With Halloween fast approaching and my desire to continue to grow my cicerone skills, I’ve decided to pair local, Mid-Atlantic beers with common Halloween candy. The first in the series is Hardywood Brewing’s Cream Ale, paired with Reese’s Peanut Butter cups.
Let’s start with the beer, and brewery. Hardywood Park brewery was founded in Richmond, VA in 2011. Richmond actually has a bit of beer history, in 1935 a brewery named Krueger brewing co. canned the first beer in USA, a cream ale.
Cream ale is a style of beer that could be either a lager, or ale. Ironically this ale from hardywood was lagered and is listed as an unfiltered light lager. Despite the poorish pic above, cream ale is light golden in color, unfiltered and hazy. There are very faint hints of a floral smell, with plenty of sweet corn, and even a creamy note in the aroma as well. It’s taste is very clean and very crisp. The sweet corn and cream flavor also follow from smell, to taste. With a low, 4.4 abv this beer drinks very easily.
Reese’s Peanut Butter cups are rich, chocolate and creamy, sticky peanut butter, a match made in heaven. The addition of a low abv, crisp cream ale is sinfully delicious! As the rich, sugary chocolate lingers and the sticky pb hangs to the roof of your mouth, a quick swig will quickly wash it down in an almost palette cleansing way.
I believe this beer will also pair very nicely with the overly sugar bombs that are candy corn. While Hardywood Park Brewing’s Cream Ale seems more like a lovely summer time refresher, it will do nicely on a Halloween night.