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Perfect Pairings: Beer and Candy

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Got some sweet leftovers in the bottom of the bowl or your kids’ trick-or-treat sack? Washing them down with tasty suds is a genius move

There’s nothing quite as satisfying as cracking open a delicious beer, but peeling the wrapper off your favourite candy is probably a candidate for second place. Your trick-or-treating days may be over, but look on the bright side: now that you’re a grown-up you can enjoy a perfectly matched beer with many popular Halloween goodies. Here are a few tasty pairings to trick out those treats.

Pale lager

Tart candies. Let’s celebrate the unsung heroes of the loot bag: those sour-sweet, pastel-coloured candies that only seem to come out for Halloween. They’re not complicated, they’re not flashy, but their sweetness-with-a-bit-of-zing sure is tasty — hey, just like your favourite lager!

Candy corn. Another Halloween-only treat, candy corn has a straightforward sweetness that goes deliciously with the pleasant drinkability of a nice, cold pale lager.

Salty snacks. OK, these aren’t technically candy, but salty chips, popcorn and snack mixes are amazing with thirst-quenching pilsners, Oktoberfest beers and other pale lagers.

Pale wheat beer

Fruit juice–flavoured candies. If you enjoy a wheat beer with a squeeze of lemon, try pairing one with chewy fruit candies instead. You won’t be surprised that it’s the lemon-flavoured ones that work especially well.

Sour candies. Sweet-edged wheat beer and sour candy are a match made in Halloween heaven. They balance and chill each other out.

Bubble gum. Pale wheat beers, especially German-style ones, are often said to taste and smell like bubble gum. Chew on that for a minute and see what your taste buds think of this dynamic duo.

India pale ale (IPA)

Tropical fruit candies. Why? Because if you taste an IPA really carefully, you can often detect hints of tropical fruits like mango and pineapple. (It’s the hops.)

Cinnamon candies. IPAs have the bold flavour it takes to stand toe to toe with the fiery little red treats in your loot bag.

Cheesy puffs. Complex, aromatic IPAs are delicious with rich savoury treats like cheese. The same goes for cheese puffs — whether your preference is big-’n–airy or crispy-crunchy.

Dark ale/Brown ale

Caramels. Of course! The malty flavours of a brown ale offer the same gentle, toasty-warm sweetness as an old-fashioned caramel. They get along like old friends.

Layered chocolate bars. The toasty presence of wafers calls for the nutty malt of a Dark ale.

Peanut-butter-and-chocolate treats. Speaking of nuts, brown ales are often known for their nutty aromas — and that makes them terrific partners for all those chocolatey, peanut buttery sweets in your Halloween haul.

Stout/Porter

Dark chocolate. Stouts and porters are made with chocolate malt, which involves toasting barley until it starts to taste like cocoa. That’s why these deeply coloured beers are natural partners for your fave dark chocolate.

Mini chocolate bars. Those itty-bitty versions of your favourite chocolate-coated bars — especially any that contain coffee or toffee flavours — are also best mates with a good stout

Mint-and-chocolate treats. Mixing mint and beer might sound like drinking orange juice after you brush your teeth (yech!), but it’s not. Stouts and porters go wonderfully with any chocolate goodie that includes mint, as its refreshing aroma contrasts nicely with the sophisticated sweetness of the beer.

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