Even for those who prefer the enamel-stripping bitterness of high IBU beers to anything remotely sweet, Easter is a time when it’s hard to avoid chocolate.
So it’s a perfect excuse to embrace the excitement of beer and chocolate matching.
Here I’ve taken three favourite local beers that are relatively accessible at this time of year and suggested chocolate pairings for each.
Whether or not you have a sweet tooth, I hope you try some of these pairings and enjoy them.
Leave a comment at the bottom of the page and share your recommendations for beer and chocolate matching.
Batch Elsie The Milk Stout
- 70% dark chocolate
Elsie The Milk Stout is a great place to start. When thinking about pairing with sweet dishes, particularly with chocolate, it’s tempting to start with sweet stouts. And why not? They’re clearly a great complementary pairing.
The wonderful thing about Elsie is that it has a bitterness that you might not expect from a milk stout. It’s also reasonably dry for a lactose beer meaning it doesn’t cloy so can be used to complement sweet food.
Roasted coffee flavours and the bittering hops make it a perfect match for dark, bitter chocolate which is why I recommend pairing it with 70% dark chocolate.
While fudge brownies, dark chocolate tortes or ice-cream would be tempting, a simple block of dark chocolate washed down with Elsie is going to provide immense pleasure.
- White chocolate and raspberries
- Chocolate dipped cherries
- Rose petal chocolate
The acidity in sour beers is great at cutting through fatty foods, including the milk fats found in chocolate. The sharpness also provides a beautiful contrast to sugar-laden white chocolate.
Obviously white chocolate is a traditional pairing with raspberries which are found in Sourpuss. Throw more berries into the equation, either fresh or dried and encapsulated within the block of chocolate, and you’ve got a match made in heaven.
Alternatively, rose petal chocolate will provide a pairing that’ll showcase a range of delicate flavours and retain the tantalising contrast between sweet and sour.
For extreme indulgence though, pick up some plump, juicy cherries and dip them in your choice of chocolate. With Sourpuss fizzing in your glass, you’ll wonder why you’d ever drink Champagne.
Shenanigans Hoppy Gonzales
- Chilli chocolate
Another much-loved pairing for chocolate is chilli. Shenanigans Hoppy Gonzales features jalapeños which will make for a bombastic sensory experience when paired with chilli chocolate.
Generally it’s sweeter red chillies, or dried chillies that have taken on raisiny or chocolatey flavours, that are incorporated into chocolate desserts.
Hoppy Gonzales showcases fresh, green jalapeño flavours, so whether you go for a chilli-infused chocolate fondue or simply a bar of dark, bittersweet chocolate laced with chillies, the pairing will provide an experience across the chilli flavour spectrum.
Fatty chocolate and biting chilli offset each other. The lightly carbonated pale-amber base of this beer will cut through the fat and extinguish the fire on your tongue.
It will be an assault on your palate but one that will keep you coming back for more.
For The Beer Lover With A Sweet Tooth
If these pairings don’t provide your chocolate and beer fix, then why not just combine the two? Australia produces some great chocolate inspired beers.
La Sirène’s Praline, or the boozier Imperial version, are fantastic starting points. Another is Temptress, the chocolate porter from Holgate. While Bacchus from Queensland brew a huge range of exciting chocolatey dessert beers.
There are endless possibilities when it comes to beer and chocolate matching. Leave a comment below and share your favourites.