Who says milk is the only thing you can have with cookies?
Richland Girl Scout Troop 3547, looking for a new location for their annual cookie sale this spring, set up shop in front of craft beer dispenser Growler Guys on Gage Boulevard.
“We were trying to look outside the box,” said adult leader Elizabeth Lugo.
While many businesses allow Girl Scouts to sell their slightly addictive wares outside their doors, Growler Guys took their support of the troop a little bit further — they’re offering beer pairings to go along with each cookie variety.
“You always want to enjoy what you’re eating with what you’re drinking,” said Ashley Galvan, the Richland store’s beer steward.
The annual sale of Girl Scout cookies leads to makeshift booths popping up at businesses such as grocery stores and shopping centers. Troop 3547 previously sold cookies in front of a credit union in Richland but the location wasn’t available at the needed times, Lugo said, putting them on the lookout for another spot.
Troop leaders decided to approach Growler Guys, based in Bend, Ore. Some of the girls’ families were familiar with the business.
Lugo and others also had heard about pairing beer and wine with the cookies, similar to how someone throwing a dinner would pair a wine with the meal served. The location was approved by the regional council, which allows troops to sell cookies outside businesses that allow minors, a council spokesperson said.
The girls, for their part, also were excited by the move, as some are fans of the rootbeer Growler Guys sells to its younger customers. They also welcomed a change of scenery.
“There’s more space for us to hold our signs and dance,” said Celia Lugo, 11, who often dresses in a cookie costume for her sales. “We used to just have a corner.”
The Richland Growler Guys has supported other youth organizations with fundraisers, Galvan said, and working with Troop 3547 was another way to give back to the community. They also saw the cookies being sold outside their doors as an opportunity to teach their customers about food and beer.
“It’s a really fun game for them to learn how flavors can complement and contrast each other,” Galvan said.
The store regularly changes out the brands of beer it sells, and the pairings are largely dependent on the beer style they work best with.
Love Thin Mints?
Galvan recommends an imperial stout, as the cookies’ mint flavor works well with the high alcohol content of the dark beer.
Savannah Smiles, a newer lemony cookie, goes great with a Hefeweizen or summer shandy.
As for Galvan’s favorite Girl Scout cookie, Do Si Dos, she suggests a good IPA, as the style’s taste and feel nicely contrasts the sandwich-style cookie and freshens the palate.
The troop sold about 50 boxes an hour when stationed at the store last weekend, matching its sales performance from the past few years, said Elizabeth Lugo.
Not everyone who bought cookies went inside Growler Guys before or after but many did — including some troop parents who helped with the booth.
“We had a lot of fathers volunteer to help out, which we haven’t really had in the past,” Lugo said, laughing.
Selling cookies outside of a beer business was weird and different, said Erin Hallquist, 11, but she’s all for the troop setting up their booth outside Growler Guys in the future. Also, it wasn’t the beer that drove people’s cookie choices.
“They mostly chose the ones that tasted best,” Erin said.