Close this search box.


As we welcome the early batches of Hot Cross Buns into our local bakeries and supermarkets, I couldn’t help but think, why wait until Easter to indulge? But what beer would pair perfectly with these Hot Cross Buns?

My mind instantly went with stout. The rich chocolate notes in stout complement the sweet spices in hot cross buns perfectly. However, when I floated the idea of a stout brewed with hot cross buns, I was met with a chorus of “I don’t like dark beer” from my colleagues.

Challenge accepted..

Enter the white stout – a brilliant solution to convert even the strongest opponents of dark beer. Inspired by Faction Brewing’s Anomaly, a beer designed to appeal to those who claim they dislike dark beer, I set out to create a brew that would deceive the senses.

Traditionally, stouts boast flavours of roast coffee, chocolate, dark fruit, caramel, and biscuit, derived from the malts used in brewing. However, these same malts also contribute to the beer’s dark hue. To craft a white stout, I had to eliminate the darkest malts while retaining the desired flavour profile. Thankfully, coffee and chocolate are relatively easy to replace in beer.

So now that we have our white stout recipe, we must apply our Hot Cross Bun flavours. I was asked if we could use real Hot Cross Buns in the beer, and I said, “hell yeah! Let’s throw them in the mash”.

I wasn’t sure how much fermentable and flavour the Hot Cross Buns would add, so I supplemented these with the typical Hot Cross Bun spices of cinnamon and allspice. Surprisingly, the buns contributed more fermentable sugars and flavour than anticipated so I reduced the initial amounts of the spices once I tasted the mash. I was also unsure how quickly the enzymes in the grains would break down the Hot Cross Buns, so I started with a 90-minute mash, which seemed to have been perfect as the FG of my beer matched the predicted FG from the formula. I recommend having hulls and alpha-amylase on hand if you have mash issues. The Hot cross buns added 4 points from my Original Gravity, so I started with an OG of 1.062.

If you make the recipe below, I suggest tasting along the way and adjusting spices based to suit your preferences. Different Hot Cross Buns will use different levels of spice

Innovation knows no bounds in brewing, and this white chocolate stout with a hot cross bun twist stands as a testament to the endless possibilities that await exploration. So, why wait until Easter to enjoy the flavours of hot cross buns? With this unique brew, you can savour the taste of the season all year round.

Find the recipe on the The Grainfather App and let’s get brewing!