Lucky for confection lovers, dessert beers have gone mainstream. These beers are made for those who like to drink their last course—they’re infused with ingredients such as vanilla and cocoa nibs, inspired by all kinds of cake varieties, and some are poured on nitro for the icing on top. This year, celebrate National Cake Day (November 26) with these seven cake-inspired brews.
Strawberry Short’s Cake
Short’s Brewing Company (Bellaire, Michigan)
This creamy golden ale is made spectacular with additions of strawberries and milk sugar. It’s brewed with Victory malt, which imparts some delicious biscuit notes, and its hue is a stunning, hazy strawberry red, pictured at the top.
* Great Storm Brewing (Colorado Springs, Colorado)*
Each year in March, Great Storm Brewing tosses an entire frosted cake baked from scratch into the mash of its Happy Birthday beer (pictured below). This double Pilsner is also brewed with fair-trade organic vanilla beans and returns each year to celebrate the brewery’s anniversary.
Westbrook Brewing Co. (Charleston, South Carolina)
“I remember when Edward described what he wanted to make for our wedding beer,” says Morgan Westbrook of Westbrook Brewing Company’s Mexican Cake—an imperial stout aged on cocoa nibs, vanilla beans, cinnamon sticks, and fresh habanero peppers. “We really wanted to have our beer on tap and have super cool, party favors that were reflections of us. So Edward made Mexican Cake! It was such a huge hit that we decided to make it Westbrook Brewing's first-anniversary beer. My sweet, romantic man brews it every year in spring for our wedding anniversary now.”
Red Velvet Cake
Ballast Point (San Diego, California)
Ballast Point boasts an oatmeal stout made with beets and chocolate. The beets in Red Velvet create its dark red color and earthy flavors that play well with its rich chocolate notes. Roasted cocoa adds a richness to the aroma and flavor and works with the hops bitterness to balance the sweetness. Nitro is to this beer what icing is to cake, adding a layer of creamy smoothness.
What Is That, Velvet?
Funky Buddha Brewery (Oakland Park, Florida)
Another interpretation of red velvet cake comes from Funky Buddha Brewery as a dry English red ale that’s infused with cacao nibs and vanilla beans. This beer (pictured below) smells just like cake. If you can identify the movie that has the line this beer is named after (no Google—that’s cheating!), you deserve another glass.*
German Chocolate Cupcake Stout
Angry Chair Brewing (Tampa, Florida)
Angry Chair Brewing brews this decadent milk stout (pictured below) with vanilla beans, cacao nibs, and toasted coconut. It’s a special release beer that’s sold in bottles but is sometimes found on draft in the taproom and has an ABV of 6.4 percent. Earlier this year the brewery debuted this beer’s big brother, Imperial German Chocolate Cupcake Stout.
Bad Weather Brewing Company (St. Paul, Minnesota)
This summer Bad Weather Brewing created a funnel cake–inspired beer to serve at the Minnesota State Fair. It was copper-colored with notes of toasted biscuit, caramel, and vanilla. Surprisingly enough, this beer was highly drinkable and not overpoweringly sweet like its carnival confection inspiration.
Give up on the name of the movie Funky Buddha’s beer references? It’s from Coming to America!
Craft-beer breweries, brewpubs, and beer bars are expanding all over the United States at a rapid rate, yet who do you trust for accurate and up-to- date information about where to go and what to drink? The Ultimate Beer Guide Western Edition 2017 answers that question with expertly curated reviews, suggestions, and insight from the editors and writers of Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine®. Order your copy today.