Perfect Pairing: Fudge Brownies and Sweet Stout

Ever had a stout with your dessert? If you haven't had that "Aha!" moment yet in pairing beer with food, this recipe will be sure to change your world!

I'm drooling over these pictures as I write this post! It is so hard not walk 15 feet over to the kitchen and eat the entire pan of brownies. I rarely make desserts--I've only posted one other dessert pairing on this blog as I'm not a huge fan of sweets, but man, every once in a while all I want is brownies.

And let me tell you, I have found the recipe of all brownie recipes. I'm writing this one down and won't ever search for another one. Its THAT good. When I stumbled upon it this morning on Yammie's Noshery blog, I knew it was the one. The first words on this girl's "About Me" blurb says she's a chocoholic, after all.

The Pairing

Pairing stout beer with chocolate desserts is a pretty common thing in the world of beer pairings--can't say I ever actually tried it though (again...I never really eat dessert!). This pairing, with the specific recipe and local Great Basin Brewery's "Outlaw Milk Stout", was almost an epiphany for me. With the first bite and sip, it brought me back to why I started this blog in the first place: to find great food and drink pairings.

The key to this pairing is to choose a very sweet, chocolatey stout. There are many different kinds of stouts out there. The one we know most commonly, Guinness, is an example of a Irish Dry Stout (Murphy's is the other popular beer in this style). Dry stouts are great but not the best choice to pair with desserts. For this recipe, choose a sweeter style like a Milk (Sweet) Stout, Oatmeal Stout, or Foreign Extra Stout. These styles are indeed sweeter and more chocolatey than their Dry Irish counterparts, thus complementing the chocolate and sweetness of the brownies. And don't think this will be chocolate overload--it is so much better than pairing the brownies with milk, I promise!

A note on milk stouts: don't think that these stouts necessarily taste "milky" which could be considered gross in any other situation than this one. To make a milk (sweet) stout, brewers add lactose, the sugars found in dairy products, to sweeten the beer. Alternatively, oatmeal stouts are created by literally adding oatmeal to the mash, which does not necessarily alter the flavor but adds a more mellowed, rounded texture to the stout. Both of these styles expose a more chocolatey character to the beer over the typical roasted flavors you'd find in dry stouts. Milk stout is truly my favorite type of stout since the added sweetness quenches whatever form of sweet tooth I have.

Recommended Milk Stout and Oatmeal Stout to Pair with Brownies

  • Great Basin Brewery Outlaw Milk Stout (paired in this blog post, and possibly my favorite stout out there--it's so chocolatey!)
  • Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout
  • Young's Double Chocolate Stout (the first dark beer I ever liked. I remember equating it to chocolate milk)
  • Left Hand Brewing Milk Stout
  • Hitachino Nest Sweet Stout
  • Samuel Adams Cream Stout

Happy Pairing!