*Disclaimer* due to copyrights on the cookie names and organization, the names of the group and specific cookies have been changed…but I think we all know who we are talking about here
It is the most wonderful time of the year.
No, I’m not delusional and thinking it is the Holiday Season…I’m talking about the time of year when those green-vested destroyers of New Year’s resolutions come strolling through the neighborhood peddling their boxes of sweet, delicious, baked treats.
Yes, cookie season is upon us, and while beer may not be the first beverage that comes to mind to accompany these delicious treats, it shouldn’t be disregarded. Beer is quickly becoming as popular as (maybe even more popular than) wine as a way to compliment good food, thanks to the different styles and flavors growing every day with the prevalence of breweries and craft beer in every community
There is no shortage of beer variety in Huntsville, and with many of the Rocket City’s many breweries pushing the envelope on flavor profiles, you don’t have to look very far to find some exciting pairings to go with your favorite treats from your favorite young ladies. In service to the community, I procured a few boxes of my own and suffered through eating them and drinking beer to bring you these pairings. Take them, or go out and create your own, but before you venture off into creating your own pairings, here are couple of notes:
- Look for complimenting strength of flavors. Cookies with more dominant flavors can handle a more assertive beer, where more subtle cookies will work better with a lighter beer.
- Look for similar and complimenting flavors. A cookie with citrus or tartness should get a beer that is brighter to back it up. You can also look for classic flavor combos like peanut butter and chocolate, or citrus and fruit.
- Be careful with higher ABV beers, as they can sometimes burn out your palette.
- Use this as a way to explore new beer styles. Where you may not necessarily order a particular beer to sip on its own, having something to match it to may help inspire a new taste.
With their light and biscuity profile, this more subtle cookie can be easy to overpower, so seek out a similar-natured beer. I went after the Rocket Republic Vapor Trails cream ale. A style that takes its name from its milky-soft head, the honey-sweetness and light-grained goodness of this beer, combined with its smooth and creamy feel provide a good backing to this staple cookie. Also consider Yellowhammer T-Minus Kolsch or Mad Malts Banana Bread Hefeweizen…both lighter beers with personality but enough of the breadiness to compliment the shortbread.
Citrusy and tart, this cookie begs for something light and refreshing to go alongside it. I jumped in with a juicy and more citrus-centric beer with the Yellowhammer Cheatin’ Heart IPA. Not as piney or bitter as many Pale Ale variants, the lighter alcohol content combined with brighter fruit notes really helps compliment the tartness of the lemon from the cookie. Also consider the Island Thai’mmm rice lager from Chandler’s Ford. The lightness of the beer with notes of herbs, lemongrass, and cherry begs for a tart and sweet snack to accompany it. A fruited sour or gose would work well too, such as Fractal’s Guava Mango.
Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies
Chocolate Mint Cookies
As a Charleston, SC native who grew up in a commercial fishing family, simple Southern life, weekends and summers in the saltwater, and immersion in great food and surroundings was always in Ben‘s blood. Then, after high school, he enlisted in the US Air Force and began to see all that the world had to offer, while staying grounded to his roots of good food and good times shared with friends and family. Ben has spent years throughout Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and all over the US, enjoying great experiences all the way and honing his taste for great experiences, food, beer, bourbon, and cigars.
Now, after 21 years in the Air Force and the beginning of a second career in Huntsville with his wife and kids, he is searching out the best the Tennessee valley has to offer with its burgeoning craft beer and alcohol scene. He is also big into running, kayaking, hiking, and giving back to the community with veteran groups like Team Red, White, and Blue. Bringing in the education of his travel, southern roots, and love for exploring, Ben is here to share his discoveries of the area and his knowledge of his passions.