Chocolate and Beer?

February 16th, 2006

Full disclaimer: I am not a beer expert, or even a regular beer drinker.  I am pretty girly-girl in my choice of alcohol – Cosmos and Rieslings, if you please.  However, my sweetie is quite the beer aficionado, so when I saw the posting for a Beer and Chocolate Dinner at the Cathedral Hill Hotel in San Francisco tomorrow, I thought, what event could be more perfect for us?

Alas, the reservation date had passed, but the menu still sounds intriguing (and aphrodisiac – after all, Valentine’s Day was just three days ago!): butter poached lobster with chocolate sauce, ravioli of duck confit and cocoa nibs, short ribs braised in chimay with chocolate balsamic reduction, all paired with various Chimays, the famous beers from the Belgium Trappist brewery – one of my sweetie’s favorites, actually.

A bit of poking around on the net revealed to me that pairing beer and chocolate is an established practice.  Again, I’m not a beer expert by any means, but even I can tell the chocolatey, coffee flavors in a Guinness stout.  No surprise that some people might find matching a good stout to chocolate easier than finding a good wine to pair – see Claudia Fleming’s The Last Coursefor excellent explanations on how she found wines to go with her desserts.

Stouts and porters appear to be the most popular and easy of beers to pair with chocolate – their dark toasty flavors would match with dark chocolates.  There are also the lighter, more fruity ales which might go better with sweeter or filled chocolates. 

Here are some articles I found which describe the pairing process and some specific pairings: 

Sinfully Delicious: Beer and Chocolate

Chocolate and Beer Pairings

You could also cut to the chase and buy beer that already has chocolate in it.  Some of the most famous are Samuel Adam’s Chocolate Bock, which is infused with cocoa nibs from Scharffen Berger, Rogue Chocolate Stout (apparently they just hosted the 4th Annual Beer and Chocolate Tasting in Portland, Oregon), and Young’s Double Chocolate Stout, from the UK.

What about baking? Here are some intriguing recipes for a Chocolate Stout Cheesecake and a Fudgilicious Porter Cake.  I also remember one for a Guinness Stout cake in my files…will have to try that!

Seems like there are enough ideas for me to have my own beer and chocolate dinner at my own home:) Who knew it might be chocolate to help me overcome my lack of beer appreciation?

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One Comment so far ↓

  • Myko #1

    Mmmmm, beer and chocolate..! Some very interesting pairings in the StarChefs article – can’t wait to try them!

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