8 min read

For me, craft beer is the quintessential and, well, the only way to relax after a long day toiling away at the keyboard. While I can get down with a solid beer and food pairing most evenings, there are occasions when I look for something a bit more ambient to compliment my evening brewski. Scented candles provide tantalizing aromatherapy and relaxing light patterns that help me set my mind at ease. Of course, I've found that the standard drugstore variety floral bouquet and pumpkin spice scented candles do little to highlight the pungent quality of cascading hops and mellow grains in my craft beers. That, my friend, is where beer-scented candles quite literally shine. These sensational creations smell good enough to drink, though I would strongly advise against it. Instead, use them as an excuse to pick up a six-pack of your favorite craft beverage and unwind.

Citronella Saison Candle + Brouwerij West Belgian Saison

While these mid-October temperatures don't have me thinking much about bug protection, I couldn't help but think about the unwritten value in the Torched Citronella Saison Candle. Citronella, as you probably already know, is a powerful antidote for mosquitoes and other feisty blood-sucking insects. It turns out that it is also the perfect compliment to the pungent earthy smell of Saison. My while I found the first few whiffs of this candle to be a bit overbearing, it mellowed out after a few minutes. Meanwhile, as I downed half of a bottle Brouwerij West's Belgian Saison, I discovered that the citrus punch of the citronella was all I needed to further embrace the full body of what was already one of my favorite Arizona farm ales. Somehow, all the grassy hop notes that once fell flat were somehow fruity and vivacious. Since this was my introduction to craft candle and beer pairings, I was happy to wash my unneeded skepticism away and open the floodgates for yet another tantalizing combination.

Barrel-aged Brown Ale Candle + Golden Road Bourbon Barrel-aged Brown Ale

I have to admit that the timing was all right for my trial of the Barrel-aged Brown Ale Candle. The dark brooding scent of this inspired wax creation has powerful hints of grains and coffee, offering up a warm mellow aroma that feels right in the middle of an average New England fall. After letting the candle mellow out, I switched off the lights and cracked open a bottle of Golden Road Bourbon Barrel-aged Brown Ale. Now, if you've never tried this bourbon-flavored brew, you're already missing out on one of the richest, maltiest craft beers on the market. However, pair it with the Torched Barrel-aged Bourbon candle and you'll be fortunate to have an exponentially better experience than those who are drinking it alone.

Winter Wheat Candle + Ward Picker Hut Winter Spiced Cider

When it came time to find a beer to pair with the Winter Wheat candle, I will admit that I was torn in multiple directions. I have quite a few favorite winter ales, but most seemed like they'd be crushed by the intense spice notes in this full-scented candle. That's when I remembered one of my favorite spiced hard ciders. Ward Picker Hut Winter Spiced Cider offers a palette-pleasing bouquet of nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon. Of course, it's also super fruity and has some dark woody base notes to bring it back down to earth. I knew this was a bold choice for what was probably going to be an intense candle, but I was pleasantly surprised after my first burn. The Winter Wheat candle was balanced, had clean evergreen notes, and possessed a mellow profile that reminded me of Christmas. Its smell was fairly effervescent and didn't linger around like the chemically-rich air fresheners they sell at car washes. As I sipped on the spiced cider, I was happily relieved to find that the aroma of the candle helped to balance the dynamic flavor of one of my favorite winter warmers.

Vanilla Porter Candle + Stone Vanilla Porter

When I think of porter beers, I think of shoveling. Truth be told, I rarely indulge in this heavy style of beer unless it is between the months of December and March. However, with cold weather settling in, I couldn't help but be a bit intrigued by the Torched Vanilla Candle. Almost immediately I knew the perfect match for this sweet-smelling offering. Stone's Vanilla Porter is my go-to winter dessert beer. Not to mention, it's a near-identical scent match for the candle I had in mind. A quick burn revealed a heavy dose of vanilla bean and cream, sort of like a McDonald's milkshake and not in a bad way. It was the sweet and satisfactory sidecar to the chocolate, coffee aroma of the Stone brew.

Summer Shandy Candle + Leinenkugel Summer Shandy

If you've never had a chance to try a Leinenkugel shandy, let me be the one to inform you that this beer has a Fruit Loop-like flavor. While it may sound strange, I find the fruity flavor profile to be oddly satisfying. When I first took a whiff of the Summer Shandy candle, I knew the two were a match made in craft beer heaven. The lemon and orange citrus notes create a ripe aroma that seemed to brighten my spirits while balancing the sweet quality of my favorite cereal-flavored craft beer.

Strawberry Blonde Candle + Arbor Brewing Company Strawberry Blonde Ale

Before I give you my honest review of the Torched Strawberry Blonde candle, let me be honest. I am not a fan of berry-scented things. All too often, artificial strawberry smells like cheap lip gloss, a phenomenon I can live without. However, Torched's strawberry scent brought to mind the smell of overripe berries at my favorite picking patch. Not to mention, it has a tinge of graininess that I could not resist. I gave it light and sipped on some Arbor Strawberry Blonde Ale, only to find that the smooth scent of the candle helped balance the pungent bite of this sour beer.

Raspberry Rye Candle + Buxton Raspberry Red Rye

As I mentioned before, I struggle to keep down overly fruity and syrupy alcoholic beverages. As such, I was unsure of how much I would enjoy the Torched Raspberry Rye Candle or how I'd find a beer to suit it. My introductory whiff revealed a flutter of bready grains accompanied by tart berries. I sulked through the liquor store looking for a suitable pairing only to come across Buxton Raspberry Red Rye. I probably wouldn't have given this brew much thought if I wasn't so desperate to give this particular candle a try. Nevertheless, it boasted an extremely sour profile that paired harmoniously with this boozy candle.

