Standing in the parking lot of our local grocery store I can see that the only thing blocking my entrance is a group of adorable Girl Scouts selling their legendary cookies. Now I have no problem saying no to children. I have three of my own and I say no to them all the time. “Can I have cake and marshmallows for dinner?” "No." See? Simple.
But passing on treats that are only offered for a limited time can be difficult for me. So this year instead of gorging on cookies alone, I’m going to be a bit more civilized, channel my inner foodie, and enjoy my cookies paired with Iowa craft beer.
You can purchase growlers to go at Iowa breweries or check at your local grocer. Some breweries allow you to bring food in, so you can grab your cookies and hit the road - just check with the brewery first. Thanks to our friends at Boone Valley Brewing Company (Boone), Confluence Brewing (Des Moines), Court Avenue Brewing Company (Des Moines), Millstream Brewing Company (Amana Colonies), New American Brewing (Ankeny), and Peace Tree Brewing Company (Knoxville) for their recommendations.
The Thin Mint. Talk about a legendary cookie. Crispy, chocolaty, minty, perfect. It pairs well with stouts like Millstream’s Back Road Stout or Peace Tree’s Imperial Stout. If you are an IPA fan try Confluence Brewing Company’s Thomas Beck Black IPA. Really, you can’t go wrong here.
A favorite around my house is the Peanut Butter Pattie, aka Tagalongs, aka the red box. It’s a vanilla cookie topped with a thick layer of peanut butter and covered in chocolate. The peanut butter and chocolate combination tastes delicious with a porter. Try Vanilla Bourbon Imperial Porter from Boone Valley, the 1789 Porter from New American Brewing, or pick up a growler of Court Avenue’s Porter. If you are not a Porter fan, they also taste great with stouts like Peace Tree’s Black River Gumbo Stout or Confluence’s Milk Man Milk Stout. Of course you can also go in a different direction and try them with John’s White Ale from Millstream Brewing. Any route you take will be delicious.
My craft beer go-to is a red beer. The classic Short-Bread cookie goes well with beers like Confluence’s Weather Beacon Red or a Belgian-style Blonde Ale like Peace Tree’s Blonde Fatale. If you can keep your cookies in the freezer until May, they’ll go great with Millstream’s Hefe”r”weissen. That may be a challenge I’m willing to accept.
Samoas. Caramel de-Lites. Whatever you call them, they are hands down my favorite cookie. No competition. I never can pass them up. They’ll pair well with Millstream Brewing Company’s Schid Brau Amber, Confluence Brewing’s Campfire Black Lager, Court Avenue’s Porter or get adventurous with Boone Valley’s Ol’ Griz Barleywine. And no, it’s not wine; it’s very much a beer.
There are many more cookies, many more beers and now the time is finally right to indulge in both. What are you waiting for? Go! Go now!