Opinion: Cloying is No Longer a Word in Craft Beer



disgust or sicken (someone) with an excess of sweetness or richness.
gerund or present participle: cloying
Synonyms: Syrupy, saccharine, oversweet.
"That cream cheese frosted chocolate cake milk stout is too damn cloying for my taste."

Let’s say goodbye to the use of the word cloying when discussing craft beer -- the mob of thirsty sweet-tooth filled mouths have spoken. It doesn’t matter how much sugar is added, there is no such thing as too sweet for some people.

The Pastry Stout is here, and many are predicting its popularity will continue to grow as we see article headlines pop-up all over the web like: “Boom in sugary pastry stouts shows craft industry forgetting what beer tastes like” -Chicago Tribune; “We Make Éclairs We Want to Eat -- The Pastry Stout Problem" -GoodBeerHunting; and “Sh!t Pastry Stout Bros Say” -KoelStoryBro.

As a beer writer, I understand the concern that old school beer-heads have. Traditionally speaking, a beer should taste like a beer (meaning clean and balanced, drawing solely from the classic notes of hops and malts). But as a craft drinker who could easily be labelled as a “Pastry Stout Bro” (I’m really hoping this lingo doesn’t catch on) I have to say: “Dad” and dad’s generation, you’re wrong!” Craft beer is an ever-changing, always evolving art form. Especially when a brewery makes a Blueberry Muffin Ale that tastes exactly like a blueberry muffin -- hell yeah that’s a beer, and it’s an amazing beer at that!

So I wish all of you a happy Pastry Stout sipping in 2018. Here is a list of some of my favorite beers of the past year that dessert beer haters would have formerly used the ‘C’ word we’re retiring today to describe:

  1. Saugatuck - Blueberry Maple Stout: It tastes just like blueberry pancakes soaked in sticky Mrs. Butterworth’s syrup.
  2. The Bruery - White Chocolate with Cherries: Using vanilla beans and cacao nibs to recreate the rich sweetness of white chocolates, this version goes a patisserie step further by adding juicy, syrupy cherries to the mix.
  3. Belching Beaver - Horchata: If you crave the sugary cinnamon-vanilla Mexican rice milk treat of horchata -- Belching Beaver nails it.
  4. DuClaw - Sweet Baby Jesus: Sweet Jesus, there are some serious scopes of Skippy peanut butter in this chocolate Milk Stout.
  5. Great Notion - Blueberry Muffin: Though it’s labelled as a Sour, this beer is as sweet as a muffin. And I wasn’t lying, this brew tastes eerily close to what I’d imagine drinking a liquid blueberry muffin would be like.

Written by Dylan Kasprzyk

Featured image from The Bruery Facebook Page

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