This upcoming Tuesday is Mardi Gras! I don’t know about you, but I come from a land where every bakery has a line to the parking lot full of people waiting for their custard-oozing doughnuts. Whether you participate in Lent or not, we can all use an excuse to include some calorie rich sweets and good beer in our diet, right? Just for a day…
Let’s take a look at some popular traditional sweets consumed during Mardi Gras. We’ve got a beer to pair with all of ‘em!
But first.. what is Mardi Gras?
Mardi Gras always falls on a Tuesday, and is the culmination of the 2 week Mardi Gras season, usually accompanied by parades and carnivals. Catholics have been gorging the whole time, and Mardi Gras is the day to really make it count before Ash Wednesday, the first day in the season of fasting. As is the case with many widely celebrated holidays, Mardi Gras supplies reason to party. Unique to this holiday: see how many beads you can collect and get in touch with your French side.
King cake is a doughnut shaped cake flamboyantly decorated by purple, green, and gold sugar and frosting. The cake’s dough is somewhat cinnamony and the frosting is sweet, sometimes with a slight lemony taste. The best part of all? A porcelain or plastic tiny baby is hidden inside the cake! Whoever gets the piece with the baby has to produce the cake next year. Those packs of tiny plastic babies at party supply stores finally make sense. King cake pairs well with our Red Tail Ale, which has a harmonious malt and hop balance. Citrus notes from American hops complement the frosting’s light lemon flavors.
Paczki’s are Polish doughnuts filled with jelly, custard, or some sweet filling. It’s common in the midwest to get down with a paczki on Fat Tuesday—save the king cake for the southerners. Pair a cherry-filled paczki with our Imperial Stout for a marriage of cherry and chocolate flavor decadence. You’re definitely going to want to give yourself a minute or two to process this fried pastry and full-bodied, 10% ABV beer duo. They don’t call it Fat Tuesday for nothing!
Little round cookie treats with a layer of marshmallow, sandwiched between layers of graham cracker-like cookies coated in chocolate define moon pies. Throwing them from Mardi Gras floats to parade goers has made them a hallmark Fat Tuesday treat. Moon pies aren’t too heavy and go down pretty easy, much like our Black Hawk Stout. The crispness of our stout washes down the drier graham cracker layer. Black Hawk Stout’s malt personality is heavenly with the sweet marshmallow center.
What are you giving up for Lent? Just taking advantage of another reason to drink beer and eat all the baked goods?