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Like a beer boy loves cake

These are pairings created by Andy Sparhawk on Craftbeer.com

allagash2Riding the Wave of Love - Coconut & Currieux
Coconut helps cool hot, spicy foods like Southeast Asian cuisines; Indian or Indonesian. It also quells American heat, like bourbon. Currieux is Allagash Brewing Company’s (Portland, ME) original barrel-aged beer, a Belgian-style Triple that is aged in bourbon barrels for eight weeks. While resting, the beer takes on some of the previous resident’s character; vanilla, coconut and residual whiskey flavors, that blend perfectly with the Triple's fruitiness. Candy sweetness matches the cake to magnify a long wave of vanilla and warm sugar.

Tee & Cakes comments: This pairing brought out the sweetness and cakeyness of the cake. It made the cake taste like the comfort food we know it to be. This is a simple and traditional cake, but one of the harder ones to pair. It seems like a heartier beer brings out the lightness in this cake.

molan2Finding Balance - Chocolate Bacon & Scotch Ale
I’m sure any expert will tell you, though I didn't bother to look it up, that a key to a happy marriage is balance. Well, a key to enjoying great craft beer with food is the same. We accomplish that by finding complementing characteristics or playing off of opposing flavors and textures—similar to introducing the future in-laws.

The crunchy bacon atop this cake's creamy milk chocolate icing offers a contrast to the rich malt character in Moylan's Brewery & Restaurant’s (Novato, CA) Kilt Lifter. The carmelization in the Scotch Ale complements the milk chocolate sweetness, only to be countered by the bacon’s saltiness.

Tee & Cakes comments: This pairing brought out the toasty and maple flavors in the cake; it also made the beer pop. The cake elevated the beer this time and I think that was nice. Bacon on a wedding cake is certainly unconventional, but really fun and easy to pair.

jolly2Spicing Things Up - Carrot Cake & Maricaibo Especial
People get married because they are much better and stronger together than if they were apart—also, for the tax break. The same is true with carrot cake and Jolly Pumpkin’s (Dexter, MI) Maricaibo Especial, a sour Brown Ale brewed with cacao, cinnamon and sweet orange peel. Both are amazing alone, but together, they really spice it up. The sugary sweetness of the cake is balanced by it's more earthy ingredients of carrot and cinnamon, which helps cut the tart acidity of the beer. Meanwhile, the spices in the beer intensify the flavors of the cake. And, if the wild Maricaibo gets out of hand, the carrot cake's cream cheese frosting and cooling carrot calms things down before the police get called.

Tee & Cakes comments: This pairing made the spiciness of the cake come out. We never would have imagined a sour beer could pair so well with something rich and creamy like a carrot cake and cream cheese icing. This was one of our faves.

goldencity2Passion - Red Velvet & Legendary Red
If your zeal for your bride or groom is as fiery as the fans of this cake then you’re set. Red velvet aficionados seem to argue over the perfect recipe more than beer geeks grapple with Black IPAs. Tee & Cake's red velvet has a pleasant corn bread character; likely from the buttermilk, which is a generally accepted ingredient in red velvet camps. We think that makes the bready flavors of Golden City Brewery’s (Golden, CO) Legendary Red Ale a match made in heaven… with or without coconut and pecans.

Tee & Cakes: This pairing gave new meaning to the word comfort food. The beer made the whole cake taste like butter. Totally rich and decadent. Red velvet cake is the ultimate in comfort food desserts, and is a staple in the south.

greyladyAffinities - Grey Lady & Lemon Curd
Some flavors just go together; lemon goes with a lot. Maybe that is because it enhances the flavors it’s paired with. In Grey Lady, a Witbier brewed by Cisco Brewers Inc. (Nantucket, MA), the piquant esters (fruitiness) liven the tangy wheat flavors and sharpen the spice. When paired with lemon curd (a smooth lemon filling or topping) you flip the switch on a laser light show in your mouth!

Tee & Cakes comments: This pairing really brought out the lemonyness of the lemon curd. It was bright and fresh.


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