Just in case you somehow missed them in front of supermarkets, in your office or at your front door, Girl Scout Cookie Season has arrived. Through this annual tradition, Girl Scouts across the region learn valuable life skills, earn badges and generate work for local dentists. Once you've filled your cupboards with Thin Mints, Samoas or whichever cookies you prefer, you might be tempted to sit back and enjoy them with a nice, tall glass of milk. But here at Gut Check we prefer pairing our cookies with great local brews.
Not sure which you choose? We have a few suggestions for you.
As with any food and drink pairings, the general rule is to match lighter-tasting cookies with more subtle beers. "Trefoils," traditional shortbread cookies in the shape of the Girl Scout logo, pair well with O'Fallon Brewery's "Wheach." The beer's light, crisp taste accents the subtle buttery shortbread flavor, and the peach adds a little flourish to the end.
Dulce de Leche Pair these with Civil Life's American brown ale. The roastiness of the beer blends well with the sweet milk caramel chips in the cookies.
Do-Si-Dos Wash these down with 4 Hands' "Single Speed," and you're in for a treat. These oatmeal peanut butter sandwich cookies really bring out the slightly fruity jasmine in this blonde ale, resulting in a taste very close to a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
Savannah Smiles Bolder-flavored cookies need bolder beer to stand up to them. The "Savannah Smiles" pack a powerful lemon flavor. Pairing them with Schlafly's APA, which has a strong floral flavor from the aromatic American hops, works well.
Samoas The caramel and toasted coconut in "Samoas" would overpower lesser beers, but Boulevard's "Sixth Glass" holds it own well. The Belgian yeast esters really accent the caramel and coconut.
Thin Mints Finally, Thin Mints -- the round, mint-flavored cookies with a chocolate coating -- really accentuate the chocolate and molasses notes from Schlafly Irish-style extra stout's dark, roasted barley.
So, raise a glass and support not only your local Girl Scout Troop but your neighborhood brewer as well.