Beer and Chocolate Pairings
Five Years ago, the Vermont Brewer’s Festival asked us to lead a chocolate and beer paring workshop – and so our chocolate and beer pairing adventure began. It continues today, as we have developed friendships with many local craft brewers. It is these relationships that make our chocolate and beer pairings so interesting, insightful and rewarding. As we learn about the craft of brewing beer, we teach brewers the art of making fine chocolate.
So how do chocolate and beer work together? Let’s start with what beer and chocolate have in common. Both fermented foods, there is an amazing transformation of flavor that occurs during the fermentation process. And coaxing a particular flavor profile from raw materials requires patience, curiosity, and craftsmanship – whether you are brewing or making chocolate. It’s curiosity that keeps us experimenting in the kitchen, and sometimes lead us to new discoveries.
- To begin a chocolate and beer pairing, we recommend that you serve beer starting from light to dark. Avoid serving refrigerator-cold beer.
- Beer and chocolate are both a delicate balance of sweet and bitter flavors. You’ll find a “wow” moment when the flavors in the beer balance and showcase the flavors in the chocolate.
- Consider both contrasting and complementary flavors: a stout, typically a bitter profile with chocolate notes, pairs well with both a fruity chocolate (sweet/contrasting) as well as a coffee-flavored chocolate (bitter/complementary).
- Taste the beer then the chocolate; then reverse and try the chocolate then the beer. Because of the cleansing properties in most beers, you might be surprised at the differences.
Switchback Roasted Red Ale & Dark Chocolate Honey Caramel
A delicious red ale that leads with a rich malty sweetness balanced with a bold hop signature, followed by a luscious chocolate/cocoa roasty finish with a 54% dark chocolate caramel infused with locally harvested honey.
Magic Hat Blind Faith India Pale Ale &
Grace Under Fire Bar
Well balanced India Pale Ale with a crisp, refreshing hop bitterness and a deep malty body to match, with a 54% dark chocolate intertwined with hot pepper flakes and pistachio nuts.
Wolaver’s Organic Oatmeal Stout & Organic Milk Chocolate Granola Bar
Super creamy stout brewed with organic rolled oats and organic wheat. Hints of coffee, chocolate and roasted flavors with a 55% dark chocolate organic Ethiopian coffee truffle.
Harpoon Leviathan IPA &
Dark Chocolate Covered Orange Peel
Big beer with powerful hop bitterness up front and just enough caramel malt to provide a balance to the hop intensity with a candied orange peel drenched in 54% dark chocolate.
Wolaver’s Organic Brown Ale &
Organic Dark Chocolate Spicy Aztec
Slightly malty and well balanced beer with hints of cherry and black currant with a 55% cocoa content chocolate with pumpkin seeds, cinnamon, and a surprising cayenne finish.
American Flatbread Zero Gravity Extra Stout & Organic Salted Caramel Dark Chocolate Bar
Stout paired with a tropical fruit ganache blended with rich dark chocolate.
Switchback Dooley’s Belated Porter & 54% Dark Chocolate
Porter paired with sweet dark chocolate with hints of brown fruit, vanilla, and brown spice.