Food & Drink

8 Sweet KC Drink and Candy Pairings

Local drink makers sound off on what pairs well with Halloween candy.

Story by Lauren Rutherford

We all know the best part of Halloween is the abundance of candy. And if you’re too old to go trick-or-treating, we have something sweet for you: A handful of Kansas City breweries’ and wineries’ suggestions on what to drink while munching on your favorite Halloween candy.

Raid your kid’s Halloween loot (or the Target candy aisle), and try these pairings:

Whoppers + Torn Label House Brew

“Rich, roasty stouts and chocolate are a classic beer pairing, and the fresh cold-press coffee aromatics of House Brew should nicely complement the flavors of malted milk balls,” Torn Label owner Rafi Chaudry says. “The silky, slightly creamy mouthfeel imparted by the hefty percentage of wheat in the malt bill would work well with the crackly, crumbly nature of Whoppers.”

Nerds + Jowler Creek’s Butterfly Blush

“This wine is a blend of Vignoles and Catawba grapes,” explains Colleen Gerke, co-owner of Jowler Creek Vineyard and Winery. “It has a crisp, tangy finish that would pair nicely and complement the sweet, fruity flavor of the Nerds candy.”

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups + Boulevard’s Pale Ale

“The chocolate is a great fit for caramel malt flavor in the beer,” says Neil Witte, field quality and training manager at Boulevard Brewing Co. (and a master cicerone). ”There’s just enough sweetness and body in Pale Ale to be an intensity match for the candy and just enough bitterness to balance the sweetness.”

Skittles + Crane Brewing Co.’s Orange Gose

“The tanginess from the beer’s orange zest and enhancer of salt would cause tongue excitement going from one Skittle flavor to the next,” Crane Brewing Company co-owner Chris Meyers predicts.

Smarties + Amigoni’s 2014 Viognier

“The Viognier has aromas of violet and flavors of stone fruit and honey,” says Hilary Hedges, director of sales and marketing at Amigoni Urban Winery. “It has a nice balance of crisp acidity with a rich mid-palate mouthfeel.”

Tootsie Rolls + Cinder Block’s new Imperial Coffee Hop’d

Cinder Block’s new brew is an imperial English brown made with Broadway Coffee and South American cocoa nibs. The men behind Cinder Block say the residual sweetness of the Tootsie Rolls complement the new beer because the new brew “has chocolate flavors from the pale chocolate malt and cocoa nibs, but the flavor isn’t as forward as a stout or porter would be.”

Almond Joy + Root Sellers’ Row Hard Root Beer

“Our Row Hard Root Beer is sweet with loads of botanicals and spices that work perfectly with Almond Joy,” Root Sellers Co-Founder Kit Maxfield notes. “The fattiness of the milk chocolate and the nuts is cut well with the higher 6.7 ABV [alcohol by volume] of Row Hard and the acidity from the carbonation.”

Junior Mints + KC Wine Co.’s Norton

The dark, earthy and fruity flavors of the Norton wine make it a good match for mint, according to KC Wine Co. Revelry Expert Taylor Berggren.