Better known to the rest of the world as Valentine’s Day, I’m pushing for it to be called Beer & Chocolate Day instead.
I know I promised yesterday would be the last beer and chocolate posting but it’s pretty hard to ignore a story called Beer + Chocolate = Love. This article comes from Michigan and my colleague Rex Halfpenny had something to do with so I knew it was worth a look.
It’s actually from the Grand Rapids Press, and it’s a nice overview of how to pair beer and chocolate. It includes a number of suggestions from a range of people, such as this pairing with the beer pictured on the left.
And this wonderful observation:
And here’s a step-by-step guide to tasting beer and chocolate by Rex Halfpenny, who publishes the Michigan Beer Guide:
- STEP 1: Depending on the amount of running around you want to do, each pairing can be presented one at a time or the chocolates can be plated ahead of time. Arrange them like the numbers on an analog clock, with all plates arranged the same, pair the chocolate at 1 o’clock with the first beer and so on. Generally use 3 ounces of beer per pairing — aim to provide about two bottles worth of beer, 24 ounces, with no ill effect.
- STEP 2: Instruct the audience ahead of time to learn the beer and learn the chocolate, then match their flavors. Take your time, sniff, taste, enjoy the beer. Then do the same with the chocolate. Then take another bite of the chocolate, let it melt and just as it is about finished, take a small sip of the beer to blend the flavors. This is the highlight of the experience.
- STEP 3: Encourage folks to take notes. Many do not, so give them a sheet listing the beers and a couple of sentences about them, including brewery, style, alcohol level and the aroma/flavor. Note what you want them to focus on. Have a space for comments on appearance, aroma, flavor, body, finish, aftertaste. Do the same with the chocolates. If inclined, they will take notes; if not, they are given a clue of what’s going on.