Happy Valentine’s Day from us here at the Black Creek Growler. As an early Valentine’s Day present, i’m writing a couple of days ahead of the usual Friday afternoon posts. What is the number one food associated with Valentine’s Day? If you guessed chocolate, you’re right. Chocolate is an indispensable part of Valentine’s, whether it’s receiving some on the day of, or buying a ton of discounted chocolate on February 15th. Here at the Black Creek Brewery, we always think of things in terms of beer, so this post will help you find a beer to pair with your Valentine’s day gift.
Many beer purists believe that IPAs can’t go with chocolate. The bitterness of the IPA and the sweetness of the chocolate is said to clash. However, this doesn’t have to be the case. Chocolate doesn’t have to be just sweet and milky. If you can find a dark chocolate with peppers, sea salt, or any other twist that makes a chocolate less sweet, you can find an excellent pairing to go with an India Pale Ale.
Stout or Porter
The coffee and caramel notes in a porter or stout match perfectly with many types of chocolate. However, it is recommended to choose a chocolate that also has a hint of coffee or caramel in order to compliment the beer you’ve chosen. If you choose a stout that’s on the sweeter side, you can even venture into the dark chocolate caramel territory. However, if your stout or porter has a more bitter coffee flavor, choose a darker and more bitter chocolate with more of a mocha or espresso note.
Fruit Beers (such as a Lambic)
Choosing a fruity lambic ale can offset the sweetness of chocolate. Feel free to pick a sweeter chocolate to pair with this one, as a sweeter chocolate will not overpower this beer.
Choosing a lighter Best Bitter allows you to pair with a lighter chocolate. If you’re not the biggest fan of darker chocolate but still want to try a beer pairing, choose a maltier beer. Our Canadian Frontier Best Bitter is sweet yet malty, and would pair well with a nice milk chocolate.
Of course, beer is ultimately very personal. There are some beer enthusiasts who believe that beer and chocolate will never go together. Others don’t mind what beer goes with what chocolate, as long as both taste great. It’s all up to you and your personal tastes to decide whether or not your Valentine’s Day will be filled with beer and chocolate!
Hops to you,