When it comes to pairing an elegant meal or decadent dessert with an adult beverage, wine has always been king. However, the explosion of flavorful, well-made craft beer over the last 10 years has provided diners with a second option. No longer relegated to the barbecue or tailgate, most restaurants now offer as many beer options to choose from as there are cuts of meat from a cow.
Light lagers for spicy food and greasy burgers. Amber ales with pizza and friend food. I personally prefer a nice saison with poultry. Yet there seems to be one combination that breweries lean into more than others to help us get through the cold, dark days of winter: fresh, oven-baked cookies with decadent porters and stouts.
With the rise in popularity of barrel-aged and adjunct-laced brews, pairing beer with cookies has never been hotter. Beers are created to compliment or match the flavors of your favorite sweet treat. Others are brewed with cookies added directly mash.
This weekend, two Des Moines breweries are releasing cookie-infused and cookie-adjacent beers for Iowans to share and enjoy. Both Exile Brewing and Confluence Brewing have teamed up with local baker Brittney Haskins, owner of One Sweet Kitchen. Together they’ve created indulgent beer and cookie combinations that will make you ditch the milk this holiday season.
Confluence Brewing Co. Oatmeal Stout
Brittney’s first involvement with Confluence came earlier this summer when she provided party cookies for CBC’s 7th anniversary party. “Becca and Nic [personal friends and beertenders at Confluence] encouraged me to reach out to John directly for the monster cookie stout beer for their 7th anniversary release, but it had already been made,” Brittney explains. “But I was still able to make cookies for the party, and he said he would keep me in mind for their next cookie beer release.”
That beer is Oatmeal Cookie Stout, and that release is happening this Friday, December 13, at noon. For this beer, Brittney made four dozen oatmeal cookies and personally delivered them to Confluence in early November. These cookies were then added directly to the mash along with oats, vanilla, molasses, and cinnamon. It will be like having a cookie in your glass.
“Plain oatmeal cookies are boring. Best put if they are put in beer.” Brittney jokes. (I think.)
Exile Brewing Co. Jesus on a Forklift
Each year Exile Brewing Co. brews up a big batch of imperial stout, only to be pumped into used whiskey barrels and stored away for months. Yet when the time is right, when that fudgey, barrel-aged flavor profile has fully developed, that beer is bottled and released during Exile’s annual “Come to Jesus” party. While there were no cookies directly added to the beer, Brittney’s cookies are still a key component of this year’s event.
“Exile reached out back in June wanting to do something when it got colder and slower – we talked about a beer and cookie pairing for this year’s release” Brittney tells me. “We tested a couple of chocolate cookie recipes because RJ [Tursi] knew that sugar cookies and stout wouldn’t go well together.”
Brittney also included a few liquid vials of 2019 Jesus on a Forklift beer in her cookie frosting. “I got the idea to put the beer in the frosting on Sunday night. I was at Exile for $3.00 Happy Hour beers ,” she added. “That’s when I saw their head of Quality Max at the end of the bar, so I went and bugged him for some.”
Your only chance to try these limited chocolate forklift cookies are on Friday, December 13th, during the release event at Exile. Tickets are available through the Exile Brewing Co. Facebook page.
About One Sweet Kitchen
One Sweet Kitchen is a fully-licensed home bakery in Des Moines, owned and operated by Brittney Haskins. Baking since childhood, Brittney launched her first website for selling cookies baked from family recipes at age 11 . While baking ever since for herself and her friends as a hobby and a side-hustle, she quit her job and went full time in 2018. Visit her website One Sweet Kitchen dot com for all your cookie and pie needs (no orders more until after the holidays though). She also rents a commercial kitchen space for wholesale orders.
Note from the Author – Full disclosure, Brittney is married to my wife’s cousin…but even if she wasn’t family, I’d still hype her cookies + pies because they are just so dang good.