In the world of craft beer, new tastes are always going to pull a lot of attention. And while pastry stouts came out many years ago, they just recently started to gain in popularity.
So, what is a pastry stout?
A pastry stout is a beer that has an additional sweet flavor element, such as chocolate or marshmallow. This beer has the thickness and richness of a normal stout, but has a sweeter base. Brewers add flavorful adjuncts to this base to give the beer the unique dessert-flavored taste they’re looking for.
Throughout this article, you’ll also learn more details about pastry stouts, including:
- What ingredients make a pastry stout
- Health benefits and concerns associated with pastry stouts
- Should you drink a pastry stout?
What’s in a Pastry Stout?
A pastry stout might sound like something you’d never try, but you might be surprised at how incredible they taste. With a flavor palate ranging from brownies to smores and chocolate cookies to cherry pie, there’s something for everyone.
Most popular pastry stouts had pushed through the criticism that they faced when they were first introduced. Nobody wanted to think about chugging down a chocolate chip beer with their pizza, but that’s not what pastry stouts are for.
In fact, pastry stouts have been so influential in the beer industry because they’ve changed the way people eat dessert completely. Many beer drinkers consumed their favorite brews with pizza, hot dogs, and other filling foods.
However, pastry stouts are designed to taste like a dessert by themselves. Forget having a beer and cake with dinner, enjoy a pastry stout and get both in one delicious beverage!
Let’s examine a list of some of the most popular pastry stout flavors below:
- Biscotti brew
- Chocolate cake
- Pecan pie
- Ice cream waffle
- Peanut butter and jelly
- Vanilla maple
- Blueberry cheesecake
- Chocolate macaroons
- Hazelnut cupcake
- Marshmallow stout
The list goes on. As you can see, there are countless flavors to try out. Even if it sounds a bit odd to drink a dessert (especially when it’s mixed with beer), you’ll never look back. They’re perfect for holidays, birthdays, and even a casual Tuesday night after a long day at work.
The secret to these enticing flavors is the addition of adjuncts, which are basically unmalted grains that add to the base flavor of the hops used to brew the beer. Using a bit of brewing science, beer manufacturers can make a pastry stout taste like just about anything under the sun.
To take the deliciousness of pastry stouts to the next level, you can even have it mixed with coffee. Coffee and beer are a combination that you probably don’t see every day, but it’s definitely one of the biggest hits in the industry.
Before you crack open a can of blueberry cobbler brew, you could also consider the health factors. We all know that chugging a beer every hour isn’t healthy, but you might be surprised to learn some of the different effects that a pastry stout can have.
Are Pastry Stouts Unhealthy?
Pastry stouts aren’t going to replace water, that’s for sure. However, they’re not the worst thing in the world. You’ll get a few benefits depending on which ingredients are added, where it was made, and how much of each ingredient was used. Without further ado, let’s jump into the health benefits and concerns below.
Here are the health benefits of pastry stouts:
- Chocolate, blueberries, strawberries, and nuts all have a wide variety of vitamins and minerals. Granted some of them are cooked out in the brewing process, you’ll still be able to benefit from them more than you ever could from a traditional stout. Note: No, they won’t replace healthy eating habits.
- The caffeine found in coffee, mocha, and cappuccino stouts will give you a good boost of energy. If you’re trying to stay up at night and you still want to enjoy a brew, then reach for something like the Covfefe can mentioned by Vine Pair. You could also enjoy the Chai Milk Stout Nitro or the Cafe De Olla.
- Since they’re loaded with all sorts of delicious food flavors, pastry stouts are much more filling than other beer. You’ll only need one to feel that satisfying post-dessert/post-beer buzz that you’re looking for. Rather than chugging down thousands of calories, you’ll only have a few hundred.
- In moderation, pastry stouts can actually be good for your kidneys. They’re rich in all sorts of phytochemicals that provide a healthy balance, according to Piedmont Healthcare. Unfortunately, it doesn’t add up exponentially. You can’t drink beer after beer to enrich your kidneys.
Here are the main health concerns of pastry stouts:
- Perhaps the most obvious disadvantage of drinking pastry stouts is that they’re packed with far more calories than traditional beer. If you follow the aforementioned suggestion of just drinking one and being done, you’ll be fine. However, some of these bulky brews can add a massive 500 calories to your daily total.
- Pastry stouts have tons of sugar in them. Even in a perfect world, you can’t get away with drinking a beer and a chocolate pie without adding plenty of sweetness. We all know the problems associated with sugar and drinking your calories isn’t the best use of your daily allotment.
- They’re incredibly easy to drink. If you’re able to control your pace, this concern isn’t going to be for you. However, many people have trouble putting down sweet alcoholic drinks, such as strawberry daiquiris or margaritas. If you know you’re in that boat, try to pace yourself when you taste the first flavorful sip of a pastry stout.
- The same negative side effects associated with all types of beer and alcoholic drinks still apply to pastry stouts. In moderation, you don’t have to worry about any of them. No matter what type of alcohol you drink, please do so responsibly.
Are Pastry Stouts Worth the Hype?
After you’ve read everything above from the flavors and ingredients to the health benefits and concerns, should you try a pastry stout?
In my opinion, absolutely! You’d be missing out on an indescribable mixture of flavors. The worst-case scenario would be that you don’t prefer it, so you know not to try it in the future.
However, you could crack open a can or pop a bottle of your new top brew. There’s no reason to skip over pastry stouts anymore.
Whether you’re a beer connoisseur or you simply love the sweetness of a dessert and the relaxation accompanied by a cold beer, pastry stouts are worth a shot.
Next time you’re walking down the beer aisle, loading up the virtual cart, or tasting fresh-off-the-tap brew, request a pastry stout; You’ll be glad you did!
Note: If you’re making your own brew at home, the ingredients and order of the process are quite a bit different than a traditional DIY brew. Check out the helpful community over at Beer Advocate for all sorts of advice on how you can make the best pastry stouts right at home.
Pastry stouts might be a strange flavor combination on paper, but in the can, they’re one of the best-tasting beverages around. Nobody’s trying to say that they’re going to be a fantastic dieting supplement, but what’s wrong with drinking and eating a top-notch dessert?
We all love chowing down on savory foods and sweet drinks. Combining these flavors is just one of the many reasons that you should add pastry stouts to your list of brews to try.
Here’s a quick recap of the post:
- Pastry stouts can include sweet flavors, such as blueberry pie, chocolate cake, mocha, and just about anything you’d find in a pastry shop
- They’re bascially a dessert and beer in one drinkable pint glass
- The health benefits and concerns cancel each other out, so just drink responsibility and enjoy yourself!