So challenging with wine, dessert works beautifully with beer. Rich, full-flavored beers are needed to balance the sweetness of most desserts. American small brewers love to produce such styles, so there are plenty of choices. Fruity desserts can be paired with a strong pale tripel. Caramelly bread pudding or nut tart demands something with similar qualities – old ale fills the role beautifully. Super-sweet items such as cheesecake, crème brulee or carrot cake can create a memorable experience with highly hopped beers such as double IPAs. Spice and citrus qualities in many beers work well with desserts that highlight similar flavors.
Chocolate loves a dark beer. Milk chocolate is wonderful with Belgian-inspired strong dark ales. Flourless chocolate cake or truffles call for an inky imperial stout. Fruit beers have an obvious affinity for fruit desserts, but they can be magic with chocolate as well.