Pumpkin Porter Candle + Four Peaks Pumpkin Porter

It's nearly Halloween and I couldn't be more excited to give some of this year's most popular pumpkin beers a try. What's more, I couldn't think of a better way to conjure up the wicked spirits of Halloween than with a pumpkin-scented candle. If chosen correctly, the two could provide the perfect setting for my annual pumpkin lobotomy and carving session. When I found out Torched made a Pumpkin Porter Candle, I did my best not to squeal in excitement and headed to the store to pick up a six-pack of Four Peaks Pumpkin Porter. Both this beer and candle have hints of allspice, clove, nutmeg, and ginger. The classic spice profile just so happens to make my home smell like fresh-baked pie while I toss back brew or two. Perfecto!

Pinewood Pilsner Candle + Rogue Juniper Pale Ale

Over the river and through the woods... My first thoughts upon smelling this candle, that it was piney enough to pair with an IPA. However, I settled on Rogue's Juniper Pale Ale instead and couldn't be happier with the decision. This beer has plenty of hops, malts, and, you guessed it, juniper berries. It sparks the taste buds in a strange and tantalizing way, much like the way the Pinewood Pilsner opens the nostrils. While the candle has hints of spices, pine esters, and wood, the forest-like aroma creates the perfect backdrop for one of Stone's most creative winter ales.

Lavender IPA Candle + Elevation Lavender IPA

Usually, when I think of lavender, I think of laundry detergent. Still, I tried not to let that keep from forming an unfair opinion of the Lavender IPA candle. A slow first burn revealed that the flower essence in the candle was far more natural and earthy than I expected it to be. In fact, it brought out the zesty hops and earthy finish in my Elevation Lavender IPA. While I can't say I would make either of these pairs of my nightly routine, this pairing is on-point for those nights when you need to absolutely relax and unwind.

Wildberry Lambic Candle + Brouweij Lindemans

After trying Torched's other berry-scented candles, I knew better than to fear artificial aromas. I fearlessly delved right in with a whiff of the Wildberry Lambic Candle and was happy to discover that it smelled like fresh currants and overly ripe wild berries. I couldn't help but wonder how it would pair with a tart Lindeman Cassis Brouweij Lindemans. This Belgian ale is funky, sour, and unique. It's definitely not a match for a cheap candle. When paired up with the Torched Wildberry Lambic candle, the beer really shined. The sweet fruitiness of the candle created a mellow aroma that helped elevate the sour notes of the beer.

Honeysuckle Wheat Candle + Coronado Wheat Ale

It's not often that brewers use flowers in their beers, so at first, I wasn't 100-percent sure what I was going to match the Honeysuckle Wheat Candle. I lit it briefly, revealing the gentle aroma of fresh honeysuckle blossoms. The smell was incredibly fresh and mellow, making it the perfect compliment to a slightly sweet brew, or so I thought. I chose the Coronado Wheat Ale to accompany it and was happy to find that the honey and grain notes rose to the tip of my tongue in light of the warmly scented beeswax.

Hard Apple Cider Candle + Redd's Apple Ale

This cider-scented beer is exactly what I imagined. It boasts the irresistible smell of tree-ripened Macintosh apples with a bit of a boozy finish. It's a solid excuse to pick up a pack of Redd's famous Apple Ale. I love this wheat and apple-tinged beer and couldn't be happier with the way it meshed with the Torched Hard Apple Cider candle. When enjoyed together, the two create a harmonious and rewarding apple-rich experience worth reliving time and time again.

Grapefruit Hefeweizen Candle + Schofferhofer's Grapefruit Hefeweizen Bier

After what felt like a million fruit-scented candles, I was super pumped to come across the Torched Hefeweizen candle. This citrus candle offers a burst of warm lemon-lime with an earthy base. I paired it with Schofferhofer's Grapefruit Hefeweizen Bier. The candle's aroma help heighten my mood and elevate my spirit, while the zesty grapefruit brought my taste buds to life.

Blood Orange IPA Beer Candle + Shipyard Blood Orange Belgian Wheat Ale

After the Grapefruit Hefeweizen candle, I was even more eager to give the Blood Orange IPA Candle a try. Right of the bat, I could tell that the citrus flavor was going to really shine. Knowing I needed a powerful brew to pull of this pairing, I called on an old favorite by the name of Shipyard Blood Orange Belgian Wheat Ale. This New England classic is the quintessential marriage of zesty red-orange and hops. It's intensely fragrant and leaves my tongue zinging with energy. When paired together, this candle and beer combo is exactly what I wanted it to be. It was lively, vivacious, and memorable. So lively that I wouldn't even mind indulging in this pair during the afternoon.


Blackforest Lager Beer Candle + Chorlton Sandalwood Ale

It's no mistake that I saved the Blackforest Lager candle for my last pairing. At first smell, this intense wax creation had me confused. It took some searching to find a beer that would balance the intense smell of black cherries, sandalwood, and yeast. However, Chorlton Sandalwood Ale has the unique flavor of sandalwood that I pick up when I burn this candle. As such, I found the two to compliment each other like old friends. The tart cherry aroma in the candle even brought out some intense caramel hints I never noticed before.

If you've never tried pairing a craft beer candle with a craft beer, now is the time to reconsider everything you thought you knew about drinking. It turns out that a burning wick and hot scented wax are all you need to set the mood for your favorite brew. I hope you enjoy these radical pairings and are lucky enough to give one or more a try sometime in the near future!

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