Wine may have the stronger reputation, but beer can also pair deliciously with chocolate.
In fact, beer and chocolate have a lot in common. They both undergo significant flavor development from the process of fermentation and both require a delicate balance of bitter and sweet flavors. Plus, the carbonation in beer actually cleanses and awakens the palate, better preparing you for whatever comes next.
So how can you bring out the absolute best in each when pairing beer with chocolate?
It’s recommended that you start with darker beers (think porter or stout) because these brews will already have notes of roasted cocoa beans that will prime your tastebuds.
Serve at Room Temperature
Avoid serving the beer or chocolate straight from the refrigerator. Let them come closer to room temperature to experience the full depth of flavor.
Experiment With Combinations
The aim is to find a combination that tastes good together and highlights different aspects of the other. You can try similar and then contrasting flavor profiles to see what you prefer!
Here are a few starter ideas:
Stouts + Dark Chocolate With Raspberry Notes: A big, bold beer deserves a powerful pairing! We recommend a tart dark chocolate with raspberry notes. It will hold its own against the stout and the berry flavor will shine through.
Oatmeal Stouts + Semi-Sweet Chocolate: Lusciously smooth and filled with roasted malts, Oatmeal Stouts pair well with semi-sweet chocolate. With just enough bitterness to bring out the inherent sugars in the stout, this combo brings out the full flavors in both beer and the chocolate. May we suggest our Oatmeal Stout?
Porters + Dark Chocolate With Coconut: Porters are known for their rich flavors. It’s why we recommend going full tilt with a tropical nuttiness of coconut.
Hefeweizens + Mexican Style Chocolate With Cinnamon & Spice: The light, crisp and refreshing Hefeweizens should be paired with chocolate that packs a punch. Try chocolate with bold cinnamon or even chili pepper notes. May we suggest our Against the Grain Hefeweizen?
Pale Ales + Chocolate with Fruit Flavors: Pale ales often have fruit notes, which make them an easy pairing for a chocolate featuring that corresponding fruit flavor. When these similar flavors combine, they essentially amplify each other.
White Ales + Chocolate With Citrus Notes: White ales usually have hints of citrus, clove and banana. They are often served with a slice of orange right in the glass. So this pairing is a no-brainer! Try it alongside a chocolate with citrus.
Pilsers + Nutty Milk Chocolate: The lighter, malt-forward profile of pilsners work well with malty nut-forward milk chocolates. May we suggest our Golden Rule Pilsner?
These are just suggestions, so feel free to mix and match. And remember, if it tastes good to you then that is good enough!
Reverse the Order
Taste the beer, then the chocolate; now reverse and try the chocolate first. Because of the cleansing properties in most beers, you might be surprised at the difference you taste.
Try It With a Friend!
Of course, you can conduct this research all by yourself but a mixed six-pack and a side of assorted chocolates may be just the gift to share with that special someone. Create a grading system and compare scores until you determine what is the perfect match.