Tiffany Adamowski wants you to have your cake and eat it too – with beer.
She and husband Craig, who own the 99 Bottles beer store in Federal Way, will have their second annual Beer & Cake fest Jan. 20 (details on the "read more" button).
Stop rolling your eyes and shaking your head. Beer and cake do so work. So there. I buy it. Tiffany does, too. Customers, however, were skeptical when she hosted the beer and cake pairing/tasting last year.
"Beer? With the cake? Oh my god. Everyone was scoffing at me. They said, 'I'm not sure about beer with cake.' By the time they had the hazelnut (Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar), they said I'm never having milk again with my cake," said Tiffany.
Photo by Drew Perine/The News Tribune
Last year, she paired vanilla cake with a caramel filling with Rogue's Hazelnut Brown Nectar and Rogue's Chocolate Stout. The cake came from the Something Delicious Bakery in Kent.
This year, she couldn't decide what kind of cake to serve. She thought about carrot cake, but the pairings seemed limited.
Instead, she went for more decadent: a rich chocolate cake with a cream cheese filling from Something Delicious Bakery.
What beers will she pair with the cake this year? Here's what she had to say:
Pre-cake palate teaser: "A beer with a light mouth-feel to get your juices flowing. This will be a caramelly dark lager-style beer.
Raspberry lambic: "Imagine chocolate-raspberry cheesecake."
Belgian dubbel or strong dark ale: "Beer and cake share some of their basic ingredients--water, yeast, and grain. Some Belgian-style beers, such as dubbels and strong dark ales, also use candy sugars –sharing a fourth component. These Belgian-styles are feature flavors of roasty cocoa-caramel malts with hints of dark fruit."
Kona Pipeline Porter: "What's more adult than a glass of 'alcoholic coffee' with your cake?"
Imperial stout: "These beers have big body, alcohol, and a roasty character. The high ratio of dark barley malt in the beer keeps it dry and roasty enough to offset the sweet, fatty weight of the chocolate."
So how do you enjoy your beer and cake at home? Advises Tiffany, "When sampling beer with cake, you have a swallow of beer, a bite of cake, a swallow of beer, a bite of cake... This lets the flavors meld together in your mouth."
I asked her to rif on a few other cake flavors and what she might pair with beer. It was a challenge and she wasn't quite sure how some of the flavor pairings would work because she's never tried them, but I asked her to let her palate be her guide. Here are her suggestions:
Carrot cake: "It's supposed to pair well with IPAs. You're going to want to go with a double style IPA."
Lemon cake: "I would want to try a Berliner Weisse. It's a sour style beer, but it's light. It's like a lemon spritzer. I don't know if it's too crazy to go with that."
Coconut cake: "I might do a Porter. It has a roasty, chocolately flavor."
White cake: "Rogue Hazelnut or Kona Pipeline Porter, which tastes like coffee. I would go in the direction of a raspberry or cherry lambic. You could even go with a peach or apple lambic."
The store, which carries 900 different kinds of imported and domestic beer (from 40 different countries), doesn't do a lot of food pairings, but Tiffany says that might change, as they are looking at hosting beer tastings at a nearby wine shop. We'll tell you more if that happens.
Second Annual Beer & Cake Fest
Where: 99 Bottles, 35002 Pacific Hwy S.; Federal Way, WA 98003
When: 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Jan. 20
Cost: $2.50 to sample five beers and a piece of cake. 21 years and older only. ID Required.
Info: 253-838-2558; www.99bottles.net