S’mores and beer: A perfect pairing for the campfire treat


What’s the ultimate campfire treat? S’mores of course. But, how do you pair that chocolate, marshmallow goodness with a frosty beer?

S’mores, the campfire treat, are more than a childhood dessert. The dessert of chocolate, marshmallow and graham cracker is a classic flavor combination. As kids, making the dessert was a huge part of the fun. Now, as an adult, the entertainment comes with finding the ultimate dessert beer pairing.

Often s’mores are enjoyed in the summer. With National S’mores Day celebrated on August 10, the classic dessert is sometimes enjoyed after a summer barbecue. And, who doesn’t enjoy a frosty, cold beer at a barbecue? Why not find a beer that pairs well with s’mores? It can be a great way to end an evening.

S’mores and beer: A perfect pairing for the campfire treat, photo provided by Devils Backbone

Pairing a dessert with beer isn’t overly difficult. Why beer and dessert aren’t a common pairing, it can be a delightful way to end an evening. The key to a good pairing is complementing, not competing, flavors. First, focus on the classic s’mores ingredients.

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S’mores are chocolate, marshmallow and graham cracker. While the classic recipe can vary, the three main ingredients are generally the focus. To find a delicious beer pairing, look at the three ingredient flavors and find a beer complements one of those flavors.

Recently, I had the opportunity to talk with Aaron Reilly, Devils Backbone Brewery Manager Basecamp Brewpub. He provided some amazing insight on pairing beer with s’mores. First, he focused on the chocolate in the s’mores.

According to Reilly, “chocolate flavors are easy to complement with beer as roasted malt tends to mirror those flavors. Our Black Lager (a German-style Schwarzbier) is a light-bodied lager that has smooth roasted coffee and cocoa notes that pair perfectly with the chocolate and a hint of toast/caramel that works well with the cracker and marshmallow.”

S’mores and beer: A perfect pairing for the campfire treat, photo provided by Devils Backbone

This beer pairing could be a little confusing for the casual beer drinker. While dark in color, a black lager isn’t heavy, like a stout. Just like how coffee and chocolate go together, this beer and the s’mores taste beautifully together.

For another idea, Reilly suggests the Dead Bear, an Imperial Stout. This stout offers a more robust beverage, similar to an after dinner drink. This beer has a bold, chocolatey flavor. Just a caution, this beer is more for sipping, with its higher alcohol content. Maybe have two s’mores ready when you sit down to enjoy the Dead Bear.

If the marshmallow is your favorite part of a s’more, there is a beer that complements the sweeter flavor. Reilly says, “Vienna Lager has an abundance of toasty and caramel flavors with a crisp finish that’s sure to leave you ready for the next bite.” To make this pairing work, make sure that you don’t over “toast” the marshmallow. Burnt and complementing flavors aren’t an easy pairing.

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For National S’mores Day, consider pairing the campfire treat with a frosty, cold beer. Who says that s’mores are just for kids?