One of the biggest casualties of becoming a dad? Your ability to eat normal food. Most of the time, you’re tied up by all the toddler-chasing, infant-soothing, meltdown-preventing tasks of fatherhood to have anything that resembles a real meal. So, to sustain yourself, you dig into the kid snacks that now dominate your cupboard.
Foraging for dad scraps (also known as the Nuggetarian diet) comes with the territory. But it doesn’t mean you can’t complement your new diet with a beer every once in a while. That’s where Ian Clark comes in. He’s the chef and founder of BRU Handbuilt Ales & Eats in Boulder, Colorado, and a Great American Brewers Festival award-winner. He previously helped us find beers to pair with kid-leftovers like grilled cheese and half-eaten dinosaur chicken nuggets. Now, we asked him to find the perfect pints to pair with the kid’s cereal you definitely eat by the handful. Because why not find the right beer to go with that that midnight baggie of Cookie Crisp?
Cinnamon Toast Crunch
Why? Clark says you want something with pie spices that’s not pie forward to enhance the sweet, spicy cereal.
Why? “Cheerios are nutty, slightly sweet, and simple,” says Clark. “ESBs have a malty character and aren’t too hoppy, which would complement a handful.”
Why? You want something that’s slightly tart, but not mouth puckering-ly sour to pair with the kid-tested, mom-approved cereal.
Why? Who doesn’t like milk and cookies? “These beers are rich, malty, sweet and not too hoppy,” says Clark who adds that plenty of dry roasted malts stand up to the bitterness of the chocolate.
Cocoa Krispies/Cocoa Puffs
Best With: A Scotch Ale such as Oskar Blues Old Chub Scotch.
Why? These chocolatey cereals are so rich they literally turn the milk into chocolate milk before you’re done eating. That, per Clark, requires a beer with a huge malt backbone, high alcohol, and a slight smokiness that pair well the bitter cocoa powder.
Why? “This is a very sweet cereal but it has some complexity to it,” says Clark. “You need bitterness or sour to balance out all the sugar.”
Best With: A Belgian Sour Beer. Something like Brouwerij Verhaeghe Duchesse de Bourgogne Flanders Red or Brouwerij Van Steenberge Monks Cafe Oud Bruin.
Why? Lucky Charms may be magically delicious, but damn are they sweet. Belgian beers, per Clark, are not as sour as their American cousins but still offer a solid dose of dark to cut the fruity character of the cereal.
Best With: A Mexican Lager or American Style Cream Ale such as Post Brewing Company’s Top Rope Mexican Lager or BRU BRUtang C.R.E.A.M. Ale.
Why? “This is a simple corn cereal that requires a simple beer, neither of which should overpower each other,” says Clark.
Why? “Super malty, high in alcohol, and a touch spicy, these will round out the intense apple flavor,” says Clark. “Pair one of these with the cereal and it’ll have you reminiscing about cold fall nights.