The playful term ‘liquid lunch’ is nothing new, but thanks to snowballing creativity in craft beer, the liquid dessert is taking the world by storm.
Have a favorite after-dinner treat? There’s a good chance its sweet flavors also come in craft beer form! Here are 10 Pastry Stouts to satisfy every type of dessert craving:
- If you’re a coconut fiend, you can fly out to Tampa once a year and wait in line outside Angry Chair Brewery for hours for a 2-bottle limit of the top rated Pastry Stout in the World on Untappd, Barrel Aged Imperial German Chocolate Cupcake Stout. Devoted beer release line waiters will tell you, it’s worth dusting off the camping chairs and sweating out in the Florida heat. Not only does this brew taste like the spitting image of an actual German Chocolate Cake, it also comes packed with a whopping 11% ABV, and it can be used as trade-bait for pretty much any Stout on the market.
- Want to eat your mud cake and drink it too with one of the top barrel aged Pastry Stouts on the planet? The award-winning, sweet-toothed Swedes at Omnipollo created their AON Pecan Mud Cake Barrel Aged Stout with the rich decadence of a Pecan Pie mixed with a Mississippi Mud Cake. And aging in freshly emptied Bourbon Barrels gives your taste buds a caramel kiss goodnight.
- Can’t say no to peanut butter? England’s specialty malt mixers at Buxton Brewery developed their 13% ABV Anniversary Coward Peanut Butter Vanilla Chocolate Chip Cookie Stout to celebrate 5 years of out-desserting their local British bakeries. They nailed it. Anniversary Coward is the top-rated peanut butter beer on Untappd, period.
- For those with an affinity for dunking breakfast cookies in coffee, Evil Twin Brewing created Imperial Biscotti Break Stout. Fans on Untappd rave that it’s “sweet and dark and coffee, so good,” “rich and delicious,” and a “big, sweet, heavy hitter.” Evil Twin has a whole pantry full of top-rated Pastry Stouts, but Biscotti Break remains one of their signature dishes.
- Like your breakfast on the sweeter side? Asheville’s Burial Beer Co. has the morning elixir that will treat you right. Their Skillet Donut Stout is rich with doughy flavors of chocolate frosting and gooey caramel alongside bold mocha aromas. It’s no wonder Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine called Burial a breakout brewery.
- If bananas are your jam, New Holland Brewing has the brew for you! According to Brewbound, the brewery’s Dragon’s Milk Stout is America's #1 selling Bourbon Barrel Aged Stout. All you nanner lovers should look for the Dragon's Milk Reserve: Banana Coconut Stout variant. It tastes like the best parts of a Banana Split.
- When they were first released, the Tiramisu and Barrel Aged Tiramisu Stout collaborations from J. Wakefield Brewing and Trillium Brewing absolutely flooded beer trading forums with ISOs (a.k.a., in search of requests). To be fair, there’s a scramble for bottles whenever either of these Pastry Stout specialists drops a new brew. But, there’s something about how they nailed the airy whipped frosting and dark roasted coffee cake flavors that drive Dark Beer fiends crazy.
- Wondering if anyone has churned out an Ice Cream Stout yet? Of course! One of the most iconic is Alvarado Street Brewery’s Häagen Dauv. You gotta see the can — the brewery made it look identical to a Häagen-Dazs box. And, oh my god, is it creamy!
- Hop Culture named Hardywood Park Craft Brewery’s Gingerbread Stout one of the 10 Best Stouts in their prestigious blind tasting. One sip and you’ll know why — it’s doughy thick and packed with those warm holiday spices so many of us can’t resist.
- Last but not least, and arguably the most sought-after Pastry Stout of all time — Perennial Artisan Ales’ Barrel Aged Abraxas. Even the non-barrel aged version is legendary. Thrillist called its fudgy cocoa nibs, vanilla beans, and cinnamon stick flavors one of the ‘Best Stouts You’ll Taste [This Winter].’ The original version tastes like a delicious Mexican hot chocolate, and is fairly easy to find in most of the country. But Barrel Aged Abraxas is trickier to get your hands on. Even if you’re lucky enough to find a bottle for sale online, prices run as high as $200 each!
Interested in learning about other desserts that breweries have transformed into Pastry Stouts? A quick search for #PastryStout on Instagram will pull up all sorts of tasty concoctions. And if you want to get a taste for yourself, Tavour funnels plenty of cakes and other Sweet Stouts through the app.