Halloween is all about indulging the little ones, right? We’ve got mums running all over the place to find the finest and freshest Disney swag their money can buy. Dads’ brows are covered in sweat as they attempt to carve their gigantic pumpkin with those cheap little knives that invariably break halfway through the second eyeball. Five separate trips to gian iggle are necessary to ensure a candy stockpile large enough to keep those devilish (yet very cute) trick-or-treaters at bay. On October 31, moms and dads everywhere indulge their little monsters on this ghostly night; even if that means breaking the bank to afford all that candy, risk losing a finger or two while carving that darn squash, and trekking through the inevitable Halloween rain, sleet, or snow.
Well guys, it’s time to indulge yourselves a wee bit too. When the sugar-crash sets in and your little ones drift peacefully into a deep candy coma, you may just find yourself thinking about perusing your kids’ pilla cases that are overflowing with candy. Most likely, the justifications will start to surface…surely they can’t eat ALL of this candy on their own, they will get sick if they do. Their dentist would WANT me to do this. And once you convince yourself that you’re doing this for the well-being of your children, you’ll be fishing out a few of your personal favorites in no time.
But your palate has changed since childhood. You’ll need something to cut the piercing sweetness of those beautiful little bombs of sugar. And it just so happens that craft beer makes the ultimate pairing for halloween candy. We spoke with some of the most talented brewers in Pittsburgh and here’s the run down on their personal favorite craft beer and candy pairings…
Steve and Dyana from Roundabout Brewery suggests their Jacked Up O’Lantern Stout (Coffee Stout brewed with Pumpkin Pie Spices) paired with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. There’s no wrong way to beer a Reese’s.
Zachary and Erika Shumaker from ShuBrew suggests their Murphy’s Paw (Brown Porter) with a Almond Joy. It’s one of their favorites because the combination is reminiscent of a decadent German Chocolate Cake. The luscious chocolate coating perfectly complements the roasted barley notes of the beer. And the coconut shavings adds a kiss of tropical sweetness to make this one killer pairing.
Christian and Mark from Four Seasons Brewing Co. suggests their award-winning Dark Side of the Pint (Oatmeal Stout) with chocolate covered pretzels. However, the chocolate covered pretzels must be from a local chocolatier- brewers orders!
Matt from Hop Farm Brewing Co. suggests his Cherry Bomb (Imperial Berliner Weisse) with Sour Patch Kids. Those little sour bombs assault your tastebuds with their intensely potent sugar crystals. Heck, why not totally obliterate what’s left of them by washing it all down with one of Pittsburgh’s boldest sour beers. However, Matt’s not all about the tricks, he does enjoy a few treats as well. His sweeter side suggests their Kulak (Russian Imperial Stout) with a classic Snickers bar.
Asa from The Brew Gentlemen also spoke highly about pairing Sour Patch Kids with their sour wheat beer, Gose. However, this particular sour beer is light, balanced, and totally refreshing. It lends itself well to tart food pairings because it highlights a rather unique ingredient- sea salt. The gentleman also suggests their White Sky (Chai-spiced Wheat Beer) with those timeless Candy Corns. This quintessential Halloween candy nestles in perfectly with those beloved fall time flavors found in this extraordinary chai-spiced brew.
Sean Hallisey from Full Pint Brewing Co. suggests that their Night of the Living Stout (West Coast Stout) goes eerily well with Black Licorice and Candy Corn.
Nate from Draai Laag Brewing Co. is an old pro at pairing halloween candy with beer and he suggests their Simon Girty (Belgian Dark Ale) with a Kit Kat, and their Yodeler (Belgian Style Barley Wine) with a Milky Way. His most thrilling pairing is their Haviken (Belgian Duppel) with Tootsie Caramel Apple Pops. The Haviken beer is roasty and toasty just like a porter but has a sour cherry finish from the Brettanomyces yeast. The roastiness of the beer will highlight the sweet, rich caramel patches, while the sour cherry flavor further accentuates the tartness of the candy. What a spooktacular pairing!
Jamie from Milkman Brewing Co. suggests their Dahntahn Brahn (Brown Ale) with Hershey’s Milk Chocolate with Almonds Bar. This pairing is about as classic as they come. The sultry milk chocolate and toasted almonds pair beautifully this local ale. The Milkmen sure delivered with this milk chocolate pairing!
Scott from East End Brewing Co. enjoys passing out halloween candy while sippin’ on his Black Strap Stout (American Stout) and snacking on York Peppermint Patties. It’s scary how perfect they taste together.
You work hard on Halloween; you too deserve some treats along the way! Whether you have kids bringing home more candy than they can safely manage, or just plan on taking advantage of all the discounted candy after Halloween has come and gone; it’s the perfect time to experiment with all the magical combinations. Use the expertise of our local brewers to guide you in pairing your favorite candies with some delicious Pittsburgh brews. Which pairings will leave you completely spellbound?
Devo and Tim