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halloween

Are you about to eat some of the worst Halloween candy? Do you have kids who gave you all the crap they don’t want after pillaging the neighborhood? Are your pockets filled with terrible treats you drunkenly took from that bowl at the party? Did you encounter old people who insisted you not leave until you’ve taken a piece with you? Are you worried about what to do next with your undesirable treats?

MittenBrew’s got your back. Just pair the worst Halloween candy with beer!

halloweencandy-4I think we all know this first culprit: candy corn. This last resort in a candy dish is this unenticing looking kernel, whose only credibility stands on the fact that if you stack up all the kernels, it looks like an ear of corn. When pairing it with beer, the best way to choke your way through it is with Tapistry Brewing Company’s Mr. Orange, their Witbier brewed with blood oranges, chamomile, and rose hips. The soft nature from the wheat malt in the beer will coax out the slight marshmallow like quality of the candy corn. Now that this base of mallow sweetness is established, the chamomile and rose hips can be featured and shine through, thus enhancing the experience and creating more complexity. Starting to feel fancy yet?

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You remember that Bazooka Bubble gum and how it loses flavor within 15 seconds of chewing it?
No problem for us. The best thing to pair with something that loses its flavor entirely, is yet another thing that has next to no flavor—Natty Light anyone? No, in all seriousness, just spit the damn thing out and take a big step up and drink
Our Brewing Company’s Vienna Lager as you cheers to Bazooka Joe instead. Maybe buy him a beer too, because his wrapper comics blow (get it?) just as much as his bubble gum so he probably needs it.

halloweencandy-5Circus Peanuts have a weird, marshmallow banana flavor and soft texture that I think can only be tamed by coating it with Roak’s Devil Dog Oatmeal Stout. The banana flavor finds companionship in the beer’s roasty bitterness and bready burnt toast notes, making it almost taste like some sort of chocolatey banana baked dessert. Plus, part of the proceeds for the beer go towards a local VA hospital in Detroit. Now you can genuinely feel good about eating this candy, so long as you steer clear of eating it on its own…

halloweencandy-1I know this one is rated low on Halloween candy lists, but I personally love this stuff, besides the fact that I feel like I might choke to death every time I have one. Those hard Butterscotch Candies that make you feel like you’re at your grandma’s house create a fun pairing with the Cranker’s Coconut Porter. There’s just something about chocolate, butterscotch, and coconut that really make the palate sing.

Black Jelly Bhalloweencandy-3eans are ominous looking. More of an acquired taste, it’s not exactly a crowd pleaser amidst all the super sugary, waxy chocolate covered, non-complex candies out there. Perhaps Short’s would resurrect their Black Licorice Lager for it? But in the meantime, I’ll settle for pairing these unfavorable beans with an appropriately spice-forward Grand Pumpkin from Harmony Brewing. It’s brewed with pumpkin, chai tea spices, ginger root, cinnamon bark, darjeeling tea, cardamom pods, nutmeg, clove, and vanilla beans. The multitude of spices and herbs together can now combine with the black licorice notes of the jelly beans to create a sweeter, more harmonized pairing with plenty of complexity.

(P.S. I recommend bringing your unwanted Good & Plenty to this anise party too.)

I choose Dots candy with Jolly Pumpkin’s La Roja for our next pairing. Partly because this candy is fruity, and partly because this beer is sour, but mostly because this candy tastes awful and I need a powerful, funky, tart cherry, balsamic-like, Flanders sour to wash it down. You’re welcome.

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Candy buttons. They confusingly don’t look like candy, their flavor is lackluster, and each button comes with a piece of paper stuck on it. What’s not to love, right? Love it even harder, as you pair this sheet of sadness with Latitude 42’s very own Nectar of the Goddess, which is a blood orange and passion fruit, honey-infused wheat beer. Just pop in a button, take a sip of beer, pop another button, take another sip of beer…and soon enough you’ve got an inebriated sugar buzz to prepare you for handing out candy to strangers. The softness from the wheat, and the sweetness from the honey align with the sweet candy, while the passion fruit and blood orange characteristics resonate with the artificial “fruitiness” of these bizarre buttons.

halloweencandy-6Taffy candy never really reveals its flavor due to the opaque wrapper, but insteads shrouds itself in mystery by only revealing its Halloween themed wrapping. What’s inside? Untrustworthy taffy candy of course! What better beer to pair with an unknown, chalky, chewy, kind of fruitiness than Rockford Brewing’s Michigan Weisse! Their take on a German style Berliner Weisse, lends tasting notes of banana, pear, and clove, that combined with its slightly tart character, will quell any further disappointment caused by dear, sweet mystery taffy.

