Beer & Chocolate Pairing:
Beer and chocolate go hand in hand, both the beverage and the food fall all over the taste spectrum. Whether roasty and smooth, puckering and butter, dark or bright, chocolate and beer use a surprisingly similar vocabulary when tasting — which makes pairings all the more fun.
There’s no guaranteed right or wrong answers when pairing beer with chocolate, but there is a general road map to successful pairings. As you experiment, you will find some pairings that you like better than others. Some combinations will seem simply wrong. But every one will bring new and unexpected flavors out of the both the beer and the chocolate. Ultimately, the best way to find what you like best is to try it all. After all, what better excuse do you have than to drink great beer and savor decadent chocolates
So what beer and chocolate would you pair?
If you’ve read our posting on wine pairing there are a lot of similarities but not always, the process of doing a tasting is the same. Drink, taste test, drink…. cleanse, repeat. Try using our tasting mat to help keep track of your pairings.
So where to start? Let’s start for instance with a Porter or a stout, they are bigger, richer, and maltier beers that seem to pair best with chocolate. Higher alcohol beers tend to stand up to the cocoa butter better, while the malt sweetness of these bigger styles often offers a nice compliment to the sweetness of chocolate. These styles of beer also tend to blend well with other flavors (from wood, coffee or other added ingredients), much like chocolate does.
Depending on the flavour profile of the beer, a dark (70%- 80%) chocolate may compliment the rich flavour enhancing some of the nutty flavours of the beer. BUT there’s always a BUT….the higher percentage chocolate can tend to lean to the bitter side where it may contrast the flavour of the beer creating to much bitterness. Trial and testing is always the best way to determine a great pairing.
Dark beer not your thing? No problem there’s the ever popular IPA’s, hoppy and often accented with floral or fruit notes. Perfect for milk chocolate and confections flavoured with fruits. The sweetness of a milk chocolate compliments the hoppy flavour but also the flavour notes within the beer.
Ok, so how about fruit beers…personally both milk and dark chocolate pairing fruit beers well. The obvious reason is the fruit, like a chocolate covered strawberry. Delicious. Give them a try, experimenting is half the fun. Enjoy.