Dessert beers can be a polarizing subject…Some beer fans dismiss them as “beers for people who are really bigger fans of dessert than they are of beer.” And we get that they can be gimmicky and indulgent…but here are four persuasive dessert beers that might change your mind.
And let’s be clear, we’re not talking about beers that pair well with a dessert….These are beers that are actually crafted to mimic or somehow build on the tones of a particular dessert… so here goes.
There are a lot of dessert beers inspired by spiced Mexican hot chocolate, Flying Dog’s Mexican Hot Chocolate was a winning one-off. But Stone Brewing has a great one that unlike some of our dessert beer suggestions, is available now!
First brewed in 2014 with San Diego homebrewer Chris Banker, after his recipe won the brewery’s annual homebrew competition, Stone Xocoveza is an insanely delicious take on Mexican hot chocolate, (brewed with cocoa, coffee, pasilla peppers, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg), that elegantly walks that thin line between the dessert and serious beer.
Southern Tier Crème Brûlée Stout
Lakewood, New York’s Southern Tier Brewing not only take their dessert beers seriously…they champion them! And while some don’t love that Southern Tier Pumking Ale totally commits to being a slice of pumpkin pie you can drink…their rich dark stout brewed to capture the essence of the French crème brûlée has a complexity that will surprise.
Part of the brewery’s Blackwater Series (that also includes other dessert beers like Cinnamon Roll Imperial Ale, which is out there now) Southern Tier’s 10 % ABV Crème Brûlée Imperial Milk Stout is uncannily true to its namesake dessert without being cloying.
The Bruery White Chocolate
For obvious reasons, a lot of dessert beers begin with a sturdy stout base. After all, imperial stouts meld with chocolate tones easily and lay a solid foundation for sweet dessert flavors. But our favorite dessert beer from The Bruery takes ‘a road less travelled.’
A departure in almost every way from most common dessert beer norms, The Bruery’s White Chocolate is a bright golden 13.8% ABV bourbon barrel-aged Wheatwine-style ale that’s brewed with a FRESH vanilla beans tempered by cacao nibs, to transition the white chocolate experience to you glass.
Lakewood Sin Mint Temptress
Garland, Texas–based Lakewood Brewing is renowned for The Temptress, an incredibly creamy high-octane milk stout. And their quarterly Seduction Series (which features other Temptress variations like Raspberry Temptress and Coconut Temptress) can always be counted on.
Available only in early winter (so happily out there now) Sin Mint Temptress is a thinly veiled homage to the classic Girl Scout cookie, a sinfully rich 9.1% ABV Imperial Milk Stout brewed with fresh mint and graham cracker that enhances the beer’s already pronounced chocolate profile.