Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Chocolates and Beer pairing at Avery Brewing Co, January 30, 2013

Chocolates are a sensory experience with many nuances in it's flavor and because of this  depth of flavor it pairs very well with wine, but I recently attended a chocolate beer pairing that was interesting and delicious.

Beer enthusiasts well know that beer has that same depth of nuances were you experience drinking it in three stages.  Before drinking any style of beer, the first thing that you should do is smell the aroma, is it hoppy, sweet, or fruity? Then upon the first sip there's a flavor of sweet, sour, or maybe a spiciness that swirls in the front of the mouth.  The last stage is the aftertaste that occurs when you swallow the beer, there should be a back flavor, bitterness or a sweetness that leaves a residue in your mouth.  As stated earlier, chocolate has that same three stages.

Avery Brewing Co in Boulder hosted a chocolate beer pairing with Piece, Love, and Chocolate owner/chocolatier, Sarah Amorese and Jeff Mendel, Director and Ambassador for Left Hand Brewing Co.  Sarah and Jeff worked together for a few months trying to marry the best flavors of of chocolate and beer for this event.  Same of the pairings were complimentary while others were contrasting in flavors.  Some of the pairs weren't my favorites but it was fun eating chocolate while tasting beer.

We first received an appetizer of Avery's Reverend which is a Quadruple Ale with a Reverend Mousse Cup and Reverend Cut Ganache. This pairing was amazing in richness and texture.

Then a plate of 7 pieces of chocolate confection were artistically arranged in order of pairing.

The first pairing was White Chocolate Lemon Tart with Sierra Nevada's Kellerweiss Ale, an American Hefeweizen.  This wasn't one of my favorite pairings, I didn't like the hefeweizen at all nor did it pair will with the dessert.

The next pairing was with White Chocolate Cheesecake with New Belgium's Frambozen, a raspberry brown ale.  This was a favorite because the flavor melded so well together.

Third pairing was Left Hand Milk Stout Chocolate Cup-0-Love Cake that was paired with Left Hand Milk Stout.  Of course, the flavors were very complementary.

The next was a pairing of Chocolate Pecan Tart with Avery's Hog Heaven, a barleywine style ale. The hoppiness of the Hog went very well with the sweetness of the pecan tart.

Fifth pairing was with Lightly candied and panned nuts and a dark chocolate with salted liquid caramel
that was paired with Foreign Stout from Upslope Brewing. The saltiness of the nuts went well with the stout as did the dark chocolate.

The sixth pairing was of a Salted Caramel Cookie Tarte with Wood Shed Smoked Porter from West Flanders Brewing.  I didn't care for this pairing for the beer wasn't to my palate and the cookie was just okay.

The last pairing was a Hazelnut Espresso Shortbread with a dollop of white chocolate that was with Tweak, Avery Brewing's Mephistopheles that is infused with a cold coffee toddy. Loved the beer but disliked the dessert.
Milk Stout, Hog Heaven, Foreign Stout, Smoked Porter,
and Tweak.

While we were indulging in each course, Mendel and Amorese talked about beer and chocolate, the history of both plus the process they went through in each industry.  The only bad comment I have about that night was that we weren't given enough time in between courses.  The beer kept flowing then they would talk about the next course.  It went too fast for me.

At the end of the event we were given a care package of 4 chocolates that were made with 4 different beers. The beer chocolate pairing event was worth the $55.

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