Beer and Chocolate Pairings for Valentine’s Day
Anyone who knows me knows that next to beer, my next biggest vice is sweet treats. I am a self-professed chocoholic and love to pair some with a beer for an after dinner treat. Beer and chocolate work so well together for many reasons.
Why Chocolate and Beer Make Sense Together
Both beer and chocolate undergo a fermentation which imparts different flavors to the end product. Chocolate is roasted to develop more flavours just like malted barley, the main grain used in brewing goes through kilning, stewing or roasting processes creating flavours from uncooked flour to burnt espresso. With such similar paths to creation, beer and chocolate are a fool proof way to treat your loved one this Valentine’s Day.
How to Pair Them
Once you match intensities (i.e. rich beer with rich chocolate, delicate beer with delicate chocolate) it is all down to finding complementary and contrasting flavours. Beers carbonation is a natural contrast to chocolate and with all the different flavours coming from malt, hops and fermentation you are bound to find a beer for every type of chocolate.
Where to Get the Best in Halifax
Those of us living in Halifax are lucky enough to have our very own chocolatier at Rousseau's on South Street in Downtown Halifax. They have a wide assortment of different chocolate bonbons to choose from and I have compiled a list of six of my current favourites and a beer for each to pair with. There is a deal for 12 so I suggest you get two of each! Check them out down below.
Lemon chocolate paired with Matinee Tiny Hoppy Pale Ale from 2 Crows Brewing Co.
This was the pairing I wasn’t sure about, that ended up turning out great! The tart, lemon chocolate melds with the lemony, hop profile of Matinee so well and instead of feeling overpowering it disappears in an instant when the bitterness kicks in and cleans up your palate.
Dark Chocolate Sea Salt paired with Sober Islands Beth’s Black Oyster stout
Stouts are the easiest and most obvious pairing with chocolate. The dark chocolate and espresso flavours from the Black Patent malt and roasted barley complement dark chocolate perfectly. The extra salinity from using Pristine Bay oysters in the making of Beth’s Black is what puts this pairing to the next level coaxing out the sea salt into a perfect balance of sweet, salty and bitter.
Ginger chocolate with Luxury Dubbel from the Church Brewing Co.
Clove, fig, caramel and candied fruit from the Dubbel entwine with the sweet chocolate and spicy ginger coming midway and lasting through the finish. The high carbonation of the Dubbel cleans things up for the next bite!
Marzipan chocolate with Darling English Dark Mild from Tatamagouche Brewing Co.
Nutty, toasty malts couple with woodsy English hops and fruity English yeast to pair nicely with the almond-topped marzipan chocolate that shows that cherry-like flavour ground almonds can give off.
Espresso ganache chocolate paired with Mocha Oatmeal Stout from Propeller Brewing Co.
Maybe the most obvious pairing but it still did not disappoint. This beer brewed with chocolate and roasted coffee beans is the identical twin of this bitter, espresso ganache chocolate. This may sound rich but the decision to put this beer in a nitro can softens everything about the pairing making it decadent and easy.
Orange Chocolate paired with Mayflower White IPA from the Church Brewing Co.
The white IPA bursts with aromas of orange and coriander with a mix of citrusy North American Hops to boost aroma as well as add a decisive bitterness necessary to cut the orange filling of this sweet, delicious orange chocolate that puts Terry’s to shame.
These six are just scratching the surface of what you can do with Beer and Chocolate! I didn’t even touch malty German lagers. If this is something you and your friends would love to experience but don’t know where to start I can organize a tasting for groups up to 12! E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org to talk details!