Beer and Dessert

Hazelnut TorteAs we discovered last week, beer hits its post-dinner crescendo when Stouts and Porters are paired with chocolate. When a non-chocolate-based dessert is served, there are other beer styles that can make admirable matches.

Fresh Fruit

Most beer styles would be too heavy and strong in flavour to match with fresh fruit, but a Belgian-style Wit (white beer) with its fragrant orange and spicy notes hits the right flavour balance here. In a pinch, a classic Pilsner can accompany fresh berries drizzled with lemon juice.

Fruit Based Cakes, Pies & Tarts

The light, fruity notes of a Blonde Ale, German Weizen or North American fruit flavoured wheat ale pairs with the similar character of fruit-based cakes and pies.


Panna cotta, Crème Brulée and Crème Caramel are classic custard-style desserts. Pair a Wit with the light texture of Panna Cotta, but find a flavour bridge between the burnt sugar topping of Crème Brulée with the roasted, caramelized notes of a Stout.

Nut-based Desserts

At the lighter end of the spectrum, match light nut desserts such as an almond tart with malty lagers like Vienna-style such as Samuel Adams Boston Lager. However, the sweet intense flavours of pecan pie warrant a fuller, sweeter style of beer such as Barley Wine or Strong Ale. Barley Wine is also perfect for toffeeand caramel-based desserts.

Ice Cream

In this case, don’t pair beer and dessert, combine them. A scoop of vanilla ice cream and a pint of Oatmeal Stout makes for a delicious float — an adult version of this childhood favourite.


Here is an easy one. Beer finds a natural harmony with cheese. If selecting one beer to go with a range of cheeses, stay classic and go with a Belgian Ale. In Belgium, there is a long tradition of abbeys producing both beer and cheese.

Chocolate Desserts

While some fruit beers strike a chord with white chocolate, dark chocolate desserts are best with Porters and Stouts, which boast a similar chocolate and coffee flavour profile.

Occasions Recommends:

Chimay Grande Reserve Trappistes Ale
Shock Top Belgian White Ale

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