By Gail Oberst
For the Oregon Beer Growler
You couldn’t resist the salesmanship of the little girl in uniform, so when she came to your door, you bought one of each package of the Girl Scout cookies she was selling. Or you passed the cookie table on the way into the store and got the polite sales pitch from a badge-emblazoned entrepreneur. Now those cookies are sitting in your pantry, begging to be paired with beer.
Can’t think of the right beer? No worries. I raided my beer cellar and I asked a few Oregon brewers to pair these cookies with some of their beers. The following is what we came up with, but please, don’t stop here. Take those packages of cookies to your local pub, share them with friends and do a taste test of your own. Even if you don’t find the perfect pair, you’ll be the most popular drinker in the pub.
Samoas are crisp cookies that are coated in caramel, sprinkled with toasted coconut and striped with a dark chocolaty coating.
Caldera Toasted Coconut Chocolate Porter, 6.2% ABV, 24 IBUs
This seasonal porter smells and tastes like roasted coconut with a hint of caramel and vanilla, matching the Samoa’s flavors almost one-to-one.
Rogue Double Chocolate Stout, 8.7% ABV, 68 IBUs
This stout is flavored with imported Dutch bittersweet chocolate, a great pair with this chewy cookie.
StormBreaker Jean Claude's Quads, 10.8% ABV, 22 IBUs
The caramel and toasted coconut of this cookie joins forces with this beer, bringing kick-ass jubilance for your face.
Thin Mints are crisp wafers covered in chocolate and made with natural oil of peppermint.
Pelican Tsunami Stout, 7% ABV, 45 IBUs
This beer could probably be paired with several of these cookies, but when I pair it with the Thin Mints, the coffee flavors of the beer really complement the minty sweetness of the cookie. This would be a well-rounded dessert pairing.
Stickmen Does a Body Good, 6.7% ABV, 19 IBUs
If you want lighter roasty and chocolate notes, try pairing the wafer with this milk stout.
Two-Shy Chocolate Mint Stout, 6.5% ABV, 45 IBUs
Fans have likened this beer’s smooth flavors to mint chocolate chip ice cream. If you like your Thin Mints straight from the freezer, you have a perfect cooling combo here.
Rogue Mocha Porter, 5.3% ABV, 54 IBUs
Bittersweet with a creamy finish, this beer’s chocolate-coffee flavors go toe-to-toe with the cookie’s zesty mint chocolate.
Savannah Smiles are lemony, smile-shaped slices of shortbread with a powdered sugar coating.
Mazama Ersten Weizen, 5.5% ABV, N/A IBUs
Although these cookies feature the tart taste of lemons, they are delicately sweet and malty, which could pair well with a Belgian, wheat or witbier. Because lemons and weizens just seem to go together, I like Mazama’s with the cookie.
pFriem Gose, 4.5% ABV, 10 IBUs
With its citrusy tartness, this Gose is also a good pair, but it’s usually released in summer.
Rogue Brutal IPA, 6.3%, 46 IBUs
A non-traditional IPA with big, citrusy hop flavor and intense hop aroma that hold up to the lemony-sweetness of the cookie.
Trefoils are delicate-tasting shortbread cookies that are delightfully simple and satisfying.
13 Virtues Baltic Porter, 8% ABV, 40 IBUs
This versatile cookie was made for dunking, so I looked for alcohol or coffee flavors in a beer match. Oregon Baltic porters fit the bill, especially this one by 13 Virtues. Strong and black, this beer is also crisp and mildly chocolaty — a rich after-dinner treat.
Deschutes The Abyss, 12.2% ABV, 86 IBUs
This cookie also cools the hot alcohol sensation found in sipping beers like The Abyss, which is aged in French oak and bourbon barrels. Sip the beer, then chase with a bite of cookie. Yum!
Rogue Shakespeare Oatmeal Stout, 5.8% ABV, 60 IBUs
Roasty and creamy, this mellow and chocolaty beer is a nice chaser to a crunchy cookie.
StormBreaker Anniversary Barrel Aged Barleywine, 10.1% ABV, 58 IBUs
The Belgian malt truly shines alongside the rich and buttery shortbread goodness.
Do-si-dos are crunchy oatmeal sandwich cookies with a creamy peanut butter filling.
Elk Horn Nutella Stout, 6% ABV, 30 IBUs
Granted, this beer plays on the flavors of hazelnuts, not peanuts. But it still makes a sweet and nutty counterpart to this cookie. Adding the cookie just solidifies the flavors.
Rogue Dead Guy Ale, 6.5% ABV, 40 IBUs
This German Maibock is light enough, but malty enough, to hold up to the sweet and peanut flavors.
StormBreaker Opacus Oatmeal Stout, 5% ABV, 24 IBUs
Oatmeal cookie and oatmeal stout: a match made only more pleasant with the peanut butter filling, which sweetens the experience.
Tagalongs are crispy cookies layered with peanut butter and coated in chocolate.
Ordnance Blackfisk Imperial Stout, 9.5% ABV, 58 IBUs
Smooth, thick peanut butter coats your tongue and then the chocolate begins to melt, creating the familiar taste sensation. Chase the satisfying crunch of the cookie with this stout. Its high alcohol, sharp coffee and dried plum flavors cleanse the palate and prepare it for the next delicious bite.
Base Camp S’more Stout, 7.7% ABV, 70 IBUs
This rich brew would also be great with the cookie. Replace the traditional marshmallow side with a Tagalong.
Rogue Chocolate Stout, 5.8%, 69 IBUs
This beer has a bit of the chocolate truffle flavor to its finish, so why not pair it with a chocolate treat?
Monthly recipes and pairings from your favorite brewpubs around Oregon.