Have Your Cake and Drink It Too

“Let them eat cake” may once have been an ill-fated cry but “let them drink cake” is rallying brewers across Canada as they turn to bakeries for inspiration in the ever-evolving search for esoteric suds.

Fruit flavours have been bringing sweetness to beer for years but now, like some teenaged fever-dream of delight, crazy concoctions of cookies, cake and pies are flavouring bitter and sweet blends of beer. Here are some of the best bakery brews in Canada.

Beer stein with cake in it

Birthday Cake

Spectrum Beer Company, Vancouver (5%)

This West Coast slice is a creamy turn of the bakers’ wheel with classic sprinkles adding to the birthday-cake cred. A limited-run beer.

Blueberry Pale Ale

Storm Brewing, Vancouver (5%)

Fresh blueberries fuel this amber ale with Madagascar vanilla extract adding a luscious flavour layer.

Town Square White Wedding Pastry Sttout

Alberta Beer Exchange, Calgary (6%)

Like a finely blended batter, a brewery and a bakery came together to produce this sturdy stout. In a partnership Billy Idol would approve of, Edmonton brewery Town Square joins Art of Cake bakery from the same city to blend the flavours of coffee, chocolate and icing sugar in a beer that’s not half-baked.

Cakeface Birthday Cake Ale

Cold Garden Beverage Company, Calgary (5.8%)

This Märzen-ish beer has a Bavarian influence but don’t go looking for Black Forest cake in this brew. A big blast of real vanilla beans gives Cakeface its birthday-cake base.

No Bake Imperial Stout

Eighty-Eight Brewing Company, Calgary (8.1%)

No Bake make no bones about claiming to have created a stout that delivers “Canada’s favourite dessert liquefied.” Its not-so-secret, secret ingredient, graham crackers, shifts these cake flavours to the taste of a classic. Limited run.

Malevolent Benevolence: German Chocolate Cake Imperial Stout

Rorschach Brewing Company, Toronto (11.9%)

The brewer promises “decadent flavours” in this imperial stout and it’s fit for a chocolate-craving Kaiser. It’s loaded with chocolate, coffee and caramel malts. Add toasted and shredded coconut, cocoa nibs and vanilla beans, with a wisp of lactose sugar, for the Bavarian-bakery-beer equivalent of the everything bagel.

Malevolent Benevolence: Coffee Cake Imperial Stout

Rorschach Brewing Company, Toronto (11.9%)

Similar to its German Chocolate Cake cousin, this bakery brew is infused with strong coffee. A few waves of the cinnamon stick give this brew extra sweetness.

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