Carnival Collection and Craft Beer Pairings

Summer…Alberta summers are amazing.  After months of winter Alberta shows her real beauty with vistas stretching from the Rocky Mountains to the stunning yellow canola fields of the prairies. Summers filled with wonderful warm long sunny days trips to the lake, camping, BBQs and the outdoors.  Summer festivals, K-Days, Stampede, beer and chocolate.  Wait, chocolate?  Yes, chocolate.  

Ok you may think more about chocolate at Easter, Christmas and even Valentine's Day but here at JACEK, we think about chocolate all the time.  When the team sat down to talk about the next collection there was still snow on the ground and summer was a distant wish.  Talk about summer and what makes summer special lead us to talk about carnivals and incredible foods you get only at the fair. The smells when you walk down the rows of games with their flashing lights and midway hawkers telling you to “Step right up!” while the painted horses of the carousel chase themselves around to a forgotten song.  Cotton candy, churros, pink lemonade, mud pies and popcorn all came up as favorites of our team.

With all that inspiration of summer and classic carnival foods we launched the Carnival Collection of Bonbons. Six decadent flavours all based on our favorite carnival foods.  

What about the other taste of summer, Beer?  We have assembled some of our favorite brews and matched them with our Carnival Collection for a perfect summer evening on the deck.

Cotton Candy, pink and sea blue layers of cotton candy ganache enrobed in dark chocolate. Sweet and delicious with a hint of bitter from the dark chocolate.  Sounds good right?  My recommendation for a cold summer beer to balance perfectly with a Cotton Candy bonbon is from a fantastic brewery in Calgary.  The Barley Belt in Calgary is an incredible place to enjoy an afternoon of responsible tasting and touring the many breweries within a short walk of one another.  In the heart of the Barley Belt is Ol’ Beautiful Brewing Co. and their beer Pegasus is the perfect match.  A dry hopped American Pale Ale is hop forward with citrus tones on the front and floral on the back all and a slight malty sweetness giving body to the beer.  These two are the perfect companion.  


Sparkling Pink Lemonade, refreshing lemon ganache laced with notes of raspberry and a little sparkle. Slightly sweet and a little tart this can only be matched to something refreshing and cold.  No, no…not one of those big commercial beers that come in “party” packs of 15.  This bonbon deserves something very special from right here in Edmonton local Brewery.  Located in Edmonton and with a second location in Beaumont Sea Change Brewing has become a staple in the Alberta craft beer scene and can be found on taps and in liquor stores all over.  From their collection of wonderful beers the Death Wave Light Lager is the match for this bonbon.  This light and refreshing beer is easy drinking and meant for hot summer days.  Crisp and dry with a low bitterness makes it the perfect beer to compliment the Sparkling Pink Lemonade Bonbon.  


Mud pie, gluten free cookie crumb in a milk chocolate shell filled with dark chocolate ganache.  The milk chocolate complements the dark chocolate making the bonbon both sweet and slightly bitter but together you have perfection in chocolate.  So what beer do you choose to compliment such mastery?  You need a beer as complex as this chocolate.  A beer that some fear and others embrace.  You need a stout, a full flavored delicious stout.  Sure not a beer you would traditionally think of as a summer beer but served ice cold no beer better matches the Mud Pie than a dark complex full bodied stout.  Omen Brewing in Edmonton is known as the brewery to visit if you like dark unique brews and their stout, Split Milk, is the stout of choice.  Notes of chocolate and espresso it is laced with lactose sugar which makes it slightly sweet and reminds you of a shot of espresso with cream.  Even if you don’t like stouts you will like this one especially if you pair it to the Mud Pie Bonbon. 

 Mud pie bonbon with 3 cans of beer

Corn Two Ways, popcorn and salted corn-nut brittle topped with honey caramel make this popcorn inspired bonbon taste like…POPCORN! There is no other way to describe the slightly salty, slightly sweet, delicious bonbon.  From brewmaster Sean Hoyne and his brewery, Hoyne Brewing Co from Victoria BC, Shine On IPA is the perfect match for the Corn Two Ways Bonbon.  The complex flavours of the IPA brought on by the Idaho, Talus and Mosaic hops make the popcorn flavour pop on the palette.  Subtle sweetness with hints of passionfruit and mango compliment the salty sweetness of the Corn Two Ways Bonbon.  This combo takes a little time so sit back, watch the sunset on the prairies and let this silo of flavours sit on the tongue and enjoy.

   Popcorn bonbon with can of shine on can of beer                                           

 Dipped Churro, sugar & cinnamon ganache topped with Dulce de Leche in a GF graham milk chocolate shell instantly brings the classic flavour of the churro to a chocolate that is irresistible.  Like throwing darts at balloons at the Midway, this combination is sure to win the big prize.  Only something tart and delicious could be the perfect match for the Dipped Churro.  A very special beer from Campio Brewing, the Albertosourus, makes the perfect beer for this bonbon.  A slightly tart beer balanced with berry sweetness, this beer has flavours of raspberry, boysenberry and black current that make you want to dip that Churro into the beer.  It truly is a win win.

Chirro yellow bonbon with 6 pack of beer

Yuzu fireworks, sweet & tart solid yuzu bonbon with pop rock explosions. This is a party for your taste buds as the delicious yuzu essence dances in your mouth and the little pop rocks pop on your tongue you won’t want to wash this away but eventually you will see all your friends enjoying a beverage and you will want something too.  So when you reach for your drink make sure it is a Blind Enthusiasm ESP (Extra Special Monk).  This delicious beer will not overwhelm the taste buds that are partying to the Yuzu Fireworks but also won’t disappoint in flavour.  Easy drinking, light, pale and clear with tropical hops but not bitter finishes dry and crisp.  Perfect for a hot day and a Yuzu Firework bonbon. 

     Yuzu bonbon with 3 pack of beer on white background                                       

The Carnival Collection is available for a limited time just like summer.  All of the beers suggested are available at your local liquor store in Alberta or better yet stop by the store and pick up the Carnival Collection or any other of our handmade bonbons or bars and head to one of the many local breweries, order a flight and see for yourself what kind of incredible paring you can come up with.  Get out there and enjoy friends, food, chocolates, beer and summer!