We are all used to the various wine and cheese tastings, so welcome aboard to Stout and chocolate pairings. When planning the interactive cocktail reception why limit the guests to a wine and cheese tasting, (or having wine and chocolate for dessert?) Before reaching for the wine, why not consider beer instead – a trendy new twist.
Long before micro brewing became popular, beer had always had a foothold with chocolate…as you investigate you will determine some stout even have cocoa in them. So when greeted by a challenge to come up with a fun thing for the beer drinking guys to do at a reception we thought, “why not a stout and chocolate tasting.”
We needed to introduce this concept to the guests who are used to wine and cheese, but stout and chocolate? That was going to be new. We had signs made for the tasting, as we knew people would ask what it was. Much to their surprise and ours they thought it was a great idea. They had never heard of it so they wanted to give it a try. We had one server who asked what type of stout they liked and then poured a small juice glass of stout and then the guests pared it with a chocolate. Some said it was like a pop of chocolate and a soothing smooth taste of beer. Others said it was the richest taste of chocolate they have ever had.
So the big question is what to pair with what type of chocolate? That is where the fun begins. There is really no rime or reason to any specific pairing. It is hard to settle on just one beer to pair with chocolate. Chocolate, especially dark chocolate, and beer are such natural partners that almost any random beer can pair very nicely with a chunk of chocolate. Even a simple Pilsner can be elevated by good chocolate. It’s particularly excited when pairing based on contrasts rather than similarities. So if you want to pair, pair the opposite – Dark Chocolate with a lager, a milk chocolate with a Dark Stout like Guinness and for the ultimate in sensation a white chocolate with a creamy ale.