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I'm holding a beer and cupcake pairing party and I was looking for beer recommendations.

The cupcakes include the following flavors: red velvet, strawberry shortcake, vegan chocolate and peanut butter, carrot cake, salted caramel, and s'mores.

I'm open to any beer suggestion. I live in Chicago and I'll happily share the results at the end of the tasting.

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Hey there! Not an answer, but I've got the same question. I'm open to any suggestions of types of cupcakes or beers. Also, would love to hear how your party went Elisha. (sorry i accidentally posted this as an answer when it should've been put under the comments). –  Adam Jul 19 '10 at 19:01
    
@Adam: You should be able to delete your answer. –  Room3 Jul 19 '10 at 20:43
    
what a great question! –  Mark McDonald May 21 '11 at 2:18
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5 Answers 5

up vote 6 down vote accepted

There are two guidelines to follow when pairing beer & food.

  1. Put similar flavors together
  2. Put "opposite" or complimentary flavors together

Similar Flavors

  • Red velvet goes with a cherry or raspberry lambic.
  • Try strawberry shortcake with a cream ale.
  • Chocolate pairs extraordinarily well with a good black lager like Köstritzer.
  • S'mores would go well with a sweet stout.

Opposite/Complimentary Flavors

  • Try carrot cake with an IPA. Just trust me.
  • Chocolate also goes with cherry or raspberry lambics.
  • Peanut butter should pair nicely with a chocolate stout.
  • Salted caramel is a tricky one. Perhaps a hoppy brown ale or a British bitter. The salt will cut the hop bitterness and the caramel flavors of both beer & cupcake should mingle.
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What is the difference between similar and complentary flavors? :) –  brewchez Jan 29 '10 at 13:25
    
Similar flavors are really "the same" flavors. For example, stouts have a chocolate flavor and so do s'mores. –  Dean Brundage Jan 29 '10 at 16:05
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Stouts, Porters and Lambics is my short answer for where to start. Nothing hoppy pairs well with sweets, at least on my palette.

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Caramel goes well with somewhat raisiny wines, such as malbec or sherry. Extrapolating to beer, maybe for the Salted Caramel, you might want to try a raisiny beer, such as as Dogfish Head's Raison D'Etre or Midas Touch Golden Elixer, which is made with muscat grapes. Lindeman's Cassis Lambic could work, too, as it's made with currants.

Beware - i'm theorizing here. Try this out before you subject your friends to it. Also, since this is a homebrew advice forum, I suggest making clones of all these beers to serve. ;-)

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Hey there! Not an answer, but I've got the same question. I'm open to any suggestions of types of cupcakes or beers. Also, would love to hear how your party went Elisha.

share|improve this answer
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I have enjoyed a peanutbuetter cupcake with a long trail coffee stout before and found that combo to be amazing.

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