey Bourbon, HoneyCrisp apple, and Raspberry have all been great with pancakes.

Very filling, though. If I were eating dessert after dinner and not as a nosh on its own, I’d likely pass on the beer just because I’m already getting full. Maybe that’s why you don’t see it paired much. There is a spot in Chicago that will do beer and bacon pairings, though!

Well, I’m kinda cheating because this particular beer’s already very desserty. I’ve tried it and was surprised at how good it was. I used vanilla, BTW.

Ice cream floats with this Creme Brulee Imperial Milk Stout

I’ve actually tried the Guinness-and-vanilla-ice-cream-float idea that seemed to be popular a while back, and thought they worked together exactly as I expected they would - which is to say, not at all…

There’s a root beer beer at the bar I hang out at that they make an ice cream float with that’s VERY good.

Oh yeah, I did have a banana bread beer with frosted banana bread. Vanilla cream cheese frosting - seemed to really make them go together. I didn’t like it as much once the frosted part was gone, and I’m not a huge frosting person. Still, interesting beer - and that was also a nosh, not as dessert after a meal.

So now I’m wondering if flavored beers really would go with their flavored desserts. Chocolate stout with Boston cream pie, Pumpkin beer with pumpkin pie, raspberry beer with a fruit tart. Haven’t tried any of these. I have a tart cherry stout at home, I bet it really would go well with cherry pie!

This just occurred to me - I’ll be up there tomorrow and I’ll ask the bartender - he’s a very knowledgeabe guy about beers and such - I’ll let you know what he says.

Thanks for the ideas. Birthday’s tomorrow, might be time to figure this out.

I normally don’t have beer at the end of a meal but I was in a Quebec restaurant once where they served a green apple-based beer called Ephemere Pomme with a tarte Tatin. The beer was probably more cider than ale but the sharp/sour flavour balanced nicely with the rich butter and caramelized sugars of the tart and the underlying apple base made it all come together nicely.

There’s a bar at the top of the Conrad hotel in Tokyo that serves a Russian Imperial stout and although it’s not on the menu, if you ask, they will serve you (Jean-Paul Hevin?) chocolate ganaches as an accompaniment. As you can imagine, the natural sweetness of the malt goes very well with the sweetness of the chocolates, milk moreso than bitter. The higher alcohol content of the stout also fairs well against the heavy cocoa butter content of the chocolates. Although the beer served is an imperial stout, I don’t see why it wouldn’t work with a lighter porter or a sweeter milk stout. Maybe even a barley wine style of beer.

Finally, I’m not a big fan of lambic beers because of their tartness, but there is a whole slew of sweet/sour fruit beers that would work well on their own as a dessert beer, or paired with rich, creamy desserts made with chocolate or cheese. For example, maybe a Cassis Lindemans with a cheesecake made with a blend of quark and Belgian Prince-Jean cheese.

Chocolate cake and a lot of porters/stouts tend to go together, considering that they have similar roasted flavors.

Just this past weekend I tried Banana Bread Ale. It wasn’t for me, but it sure tasted like it would go with a desert. You could also try one of the sweeter Shandy style beers out there like Lemon Berry Shandy or Berryweis.

Yeah, I tried that too. I also tried it with a pretty sweet vanilla flavored stout. Neither worked.

However, the ice cream on the side actually works pretty well. Spoonful of ice cream, sip of beer, repeat as needed.

Beer does go well with apple pie and bread pudding. Again, on the side, not in it.

In response to comments on fruit-flavored beer: just say no. I have never tried one that was good enough to even be worth finishing the bottle.

Dunkelweizen is a seriously underrated dessert beer. It has a complex blend of flavors including chocolate, caramel, banana, and clove. A bread pudding or banana bread with a good vanilla or cinnamon ice cream would be a great pairing.

The boring traditional beer menu dessert is a stout with a flourless chocolate cake. If I had to go this route, I’d mix it up and use Young’s Double Chocolate Stout and go with something like a German Chocolate cake.

For fruit beer, the best in the world (IMO) are the Belgian Red or Raspberry Tart from New Glarus in Wisconsin. They are deeply complex and not at all cloying. If you can get either of them, they would be outstanding paired with a creme brulee. Any Belgian fruit beer that is not made by Lindemann’s would be an acceptable substitute. Unibroue’s Quelque Chose would be a good fit here, as well.