Mints. Do you think I just came back from dinner or are you simply trying to tell me something? These “candies” make such a heartbreaking “thunk” when dropped into the candy bucket, but at least you’ll have something to aid your foul beer breath before you unleash it on the person you were about to talk to. However, since this is a place for pairing, do the traditional ‘mint and chocolate’ route by eating these with Dark Horse’s Plead The 5th Imperial Stout to cap off your night.

halloween

 

Beer pairs with all, so don’t underestimate the power of boozy goodness on top of sugary, sweet sadness to make a perfectly palatable night. It can change a meal, make or break a pairing, and can now officially resurrect your Halloween. Eating copious amounts of sugar for no real reason never felt so good!

All Hallows Eve. As children, we relished in the yearly ritual where we were able to dress in costume, knock on our neighbor’s doors and fill our buckets with candy. As adults, we might still dress up. The majority of us will most likely consume the candy we did as children. But some things change. As craft beer enthusiasts, the time for pairing that candy with our favorite Michigan brews is now. Here’s a list of recommended pairings to liven up your Halloween weekend.

The “Angry Pumpkin”

Autumn in Michigan means cooling temps and a slew of fall and pumpkin themed beers. Before the holiday big brother Christmas swoops in and takes over, be sure to pair your favorite pumpkin beer with a spicy form of candy to kick things up a notch.

The “Milk on Milk”

Milk chocolate candy is a time-honored tradition in the candy world. And if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! Just add to it with some of Michigan’s finest milk stouts. Cavity City, here we come.

The “Sweet and Savory”

You know the type of candy that gets stuck in your teeth? The kind that will pull your fillings out? That’s what we’re talking about here. We’re also talking about rich and malty brews with the same level of sweetness. Grab an old ale to rinse that toffee out of your teeth, kids.

  • Candy: Heath Bar, Toblerone, Wether’s Original, Toffee Chews
  • Beer: Kuhnhenn 4D (or BB4D if you’re feeling frisky), Founders Curmudgeon Old Ale, Bell’s Third Coast Ale, Arcadia Big Dick’s Old Ale

The “Grown and Sexy”

Oh yeah, you know what this is about. No, it’s not Valentine’s Day. It’s Halloween and you’re an adult. Grab yourself some dark chocolate for you and your significant other, pour up one of these liquid sweet tarts.

  • Candy: Hershey’s, Dove and Ghirardelli dark chocolates
  • Beer: Dark Horse Raspberry Ale, Founders Rübæus, Short’s Soft Parade

The “Liquid Dinner”

Have you ever heard someone say they had to “chew” the beer they just had a sip of? Chances are, it was some form of a barrel-aged beer. Michigan has some of the best to offer in that category. Just be careful when pairing these brews with candy — you might end up with Wilford Brimley on his commercials.

  • Candy: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Snickers, Twix
  • Beer: Arcadia Barrel Aged Shipwreck Porter, Bell’s Black Note, Dark Horse Bourbon Barrel Plead the 5th, Founders KBS, New Holland Dragon’s Milk

The “Refreshing Chew”

Let’s face it, not everyone is a chocolate lover. For those who prefer the lighter side of things, this is your realm. Those of you who need that gelatin consistency in your life, don’t forget to wash it down with some of those fine Michigan hops to balance your palate out.

  • Candy: Sour Patch Kids, Starburst, Skittles, Gummy Bears
  • Beer: Odd Side Citra, Founders All Day IPA, Greenbush Closure, Kuhnhenn DRIPA

What about you? What are some of your favorite Halloween candy and Michigan beer pairings? Comment below and let us know what we should try!


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