The Rise Of The Dessert Beer

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Good Enough To Eat

I never thought I would say this, but some of the craft beers that come out sound good
enough to least for dessert. I am reading in Beer Pulse that Well's and Young
Brewery has created Sticky Toffee Pudding Ale. And to be perfectly honest it sounds
It doesn't stop there, I remember one person raving about how delicious chocolate beer is. I thought to myself why not just have chocolate and skip the beer middleman? (or middle women). But what is the fun in that?
Whole New Flavor Concepts
Craft beer is not just redefining combinations of flavors, but whole new flavor
combinations that take real imagination to even consider. There is everything from ice
cream flavors to ice cream beverages with desert beer as a major component.
It is a smart move, why just recreate a flavor someone else has already done. Craft Beer makers are trailblazers, not followers.
Think of the benefit of creating flavor categories that you control by default. How much competition do you have in the Sticky Toffee Pudding Ale category? Even if there is another toffee beer, is it sticky toffee or has it been reconstituted to pudding form? Don't just create new beers, create whole new categories of beer. Not that every innovation will catch on but you cannot create tomorrows sensation unless you try.
Many people like sweets and many people like beer. While I see restaurants and bars
offering dessert beer and beer ice cream concoctions, most people do not have dessert beer. The first time I heard someone mention something as a dessert beer, I though they were just kidding. But the trend is catching on. And why not? there are dessert liquors and dessert wines. Why can't there be dessert beer.
The Sky Is The Limit
And the sky is the limit. Americans consume sweets by the ton. The use of sweet
ingredients gives a whole new dimension to craft brewers. I do think that the dessert beer category will continue to be broken down into smaller and smaller segments. Eventually there will be frozen dessert beer flavors as well as candy related flavors that mimic the tastes of candies Americans are familiar with. This is natural in a growing industry.
I think the younger generations will gravitate to these wild combinations. The Millennial Generation tends to be more attracted to new, extreme products. In a world of instant gratification and masses of homogenized brands, new crazy beer combinations will:
1.Get their attention
2.Stand out as completely unique products
One of the fastest ways for a beer to die is to blend into a sea of beers that do not seem
any different. I can tell you toffee pudding ale does not blend in as a garden variety
flavor. Neither does the term dessert beer.
Bring on the dessert beer.
-Lemon, raspberry, cherry sour beers
-Ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, anise, licorice - spicy beers
-Orange cream, blackberry, chocolate, more savory-sweet
-Caramel, strawberry, bubblegum, - sweet as
I can see that dessert beers can be interpreted as a wide range of styles. Not reduced to only cloyingly sweet, interesting to consider them as a group rather than each a quirky branch off of a main style.
Excellent article Michael!
A really interesting read and lots to ponder over. As home brewers the world really is our oyster as far as flavour combination development, with only ourselves to answer to we can experiment to our hearts content! Just this morning i have been pondering over the possibility of brewing a roast pork or even a "sunday lunch" beer. what do you think?
I made a mocha stout a couple years ago. Made ice cream floats with it.
You can see it here:
Southern Tier makes creme brulee stout. It is pretty amazing. It is a bit too sweet for a pint for me, but for a 6-8oz pour in a snifter after dinner it is absurdly satisfying. I imagine a scoop of vanilla ice cream plopped down in the middle would be stellar as well.
In Ontario, Flying Monkeys makes City and Color Imperial Maple Wheat. At 11.5%, it's like being punched in the brain with a stack of pancakes.
I make a Strawberry/Rhubarb pie beer that everyone seems to like. I should try it with a scoop of vanilla icecream.