After a romantic meal, nothing tastes better than a something a little sweet… or perhaps something a little wheat? The latter is certainly true for beer lovers who know the value of pairing dessert with a Colorado craft beer. And Centennial State brewers are making so many dessert-friendly stouts, porters, and ales these days, the options are nearly endless. These aren’t simple, saccharine beers—they’re bold, complex, and layered with contradictions (just like your sweetheart). We’ve picked out a few beer-plus-dessert-combinations that are ideal for Valentine’s Day, whether you’re celebrating with the one you love or digging into a pint of ice cream with your best friend from the comfort of your couch. Bonus: All of these brews are available at their respective taprooms as well as liquor stores across the state.
Stinger Wild Honey American Wheat
Estes Park Brewery, Estes Park
Pair it With: A rich slice of carrot cake
At six percent ABV, this easy, breezy beer is well balanced and finishes with a sudden touch of sweetness. Honey from Colorado bees adds to the slightly floral flavor and sunshine-happy color. The Stinger’s pop of coriander spice is perfect for adding some zing to your night.
Samoa Cookie Mountain Man Strong Ale
Verboten Brewing & Barrel Project, Loveland
Pair it With: A slice of plain cheesecake
Tasting uncannily like its namesake Girl Scout cookie, this beer might bring you back to middle-school heartbreak with its sweet notes of coconut and caramel. This 12 percent ABV rum-barrel-aged wonder has a delicious nose and heavy chocolate notes. It’s long, lingering finish won’t be forgotten anytime soon, especially if you pair it with a demure dessert.
Sad Panda American Stout
Horse & Dragon Brewing Company, Fort Collins
Pair it With: Chocolate chip cookies, warm from the oven
Romance isn’t required to enjoy Valentine’s Day. Grab some friends and get together to down a few 6.8 percent Sad Pandas along with a batch (or two) of warm cookies. This powerhouse coffee stout is as dark as your romantic outlook, and creamy with vanilla, dark cocoa, and caramel notes… without a hint of bitterness.
Shake Chocolate Porter American Porter
Boulder Beer Company, Boulder
Pair it With: A simple scoop of vanilla ice cream
Nothing says ‘together forever’ like sharing a milk shake—bonus points if you use a biodegradable straw. And like true love, this beer is steady and reliable. It’s a 5.9 percent ABV sipper that’s decadently rich and brewed with five different grains, as well as plenty of chocolate. Together with bites of vanilla ice cream, the textural experience of this combo is the equivalent of a comforting hug.
Ten Fidy Imperial Stout
Oskar Blues Brewery, Longmont
Pair it With: A decadent brownie sundae topped with hot fudge sauce
Things just got serious. This 10.5 percent ABV stout is a big commitment with sinful caramel, sexy chocolate, and dedicated coffee flavors. Ten Fidy is brewed with chocolate malt and flaked oats to produce multi-layered textures. And the taste? Smooth as a pair of silk pajamas.