Marshmallows Are Sticking Around the Craft Beer Scene!
This is a sponsored post in partnership with Tavour
Just a few years ago, beers brewed with marshmallows were virtually unheard of. Now, the once niche ingredient has grown into one of the trendiest adjuncts in craft beer!
But the industry is no stranger to fads coming and going, seemingly overnight. Where one craft movement might lead to a brewing staple, like the New England IPA, others go the way of the Brut IPA, making it difficult to parse what’s staying and what’s going.
Fortunately, the craft beer super-geeks at Tavour have their fingers on the pulse of industry trends. They work with over 600 of the most creative, independent breweries in the country to connect craft beer fans in 28 states with brews they can’t find near home. In doing so, they see new innovations when they hit the market.
Where marshmallows are concerned, the app-based retailer doesn’t expect these plush morsels to go anywhere anytime soon. Like a Peep in the microwave, marshmallow beers are on the rise!
Just last year, the number of beers containing marshmallows available through Tavour increased 31% over the year prior.
A big part of that persistent growth is boundary-pushing breweries like Drekker Brewing Company in North Dakota. Like many, these brewers started using mallows in small doses in select Stouts. As co-founder and president Mark Bjornstad recount, “one day, we just decided to see how much we could possibly inject into a Sour.”
Unsurprisingly, fans of the brewery loved it and continue to love it. Tavour recently featured one such Drekker, a dessert-inspired smoothie Sour –– Chonk Mango & Marshmallow. It sold out in less than 48 hours.
Since then, Drekker has helped pioneer the marshmallow revolution, adding the adjunct to a whole host of unexpected styles. “We’ve done it in Stouts, IPAs, Seltzers, and probably a few more we’ve forgotten by now,” says Bjornstad. That laundry list, perhaps most shockingly, even includes Lagers!
While experimenting with classic styles has certainly pushed these puffed treats forward, roughly 85% of growth occurred in new-school brews that are no strangers to marshmallows. That includes adjunct heavy beers like Milkshake IPAs — which frequently feature marshmallows to replicate ice cream-like flavors — and dessert-inspired Pastry Stouts.
The Cincinnati-based Streetside Brewery is beloved by fans for its marshmallow mastery, particularly in Stouts. Speaking about the ingredient, owner, and managing brewer Garrett Hickey muses, “My thought is to keep it in the styles it makes sense in. In Fruited Kettle Sours and IPAs, it makes a lot of sense. Stouts make a lot of sense.”
Tavour recently featured one Streetside Stout, Snowball Speak of the Devil, in which the brewers crafted a high-end take on a Hostess Snowball while still capturing the essence of the nostalgic flavor. It’s one of the many assets of the adjunct. As Hickey explains, “when you’re using straight mallow, you’re just getting the flavor. If you’re using fluff, you’re getting body AND flavor.”
He didn’t beat around the bush about which he prefers. “I’m on team fluff.”
When asked whether he thinks the marshmallow beer trend will continue, he responded, “I think they have a place in craft beer. The marshmallow beer now is better than it was. Good mallow beers are here to stay, the old mallow beers that just gave you vanilla and a hint of creaminess are on their way out.”
That’s not to say marshmallow beers don’t face certain hurdles. “Working with marshmallows is terrible, especially at a large scale,” says Drekker’s Bjornstad. “We’ve tried classic mallows, fluff, freeze-dried…you can only imagine the sticky situations we’ve gotten ourselves into.”
Hickey also noted a big barrier to entry. “The people using it are the people who know how to use it.”
That includes Drekker and Streetside, both of which will continue using the sweet treat. In fact, Streetside is currently slated to release a whole slew of Speak of the Devil Stout variants, several of which feature marshmallows.
Like mallow in the mash, marshmallow beers are sticking around. While these pillowy, puffed-up brews might still strike some as a novelty, as more and more breweries move toward online beer delivery with services like Tavour, more craft beer fans all over America are getting the chance to sample these fluffy, flavorful delights. Maybe these brews aren’t colossal, Stay Puft Marshmallow Man-sized industry staples yet, but given more time and exposure, they could be!