Girl Scouts and beer are not the first things that come to mind immediately together for most people, unless you are Jim Woods and Matt Coelho.
The duo, owners of the San Francisco craft brewery Cevercería de MateVeza, took everyone’s favorite treat that only comes around once a year – the Girl Scout cookie – and extended its lifetime by recreating it as a beer.
“One of our customers brought in a box of Samoas, which happened to be my favorite, and one of our ‘beertenders’ said, ‘This would taste pretty good with a beer,’” Woods said. “I said, ‘I bet I could brew all the Girl Scout cookies.’”
With that, an idea was hatched, but one that had to be acted upon quickly as the Girl Scouts were ending cookie sales just three days later, on March 17.
“We brewed all five beers in one day, which was quite a feat,” Woods said. “I was able to source all the ingredients prior and got them on tap just in time.”
Woods, Coelho and their “beertenders,” had to endure eating “quite a few cookies” during the “research and development phase” of the beer making process, Woods said, laughing.
In the end, they developed five craft brews – Salted Chocolate Stout with Peanut Butter (Peanut Patties); Belgian Dubbel with Cocoa Nibs & Coconut (Samoas); Peanut Butter Cream Ale (Do-si-dos); Peppermint Porter (Thin Mints); and Shortbread Golden Ale (Trefoils) – and sold out instantly at $6 to $9 each.
“People really impressed at how closely they matched,” Woods said, noting that customers were encouraged to drink their beer before eating their complementary Girl Scout cookie so as not to have their palates ruined by the cookie’s sweetness.
Samoas and Tagalongs proved to be the most difficult of the cookies to match, requiring the brewers to roast their own coconut for the Samoas and use chocolate nibs in the Tagalongs. They also put the Tagalong beer on nitrogen to give it a, “really creamy character,” according to Woods.
While Woods and Coelho did not hear from anyone with the Girl Scouts organization about their beers, and don’t expect to see a craft beer brewing patch anytime soon, the inspired drinks brought back fond memories for their customers.
“We did have some ex-Girl Scouts, that were a lot older, come in that really liked the beers,” Woods said. “It was very nostalgic for them to try the beers.”
“We’ll definitely brew them again next year,” he said.