Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Beer and Chocolate Pairing Night

Beer school is rarely this well attended; perhaps every event should involve chocolate. Chocolate and beer pairing is a little different from food pairing. It is important to match the sweetness of the chocolate with your beer choice. With food, this is not an issue. Another possibility is to match flavours within the chocolate with your chosen beer. This is getting easier with brewers experimenting with adjuncts and flavours enhancers. Here is a summary of the treats beer school attendees enjoyed. Thanks to Rod Phillips at Liquor Plus for helping me track down these great craft beers.

Handmade Bernard Callebaut white chocolate with Rice Krispies and dried cranberries
Paired with Hoyner Pilsner

I have always wanted to try a pairing with white chocolate and beer. People thought this was the beer pairing of the evening. The sweetness and creaminess of white chocolate meshed well with  similar characteristics of the Bohemian Hoyner Pilsner. The Hoyner was not overly hoppy, but the hoppiness was comparable to the tartness provided by the dried cranberries. Thank you Hoyne Brewing for participating in our event and furthering the fact that craft beer is not just for dinner anymore.

Purdy's milk chocolate hedgehog
Paired with Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar

This was everyone's least favourite pairing of the evening. The hazelnut in each beer was fun, but that was about it.

Purdy's dark cashew caramel
Paired with Russell Wee Angry Scotch Ale

Those who liked caramel, loved these two together. Russells Wee Angry had mild caramel notes which was mirrored in the Purdy's chocolate. The cashews in the chocolate brought out the light roasted/peatiness in the Russells. A match made in beer heaven.

Purdy's ice wine truffle
Paired with Driftwood Old Cellar Dweller

This was the bold choice: two very strong tasting delicacies. Both the Old Cellar Dwellar and the ice wine truffle can be hard to enjoy by themselves. They worked perfectly as a pair. The vineous richness of the truffle was almost equal to the warmth provided by the OCD. Conversely the intense, citrus, piney and resin from the OCD only made the luscious dark chocolate better.

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