Happy National Cheesecake Day!
Is there any better dessert to enjoy when you’re giving in to temptation than cheesecake? Cheesecake is simply one of the best desserts around no matter what the occasion or time of year, at least in our humble opinions. Since today is National Cheesecake Day, you hereby have our permission to indulge.
You know that we had to find a way to bring our love of cheesecake together with our love of beer and spirits. That’s why today we share with you some of our favorite beer styles to pair with cheesecake (with examples you can find locally.) We also have some boozy cheesecake and cheesecake-inspired cocktail recipes to share with you, straight from our Bottle Makes Three Pinterest page. So what are we waiting for? Let’s dig in!
Cheesecake & Beer: Our Favorite Pairings
While we typically enjoy our cheesecake with little more than a hot cup of coffee, there are some better (aka boozier) beverages to pair with this creamy, delicious dessert. Several styles of craft beer can make great pairings with your cheesecake and elevate your dessert to a whole new level. Below are a few of our favorite beers to pair with cheesecake.
Belgian-Style Fruit Lambics
Some of these spontaneously fermented Belgian beers are decadent enough to be dessert on their own! However, simple vanilla or rich chocolate cheesecakes would be delicious paired with a fruit lambic, such as a framboise (fermented with raspberries) or pêche (fermented with sour cherries). The fruit in the beer would add an additional flavor interest, while the sourness complements the sweetness of your dessert.
To Try: Lindemans Framboise Lambic; Lindemans Pêche Lambic
We love sour beer all the time, so it’s only natural that we like the style with our dessert. Much like the Belgian-Style Fruit Lambics, we especially love fruited sours with cheesecake. The acid in the beer helps to cut the creaminess of the cheesecake. For the basic vanilla cheesecake, nearly any fruit flavor should pair well. For other flavors, pick a fruit you think would normally pair well, like chocolate with raspberry. Even with a fruit-topped cheesecake, the addition of a fruited sour beer can add yet another level of flavor to the party you’re throwing for your taste buds.
To Try: Crooked Stave Petite Sour with Blueberry, Raspberry, or Peach; Great Divide Raspberry Sour
All the Stouts (almost)
Dessert and stouts go so well together that you can easily find recipes that combine the two. The coffee, chocolate, and nutty flavors in a rich stout just seem to be asking to be served with dessert. While there are plenty of sweet, flavorful stouts out there that can stand in for dessert (we’re looking at you, Pastry Stouts) but we don’t typically pair these with our actual dessert. For our sweet pairings, we prefer the more classic flavors of an unaltered American Stout, Irish Dry Stout, or Milk Stout to prevent the combination from being too cloyingly sweet. But hey, that’s just us… you do you.
To Try: Left Hand Milk Stout; Great Divide Yeti Imperial Stout; Guinness Extra Stout
Whiskey & Bourbon Barrel-Aged Beers
Spending time in a barrel not only gives these beers a spirit-fueled kick, but it works to infuse the subtle flavors of the liquor and the wood into the beer. Often the time spent hanging out in whiskey barrels gives your beer notes of vanilla, chocolate, or even a roasted woodiness that goes great with something sweet. A dark chocolate cheesecake, caramel cheesecake, something nutty and rich would be especially tasty while sipping on a smooth, barrel-aged porter or stout.
To Try: Avery’s Uncle Jacob’s Stout; Epic Quadruple Barrel Big Bad Baptist
If a lemon cheesecake or other tart cheesecake is more your thing, you’ll want to stick with something light with just a bit of sweetness like a Belgian-style witbier. The witbier (often called a “wit” or “white beer”) is usually fizzy and crisp. with just a touch of citrus peel and spice that should complement the tartness in a lemon cheesecake.
To Try: Dogfish Head Namaste White, Blanche de Bruxelles; Avery White Rascal
Boozy Cheesecake Recipes
It may surprise you to know that I won my first major cooking award by making a Kahlua Cheesecake for a dessert competition. And by “first” I mean “only.” And by “dessert competition” I mean a “best dessert” contest at a company picnic… where my dad was the boss. Nevertheless, the Kahlua Cheesecake was outstanding and deserving of top honors. It’s why I hold a special place in my heart for spiked desserts, especially cheesecake.
Sadly, that recipe was lost years ago when I tossed out the bottle of Kahlua it was printed upon (true story.) However, thanks to the internet, there are now literally dozens of great booze- and beer-infused cheesecake recipes available at your fingertips. Maybe even more!
If you want to gain a little glory of your own, consider celebrating National Cheesecake Day with your own spirited dessert. Cheesecake is a spectacular dish to make at home. With baked and non-baked versions, you can find a recipe that best suits your skill level. Or you can just make a cheesecake-inspired cocktail and call it a day… it’s totally your call.
Our National Cheesecake Day Recipe Collection
Scroll through on our National Cheesecake Day board on Pinterest, below, to see all the tasty recipes we hand-selected for you on National Cheesecake Day. This includes a recipe for a Kahlua Cheesecake that looks remarkably close to my award-winning masterpiece. We picked these recipes based on what we’d like to make, or better yet, what we’d love to have someone make for us. If you try any let us know how they turn out! We promise to do the same.
Share Your Cheesecake With Us!
Are you celebrating National Cheesecake Day? We’d love to hear about it and see photos of how you are celebrating the occasion. Share with us your favorite cheesecakes spots, cheesecake recipes or cheesecake-inspired drinks. You can add your comment on below, comment on our Bottle Makes Three Facebook page, or by tweet @BMTbeer blog on Twitter.
However you celebrate, we hope you have a great one! Save a slice for us!