If you give a brewer a cookie, he’ll want to pair it with a beer. If he doesn’t have a beer to pair it with, he’ll just have to make one.
The Flying Dog Holiday Collection features four beers brewed with inspiration from four different Otterbein’s cookies. Unlike most pairings, Flying Dog designed these beers after tasting the cookies.
From sweet chocolate chip to citrus, each cookie and beer pairing is spot on.
Flying Dog’s beers speak (bark?) for themselves. Located in nearby Frederick, Md., they have quickly become one of the best regional breweries and have recently been churning out more innovative and exciting beers with their Brewhouse Rarities line and other Limited Releases.
All four beers in this variety pack are rooted in traditional holiday flavors like spruce, cinnamon, and chocolate.
Otterbein’s has been a staple in Baltimore since 1881 when they first opened their doors near Fort McHenry. Their cookies work well with beer because they are thin, crisp and packed with flavor. If you’re anything like me, you covet a thin, crispy cookie (but lack the skills or patience to make them) — and Otterbein’s delivers, literally. I’m hiding the rest of these cookies from my husband and devouring them while listening to The Classic Christmas 80’s Album and wrapping presents.
Raspberry Leaf Ale paired with Lemon Sugar Cookie
Beer: Honey malt lends a sweetness with the oats rounding out a full flavor and body. The grapefruit gives the beer a slight hint of citrus bitterness while the addition to the raspberry tea imparts a not too sweet raspberry twist.
Pairing: The sweet, citrusy flavors in the cookie pair right along with this beer. Imagine putting a lemon wedge in your sweetened ice tea. If you’re having some non-beer drinkers over for the holidays, sate them with this pairing. It’s completely approachable.
Horchata Lager paired with Original Sugar Cookie
Beer: Clean and crisp flavors flow through this beer, from the sweetness of the corn to the roasted flavors of the black malt. The addition of cinnamon and vanilla beans add great flavor without overpowering the traditional lager taste.
Pairing: It’s like eating a snickerdoodle. The cookie is light and crunchy. The cinnamon in the lager pulls in that classic cookie taste. My sister would love this, so I’m throwing a bottle or two in her stocking. Mayyyyybe the cookies will make it.
Christmas IPA with Orange White Chocolate Chip Cookies
Beer: Bright and refreshing spruce is combined with citrusy and aromatic hops. The use of rye malt gives the beer a spicy character to bolster the piney resinous flavors. As one who prefers IPAs over maltier, sweeter, “wintry” brews, this could be my go-to holiday beer for sure.
Pairing: Perfect pairing. Citrusy orange paired with the sweetness of the white chocolate tones down the bitterness in the beer; likewise, the hop notes mellow out the sweetness of the white chocolate. This pairing isn’t “too much” of anything. I want this all day, every day.
Baltic Porter with Original Chocolate Chip Cookie
Beer: Notes of dark chocolate, coffee, and subtle smoke are balanced in this great representation of the style. Roasted notes and a heavier body make darker beers a great holiday option.
Pairing: There are few things better than a chocolate chip cookie. The cookie is perfectly thin and crisp, and the chocolate notes in both combine for a lovely treat.
While all were paired very nicely, the IPA (of course) and orange white chocolate chips won out. Baltic Porter and classic chocolate chip were a close second. We also paired this pairing with a viewing of “Love Actually.”