Beer does not immediately spring to mind when asked to think about desserts. Whether you like dark or pale ales, chances are that you are more likely to want a beer with your pizza than with your creme brule. Restaurateurs and brewers, however, are seeing things in a different light. With the proliferation of microbreweries, including restaurants and pubs that brew their own blends, a wider variety of beers are showing up on menus and the unique flavors in some brews - from honey to blackberry - are helping to put some beers on the dessert menu on a regular basis. Strong, dark beers can have a noticeably bitter after taste, but many pair well with fruit to make sorbets. Dairy can mute the flavors of some malts, but also conceals lingering bitterness, so it pairs well with stronger ales. Wine and champagne have long been making appearances in desserts - why not beer?
Guinness has appeared, with success, in ice creams already and there are commercial varieties of beer ice cream as well, though unique new flavors will not have the same lure of a brand name to draw consumers in.
[Photo Sydney Morning Herald]