It’s holiday party season, and what’s a holiday party without a little spike in the punch? Even better, a little beer in the pie?
Last year, Surly Brewing Co. introduced a lineup of holiday pies, each incorporating beer as a primary ingredient. This year, they’re back, with a couple new flavors. The pies ($27) are available through Dec. 26.
• The Liquid Stardust Pumpkin Pie features Liquid Stardust, a beer Surly describes as having a “champagne-like tingle.”
• Darkness Pecan Pie uses Darkness, Surly’s hop-heavy Russian Imperial Stout, with flavors of chocolate and coffee.
• The Dark Phase Cranberry Apple Pie incorporates Dark Phase stout, its “milk chocolate-like sweetness” balancing tart cranberry.
Surly’s pastry chef, Joanna Biessener, has long incorporated beer into her desserts; there’s currently a Darkness Tiramisu available in the upstairs pizza place.
“We were in the process of making the tiramisu, and were like, ‘Hey, Darkness is really flavorful and has a lot of the same notes that are in a pecan pie, so let’s give that a try,’ ” Biessener said. “It turned out really awesome.”
She took the idea and ran with it, coming up with the other flavors.
But baking with beer isn’t as easy as it sounds. Though the alcohol is mostly cooked off, the carbonation leaves behind some textural changes, making desserts lighter and fluffier than usual. Then, there’s the moisture.
“There’s as much beer as we can put in there, so they’re definitely a bit more moist than people are used to,” Biessener explained. “The pumpkin pie has a mousse-y texture to it because of the beer. It adds an extra oomph.”
Pies are on sale online at thesurlykitchen.com and can be picked up at Surly (520 Malcolm Av. SE., Mpls., 763-999-4040) with 48 hours’ notice. The last day to order a Thanksgiving pie is Mon., Nov. 25. For Christmas, the last chance to order is Sun., Dec. 21. And don’t be late to get your order. “If you don’t pick up your pie within 48-hours of your pie pickup window, you will forfeit your pie and we will eat it,” a Surly spokeswoman said.