Beer & Chocolate Pairing
Although wine is traditionally viewed as the ultimate chocolate pairing, beer and chocolate can create some amazing and unexpected combinations. Unlike wine, the carbonation in beer can cleanse and awaken the palate, preparing the taster for the next sumptuous bite. Beer and chocolate actually have much in common; they are both fermented foods that undergo significant flavor development from the process of fermentation. Both beer and chocolate take a certain amount of skilled craftsmanship to create, and we recommend pairing your artisan chocolates with equally high quality craft brewed beers. Beer and chocolate are both a delicate balance of bitter and sweet flavors. The most successful pairings will happen when the beer balances and showcases the flavors in the chocolate. Here are additional tips for creating successful chocolate/beer pairings:
- When serving multiple beers start with the lightest flavor and move to the darker flavors.
- Do not serve the chocolate or beer fresh from the fridge; let them come closer to room temperature to experience the full depth of flavor.
- Experiment with tasting the beer first then tasting the chocolate, then do the reverse. Due to the cleansing process of most beers you may be delightfully surprised at the flavor difference just by alternating the order in which you taste them.
Generally, when pairing beer and chocolate, you should keep sweet with sweet and tart with tart and try to keep the beer sweeter or tarter than the chocolate you are pairing it with. However, it is also nice to experiment with contrasting flavors that can be complimentary. Stout beers tend to be the easiest to pair with often due to coffee and chocolate notes in their flavors. A stout beer will pair well with a higher percentage dark chocolate. Bitter ales like IPA’s pair well with a medium body dark chocolate. Avoid bitter chocolates when paring with a bitter beer, as the bitterness will become overwhelming. The high acidity in many white beers does not pair well with chocolate, but if you find white ale that isn’t overly acidic, its crisp refreshing flavor will probably pair well chocolate that has citrus notes.
When paring any foods, we encourage you to seek out the recommendations of the experts AND be willing to experiment on your own. Ultimately, any pairing is subjective; if it tastes good to you, then enjoy!
|Style of Craft Beer/Characteristic Flavor||Type of chocolate recommended||Chocolate Fetish Product Pairing|
|IPA with crisp hoppy bitterness||Dark with spice/salt||Chili Cocoa Nib Round, Sea Salt Caramel|
|Pilsner||Medium body dark chocolate||Ecstasy Ancient Pleasures Truffle|
|Brown Ale||Almonds + dark chocolate||Almond Caramel Cup|
|Oatmeal Stout||Milk chocolate with coffee||Ecstasy Mocha Magic Truffle|
|Peach Lambic||Dark chocolate + spice||Crystallized Ginger in Dark Chocolate|
|Belgian Strong Ale||Dark chocolate||Ecstasy Velvet Sin Truffle, Ecstasy Elite After Midnight Truffle|
|Belgian Triple||Dark chocolate + citrus||Ecstasy Elite Mountain Sunrise Truffle|