You can have your cake and eat it too—with beer!
99 Bottles celebrates its anniversary each year with a beer and cake fest.
At the 2008 event, everyone scoffed, "Beer? With cake? Oh my god. I'm not sure about beer with cake." But once they sampled Rogue's Hazelnut Brown Nectar and Chocolate Stout paired with white cake with caramel fluff filling, they were hooked. Many even said, "I'm never having milk again with cake." The cake came from the Something Delicious Bakery in Kent, Wash.
This year, another cake from Something Delicious Bakery was chosen: a rich chocolate cake with a cream cheese filling. And to add to the excitement, four beers were chosen for the line-up:
Kona Pipeline Porter, a winter seasonal beer that tastes like coffee—and is brewed with 100% Kona coffee. Afterall, what's more adult than a glass of 'alcoholic coffee' with your cake?
Trois Pistoles, a Belgian-strong dark ale from Unibroue of Quebec, Canada. This bottle-conditioned ale has dark malts, with hints of dark fruit and spice, and offers notes reminiscent of a fine port wine.
Ryan O'Sullivan's Russian Imperial Stout, from Moylan's Brewery of California. This 10%-abv rich, thick, and intense stout pairs great with rich brownies, but would it be too big to pair with cake, which is lighter in body?
Lindemans Framboise, a rare, delicate, rose-colored champagne-like wild-fermented raspberry ale from Belgium's Flanders region. Paired with this year's cake, the flavor is easy to imagine: chocolate-raspberry-cream cheese cake!
Sampling beer with cake
Have a swallow of beer. Have a bite of cake, followed by another swig of beer. And another bite of cake. You've got it! The flavors play in your mouth. Notice how the beer tastes alone, compared to the beer post-cake. Sample both again and let the flavors meld in your mouth.
Which beers came out on top?
Of the 103 tasters, 93 folks told us their favorites. So, just which beers paired best with the rich chocolate cake with cream cheese filling? It was a close race, but Pipeline Porter came out on top, with Lindemans Framboise trailing by just two votes, and Ryan O'Sullivan just four votes behind. Though Trois Pistoles came in last, fifteen folks preferred it with the cake over the other beers.
Other beer & cake pairings to try
Banana cake: English brown ale, German weissbier
Carrot cake: Double/imperial India pale ale
Coconut cake: English or American porter
Lemon cake: Berliner weisse, American pale wheat ale
White cake: Nut brown ale, chocolate or coffee stout, fruit lambic