Full disclosure: Many bloggers receive free beer in the mail, then review it, but fail to mention they're reviewing complimentary samples. Not me. Sometimes I request samples for my stories; sometimes they're just sent. Lately, in addition to receiving emailed press releases about beers, I'm getting releases from various food publicists. These foodstuffs showing up on my doorstep is fun, but the publicist had nothing to show for it. I've never blogged reviews. Til now. Here's the second in my series of food sample + beer pairings*. (*IF the suggested beers are comped samples, I'll disclose that.)
The Civil War pitted brother against brother yet most of today's rivalries are less fierce. I generally don't know what makes, say, someone from Chicago root for the Cubs or the White Sox; I also don't know what puts someone firmly in the Hostess corner or the Little Debbie corner. The answer is probably true of both groups: it's whichever one you grew up with.
I ate my fair share of Twinkies growing up in Calif. and I feel like Little Debbie (based in Tenn.) was always more of an east-of-the-Mississippi thing. Yet they're trying to change that, hence someone got paid to road trip handing out free LD Cloud Cakes. What's the difference between the two? I'm not SCJCP-certified (think BJCP but for sponge cakes), but I'd say it's less than the difference between, say, Goose Island BCS & Founders KBS. Both are preternaturally spongey, sugary, and keep-it-in-the-closet delicious. Where Cloud Cakes do win out is nutritionally, in that they're ever so slightly lower in saturated fat and sugar.
What beer to pair them with? I pondered beers from fruity sours to sweet stouts or vanilla porters until I came up with Kona Brewing Koko Brown. I'd received some of these and had one bottle left, cracked it, and immediately enjoyed the combo because the beer's sweetness comes from lots of real coconut, not just residual sugars. That means it's not too heavy but the vanilla cream in the Cloud Cake marries perfectly with the strong coconut aroma and flavor. In fact, go ahead, dip the cream-filled cake right into your glass. Initially, it actually embellishes the bitterness of the beer and notes of black coffee burst through, but then it's almost as if you're eating a coconut cream filled cake donut dunked in creamy iced coffee.
Until the next package shows up, mahalo y'all.