Beer and Chocolate (Cheese)

Dare I say this is part 1 and get myself into a long series of Beer and “Chocolate/Cheese” articles?  Nah, I’ll leave it at this, if you ever go into a cheese or chocolate shop and ask what should I pair it with the inevitable answer is usually wine.

But if the person behind the counter actually did their homework they would know that beer is actually more complimentary than wine in many ways.  I’m not saying wine doesn’t have its place because it does but beer is far superior in matching with cheese and chocolate.Chocolates themselves can express subtle fruit flavors such as cocoa, pineapple, banana, and passion fruit and of course real fruits often appear in chocolate desserts. As a result, a malty-fruity combination in beer often pairs well with dessert.  These are some key styles when thinking about pairing chocolate and beer.

Dark beers (Stouts/Porters)
Fruity spicy beer (“weizen or Belgian style”)
Maltier (Kolsch, Helles, golden ales)

Here are a few of my favorite pairings:

-Stone Old Guardian Barleywine with Black forest cake-The hoppy bitter earthy flavors in the beer gives a nice balance to this sweet dark chocolate mouth feel of the cake.

-North Coast Old Rasputin Imperial stout paired with Chocolate cherry cake -pours an onyx color leaving a tan head that is thick and luxurious. The aroma is strong hop citrus and earthy licorice feel followed by a sweet chocolate essence. The taste starts syrupy bitter with herbal hops that are abundant in this gem. The taste continues with marshmallow, chocolate, coffee roasted beans come though this brew. The finish is bitter espresso, but that caramel cooked sugar sweetness helps balance this big bitter beer.

-Brooklyn Brewing Weizenbock paired with a Banana chocolate cheesecake I loved this combination due to the Smokey fruity flavors in the beer really mirrored the dessert giving just a slight bitterness from the dark chocolate for balance.

-Elm City Brewing’s Peachy Keene Kolsch paired with chocolate truffles wow is all I can say here the sweet creaminess of the ganache played so well off the refreshing peach tartness of the beer.

In the upcoming weeks I’m going to dive into some more beer and chocolate pairings that work as well as some cheese and beer sampling.