Bethel Bakery, Spoonwood brew up new chocolate raspberry cake stout
You can now have your cake and drink it too.
So says the motto for the Retort Chocolate Raspberry Cake Stout, a new beer brewed up through a collaboration between South Hills-staples Bethel Bakery and Spoonwood Brewing Co.
The beer, which made its debut on May 24, combines Spoonwood’s traditional stout with Bethel’s chocolate cake. With summer quickly approaching, creators added raspberry puree to lighten up the flavor for the season.
“There’s a very evident raspberry flavor that blends really well with the chocolate that comes from the cake itself, as well as the grain,” said Steve Ilnicki, brewer and part-owner of Spoonwood.
The idea for the collaboration came from Bethel Bakery’s pastry chef, Kayla Milliron, who started working on it in January.
She frequently visits breweries with her family and noticed the common pairings of stouts and desserts.
Spoonwood, with its close proximity to Bethel Bakery, was perfect for a collaboration, she said.
Ilnicki said the project was “an easy thing to say yes to.”
After tasting a variety of Bethel Bakery’s products, the chocolate cake came out the winner for the collaboration.
That’s fitting, Milliron said, because Bethel Bakery is known as “The Cake Place.” Customers frequently order the chocolate cake with raspberries. The chocolate cake with raspberry mousse, chocolate ganache and fresh raspberries will appear at Bethel Bakery starting June 1. It also can be ordered at any time.
Spoonwood’s stout is a mix of dark roasted grains and caramel malt.
For the 12 barrels — or 372 gallons — made in all, they added 40 pounds of Bethel Bakery’s chocolate cake. After fermentation, almost 300 pounds of raspberry puree was used for the brew.
The name “Retort” is a hat tip to another bakery/brewery collaboration announced in April between Prantl’s Bakery and Cleveland-based Platform Beer Co. Their beer, a blonde ale inspired by Prantl’s burnt almond torte, is named Torte.
“It’s just a very playful acknowledgement that Prantl and Platform had done this,” Ilnicki said. “It’s just kind of like, I see you.”
Both Ilnicki and Milliron were pleased with how the Retort turned out. They’re already thinking of ways to collaborate again the future.
But now, the big question. Does the Retort really taste like Bethel Bakery’s chocolate and raspberry cake?
“I really think it does,” Ilnicki said. “You can judge for yourself.”
The Retort Chocolate Raspberry Stout can be purchased in a variety of ways. A 32-ounce growler was made with both businesses logos to celebrate the event.
At Spoonwood, located at 5981 Baptist Road, Bethel Park, the beer will be available in 5-ounce sample glasses, pints, 32- and 64-ounce growlers.
The stout also will be available at Giant Eagle Market District in Robinson, Hal’s Bottle Shop, Carson Street Deli, Breakneck Tavern, Fuel & Fuddle, Cain’s Saloon, Double Wide Grill Irwin, Railyard, Dad’s Monroeville and House 1000 Beers.