I recently attended EEEEEATS CON 2019, which is a production of The Infatuation. As I was waiting in line to buy tacos from Tacos y Birria La Unica, I found myself staring at The Infatuation logo and I thought to myself, “I wonder how and why they came up with The Infatuation?” It didn’t make sense to me. Fast forward to now, I was sitting in my office trying to structure this blog post, considering dessert tacos and how they have exploded over the past few years. But more importantly, I was considering my own, personal feelings about dessert tacos, and the only word I could come up with was: infatuation! That’s when it hit me; I’m infatuated with dessert tacos! What a genius name!
If you haven’t had a chance to read my blog post, ‘Tacos and Cold Ones’, please do. It goes into depth on why tacos and beer make the perfect pairing. I dedicate a whole paragraph to dessert tacos, although I could have written an entire novel on it. In short, dessert tacos and craft beer are DA BOMB!
One of my favorite things to do in my dwindling spare time is to stalk tacos and beer on Instagram (don’t judge me, we’ve all done it). Not because I’m a creep, but because that’s how I find and plan my next pairing. Well, Sweet Rolled Tacos and The Bruery are two accounts that I’ve frequented on Instagram for a while prior to this week’s pairing.
Sweet Rolled Tacos are a never-ending assortment of delicious, colorful, ice cream-filled, waffle tacos that make the ChocoTaco look like street tacos (not that there is anything wrong with street tacos). Their distinct waffle taco shells come in an assortment of colors including red, blue, purple, black, turquoise, and pink. They have a robust menu of ice cream options with flavors such as graham cracker, durian, matcha, avocado, Fruity Pebbles, and many more. But it doesn’t stop there. You can add a topping of whipped cream, chocolate drizzle, condensed milk drizzle, graham crackers, Fruity Pebbles, toasted marshmallows, sprinkles, coconut flakes, and even 24K gold flakes. It’s an ice cream lover’s heaven.
The Bruery is a boutique craft brewery located in Orange County, California. If there is any brewery that pushes the limits to what craft beer is or can be, The Bruery is it. They specialize in barrel-aged beers, seeking distinct and creative flavors reflecting the Belgian countryside or classic American distillers. Their endless concoction of barrel-aged, high ABV beers provide a perfect counterpoint to any rich, creamy, Sweet Rolled Taco.
Sweet Rolled Tacos doesn’t sell alcohol, so it will take some creative logistics to re-create this delightful pairing. Thankfully the owner was kind enough to allow us to bring in a bottle of beer, which was a relief. This pairing was challenging because unlike other tacos, these ones melt. LOL. We went through 3 tacos for our photo-shoot, so if it looks like the same taco in all of the pics, it’s not.
I paired the Cookies & Cream Sweet Rolled Taco with The Bruery’s So Happens It’s Tuesday, Imperial Stout. The rich maltiness and high ABV of the beer perfectly matched the sweet creaminess of the ice cream taco. An aromatic bouquet of toasty oak and sweet vanilla-like bourbon notes provoked my senses and enhanced the vanilla flavor of the cookies and cream. The dark malt provided complementary harmonies and elevated the chocolate drizzle and Oreo cookies. A blanket of alcohol warmth coated my palate, providing a welcoming counterpoint to the cold ice cream. I was taken aback by the delightful contrasting flavors of both vanilla and chocolate, which is echoed in both the beer and taco and fused by the prominent alcohol presence. A pleasant, bread-like mouthfeel from the cookie crumbs and waffle shell provided a nice balance to the creaminess of the ice cream, which is enhanced by the spirituous qualities of the Imperial Stout. Notes of sweet bourbon and toasty oak lingered, preserving the barrel-aged complexity through the finish.
I could spend a whole day pairing each Sweet Rolled Taco with a unique and complex beer from The Bruery, the possibilities are end-less. If you ever want to feel like a kid again while not giving up your adulthood, this is the pairing to make that happen. Just remember, BYOB!