It's Girl Scout cookie season and here's another reason to pony up for those sweet treats that may not have crossed your mind yet: Beer.
Yes, beer and Girl Scout cookies go deliciously hand in hand, so long as you know what beer pairs best with what cookie. As you’ve probably deduced by now, this is where I come in.
Join me as a I curate six scrumptious pairings of those addictive little cookies and six locally produced brews.
Samoas/Caramel deLites and Community Beer Works Heat Rays
520 Seventh St. (759-4677)
One of the all-time classic Girl Scout cookies could pair well with a lot of Western New York beers, but fresh off the inaugural Thee Barleywine Classic, we went with Community Beer Works’ heavy hitter, Heat Rays barleywine. Whether you go with the 2017 or 2018 vintage (whatever you can get your hands on), the English malts, toffee, caramel and dark fruit will meld perfectly with the caramel, coconut and fudge of the cookie.
Peanut Butter Patties/Tagalongs and Thin Man Peanut Butter Jenkins Imperial Stout
492 Elmwood Ave. (923-4100), 166 Chandler St. (393-4355), Transit Road (633-9630)
This pairing just makes sense, doesn’t it? Just picture it – you take a bite of the cookie with sweet, rich layers of peanut butter and rich chocolaty coating, and then wash it down with boozy cooling waves of roasted chocolate and creamy peanut butter. Total umami nirvana. Sure, it’s almost too easy, but it’s something that you definitely need to experience for yourself.
Lemonades and 42 North Brewing Company Wallonia Wit
25 Pine St., East Aurora (805-7500)
This pairing is a fortuitous one as 42 North recently released its flagship witbier in cans, so now is the time to indulge. The tangy lemon of the cookie, accentuated by a thin layer of sweet icing, stands up very well to the wheat, orange peel, coriander and spice of the Wallonia Wit. Either way you slice it, whether you bite the cookie or drink the beer first, you are going to come out a winner.
Shortbread/Trefoils and Buffalo Brewing Company 1842 Vienna Lager
314 Myrtle Ave. (868-2218)
A flagship cookie like the Shortbread (or Trefoils, depending on who you ask) requires a flagship beer, so enter Buffalo Brewing’s flagship, 1842 Vienna Lager. The cookie is light, simple and traditional, all traits that this top-notch Vienna lager shares. The beer is clean and crisp, with enough subtly malt-forward caramel notes to accent the cookie.
Thin Mints and Four Mile Russian Imperial Stout
202 E. Greene St., Olean (373-2337)
The classic and ever-popular Thin Mint is another cookie that could pair pretty well with a handful of local beers, but I went with Four Mile’s Russian Imperial Stout, because its light for the style at 8.4% ABV and most Russian Imperial’s would be too overpowering. The beer presents roasted coffee, dark chocolate, slight alcohol warmth and toffee, which are counteracted by the mint fudge and light chocolate wafer from the cookie. You don’t have to thank me. Just enjoy.
Girl Scout S’mores and Froth Brewing Chocolate Fountain Milk Stout
700 Military Road (783-8060)
Crunchy graham cracker. Check. Creamy chocolate. Check. Gooey marshmallow. Check. And that’s just the cookie. Add to that light roast, rich milk chocolate and a touch of peanut butter and coconut, and you have the makings of a memorable pairing. I suggest taking a bite of the cookie, making sure you get all three layers in your mouth, taking a swig of Chocolate Fountain, swirling it around letting all of those flavors marry together, then swallowing. My mouth is watering as I’m writing this.