Meet Beeramisu, the beer dessert of your coffee stout dreams

The Beeramisu from Second District Brewing.

With so many brewpubs opening these days, it can be hard to stand out.

So why not do it with dessert?

That is exactly what's happened with the "beeramisu" at Second District Brewing, the latest Point Breeze creation from developer John Longacre (South Philadelphia Tap Room) and Curt Decker (ex-Nodding Head).

Yes, the roll-up garage door walls and industrial chic decor are very cool, and the beers from brewer Ben Potts are great, including a crisp house ale called Bancroft that was a finalist in the new-beer category of this year's Inquirer Brewvitational.

But one of Second District's most distinctive brews,  the "Huy" Vietnamese Coffee Stout made in honor of a longtime employee, with chickory coffee (its roasty flavor evoking the pho halls of nearby Washington Avenue), earns double distinction for its use in a beery twist on chef Doreen DeMarco's favorite dessert.

DeMarco simply replaces espresso in the traditional Italian recipe with the Vietnamese-flavored coffee stout, dipping lady fingers into the nitro-poured brew before layering them up in a four-tiered parfait with sweet mascarpone, crushed espresso beans, and a towering pouf of whipped cream.

The brewery is a great example of the dramatic change that keeps transforming South Philadelphia's neighborhoods.

And the beeramisu is a perfect fusion metaphor for two cuisines that (along with a more recent Mexican wave) have fueled the nearby Italian Market's continued vitality. I'll definitely drink to that — especially when the next batch of stout is back on tap within a couple weeks.  

In the meanwhile, I'll devour it with a spoon.

— Craig LaBan

Beeramisu, $7, Second District Brewing, 1939 S. Bancroft St. (at McKean),

Second District Brewing Co.’s Beeramisu

12 serving(s)


1 cup heavy whipping cream
11/2 pound mascarpone, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups Huy Vietnamese Coffee Stout (or another breakfast stout like Founders)
One package Italian lady fingers
Chocolate covered espresso beans, roughly crushed


1. Place whipping cream in stand mixer with a whisk attachment. Whip on high until stiff peaks form, two to three minutes. Reserve whipped cream.
2. Add mascarpone and sugar into mixer and whip until sugar is dissolved completely. Remove attachment and fold whipped cream into mascarpone.
3. Pour Huy Vietnamese Coffee Stout into a shallow bowl. One at a time, dip ladyfingers into the beer on each side. Don't soak them too long. Place in a single layer in square pan. Spread smooth a good amount of the mascarpone mixture with a spatula. Sprinkle crushed espresso beans heavily on top.
4. Repeat process until desired amount and height. Refrigerate at least 8 hours before serving. Top with whipped cream and more espresso beans for extra crunch.

chef Doreen Demarco at Second District Brewing Co.

Per Serving: 370 calories; 11 grams protein; 51 grams carbohydrates; 31 grams sugar; 13 grams fat; 76 milligrams cholesterol; 118 milligrams sodium; trace dietary fiber.