Review by Eric Tansey, CSW, Sommelier                                                                                                 The Southern Tier Creme Brûlée is a very dark beer that pours very thick and heavy. Two finger caramel-colored head with aromas that lift like a Yankee Candle. Aromas of creme brûlée that is easily detectable–even blindly, and having no idea what the beverage was, creme brûlée was an easy call. This beer really could be a candle, not a generic brand but the strongly-scented Yankee Candle variety.

On the palate the Southern Tier Creme Brûlée is sweet with a very balanced high alcohol level that is not easily detectable. Serve this like you would serve a dessert wine or port, in a small glass with the appropriate dessert at the appropriate time. So what is the appropriate time? Around the fire with  marshmallows, or dessert time with creme brûlée, rice pudding or flan. This is that one style of beer that can “game change” an evening, taking it from ordinary to extraordinary. Imagine a night of steaks and a good red wine followed up by a fancy dessert with a beer like this…you just may wow that special someone. Cheers!

Tansey’s Blind Rating – 90 Points 

Wine Advocate – 88 Points


Beer Selection – Southern Tier Creme Brûlée 

Producer – Southern Tier Brewing Company 

Region – Lakwood, New York 

Style – Imperial Stout 

IBU – 25

Malts – Pale 2-row Barley, Caramel Malt

Hops – Columbus, Horizon


Alcohol – 10%

Food Pairing Creme Brûlée, Rice Pudding, Flan 

From The Brewery

How, you may ask, would a brewery determine a likeness to hard-coated custard? Our response is simple; it’s all in the power of history, and of course, the extra finesse needed to top off a contentious treat with definition.
By comprehending the labyrinthine movement of time, one would not think it strange to trace the errant path of an ordinary object such as a cream dessert only to discover that it has been the cause of cultural disputes since the middle ages. The British founders of burnt cream and from Spain, crema catalana, both stand by their creative originality and we respect that, but it was the French Creme Brulee, amid the strife of contention, that survived to represent our deliciously creamy brew!

What is a Milk Stout?

Let’s begin with stouts. Stouts are basically dark porters. Stouts and porters are beers made with roasted malts, hops, water, and yeast, the only difference is the amount of roasting in the malts and the barley. A milk stout is a stout with lactose, hence the “milk” in “milk stout.” Lactose is a sugar that cannot be fermented by beer yeast, so it leaves a sweet, milky like taste in the stout beer that I often assimilate with marshmallows. Cheers! Eric Tansey, CSW, Sommelier