Portland is justifiably famous for its amazing local beers, and it’s becoming almost as well known for its incredible array of quality local chocolate options. What better way could there be to spend V-Day than to pair these two great treats?
Pairing beer and chocolate is not a new idea. Local (but internationally famous) beer writer and historian Fred Eckhart has been leading beer and chocolate tastings on Valentine’s Day for nearly two decades. When Fred started, though, he had a wonderful supply of great beers to choose from – but not so many great local chocolate shops to supply him with the sweet side of the tasty treat combination. Now, things have changed.
Pairing beer and chocolate is part art, part science. You want to try to find some common element between your beer variety and your chocolate treat besides the obvious “Sweet and dark.” Here are a few suggestions to get you started.
Bridgeport IPA with Leonidas Olympe truffle – Bridgeport’s citrusy hop nose accentuates the orange buttercream and praliné white truffle from this Belgian chocolatier. Take a bite of the chocolate first, then a sip of the IPA, and let them melt together. It’s the best tasting Vitamin C you’ll ever drink.
Widmer Drop Top Amber with Moonstruck Chocolate Caramel Truffle – The toffee flavors of the amber just beg for caramel, and its balanced malt and hop profile allow your sweet taste buds to dance for joy once that dark chocolate shell melts away, letting the caramel goodness coat your tongue.
Deschutes Abyss (or, if you can’t find that, Rogue Shakespeare Oatmeal Stout) with Moonstruck’s Venezuelan Dark Chocolate Bar. Only the richest, darkest chocolates can ride with the richest, darkest beers. The Abyss is already a legend and Moonstruck’s Venezuelan is an amazing 74% cocoa. The cocoa’s fruity top notes bring out the dark ale’s complex esters.
Hoegaarden Belgian Wit with Teuscher’s Champagne Truffle – okay, it’s not a Portland beer, but it’s a great import. The effervescent, lightly spicy nose of the Belgian ale is just delicate enough for this light-as-a-feather chocolate delight.
Hair of the Dog Adam with Ben and Jerry’s Mud Pie ice cream – Yes, I’m suggesting you make a beer and ice cream float. You may think it sounds awful, but trust me – you’ll want to save room for this amazing dessert treat.