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At this time of year, there are often sweet treats around, so why not discover more about the wonderful pairings available between beer and sweets.
Tastes in sweets are so varied – your favourite in a Quality Street tin at Christmas is often quite different to that of your friends and family. To understand pairing beer and sweets, it really does come down to the different flavours, textures and strengths of sweets – whether it’s a light caramel, a dark chocolate or a crunchy hazelnut.
But despite all our differing favourites, there are definitely some types of sweets and beer styles that just go together – like strawberries and cream, or fish and chips!
Why not check out a few combinations this Christmas and see how you can improve the enjoyment of your beer with the addition of a chocolate almond or a liquorice swirl!
1. Caramels and Wheat Beer
A wheat beer is the perfect accompaniment to a smooth, creamy chocolate and caramel treat. The spicy flavour works so well with the intensity of caramel.
2. Sour Gummies and IPA
Not to everyone’s taste but a sour gummy is really delicious with the addition of an IPA. A crisp, clean and refreshing IPA cuts through the tangfastic tartness of the gummies.
3. Sherbet Lemons and Sour Beer
“Let’s go for a few sherbets” is slang for going for a few beers, so it’s no surprise that sherbet lemons go well with a beer! But the added surprise was how well they taste with a sour beer as well as a fruity beer.
4. Milk Chocolate Peanuts and Stout
A perfect pairing – peanut and a good stout! The roasty notes of a stout are really amplified by the added addition of peanuts.
5. Belgian Liquorice and Porter
There are many beers with liqourice flavours but the sweet, fruitier flavour of a porter was an excellent combination with this Belgian liquorice.
6. Dark Chocolate Almonds and Strong Bitter
The distinctive flavour and texture of almonds is really enhanced by the malty hoppiness of a strong bitter.
7. Dark Chocolate Ginger and Porter or Stout
Knowing that ginger is often used to flavour beer (and ginger syrup is even added to beer in Poland), we were sure we’d find a good pairing here – but the darker styles tasted the best – either a porter or stout really cut through the hot ginger spice.
8. Chocolate Honeycomb and Brown Ale
Another very sweet combination that works so well alongside a brown ale. A really satisfying match, that dilutes the sugar rush and refreshes the palate!
With thanks to Henley’s Sweets who supplied a great range of sweets for testing.
If you are a CAMRA Member, don’t forget, you can get a discount of 10% off Henley’s Sweets. Just log-in to the Member site to access your discount code.
Henleys offer a great selection of confectionary, including sugar-free options. Special promotional offers (for Valentine’s Day, Father’s Day etc) and Secret Santa offers in December are often available too, so do check them out for some tasty treats!
CAMRA’s Good Beer Guide 2020
The Good Beer Guide is a “must-have” for beer lovers. Fully updated, with listings for 4,500 pubs across the UK, all entries have been selected by CAMRA members. The only book with detailed information on the UK’s 1,800 breweries, the guide features a foreword by Brian Cox and contributions by Emma Inch, Jodie Kidd and Roger Protz.