by Nathan Hak Beer Sommelier at Beerwulf 15 March 2021
Chocolate with beer!
How to pair beer and chocolate this Easter
Happy Easter! We love Easter because it's the perfect excuse to indulge in the world's two best ingredients, beer and chocolate. To help you have an exceptionally tasty Easter, our in-house Sommelier has come up with some chocolate and beer pairings that will delight your taste buds!
Beer is tasty. Chocolate is tasty. But does it go well together? For some people it's a divine combination, whereas others would have never considered having them together. Taste, try and discover your own taste, that's what it's all about!
Beer with chocolate taste
Roasted malts can give all sorts of flavours in beer, from lightly caramelised flavours to very roasted espresso tones. And of course, chocolate! Stout and porter almost always have a touch of dark chocolate. Belgian Dubbel and Quadrupels are also examples of beers where you can often taste chocolate. All these beers are worth trying with dark chocolate: the chocolate flavours in the beer form a nice bridge with the actual chocolate.
Tips for beer and chocolate
When we combine beer and food, we usually first look at intensity: with a light dish you choose a light beer, with a heavy dish you choose a stronger beer.
With sweet dishes you're more likely to look for a beer that is at least as sweet as the food. Combining chocolate with beer can therefore be quite a challenge. Especially with sweet chocolate, the obvious choice is for a sweet beer, which limits your options. If the chocolate is sweeter, it quickly overpowers the sweetness in the beer, causing the taste balance in the beer to disappear. This is also the reason why dark, less sweet chocolate often goes better with beer.
A combination you often encounter is a stout or porter with dark chocolate...and for very good reason!
The sweeter your beer is, the sweeter the chocolate can be. A good indicator is the cocoa percentage. With a dry stout choose chocolate with a (very) high percentage. An oatmeal stout such as Fourpure Last Train Oatmeal Stout (available in the Fourpure Brewer Case) is a bit sweeter, so you can try a sweeter chocolate with it. A milk stout will have the same effect. Or taste a cherry beer, perhaps a Kriek with dark chocolate for a cherry pudding experience. You can find Lindemans Kriek in the Beer Tasting + Glasses Case along with our next suggestion, Oedipus Panty. This coffee forward stout with a good dose of chocolate will match beautifully with some dark chocolate. Experience the roasted bitterness of both beer and chocolate going head-to-head in irresistible harmony!
Milk chocolate is always sweeter than dark chocolate, so it can be difficult to combine with most beers. Very sweet beers can handle that and in turn make a beautiful combination. Milk chocolate with coffee flavours can also be a good option. The coffee tempers the sweetness and if you choose a stout for example, you can taste the tones of coffee and chocolate in both beer and chocolate.
As you probably already know, white chocolate is the sweetest chocolate. A sweet fruit beer with red fruits and berries can work well. For this try a Draught Keg of Affligem Cuvée Carmin or Mort Subite Kriek Lambic (available in the Popular Beer Case). The beer will reveal its fresh-sour notes more and the fruit is a nice addition to the chocolate.
White beer with white chocolate sounds better than it is, unless you give the chocolate an extra dimension. Lemon is a good example; the fresh tart flavour will create a nice hook and won't be too sweet. White chocolate with a stout can also turn out surprisingly well. If you choose an intense, heavy ABV beer, preferably with enough coffee notes, it will create cappuccino flavours with a hint of caramel! Kees Export Porter is great with white chocolate. Founders Imperial Stout and Five Points Grand Stout are also options worth trying.
Nuts, lemon zest, caramel, fruit, ginger, anything can be added to chocolate. That also gives other options for the beer you taste with it. A Belgian Dubbel or Brown Ale with nutty chocolate, or wheat beer with chocolate containing lemon, or an IPA with (dark) caramel-sea salt chocolate. Just make sure that neither the chocolate or beer are too bitter.