Girl Scout Cookie and beer pairings are a delicious spin for America’s favorite treat. Here’s how to pair your favorite Girl Scout Cookies with craft beer.
It’s that time of year! Girl Scout Cookie season is upon us and it’s time to stock up and munch out. Of course, a holiday like this deserves a craft beer celebration.
Cookie season will always be special to me. I was a Girl Scout and my mom was our troop’s ‘Cookie Mom’. That meant she was in charge of the logistics of cookie season.
Twice a year, our house would be full of Girl Scout Cookie boxes. Many nights would be spent sorting orders and delivering the goods to the other Scouts in my troop. Weekends were spent hustling cookies outside of various Krogers around Roanoke.
As a Girl Scout, I sold a lot of cookies, a couple hundred every season. Of course that came with a very special badge that I’d be able to have my Grandma sew on my already crowded vest.
Yet, selling Girl Scout Cookies is far more than earning a badge. It means learning business and people skills while working as a team to earn money for your troop.
I loved being a Girl Scout and all the adventures I had with my troop. Cookie season is such a small part of what it really means to be a Girl Scout. Honestly, it’s really fun to see people ‘fangirl’ over their favorite cookie. You don’t see anyone doing that over popcorn 😉
Fun Facts about Girl Scout Cookies:
– The Girl Scout Cookie Program is the largest girl-led business in the world!
– Each season, Girl Scouts sell 200 million boxes, nearly $800 million worth.
– In order, the three most popular Girl Scout Cookies are Thin Mints, Caramel deLites, and Peanut Butter Patties.
– There’s more to Girl Scout Cookies than what’s in the box. When a Girl Scout sells you cookies, she learns goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills, and business ethics— all the skills essential to leadership, success, and life.
Craft Beer and Girl Scout Cookie Pairings
What really inspired creating this guide was a beer and cookie pairing I attended the other weekend. The Girl Scout cookie and beer pairing was hosted by Circle Brewing, one of my favorite Austin breweries. Circle’s staff did a fabulous job matching their beers to all eight of the delicious cookies. (Which is why I’ve shared those combinations as well in photos below.)
But since Circle beers are not available nationwide, I’ve also listed more options. Below, paired with each Girl Scout cookie, are a few different beer styles to fit everyone’s tastes. Plus, for those of us here in Austin, I’ve also listed a local pick that’s fun, unique, and maybe a little weird…
Thin Mints are one of the top selling cookies in the world, and you might not even know that they’re actually vegan! The world-famous cookies are pretty straightforward: crisp, chocolaty wafers, covered in a thin layer of dark chocolate made with all natural peppermint oil.
Even though this list is in no particular order, these minty cookies have always been my #1. They’re best enjoy straight out of the freezer, on a hot summer afternoon. Or pair them with your favorite dark beers on a chilly winter night:
- Imperial stouts
- Black IPAs
- Chocolate porter
- Austin Pick: Real Ale Coffee Porter
Caramel deLites / Samoas
This Girl Scout cookie is covered in thick caramel then coated in toasted coconut before being drizzled with chocolate stripes. It’s sweet, a bit tropical, and equal parts chewy and crunchy.
The Caramel deLites are arguably one of the top Girl Scout Cookies, it’s also the box with the least amount of cookies… coincidence? I think not…
- Brown ales
- Coconut Porter
- Austin Pick: Circle Brewing’s Pacific Jade (dry-hopped saison)
Shortbreads / Trefoils
Shortbread cookies are buttery, rich, and creamy, they have their place but otherwise, let’s be honest, they can be quite boring. Girl Scout shortbread cookies are in the shape of the Trefoil, the logo that represents what the organization stands for.
It wouldn’t be hard to find a craft beer that pairs well with the Shortbread cookies, but to find one that brought out the flavors of the cookie, instead of overpowering the subtlity, would take a bit more thinking.
- Pale ales
- Barrel-aged stouts
- Wheat beers
- Austin Pick: (512) Brewing’s Pecan Porter
Peanut Butter Sandwiches / Do-si-dos
There are two peanut butter style cookies sold by the Girl Scouts, but they’re quite different. The Peanut Butter Sandwiches are crunchy oatmeal cookies with a thin layer of peanut butter filling. Very much like Nutter Butters, but much more delicious.
Peanut butter can actually be quite fun to pair with craft beers, especially dark styles like porters and stouts. Peanut butter porters and stouts, even sours, are common variants for a core classics. Try this hearty Girl Scout Cookie with these styles:
- Austin Pick: Celis Brewery’s Pale Bock
Peanut Butter Patties / Tagalongs
Peanut Butter Patties (or Tagalongs) is the more indulgent of the two peanut butter Girl Scout Cookies. These patties are crispy cookies layered with peanut butter and covered in milk chocolate. Rich, malty beers would pair great with the Peanut Butter Patties:
- Cream Ales
- Vienna Lagers
- Imperial Porters
- Austin Pick: Adelbert’s Brewery’s Dancin’ Monks (Belgian-style dubbel)
Read This: North Austin Brewery Guide
Thanks-a-Lot are rather new to the family of Girl Scout Cookies, but they have quickly become one of my favorites. Taking the plain shortbread, these cookies are coated in a perfectly even layer of rich fudge. So simple, but very delicious.
- Scotch ales
- Belgian quads
- Imperial IPAs
- Austin Pick: Zilker Brewing’s Coffee Milk Stout
Read This: East Austin Brewery Guide
The Lemonade is summertime in cookie form. Each shortbread cookie is topped with a tangy, tart lemon icing.
While the rest of these Girl Scout Cookies have been paired with delicious, roasted, malty beers, but this one would do better with something light, citrus, and juicy. Even though I’m not a fan of this cookie, the idea of pairing it with a delicious fruity sour has me drooling to pick up a box and crack open a bottle from my cellar.
- American IPAs
- Farmhouse ales
- Austin Pick: Jester King’s Atrial Rubicite (barrel-aged sour with raspberries)
The newest Girl Scout Cookie is the S’mores, crispy graham cookie double dipped in marshmallow cream icing and finished with a coat of milk chocolate. It’s like the s’mores made over an open fire, just without any of the mess!
When it comes to pairing beer with this cookie, you can have a lot of fun. A fruity Lambic beer goes surprisingly well with the vanilla marshmallow and malty graham cracker, very pie like in my opinion! These other beer styles will pair fabulously with this cookie:
- Bière de Garde
- Chocolate Stout
- Fruit Lambic
- Austin Pick: St Elmo Brewing’s Angus dry stout
What do you think? Now it’s your turn, comment below and let me know what Girl Scout Cookie you’d like to pair with your favorite beer!
Really, this is a lighthearted guide to pairing a childhood treat with my grownup passion. I think there are probably dozens of beer and Girl Scout Cookie pairings, and while I’m sharing my favorites, I’d love to here yours in the comments!