Rejoice, o dessert lovers of the South Sound! Today, Oct. 14, is National Dessert Day! Why Oct. 14? Why not the infinitely more logical March 14? (3.14 = Pi = Pie.) Why the hell not? Not that you necessarily need a reason to eat pie, but isn’t it nice to have an excuse? After all, dessert does not go to the stomach, but directly to the heart. The very first desserts required the minimum effort and preparation, as ancient cultures were more focused on the nutritional value in food in order for them to survive. However, in modern cultures, a variety of dessert options are available — including craft beer. With Halloween just around the corner, our palates and stomachs could use a warm-up. So we’ve compiled a list of luscious, indulgent, dessert beers to stimulate your appetite. Let’s sharpen that sweet tooth with Craft Beer Crosscut 10.14.17: A Flight of National Dessert Day.
5.1% ABV, 14 IBU
One of the original two monster-themed cereals introduced in 1971, the classic Frankenstein’s monster inspired Franken Berry. However, since Franken Berry was a strawberry-flavored breakfast offering, the only thing scary about this “monster” was his unfortunate shade of hot pink. Hundreds of years older and not as pink, Samuel Smith’s Organic Raspberry Fruit Beer is brewed at the All Saints Brewery in Stamford, England using all manually operated equipment. Barley and wheat are combined to make an ale, fermented and aged for an extended period, then taken to Samuel Smith’s brewery in Tadcaster, England. It is at this stage where they blend in pure strawberry juice to create a fruit-forward ale with malt and some bittering hops on the back. The result is soft and subtle, with the sophisticated and elusive flavor of fresh strawberries beautifully married to clean, smooth malt. An elegant beer, indeed.
Backwoods Pecan Pie Porter
5.9% ABV, 20 IBU
It’s no surprise that this brew hails from an area where pecan pie is as essential to a Thanksgiving table as the turkey. Nestled on the edge of lumber country along the Columbia Gorge, Backwoods Brewing Co.’s Pecan Pie Porter satisfies the sweet tooth. This mahogany-colored porter, brewed with whole pecans, showcases the nut’s earthiness in the aroma. Made with five different grains, including chocolate and caramel malt, this seasonal porter gives off subtle chocolate notes, complimented with hints of vanilla and pecan. Makes us want some ice cream to drizzle this on.
7.8% ABV, 30 IBU
Known in long form as “The Royal Eccentric Ale Treatment,” this imperial chocolate pumpkin porter from Alaska grabbed a gold medal during the 2007 Great American Beer Festival. With an ingredient list boasting pumpkin, cocoa nibs, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg, Midnight Sun Brewing‘s TREAT is just that. It’s as if someone baked a pumpkin pie and smashed it inside the bottle.
Oct. 14 is the anniversary of the day that homebrewing beer without federal taxation was made possible in the United States, thanks to President Jimmy Carter, in 1978. Each year Stone Brewing partners with the American Homebrewers Association to host a member rally and homebrew competition, which, for years has yielded a beer worthy of the national stage. Judged by Stone co-founders Greg Koch and Steve Wagner (and members of the Stone team), this year’s champions are Paul Bischeri and Patrick Martinez and their champion creation, Neapolitan Dynamite. For the additional collaborator, Stone enlisted noted Stout Master Derek Gallanosa from Abnormal Beer Company to bring this ice cream sundae of a beer to life in full scale. The result is a rich, decadent beer, with the sweetness of the strawberry and vanilla balanced out by dark chocolate and coffee.
12% ABV, 75 IBU
Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø, the founder and man behind Evil Twin Brewing, was a physics and English teacher in his native Denmark before starting Copenhagen’s Ølbutikken, a highly regarded beer store. He’s also an evil twin himself. His brother, Mikkel Borg Bergsø, brews under the Mikkeller label. Jarnit-Bjergsø, however, has done his best to outshine the good twin. He founded Evil Twin in 2010 as a nomadic brewery. In 2012, Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø gave up his nomadic brewing days and opened Evil Twin in Brooklyn. His Even More Coco Jesus is thick as fudge with pitch-black color, amazingly overwhelming aromas of chocolate, coffee, dark fruits, muscovado sugar, maple syrup and coconut. Taste has an initial bittersweet beginning with a balance of roasted, earthy coffee and fudgey sweetness. Then, there’s melted milk chocolate, a sweet slick of maple syrup and a long, oily, palate-coating finish.