Pair a regular or chocolate stout with dark chocolate (photo © Taza Chocolate) .
 If you’re enjoying bonbons with different-flavored centers, pairing beers to the centers is the way to go (photo © Lake Champlain Chocolates). .
For years, beer and chocolate lovers have traveled beyond the enjoyment of a good chocolate stout, combining malty and chocolaty craft beers with fine chocolates and chocolate desserts (see the recipe for a Chocolate Stout Float—chocolate stout and chocolate ice cream).
In his book, The Brewmasters’Table, Garrett Oliver, brewmaster of the Brooklyn Brewery, describes a luncheon of sommeliers held at the Gramercy Tavern in New York City.
The dessert trio included a chocolate-caramel tart, a molten chocolate cake, and a malted milkshake. Oliver paired the dessert with two beers: Brooklyn Brewery’s Black Chocolate Stout and a Belgian raspberry lambic.
No sommeliers could come up with any wine that would pair as well as either of the beers.
If you live in New York City, you’ll be able to attend a chocolate and beer pairing on February 1st as Garrett Oliver and chocolatier Fritz Knipschildt chocolatier (read our review of Knipschildt chocolates), pair chocolate and beer
If you’re not in the neighborhood, check your local area food calendars: Beer and chocolate are hot stuff, and pairing events are happening all over the country. We’ll be attending the event and reporting back in time for you to plan your own beer and chocolate party for Valentine’s Day.
If you can’t wait, where should you begin?
Porters and Stouts. These dark beers are made from darkly-roasted barley or highly-toasted malts. With roasted, toasted, and some coffee-like flavors, these beers match well with most chocolate desserts. Some are made with chocolate malts, chocolate nibs, and/or actual chocolate.
Belgian-Style Ales and German-Style Weizens. These beers have big, fruity-spicy beers aromas that complement chocolate. Weizens have subtle spicy flavors including banana and clove; Belgian-style ales have notes of apple, apricot, and peach.
As you can see in our chocolate flavors and aromas chart, similar tastes appear in fine chocolate, and actual fruits and spices are added to chocolate desserts, making for excellent pairings.
EVENT DETAILS: February 1 Chocolate & Beer Pairing At Whole Foods Market in NYC, with Garrett Oliver, Brooklyn Brewery brewmaster and Fritz Knipschildt, chocolatier and owner of Café Chocopologie, in Norwalk, Connecticut. The event will be held at the Whole Foods Market at 95 East Houston Street (between Bowery and Chrystie Streets), 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. To register, phone 1.866.462.2838, from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
CHECK OUT WHAT’S HAPPENING ON OUR HOME PAGE, THENIBBLE.COM.