Welcome to Beer School! This week we’re talkin’ all about food and beer pairings! With the most romantic holiday right around the corner, we’re talkin’ about everyone’s favorite combo – chocolate and beer!
Overview of food and beer pairing
When it comes to pairing food, always pairing intensity with intensity. What do we mean by that? Make sure the intensity of your beer’s flavor matches the level of intensity of your food. This means not pairing your highly sweet, alcoholic, and rich barrel-aged stout with a garden salad. D’oh! We’d recommend pairing that stout with a rich chocolate lava cake. Yum!
And we’d be remiss not to mention the 3 C’s of food and beer pairing: complement, contrast, and cut. When pairing food and beer, use one of the C’s! Complement similar flavors and aromas of the food and beer. Contrast similar flavors of the food and beer. And finally, cut the intensity of food, whether it be spicy, fatty, sweet, etc., with the distinctive flavor of the beer. For example, a sweet, malty German doppelbock paired with spicy chicken wings will lessen the heat from the wings.
Chocolate + beer = the perfect pairing
Now that you have a basic understanding of how to pair food and beer, let’s talk about chocolate. You could pair almost any type of chocolate with a roasty porter or stout. And that works wonderfully, but here’s our take on what we think would pair well with certain types of chocolate. All beers mentioned below can be found on our shelves right now 🙂
Milk chocolate – Milk stout (paired with Wiseacre’s Gotta Get Up to Get Down)
The sweet, creamy, smooth chocolate complements the creamy sweetness of a roasty milk stout thanks to the lactose used in the brewing process. Mmm!
Dark chocolate – Flemish red (paired with Brouwerij Van Steenberge’s Monk’s Cafe Flemish)
The bitterness of the dark chocolate contrasts the distinct, sour cherry fruitiness of the Flemish red. An interesting pair, indeed.
White chocolate – Kriek lambic (paired with Brouwerij 3 Fonteinen’s Oude Kriek)
The sweet, vanilla creaminess of the white chocolate cuts the sweet, cherry tartness of the kriek. A perfect match if you ask us!
Semi-sweet chocolate – Quadrupel (paired with Vliegende Paard Brouwers’s Préaris Quadrupel)
A little bitter, a little sweet. The decadent chocolate complements the sweet, raisin-like flavor of the quadrupel. Think Raisinettes 🙂
And now you can impress that special someone this Valentine’s Day with a 6-pack from your local beer store and a box of chocolates! You’re welcome.