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Chocolate Sebbie

With only one more day to go before “Beer & Chocolate Day,” here’s one more article on this delicious subject.

This one is by Greg Kitsock and appeared in the Washington Post today, entitled A Different Kind of Drinking Chocolate and explores a number of chocolatey beers, including one of my favorites, Rogue’s Chocolate Stout featuring Sebbie Buhler on the bottle.

Here’s what Kitsock has to say about the Rogue Chocolate Stout, some of which I didn’t know:

Rogue Chocolate Stout, from Rogue Ales in Newport, Ore., originally was brewed for export to Japan as Chocolate Bear Beer.

Its label, featuring a teddy bear with a pink heart on its belly, was hardly designed for macho appeal. “In Japan, women give men chocolate for Valentine’s Day,” explains Sebbie Buhler, Rogue’s regional rep for the Northeast. When the brewery decided to introduce the beer to American drinkers in 2000, Rogue founder Jack Joyce renamed it and substituted Buhler’s portrait on the 22-ounce silk-screened bottle to honor her 10 years of service.

As a base, Rogue uses its Shakespeare Stout (a fairly strong and aggressively hopped example of the style), infusing Dutch bittersweet chocolate into the finished beer. Drier than the Young’s, with a spicy, resiny finish, the stout is complex and intriguing, although the chocolate and the hops clash in the finish.

Sebbie also had a bit to say about the beer that bears her likeness:

Rogue Chocolate Stout is “a very versatile beer,” Buhler says. “It goes beautifully with big, stinky cheeses, and particularly blue cheese.” She also notes that it makes great beer cocktails, especially when mixed with Belgian fruit lambics. Try Lindemans Kriek or Lindemans Framboise (a raspberry ale). Those fruit beers are highly aromatic; to keep the stout from being overwhelmed, blend them at a ratio of at least two or three parts stout to one part lambic.

Buhler also likes mixing Rogue Chocolate Stout with Rogue Chipotle Ale, a beer flavored with smoked jalapeno peppers. The half-and-half makes an excellent accompaniment to spicy Mexican fare such as chicken mole, she says.

Sebbie lives in the same state where I grew up, Pennsylvania. Her brother Dave Buhler is also one of the co-owners of Elysian Brewing in Seattle, Washington. The pair have been in the beer business as long as I can remember. Happy Valentine’s Day, Sebbie.


Me and Sebbie at the Falling Rock during GABF week 2006.


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