Five on Five: Pastry Beers | Craft Beer & Brewing

Five on Five: Pastry Beers

While some purists love to hate “Pastry” beers, even more find fun and excitement in exploring the range of flavors they offer. We asked a few of our favorite brewers to share some of their favorites.

John Holl 9 months ago


Westbrook 5th Anniversary Chocolate Raspberry Imperial Stout

Katarina Martinez, owner and head brewer at Lineup Brewing, Brooklyn, New York
“This might be mainstream, but I’ll always go for this as my token dessert beer. Delicious from the bottle. Delicious on draft. Great balance between the raspberry and chocolate malt neither overwhelms each other, only complements. And at 10 percent, you should probably only have one... or three.”

Forgotten Boardwalk Brewing Funnel Cake

Brian Kulbacki owner and head brewer at Departed Soles Brewing Co. Jersey City, New Jersey
“A wise man (character) once said, “Don’t take life too seriously, you’ll never get out alive. Forgotten Boardwalk’s Funnel Cake is a great example of what craft beer means to me, and a tasty “pastry beer” to boot. In Jersey, our childhoods were filled with trips to the beach, orange swirl ice cream, and this delicious, sugary confection. What better way to spend your days and nights refusing to grow up post-college than reliving your youth in liquid form? To come out the gate with this beer when they did, instead of something safe or trendy, makes me give Forgotten Boardwalk a lot of props, too!”

Omnipollo Bourbon Barrel-Aged Noa Pecan Mud Cake

Derek Morse, owner and brewer at Mantra Artisan Ales, Franklin, Tennessee
“I like the depth and complexity. Loved the combination of nuttiness and bourbon with the heavy dark chocolate flavors. Even though it was 85 out when I had it, it reminded me of a Christmas cake my Oma (grandmother) would make.”

Genesee Salted Caramel Chocolate Porter

CJ Penzone, head brewer, Lake Wallenpaupack Brewing Co., Hawley, Pennsylvania
“It reminds me of biting into a fresh salted caramel brownie. The nose is inviting with caramel and roastiness, it is silky smooth on the palate, and it tastes like chocolate. I love this beer because Genesee took a traditional Dry English Porter and made it into a complex dessert beer that is not overly sweet.”

Lawson’s Finest Liquids Fayston Maple Imperial Stout

Patrick McAnany, brewer at Bissell Brothers, Portland, Maine
“For a dessert beer, I love Lawson’s Finest, their, Fayston Maple Imperial Stout, the rum barrel-aged version. It’s a great example, you get all the decadence of the chocolatey imperial stout and the addition of the Vermont maple syrup. The rum barrel character brings it to that next level with a nutty, biscuity, vanilla character. One of my favorite dessert beers to sip.”

John Holl is the Senior Editor of Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine®. Email tips and story suggestions to [email protected].