Beer Pairings with Ice Cream are Here to Stay
One of the hottest trends in restaurants right now is pairing beer with food. We’ve all become accustomed to the idea that certain wines go best with certain kinds of food, but when it comes to beer, we’re more likely to think that pairing stops with peanuts.Well, that’s just nuts.With the rise in the last decade of micro-breweries in the states and more imports from outside of it, beer drinkers are discovering that there are a lot more adjectives to beer than cold and refreshing. Think “hints of anise,” “a distinct citrus nose,” and a “long, green finish.” Lest you get too intimidated by all these discussions of the requirements of your tastebuds, may we suggest a great place to start pairing beer with food? Dessert, ice cream to be exact. At the recent Atlanta Food + Wine Festival, we had beer and doughnuts paired together and, in the tasting tents, visited an ice cream company that includes beer flavors. So the pairing of Craftsman Kitchen & Tap House’s “cookie-wiches” with beer did not seem as far-fetched as it might have previously.
Executive Chef Todd Garrigan creates the pairings by tasting the beer first, then building his cookie ice cream sandwiches around them. The little dessert tray of paradise currently includes a chocolate chip cookie and coconut ice cream (paired with Southern Tier Chocolate Stout), a red velvet cookie and cinnamon ice cream (paired with Stillwater Cellar Door), and a peanut-oatmeal cookie and chocolate ice cream (paired with Weyerbacher Insanity).
Garrigan plays with the availability of seasonal beers, but it does seem the pairings are here to stay, especially since the bitterness of beer is a great counterpoint to sweet. Enjoy a pint with a pint and discover flavor pairings of your own.