Once upon a time, I was perusing Pinterest for an idea I had with Girl Scout Cookies.  Lo and behold, I found the perfect idea, and I was hoping for once to not have a Pinterest-Fail.  Girl Scout Cookies and Beer Pairing Party. Taste bud perfection was just waiting for me to plan something, and lucky for me, I love planning parties.

Those that know me know that I love beer.  Wine is amazing, but beer – something about that malty beverage and its variety of styles just gets me right in the heart.  Perhaps its my triglycerides building up, but whatever it is, there is a a beer for every occasion and for every palate.

Now, back to those sold-once-a-year-it’s-like-Christmas-on-your-taste-buds cookies.  The article I found on Pinterest took me to Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine’s article, “Beer Pairings for Girl Scout Cookies (2017 Update).”

(Image Credit: Craft Beer & Brewing)

The article lists every Girl Scout Cookie available throughout the country with suggested types of beer pairing. When my friend Annie asked if I wanted to buy any Girl Scout Cookies from her daughters, I asked for one of each box.  Once the cookies arrived in my kitchen, it was time to hunt for beer.

All the cookies!

Using the suggestions from Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine, I grabbed my trusted colleague, Mishana, and we headed to Total Wine & More in Tukwila, Washington to begin our beer search.  One caveat I had for my party was that I wanted to select only locally crafted beer.  Since my website is What’s Up Northwest – it only made sense to highlight beers made in this region (and we have so many fantastic breweries to choose from).  It took us over an hour to find what we both thought would work well with the cookies based off the suggestions from the article and on our personal preferences. One hundred dollars later (my wallet sighed at me), we carried ten different types of beer (multiple bottles of a few) back to the trunk of my car. I created a pairing sheet with flavor descriptions and crammed as much knowledge as I could into my brain so come party time, I could pretend like I was an expert at this.

A few days later, on a lovely Saturday evening, my friends began to arrive at my house.  I was so excited that my little idea had come to full fruition.  I was also nervous because I had not yet tried out any of the pairings myself, but I wanted this to be a new experience for all of us together!  My friends came from a wide swath of preferences, the non-beer drinkers, the hard liquor-only drinkers, the wine-only drinkers, the casual drinkers, and the i-love-beer-drinkers.  I was very happy to have all of them willing to join me with an open mind!

Having friends willing to go on taste testing adventures with me are friends for life!

And now may I present to you, the results of my Girl Scout Cookie and Northwest Beer Pairing Party!  I am already looking forward to planning next year’s party!

Let’s just say this photo was taken after all the beer was gone!

Thin Mints with Rogue Double Chocolate Stout (Ashland, Oregon)
Suggested Pairing: Dark and roasty stout
Beer: Rogue Double Chocolate Stout
About: Rogue’s Double Chocolate Stout is flavored with imported Dutch bittersweet chocolate.  In 2010, Double Chocolate Stout received a Gold Medal at the World Beer Championships.
Comments: For those who do no like like stouts, this was a really good to have with the cookie, however the mint flavor was lost until the finish. The stout itself was smooth and won over some of the non-stout drinkers with the deep chocolate flavor.

Tagalongs with Wingman Brewers Peanut Butter Cup P-51 Porter (Tacoma, Washington)
Suggested Pairing: Flavor-filled stouts
BeerWingman Brewers Peanut Butter Cup P-51 Porter
About: P-51 is a robust and clean-finishing porter. Rich malty flavors highlight hints of chocolate and coffee. At 8% ABV, this dark beer will warm even the coldest Puget Sound nights. And on a side note, finding a peanut butter cup beer to pair with peanut butter cookies – we had to try these together!
Comments: Smooth with a hint of bitterness, the alcohol content was definitely strong.  A “boozy” finish that balanced out the peanut butter.  A good pairing all around.

Toffee Tastic with Pfriem Vienna Lager (Hood River, Oregon)
Suggested Pairing: Bread and toffee flavors
Beer: Pfriem Vienna Lager
About: pFriem’s copper-colored Vienna Lager is a malty symphony, with aromas of toasted bread and fresh toffee, accompanied by full notes of caramel, nuts and a crisp finish with a touch of malted sweetness. Mozart would be proud.
Comments: A good mix that really brought out the toffee and caramel flavoring of  both the beer and the cookie.  Very good pairing with the cookie.

