Thursday, February 11, 2010

VeggieDag Thursday: Box of Chocolate, Bottle of Beer

I recently overheard a customer in a wine and beer shop proclaim: "I don't want beer with dessert. That's just weird."

I kept quiet in the shop, but here, to rebut, I reprint this 2007 lede, and more, from Maggie Dutton, writing in her Wine Offensive blog in the Seattle Weekly:

Red Wine and Chocolate: arranged marriage. Beer and Chocolate: hot sex.

Chocolate and Weizenbock!

Here's more:
Red Wine Doesn't Go With Chocolate
Try beer instead.
December 12, 2007

Red wine with chocolate is like an arranged marriage. The only thing they have in common is fruit: Red wine tastes like it, and chocolate sometimes tastes good with it. However, red wine's overbearing tannin, oak, and acid affront a fine chocolate's complex creaminess, and neither lets the other finish a sentence. They don't belong together.

Chocolate needs something like beer, a beverage that can be supportive. They speak the same language. They share the same bittersweet nature. Think of the beer as you would a chocolate's center: chocolate-covered malt balls, toasted rice, toffee. They like to go to the same places on your tongue <...>

<...> With beer and chocolate, it's not a matter of getting it wrong. It's more likely to be just right.

What's at play here is the affinity of flavors between chocolate and beer, what brewmaster Garrett Oliver calls the "flavor hook."  He's not talking about Industrial Light Lagers, but fuller-flavored traditional beers and the newer craft styles.

What combinations to try?

Stout, with its roasty and bakers' chocolate flavors, is a natural choice with chocolate. But don't stop there. Try citrus chocolate with IPAs. Sweet fruit beers with 'white' chocolate.

Weizens and weizenbocks with fruit-liqueur chocolates. Barleywines with toffee/caramel chocolates. Dubbels and other dark abbey and Belgian-style beers with all sorts of chocolate. Even chocolate and peanut butter (!) with an Imperial Stout.

And, yes, if you wished, you could try some port wine with that dark chocolate.

  • More posts on beer and chocolate:  here.
  • As a representative for beer/wine wholesaler Select Wines, Inc., I sell the beers of Heavy Seas (Clipper City) in northern Virginia.
  • VeggieDag is a series of occasional Thursday posts on vegetarian cooking and issues. Why the name? Here.
  • Suggestions and submissions from chefs and homecooks welcomed! Here.


  1. Where can one get Hang Ten in February? I found myself craving it during the storms, and that picture makes me want to walk to Baltimore and camp outside 'til July!

  2. As of 2012, Hang Ten Weizenbock has been discontinued by Heavy Seas. There are several alternatives, including Aventinus from Schneider, in Bavaria, Germany.


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