The Art of Chocolate and Beer Parings

You’ve likely heard of wine and chocolate pairings, but what about combining beer and chocolate? Though it may sound strange at first, with the right knowledge of how the two can complement one another, it can be a delightful and delectable experience. With just a few simple suggestions, you, too, can be on your way towards becoming a beer sommelier, aka a Certified Cicerone.

The Basics

Before you crack open a cold one and grab a handful of your favorite Ethel M Chocolates, here are a few pointers on how to best please the palate by carefully pairing the right pieces and pint.

  • • Start with the lightest flavor of both beer and chocolate, then move to the darkest.
  • • Experiment with tasting the beer first, then the chocolate, then the reverse.
  • • Once you’ve finished your first bite of chocolate, take another bite, let it melt, then take a small sip of beer to experience the flavors together. Most of our Ethel M Chocolates are “two-bite” pieces—perfect for savoring.
  • • When participating in a wine tasting, one must cleanse the palate between varietals. However, because beer is carbonated, it acts as a natural palate cleanser.
  • • A general rule when first delving into beer and chocolate pairing is to keep like-with-like, i.e. enjoy the sweet chocolate pieces with sweeter beers and more tart or fruity varieties of beer and chocolate together.

Suggested Pairing Examples

If all that sounds a bit scientific, that’s because it is! Interestingly, beer and chocolate have quite a few things in common. Most significantly, both are fermented foods with complex flavor development through that process. If you’re concerned your guest may crinkle their noses at you combinations, don’t fret, we’ve done the work for you and in the perfect order to heighten the senses.

  • 1. A Blonde Ale with our White Chocolate Vanilla Truffle
  • 2. Sour Gose with Dark Chocolate Lemon Satin Crème
  • 3. An IPA with Classic Pecan Brittle
  • 4. Imperial Stout with Dark Chocolate Espresso Truffle

Beer by the Numbers: Fun Facts to Share During Your Tasting

beer by the numbers

  • 36.58: The average price in dollars of a case of craft beer
  • 67.5: ABV percentage of Snake Venom, the strongest beer in the world
  • 85: Percentage of alcoholic beverages sold each year that are beer
  • 237: Guinness World Record held by John Evans for the most pints a person can balance atop their head
  • 1040: Year Germany’s oldest and still-operational brewery opened
  • 1632: Year the first commercial brewery in the United States was built
  • 7000+: Number of breweries in the United States
  • 162,719: Pints of Guinness beer wasted every year due to mustaches
  • 1,500,000: Number of empty bottles of Heineken & Chang beer used to construct the Wat Pa Maha Chedi Kaew temple in Thailand
  • 196,000,000: Barrels of beer produced in the US in 2012

Interested in attending a beer and wine pairing with the pros? Ethel M Chocolates has partnered with local brewer Craft Haus for special pairings on select dates, like the upcoming Father’s Day tasting. Book now as space is very limited. Wine and chocolate tastings are also available.

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