Cadbury Creme Egg beer: A taste test of the Goose Island stout

David Ellis
·3-min read
<p>Nothing to stout about: the Creme Egg beer</p> (Press Image )

Nothing to stout about: the Creme Egg beer

(Press Image )

The Creme Egg is a spectre that has haunted my career.

The Cadbury PR machine is a relentless beast, and its Creme Egg division seem to delight in magicking madcap ideas to thrill the public and concurrently torture journalists. In 2016, the bohemian spirit of Soho briefly required life support as a seven week pop-up launched on Greek Street selling Creme Egg toasties (it was an enormous hit). The trick was repeated in 2019, this time in Shoreditch, with Creme Egg mayo as the stomach-churning star attraction. Professional chefs have concocted their upscale takes, there have been vegan versions, flapjacks, fondue. Shops have had five years of “golden eggs” on their shelves. There was the time Cadbury insisted we were all wrong and that it’s pronounced “crem”. Whether inspiring queues or mischievously causing outrage, the cult of the Creme Egg rolls on.

And now this year’s love: the Creme Egg beer. Celebrating a half century of the bafflingly popular confection, Cadbury have partnered with Goose Island for their own themed brew, the “Golden Goo-Beer-Lee Creme Stout”. Promising a “unique and delicious” pint full of chocolatey flavours – they brewed it using cacao nibs and vanilla beans – it sold out within the hour. It may be back.

For those who claimed in time, the pack itself is rather impressive. Two cans come with a pint glass the weight of a small hatchback. They’ve done the details: at the base of the glass is a dimple the perfect size to sit a Creme Egg upright in (I know because I tried it). The cans themselves, purple, yellow and red, are part goose and part egg. There are hints of lava lamp.

Cadbury’s
Cadbury’s

One of these cans is not, it turns out, anywhere near enough to fill the glass, which is faintly irritating. What comes out, though, is not bad. In fact, it’s dispiritingly nondescript. From the off, that stouty smell – that faintly boggy thing – blooms, and it’s full of chocolate. This is flat stout with a frothy head that quickly disappears: it’s not from the creamy Guinness school. But Goose Island know exactly what they’re doing and the result is decent, at least to start with. This is a smooth pint with the alcohol well hidden, and full of the coffee flavours typical in stout, though it lacks is that slightly pruney touch that gives dark beer body: about half way through the pint, it began to seem watery.

But what you really want to know is: does it taste like a Creme Egg? No. Does it taste of chocolate? Undoubtedly. The chocolate isn’t subtle: it comes all at once at the end of a sip, almost detached from the rest of drink. But the gooey part? There’s (mercifully) none of that. Unlike the egg, you can consume this without your teeth hurting. But, served in a normal glass, without seeing the can itself? You’d never know this was Creme Egg inspired.

But who would bother with a normal glass? Before they began mixing Creme Eggs with mayonnaise and filling Soho townhouses with ball pits, Cadbury used to ask “How do you like yours?” They’ve come up with a new one for this: bite the top off the egg, lick out the goo, and drink the stout from the chocolate shell. I’ve never felt so stupid.

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Cadbury Creme Egg beer launched by Goose Island brewery sells out almost instantly