Chocolate and Beer Pairing

Chocolate, meet Beer. Now go mingle together.

I’ve said before that I’m not a huge fan of most beers, but when I hear the words Chocolate and Beer Pairing, guess what: I become an instant, converted beer drinker.

I never would’ve thought of pairing chocolate and beer – it’s not as popular as chocolate and wine – but surprisingly, the two actually go well together.

Not surprisingly though, my favorite pairing includes the sweetest beer.

I received a tasting basket from Equal Exchange and Harpoon – both companies were started in the Boston area by founders who were looking to do things differently in the food and beer industries.

I’ve never actually tried Equal Exchange chocolate before receiving the samples,  but I have heard of them. Equal Exchange is a fair-trade organization and they offer organic chocolate, coffee, tea, olive oils, nuts, and other products.

But Harpoon, Harpoon, I know. In fact I’ve had multiple bottles of Harpoon beer (even if “I’m not a big beer drinker…” ha!) – sometimes even immediately after running a race (I ran the Harpoon Brewery 5-miler last year and will be running it again next week).

So I was really happy to receive free samples of chocolate bars and bottles of beer (thanks again, Terry!). But let’s be honest here: I broke into one of the chocolate bars already while I put the beers in the fridge to chill…

Equal Exchange is actually running a contest where they are giving away tasting baskets and a private event at Harpoon Brewery. The contest is running until Friday, so if you’re older than 21 years old and live in the US, you still have a few days left to enter.

There were some suggested pairings:

Orange Dark Chocolate + Rye IPA

Milk Chocolate + Catamount Maple Wheat

Dark Chocolate with Almonds + UFO White

Caramel Crunch with Sea Salt + Harpoon Dark

But I experimented with other combinations, and the one I like most is the Caramel Crunch with Sea Salt + Maple Wheat Beer. The maple beer is rich and sweet, and the chocolate brings out the maple flavors nicely.

And as some of you may know, I am a sucker for salted caramel and all kinds of desserts with those flavors, so this bar was an easy favorite. The dark chocolate bar is creamy with a slight smokiness, and it is balanced by the sweet, crunchy caramel pieces and tinge of salt.

Have you ever tried pairing chocolate and beer? Tell me about it. And if you are entering the Equal Exchange contest, good luck! I hope one of you guys win a tasting basket or the Harpoon Brewery private event for you and twenty of your friends!


31 Responses to “Chocolate and Beer Pairing”

  1. #
    Joanne posted May 16, 2012 at 8:14 am

    Given how delicious guinness is in chocolate cake, I can definitely see how all beers can have their own chocolate soulmate. I’m definitely going to try some of these pairings!

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted May 16, 2012 at 10:13 am

      Mmmm Guinness chocolate cake *drool*

  2. #
    Victoria (District Chocoholic) posted May 16, 2012 at 8:47 am

    Do you follow Chocolate Advocate? She lives in Cambridge, and does beer and chocolate pairings.

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted May 16, 2012 at 10:15 am

      I am now, thanks for letting me know!

  3. #
    Michelle posted May 16, 2012 at 8:47 am

    I went to a beer and dessert pairing at Finale and love the combination of beer and chocolate!

  4. #
    Claudia posted May 16, 2012 at 9:09 am

    I never would have thought to pair the two together. Given the prevalence of so many artisanal beers these days – I’m not surprised. I would try any of these pairings!

  5. #
    Daisy posted May 16, 2012 at 9:33 am

    i was at this event and I loved learning about how to pair chocolate and beer. the combinations were pretty fantastic!!

  6. #
    amy marantino posted May 16, 2012 at 9:47 am

    i have never tried pairing chocolate and beer… yet

  7. #
    ian posted May 16, 2012 at 10:08 am

    i always eat dark chocolate with vanilla porter on regular nights then when i travelled west, i tried Tatonka® Stout at BJ’s Brewhouse in Washington state, and i looove it! i hope i can try these pairings! :)

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted May 16, 2012 at 10:18 am

      Ian!! Kamusta?? Thanks for the comment. That sounds delicious. Hope all is well!

  8. #
    Colleen @ Culinary Colleen posted May 16, 2012 at 10:18 am

    I also wouldn’t have thought to pair the two, but now I want to try it! I love IPAs so I’m really curious to try that pairing.

  9. #
    Rebecca @ Miss Magnolia Munches & Moves posted May 16, 2012 at 10:18 am

    Yum! I’ve never paired chocolate and beer but think I would prefer it to pairing chocolate and wine.

  10. #
    Meghan posted May 16, 2012 at 10:21 am

    Beer and chocolate, what’s not to love?! I was sorry I had to miss this!

  11. #
    Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking posted May 16, 2012 at 11:14 am

    Wow, Bianca! This is so darn fascinating! I would have never thought beer would go well with chocolate, but why the heck not? Such an informative and eye opening post!

  12. #
    Michelle Collins posted May 16, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    I love pairing chocolate and beer together – although, there’s not much I don’t enjoy pairing beer with. ;)

  13. #
    Heather posted May 16, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    Tha chocolate orange and Rye IPA sounds fantastic, two flavors I love!

  14. #
    christina posted May 16, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    i have never had beer & chocolate before, but i wouldn’t be upset if i did. hahah

  15. #
    A Plum By Any Other Name posted May 16, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    I am such a fan of Harpoon beers … especially after sweaty runs (is that so wrong?). I imagine that when paired with caramel they jump into the realm of spectacular. ;)

  16. #
    Alaina posted May 16, 2012 at 7:15 pm

    Oh, gimme gimme!! Haha. :-P

    Those pairings taste amazing! I never thought to mix beer and chocolate.

    I hope to see you on Sunday!! I’m volunteering at the race. :-)

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted May 16, 2012 at 7:22 pm

      Oh cool I will see you Sunday then! Looking forward to it!

  17. #
    Amy posted May 16, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    Ooh, I love both chocolate and beer- this looks awesome! And that chocolate looks so tasty. I’ve never heard of it before, but I look forward to hopefully trying some soon!

  18. #
    honeywhatscooking posted May 17, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    oooh, the chocolate looks delicious. Where did you buy it? For a second I thought maybe Trader Joe’s.

  19. #
    Rhonda posted May 17, 2012 at 9:32 pm

    I have been to a couple of beer pairing dinners but never did a specific beer and chocolate pairing. I will definitely have to give it a try.

  20. #
    Amy (Savory Moments) posted May 18, 2012 at 8:41 am

    Interesting idea. I’ve had a chocolate stout before, but I’ve not eaten chocolate while drinking beer. Guess I’ll just have to give it a try!

  21. #
    Sues posted May 18, 2012 at 11:58 am

    Chocolate and Beer (AND chocolate beer) is one of my very favorite combinations, so this sounds like a dreamy event to me. And yes, salted caramel is amazing! :)

  22. #
    Kim K posted May 18, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    this is so interesting bc harpoon is one of my triathlon team’s sponsors. i would love to get our team together for a beers and chocolate event!

  23. #
    peachkin posted May 18, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    Thanks for dropping by my blog!
    You know, I don’t really drink beer but there’s a certain appeal when I see the word chocolate near the word beer. I will have to try this….

  24. #
    Emily @ A Cambridge Story posted May 20, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    I tend to think that chocolate goes with anything :) but, seriously, I am surprised that it is such a good match for beer. What a fun thing to try!

  25. #
    Molly Galler posted May 29, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    I’ve done red wine and chocolate, but never beer. Sounds like quite the gift basket!

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