How to Pair Beer and Girl Scout Cookies
Posted on March 17, 2014
A food and drink pairing menu is hardly a new concept. Just about everyone has seen wine and cheese or beers and bratwurst, but when I saw that Philadelphia’s 320 Market Café was serving up a beer and Girl Scout cookies pairing, I went gaga. Being far from Philly here in Denver, I decided to host my own party, and personally test out this outlandish pairing myself.
I began with social media and found the Girl Scout’s Twitter Account. There, I was able to locate a troop of Girl Scout’s opportunistically selling brightly colored cookie boxes outside of a local supermarket.
To be exact, I found Denver, Colorado’s Girl Scout Troop 8 and promptly purchased six boxes of the finest cookies you could ask for. This procurement jump-started my research and provided additional information of suggested pairings. “I dip mine in hot chocolate!” said Sarah (13) a now Cadette in the troop that she had attended since she was in first grade. “I can never eat a girl scout cookie alone, I always have it with hot milk or tea” said Sarah (11) another Cadette.
While hot chocolate sounds perfectly amazing as a cooking pairing, I had to move onto bigger and, well, admittedly stronger things. My next stop was the liquor store where I piled in 16 different types, styles and brands of beer, eager to find their cookie soul mates.
With the offering of free beer and cookies, I persuaded three of my closest friends to come and taste test the unusual combinations with me. Curious and a little apprehensive, we dove right in. What we found was that this seemingly strange, sweet and hoppy coupling is one of the finest food and drink pairings available to man. We chose the top combinations to present the official FSW Beer and Girl Scout Cookie Pairing Menu.
Pairing Beer with Savannah Smiles
The newest of all the Girl Scout cookies, this crunchy lemon flavored tea cookie has a tart flavor at first, which finishes off sweeter thanks to its powdered sugar outer coating. Trying this pairing first caused some concerns because we couldn’t pick a winner! We decided we have to give honorable mention to the top two victorious beers.
#1: Hofbrau Munchen Dunkel
Staatliches Hofbrauhaus Munchen
Synopsis: Brewed in the traditional Munich style, this beer is well balanced with notes of brown sugar and molasses, ending with a more bittersweet taste that pairs nicely with the citrusy sweet of the cookie.
#2: Red IPA
Runoff Odell Brewing Company
Fort Collins, Colorado
Synopsis: This Red I.P.A. is a beautiful coppery amber color in the glass. It presents with great flavors of toasty malt and light touches of caramel. The palate is noticeable piney, floral and hoppy throughout, which complements the lemon.
Pairing Beer with Thin Mints
The head honcho of all the Girl Scout cookies, the thin mint is not only the bestselling, with last year’s annual sales being $175 million, but is also the most legendary of all the cookies. Mint and chocolate was a tricky palate to complement, but we tested six beers and unanimously agreed on a winner.
Left Hand Brewing Company
Synopsis: Sweet stouts don’t get much better than this. The dark color prepares your senses for a substantial drink, but this stout is surprising mild with sweet notes of cream and chocolate. A silky smooth finish ends with a darker coffee-like aftertaste, which only further flatters the thin mints.
Serve in: Pint
Pairing Beer with Tag-a-longs
Peanut butter and chocolate is already one of the best pairings of all time, but it needed more! This biscuit based cookie layered with peanut butter and covered in chocolate received the most imaginative of all the pairings; a spin on an Elvis a.k.a. a peanut butter and banana sandwich.
Banana Bread Beer
Wells and Young Brewing Co.
Synopsis: This golden beer with gentle, not overly sweet, banana flavors (from the addition of real bananas in the brewing process and some artificial additives as well) offers a nice subdued fruitiness with bread-y flavors, finished with a more hoppy bitterness.
Serve in: Tulip
*Also with this beer, my roommate dunked in her Trefoils or shortbread GS cookies and claimed it replicated the taste of banana pudding. She made us all try it and I must say, it was awesome.
Pairing Beer with Samoas
My personal favorite, this unique cookie has an “O” shaped biscuit which gets a heavy load of caramel, then coated in coconut shreds and finished with a chocolate drizzle. Perfection! This distinctive cookie is why I look forward to little girls in green sashes knocking on my door. With so many flavors already so prominent in the cookie, we couldn’t agree (again) on a winner. Instead, we offer two very different, but delicious combinations.
#1: Sawtooth Ale
Left Hand Brewing Company
Synopsis: This American-style Extra Special Bitter ale is an extremely well-balanced, medium-bodied beer. The deep amber color and faint, but sweet, aroma pair well with its “malty chewiness” finished off with earthy hops.
Serve in: Pint
#2: Sublimely Self Righteous Ale
Stone Brewing Company
Synopsis: This less common Black I.P.A. offers up a deep, rich flavor with touches of oats, chocolate and roasted malts. The creamy texture and strong alcohol tastes paired well with the cluster of distinctive flavors from the Samoa.
By the end, we were all woozy with substantial belly aches but all agreed it we would do it again in a heartbeat. The best part of all of this? No, it’s not that I discovered beer and cookies are the world’s best kept secret. It’s that the money you purchased those Girl Scout cookies with is now being used to support the organization’s goals throughout the year. The two Cadettes I spoke too told me they were most excited because they were using a portion of their cookie sales as credit to attend summer camp.
Take my word for it, be adventurous and test out the pairings for yourself! You’ll get a warm and fuzzy feeling from supporting your local troops, or was that from the beer? Either way, this party pairing will make for a memorable Friday night all while helping fund an outstanding organization. Enjoy! And don’t forget to share, let me know what pairings you found most satisfying.
- Personal Interview February 13th, 2014 Sarah (13) and Sarah (11)
- Photo Credit to Elyse Kimmel
- GS of Colorado Blog