Ah…..fall in Texas. Time for the State Fair, football, and any other excuse people can dream up to get outdoors, hang with their friends and crack open a cold one. Yes, beer and the Texas fall: a perfect match. As fans of all those things (hello…Big Tex!), all of us at the Dallas Caramel Company thought that our caramels should get in on the good times. So, we rounded up a few friends, cracked open some local brews from the fine folks at Community Beer Company, and created a little beer and caramel tasting party of our own.
The results were pretty great, and we had a lot of fun doing it. Logically, it occurred to us that other caramel lovers might enjoy this too. We’ve posted the results below. Read on, then gather up some cold beers, cool friends, and of course a bag or two of caramel. This is just what your Saturday afternoons in September were looking for.
Pairing 1: Witbier
This beer harkens back to the centuries-old rustic craft brews of Belgium. The beer boasts a cloudy appearance and thick white head that comes from using a high proportion of malted wheat. The brewing process also involves orange peel and coriander, which gives it gentle fruit and spice notes. It was those flavors that worked the best with our caramels. Hands down, our tasters preferred our own orange caramel and chai caramel for the way their flavors complimented the flavor profile of the beer.
Community’s Public Ale is an English-style Extra Special Bitter (ESB), and known for it’s rich bready malt with fruity notes. The combination of malts and hops created a balanced flavor that’s drinkable year-round. Our tasters found the stronger profile of the ESB needed a caramel with bolder flavor of its own. The stand-out winners were the chocolate and the chipotle flavors. One tester ate a few extra of the chocolate caramels, just to be sure (thanks, Sean).
Pairing 3: Inspiration Ale
While we love the story behind this brew, let’s just say the Belgian Style Dark Strong Ale is not for everyone. It is a high APV (9.6%) brew with rich, dark, fruity, malty tastes. Only dark beer lovers need give it a try. We found that it’s deep flavor profile worked best with our own rich flavors. The stand out winner was Texas Drunken Nut caramel. Made with pecans and whiskey, the sweetness cut through the bold flavors of the Inspiration Ale. A close second was our espresso caramel, with its coffee notes complimenting the flavors in the beer.
All said and done, this was a great way to spend an afternoon filling our bellies and laughing with friends. We hope you give it a try yourself this fall.