Do-si-dos with Two Beers Brewing Co. Jive Espresso Stout (Seattle, Washington)
Suggested Pairing: Malty lagers
BeerTwo Beers Brewing Co. Jive Espresso Stout
About: Using locally roasted, direct-trade espresso and oatmeal malt, the deep chocolate and toastiness of this espresso’s milk stout’s malt profile is kept open and clean on the palate by the mellow acidity of Brazilian and Ethiopian espresso.
Comments: The cookie mellowed down the espresso of the beer and really brought out the oatmeal malt flavor. A really good pairing. The stout could replace a morning coffee.

Savannah Smiles with Commons Brewery Flemish Kiss (Portland, Oregon)
Suggested Pairing: Witbiers or bieres de miel
BeerCommons Brewery Flemish Kiss
About: A foudre aged American brett ale.
Comments: The pairing brought out the fruity flavors of both the beer and cookie.  You could taste the fruit, the sour, the lemon and cherry at the same time. Nice finish, refreshing and light. A great beer to have on vacation while on a sailboat.

Samoas with Black Raven Brewing Coco Jones Coconut Porter (Redmond, Washington)
Suggested Pairing: Toasted coconut and roasted caramel flavors
BeerBlack Raven Brewing Coco Jones Coconut Porter
About: Our Tamerlane Brown Porter, with it’s subtle nut and coffee tones takes a delicious turn when infused with freshly toasted coconuts.
Comments: The beer alone was strong and took the overpowering sweetness out of the cookie.  The cookie flavor comes out after the beer is finished. Notable direct quotes, “I like everything about all of this,” and “I am not a fan of coconut, but I love this.”

**The final two cookies we paired with two different beers each to try out contrasting flavors**

Trefoils with Ordnance Brewing Blackfish Imperial Stout (Boardman, Oregon)
Suggested Pairing: Cheek warming porters or a Scottish ale
BeerOrdnance Brewing Blackfish Imperial Stout
About: This Imperial Stout flows like octopus ink, dense, the color of midnight. It is rich and full of creamy dark chocolate and roasted coffee flavors. This is not grandpa’s Stout. It is a modern brewer’s creative interpretation of what and Imperial Stout should be.
Comments: A great beer to drink on its own, the coffee contrasts with the shortbread for a great pairing.

Trefoils with Bellevue Brewing Company Scotch Ale (Bellevue, Washington)
Suggested Pairing: Cheek warming porters or a Scottish ale
BeerBellevue Brewing Company Scotch Ale
About: Rich, full-bodied caramel goodness with hints of cashew, hazelnut and toffee
Comments: Another beer to drink on its own, it matches the sweetness of the cookie.  The flavor contrast was a good pairing as it made the somewhat blander cookie taste better.

S’mores with Black Raven Corvus Kriekus American Cherry Sour (Redmond, Washington)
Suggested Pairing: Sweet or roasty stout, or contrast with a tart, fruity sour
BeerBlack Raven Corvus Kriekus American Cherry Sour
About: Corvus Kriekus is an old world inspired sour ale brewed with “Van” and “Black Republican” cherries locally sourced in Wenatchee, WA. Corvus Kriekus is identifiable by its balance of sour and wild earthy notes underpinned by deep cherry flavor. Subtle undertones of chocolate, dried fruit, and hay are a result of not only the cherry varietals that were sourced, but the tiny microflora that inhabit the fruit, lending a specific terroir to this rare bird.
Comments: A great beer to drink on its own or as a chaser, the contrasting flavors made the cookie taste even sweeter.

S’mores with Elysian Brewing Split Shot (Seattle, Washington)
Suggested Pairing: Sweet or roasty stout, or contrast with a tart, fruity sour
BeerElysian Brewing Split Shot
About: Split Shot combines the local talents of Elysian Brewing and Stumptown Coffee in a deliciously smooth, very Northwest beer.
Comments: A delicious pairing, like dunking a cookie into your morning coffee.  The cookie brings out a smoky flavor in the beer and the beer made the cookie taste like espresso.

All in all, it was a very successful party!  I was pleased that while not everyone liked all the beers, some of the non-beer drinkers realized that they actually liked some beer and would even purchase it on their own.  My beer loving friends were introduced to beers they didn’t know existed and were excited to try them again on their own.  I was able to expand everyone’s palate for unique beers and overcome critics who gave me weird looks when I mentioned pairing cookies with beer!  Support your local breweries and go on a beer-venture, you never know what you may fall in love with!

2 Comments on “Girl Scout Cookie and Beer Pairing Party”

  1. This was a great article! You’ve definitely got me intrigued to try some of these types of pairings. Well done!

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