I’m sure most people would agree that when it comes to Girl Scout cookies, the first beverage they think of isn’t beer. But with Thin Mints, Do-Si-Dos and Samoas landing in the Islands this past weekend, now's a good time to make the case for why this can be a surprisingly good pairing.
I sat down with Frolic contributor Gary Hashimoto at Kakaako's Village Bottle Shop & Tasting Room, where owner Tim Golden and the staff helped us match cookies with some really great craft beers, many of them brewed locally. So the next time you see Girl Scouts selling their classics in front of your neighborhood grocery store, be sure to stop in the beer aisle for pairings that should make for an interesting conversation starter.
Sam Smith's Nut Brown Ale, Lindeman's Raspberry Framboise Lambic or Honolulu Beerworks' Pia Maiai Saison
The crunchy sandwich cookie filled with oats and peanut butter is a perfect match with Lindeman’s Raspberry Framboise Lambic. Our minds were blown with the first sip — the pairing screamed peanut butter and jelly sandwich. If you’re looking for something local, we found that the honey in the Pia Mahi’ai Saison from Honolulu Beerworks works well too.
North Coast Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout or Inu Island Stout
One of the most popular cookies in the lineup, Thin Mints deserve a nice stout. We recommend Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout. If you can’t get it on tap and on nitro, the four-pack of bottles is still solid. Take a sip after a bite of cookie — the mint flavor comes back to you and the cookie softens the bitterness of the rich, heady beer.
If you find yourself on the Windward side, head over to Inu Island Ales for their Inu Island Stout, which changes in recipe slightly with each batch and is not available in stores or for take-home. Bring some Thin Mints you’ll make lots of friends.
Girl Scout S'mores
Maui Brewing Co. Coconut Hiwa Porter
Much like the classic campfire treat, this creamy marshmallow, chocolate and graham cracker sandwich cookie deserves a pairing that doesn’t overpower it. We chose the Coconut Hiwa Porter from Maui Brewing Co. Unlike its more viscous and heavier cousin, the Maui Brewing's Imperial Coconut Porter, the Coconut Hiwa has just enough maltiness to let the subtle toasty flavors from the graham cracker float to the top of your palate. This beer makes the cookie taste even better. The chocolate and marshmallow flavors are enhanced by the beer.
Lindeman's Raspberry Framboise Lambic
This shortbread cookie with lemon glaze on the bottom pairs well with the tart notes of a sour beer. We found that it worked nicely with the Framboise, which gives it a raspberry sorbet flavor. This would also be excellent with the Anderson Valley Holy Gose or Lanikai Brewing Co.'s Rubbah Slippah.
Hana Koa Brewing Co. Super Trooper or Maui Brewing Co. Nitro Coconut Porter
Maybe the biggest flavor bomb of all of the Girl Scout cookies, Samoas need something that will stand up to bold flavors and rich caramel notes. For that, we picked out a bold beer that is a dessert in itself. Village happened to have the Super Trooper from Hana Koa Brewing on tap — it's modeled after Samoas with chocolate, caramel and coconut flavors. It mirrors the cookie really nicely but isn’t too heavy. This is a limited release so if you can’t get it, we suggest you look to none other than the Nitro Coconut Porter from Maui Brewing. We feel like this is another one that makes the cookie taste better.
Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale or Lindeman's Raspberry Framboise Lambic
Tagalongs' layers of peanut butter and chocolate are reminiscent of a peanut butter cup but with a crisp cookie inside. It’s not as bold a flavor as you might think, so for this we recommend a classic brown ale like the Nut Brown Ale from Samuel Smith’s. Not too hoppy and not too heavy, this one is a pairing that you could coast on through the night.
If you’re a little apprehensive about the idea of beer with dessert, give one or two of these pairings a try with a group of friends. You may even find some even more fun pairings that we didn’t think of. Mahalo to Village Bottle Shop & Tasting Room for hosting our tasting session. We were able to purchase all of these beers there, but you’ll also find them in other shops across the Islands.