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HTown60: Pairing beer & holiday treats

With so many choices, how do you choose which beer to pair with some of those holiday treats you're munching on this time of year? We got some tips from the experts.

At The Brass Tap, Midtown’s newest craft beer bar, there are dozens of options on tap.

“We have 60 beers on tap and over 100 in-package. We have a full bar as well,” says Dave Sorrell, a certified cicerone and assistant manager at the bar.

With so many choices, how do you narrow it down to pair with some of those holiday treats you’re munching on this time of year? With Sorrell’s help and a few delicious offerings from freelance pastry chef Leonore Harmel, we got some help.

First up: spice cake, like Harmel’s pain d’epices.

“I have a lot of earthy, wintry spices in it. Some cinnamon, anise, nutmeg, coriander and allspice,” she says, explaining the flavor. “It’s really down to earth.”

Sorrell says you should try it with 8th Wonder’s Weisstheimer.

“It’s real traditional to put some orange and coriander and anise type of spices in these beers, so it’s really going to be a natural pairing,” he says.

Next up: lemon rosemary shortbread.

“I really love the earthiness of the rosemary that comes out. The lemon just brightens it up a bit,” says Harmel.

A traditional saison, like Saison du Ponte from Belgium, is the best match for those flavors, according to Sorrell.

“You get that rosemary going with the earthy flavors in a saison,” he says. “That’s just going to really tie everything together.”

Finally: chocolate chip bacon cookies.

“It’s a great balance of sweet and savory,” Harmel says.

Try it with a barley wine, like Sisyphus from Real Ale.

“A barley wine will be malty and very hoppy, like an IPA turned up to 10,” says Sorrell. “The sweetness and the savory flavors of the bacon are going to be cut well with the bitterness over here.”

To try some of those beers or taste some new ones, drop by The Brass Tap at 922 Holman St. Suite A.