Good news for parents and all those facing the loathsome task of dispensing with leftover Halloween candy. (If that's not you, wait for the kids to load up then grab a handful and tell them it's a tax.)

Not that craft brews really need any help, but because it's Halloween and trying new things that involve drinking beer is always fun, the folks at The Brass Tap in Colorado Springs invited Pikes Pub down to taste test a few of their treat-and-tap pairings featuring familiar candies and local- and regionally-brewed suds.

Mike and Darlene Warmouth opened their craft bar and restaurant last month in the Polaris Pointe retail complex east of I-25 and the Air Force Academy, marking the first expansion to Colorado of the Florida-based taproom chain. The Springs location features 60 beers on tap and more than 100 in bottles and cans, with a full menu and overall focus on craft libations made in-state.

Given the growing popularity of beer and food pairings, the Warmouths figured they'd extend the trend to fit the occasion. Seasonal lark or no, the Brass Tap's treacly twist on the concept has been a hit in-house.

"I went out and bought maybe 15 pounds of candy and after last week it's all gone," said Darlene, gesturing to a large purple bowl sitting empty on the bar counter.

But are patrons really indulging with a mind to higher gastronomic planes? Maybe beer drinkers just have a sweet tooth. Maybe everyone likes free candy. Regardless of the appeal, said Darlene, "I think it's just neat to try. Don't you?"

On that note, a few pairings to try:

- Red Leg Brewing Company's seasonal Taptoo Scottish Ale and Snickers

The chocolate, nuts and caramel in the candy help bring out the subtle, darker character of this mildly-hopped, amber-brown ale, which comes in at 5.2 percent ABV. "Take a little sip, have a little bite of candy, and cheers," Darlene said. "It makes the beer taste even better, don't you think? Delicious."

- Oskar Blues Beerito Vienna-style lager and Reese's Cup

The chocolate and peanut butter in the candy spice up a stylistically mild beer, which features German and Colorado-sourced craft malts, flavors of walnut, toasted bread, plum and cocoa and a mellow 4.0 percent ABV.

"People that don't drink a lot of craft beers, this is probably a good choice for them," said Mike.

- The Big Choice Brewing/Odd13 Brewing, Chainsaw the Princess of Karate sour and SweeTarts

This pale pink beer, brewed as a fundraising collaboration benefiting the Susan G. Komen Foundation, is a Belgian Pale Ale soured for several days with four strains of lactobacillus and finished with brettanomyces yeast and dragon fruit puree. The outcome is a fruity brew that's tart, tangy and a perfect partner for those sugar lozenges from Wonka Land.

Questions or comments about the local brewing scene? Email us at pikespub@gazette.com.

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Contact Stephanie Earls: 636-0364

Twitter: @earls_stephanie

Reporter

Stephanie Earls is a news reporter and columnist at The Gazette. Before moving to Colorado Springs in 2012, she worked for newspapers in upstate NY, WA, OR and at her hometown weekly in Berkeley Springs, WV, where she got her start in journalism.

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