If you’ve yet to get your Girl Scout Cookie fix, make plans to visit NoDa Brewing from 4-9 p.m. this Tuesday, Feb. 21. The brewery will tap all four of the beers in its Girl Scout Cookies series of beers, paired with the cookies that inspired them.
Fortunately, they’ve reserved a keg of each for this Tuesday, which will be the first time all four beers are on tap at the same time and served with the cookies. Patrons will be able to vote on their favorites, with the winner being brewed again on a larger level in March.
“So far every single one has had a cult following,” said Suzie Ford, co-owner of NoDa Brewing. “The Samoan Blonde probably is the most popular, but the others have sold like gangbusters.”
The idea for the series came from Lindsay Sprick, one of the brewery’s sales representatives. Once they committed to the idea, they nailed down the four cookies that would serve as inspiration for the four beers.
The easy move would have been to create a quartet of dark and decadent beers, but the brewery didn’t want to go that route.
“At first it made sense to make all of them a porter or a stout, and we didn’t want to do that,” said Ford. “We had to get creative. The Samoan would have been perfect for a stout, but to turn it into a blonde was amazing and completely deceiving when you smell it and then drink it.”
Indeed, the roasted coconut and cocoa nibs might have been overwhelmed with a darker style, but come through strong against a blonde ale base. Likewise, lemon zest complements a German Kölsch and calls to mind Lemonades, the shortbread cookies topped with lemon icing.
On Tuesday, the brewery will sell flights of all four beers with the cookies for $9 each, with a dollar from each sale going to the local Hornets’ Nest Council of the Girl Scouts.
That group is no stranger to pairing their cookies with local craft beers. Last month, the Hornets’ Nest Council partnered with The Fillmore on their second annual Cookies and Crafts festival, which combined the popular cookies with beers from local breweries. The Fillmore purchased 325 boxes of cookies for the event, with Samoas accounting for almost a third of the order.
“I don’t think it can be denied that this fantastic relationship that we’ve found in the beer community in Charlotte and the surrounding area has provided a big bump to our sales,” said Taryn Rimland, the council’s adult development & program manager. “People are looking for cookies to pair with their favorite craft brew.”
Pairing the cookies with craft beer is a fairly recent phenomenon, considering the Girl Scouts celebrated 100 years of selling the cookies this year — but don’t be surprised to see more of it going forward.
A local troop sold around 400 boxes of cookies at NoDa Brewing a few weeks ago, and Rimland noted that a group had a big day slinging cookies at Triple C Brewing recently, too.
The Cookies and Crafts festival will return to The Fillmore in January 2018. For the first year of the festival, The Unknown Brewing Co. was the only brewery to actually brew a beer using the cookies in the beer. This year, five or six breweries brewed with them, according to Rimland.
“The breweries have been really intrigued about it,” said Rimland. “As it grows and gains some traction, it’s been really fun to see the breweries having fun with it as well.”
Photo courtesy Girl Scouts of the USA.