This is second of three collaboration (#BCBeerBloggers) posts about local Winter seasonal beers. Other participating blogs include:
West Coast Beer Geek – A beer geeks perspective on craft beer, beer events, beer pairings and more.
Mike’s Craft Beer – Not for the weak of taste buds. Lots of great beer reviews, brewery reviews and events on this site.
Dennis the Foodie – Weaving a personal story of food and beer in Vancouver, BC. Very thorough food reviews, great photos and beer pairings. Hey, that’s me!
Western Suds – An Alberta craft beer blog written by a craft beer enthusiast and ambassador for the growing Alberta craft beer scene.
Beer Rater – A beer guide without all the fluff, just some straight forward drinking advice.
If you love local beer, check these guys out! For this blog, I’m doing a food-based take on Winter seasonal beers by pairing them up with some specific food.
The Last Crumb is a bakery/cafe just across the street from Brewery Creek on Main St. Very convenient for finding pairing possibilities! I bought a 6-pack of Ugly Sweater Milk Stout, so I was thinking something desserty would go with the sweet chocolate flavours in the beer.
Sweet Potato Pie with graham cracker crust and marshmallow topping! I was totally imagining ADULT SMORES cuz it had all the ingredients: chocolate from the beer, marshmallow topping, graham cracker crust, and an extra element of sweet potato! It’s gotta work!
Looks like it would go perfect! Well………
Parallel 49 Ugly Sweater Milk Stout is a good stout. Not something I’d drink all the time, but good to throw in to mix things up a bit. If you’ve never had a “milk stout” before, think of it as a sweet stout, and at 5% ABV it’s not a super-intense stout either. The sweetness comes from the addition of lactose (milk sugar) which the yeast in the beer cannot process into alcohol, so it gets left behind in the final product, which you can taste. The sweetness is prominent but the beer also has a slick, smooth, creamy mouthfeel. The Steel & Oak Oatmeal Stout that I used in my previous post tastes very dry in comparison.
As with all stouts, let this one warm up a bit to let the flavours come out. The bottle recommends 8-10°C.
I’m not a huge pie eater, but I approached this pie like I approach any other food. Is there flavour? Balance? Texture? Do I like it? Wicca’s opinion also helps a bit too 😉
The marshmallow layer was too sweet and too thick for me. It totally overpowered the sweet potato layer. Too bad cuz the sweet potato layer tasted great! Right amount of pumpkin pie-type spices, but I wish there was more sweet potato and less marshmallow. The graham cracker crust was somewhat firm on the sides but was mushy on the bottom.
How is it paired together? I was really hoping for a great “adult smores” type flavour explosion but it didn’t quite hit the mark. The milk stout still retained a fair amount of its sweetness when eaten with the pie, but because of the really sweet marshmallow topping, the combination became just too sweet in the mouth for me. I was missing that graham cracker crunch and wanted much more sweet potato flavour. In retrospect, if I knew that this pie would be so sweet, I’d choose a dry stout, which would’ve given a nice, cleansing contrast to the sweet pie. Good beer, but only marginally successful pairing.
Other idea: Ugly Sweater Milk Stout might be a great candidate for a vanilla ice cream float! I’ve tried using St. Ambroise Oatmeal Stout with ice cream, and while it was okay, I think a sweeter stout like Ugly Sweater might work a bit better and give you more of that familiar ice cream float experience. Next time!
Stay tuned for the last installment of my winter seasonal beer pairings, where I do beer and cheese! Coming up in a couple hours…
BONUS PIE CONTENT: In case The Last Crumb ends up looking bad from this post, rest assured that we’ve had great pie from there before, especially their Coconut Cream Pie (which you might not see there until Spring/Summer):
Now that’s good eatin’!