This Friday, Woods Brewery is rolling out cookie inspired beer at their three locations, starting March 13. Woods is a brewery that has never been afraid to take big chances with quirky flavors — Jamba Juice and ice cream beer come to mind — and they manage to make beers that are novel without being gimmicky.
Such was the case with this year’s batch of cookie beer. Cookie beer aficionados will remember that Woods made Girl Scout cookie beer before in 2013. Let me tell you, it was delicious then and even more so now!
As a decorated Girl Scout of 10+ years (I won the Silver Award y’all) and a dedicated beer drinker, I feel it’s my duty to serve God and my country to review the beers for you.
When I went in for the tasting, Jim Woods — brewery owner and founder — instructed me NOT to eat the cookie before I drank the beer. This proved to be a gargantuan test of will power, but it was worth it.
This beer is inspired by the peanut butter chocolate goodness that is a Tagalong. The foam hits you right away with creamy peanut buttery goodness. Woods explains that something called PB2 was used to create this effect. PB2 is an ingredient used in smoothies and other products to give peanut flavor without the accompanying oily taste. The beer itself is dark and full-bodied with a pleasant backbone of cocoa nibs. It’s hoppy and unctuously creamy and I can say from personal experience that a cookie dipped headfirst into it is a great snack.
I hate to say that this was my least favorite. The last time around the Thin Mint beer was infused with peppermint and tasted a little toothpaste-y. This time the flavors are more complex and balanced out due to the addition of spearmint and wintergreen. The taste is refreshing, definitely the only beer that left me with better breath than I came with, and it’s clearly well made as all Woods beers are. I just think maybe mint is a flavor better left to the liquor folks. Still this would be a great after dinner beer for fancy parties.
The Trefoil was the first kind of Girl Scout cookie ever to hit the market. It’s the ultimate classic, so it makes sense that the beer it inspires is classic as well. The Beerfoil is a pilsner infused with vanilla beans. Woods says that he chose to make this beer with a more “bready” malt to mimic the mouth feel of the shortbread cookie. The pilsner is complex and sweet but not cloyingly so. Very refreshing. Again, fuck milk; this beer is perfect to dip a cookie in.
My old troop leader used to refer to Do-si-dos (the peanut butter sandwich cookies) as “breakfast cookies”. This beer version would also be perfect in the morning as it is light and crisp. Brew-ski-do is a cream ale and the nuttiness is vibrant from the first whiff. It’s caramelly with notes of blister peanuts throughout. The finish is surprisingly and pleasantly bitter. For this guy you want to chew the cookie in your mouth and then take a sip. The resulting swish of flavor is so good it deserves its own award.
There are few wholly perfect beers in this world so when you get one, hold it close. The Samoale is one of them, though that is unsurprising as Samoas are also the best Girl Scout cookie (COME AT ME THIN MINT NATION). This Belgian dubbel is heady and bursting with coconut goodness. The chocolate hints from the cocoa nibs really round out the sweetness of the beer and give it a solid foundation. Drink it on its own and then look wistfully down at your boring, non-alcoholic cookie, and sigh.
Another fun twist this year is the addition of the merit badges. For $25, you can get a unique SF inspired merit badge for activities like – “burrito consumption” or “Bart etiquette” – and of course there’s a special one you can earn by drinking all the beers named above.
Beers and badges will be available starting March 13 at any of the Woods locations.