Black Forest cake and Framboise…if you’ve got some insulin handy…

My favorite pairings are with Belgian ales. A Trappist dubbel like Chimay Bleu, Rochefort, or Ommegang (not Trappist but an excellent representation), goes well with anything chocolate. A sour Flanders Red like Rodenbach goes well with something with cherries.

Former serving wench here. I have not tried the beer/dessert pairing myself, but this may be the beer you’re looking for…;_ylt=AwrB8pd64wlVkXsAVWKJzbkF;_ylu=X3oDMTIyN2RybTltBHNlYwNzcgRzbGsDaW1nBG9pZAM3NDQ5ZGIxZDA4ZDBhYjllNGRhYTBkYzNmMmE4NjY2YQRncG9zAzEEaXQDYmluZw--?.origin=&<b>Moose+Drool<%2Fb>&p=moose+drool&oid=7449db1d08d0ab9e4daa0dc3f2a8666a&fr2=piv-web&fr=&tt=<b>Moose+Drool<%2Fb>&b=0&ni=21&no=1&ts=&tab=organic&sigr=12095ggtt&sigb=13iu16oev&sigi=12ovm37j0&sigt=10ilbq2ga&sign=10ilbq2ga&.crumb=olETPdJyqvq&fr2=piv-web&hsimp=yhs-001&hspart=mozilla

Oddly Doc Ricketts came to the same conclusion :
1945 novel, Cannery Row. Chapter 17:

*In Monterey before he even started, he felt hungry and stopped at Herman’s for a hamburger and beer. While he ate his sandwich and sipped his beer, a bit of conversation came back to him. Blaisedell, the poet, had said to him, “You love beer so much. I’ll bet some day you’ll go in and order a beer milk shake.” It was a simple piece of foolery but it had bothered Doc ever since. He wondered what a beer milk shake would taste like. The idea gagged him a bit but he couldn’t let it alone. It cropped up every time he had a glass of beer. Would it curdle like milk? Would you add sugar? It was like a shrimp ice cream. Once the thing got into your head you couldn’t forget it. He finished his sandwich and paid Herman. He purposely didn’t look at the milk shake machines lined up so shiny against the back wall. If a man ordered a beer milk shake, he thought, he’d better do it in a town where he wasn’t known. But then, a man with a beard, ordering a beer milk shake in a town where he wasn’t known — they might call the police.

Doc walked angrily to the counter of the stand.

The waitress, a blond beauty with just the hint of a goiter, smiled at him. “What’ll it be?”

“Beer milk shake,” said Doc.


Well here it was and what the hell. Might just as well get it over with now as some time later.

The blond asked, “Are you kidding?”

Doc knew wearily that he couldn’t explain, couldn’t tell the truth. “I’ve got a bladder complaint,” he said. “Bipalychaetorsonechtomy the doctors call it. I’m supposed to drink a beer milk shake. Doctor’s orders.”

The blonde smiled reassuringly. “Oh! I thought you were kidding,” she said archly. “You tell me how to make it. I didn’t know you was sick.”

“Very sick,” said Doc, “and due to be sicker. Put in some milk, and add half a bottle of beer. Give me the other half in a glass — no sugar in the milk shake.” When she served it, he tasted it wryly. And it wasn’t so bad — it just tasted like stale beer and milk.

“It sounds awful,” said the blonde.

“It’s not so bad when you get used to it,” said Doc. “I’ve been drinking it for seventeen years.”

I love Guinness floats, but there’s a couple tricks. You don’t just want to drop a scoop of generic vanilla ice cream into a pint.

You need a really rich ice cream. Full-fat French vanilla at, like, a minimum. Best I’ve had was using a homemade Jameson frozen custard.

And you don’t want to overdo the Guinness. The ratio is a bit different than a root beer float. I’d put a scoop or two of ice cream into medium sized glass, and then pour Guinness to cover. It’ll be a bit foamy, which is fine. I personally wouldn’t try it with a sweet / milk stout. The dry stout works fine.

To me, the end result is similar to adding ice cream and brandy to coffee; boozy, bitter, and sweet in a very nice mix.

They’re good, but I’ll see your Raspberry Tart from New Glarus and raise you a Potosi Tangerine IPA. Outstanding, especially on tap!

Ben and Jerry once published their recipe for Beer Sorbet, stating that now you can have your beer and eat it, too.