To tell the truth, I’ve always hated beer. The immense bitterness and the bloating, gassy aftermath always makes me wonder, “How can anyone ever enjoy this, WARM especially?!” I’m thankful for this event as it totally changed the whole perspective of beer for me. And with chocolates? C’mon! Organized by Thirst Magazine, this intimate event was their first and was held at Ales & Lagers at Publika Shopping Gallery. The beers and chocolates were provided by Chocolate Concierge and Brewers’ Craft/Smith Street Taps.
Let’s get to the bottom of the ups, shall we! *sorry, lame pun*
We were first given an introduction of chocolate making and the differences in good vs bad chocolate by Ning from Chocolate Concierge. He explains that chocolates that give a bitter taste while consumption or aftertaste is a result of over-roasting the cacao beans used to make these chocolates. Over-roasting it means burning these beans and hence, the bitter taste.
Menu of the day
Taken from Thirst Magazine’s Facebook
(Beer: From left) Red Chair NWPA (6.2% abv), Americano A Roma (6.8% abv), Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar (6% abv) & Stone Coffee Milk Stout (5% abv)
(Chocolates: From left) Ghana Origin Dark Chocolate Meltaway, Orange Zest Meltaway, Milk Chocolate Almond Rocher, Salted Caramel Slice & Mango Django
After trying tiny 60%, 65% and 72% cacao samples, we were then given a little appetizer to start off the whole tasting event. We got to savor the Malted Hot Chocolate Espuma; it was a velvety rich Venezuelan chocolate paired with a dark malt, served warm. It was a wonderful drink to start off the tasting.
“Frothy, rich and oh-so-good” – Warm dark malt with Venezuelan chocolate
The first chocolate & beer pairing – The Ghana Meltaway was paired with Red Chair NWPA (6.2 abv)
The Red Chair is a pale ale with smooth, sweet caramel malt base and floral, citrus notes that smelled sweet and divine. Paired with the Ghana Meltaway, it really brought out both of its individual flavours. Don’t be fooled by the sweet-smelling Red Chair, it was a bit bitter for my liking.
Next was the Americano A Roma (6.8%abv) with the Orange Zest Meltaway. The Americano is a bready malt with light lemony taste and herbal aromas with a bitter finish. No pictures were taken here because this pairing was the one I enjoyed best.
The lemon hints from the Americano and the orange from the chocolate really complemented each other. Truth be told – I DON’T LIKE ORANGE CHOCOLATES but this one blew my mind away.
Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar (6% abv)
Listening from the crowd’s comments, some can taste the hazelnut in this, some can’t. It’s a brown ale with hazelnut extract that has a rich, nutty flavour with hazelnut aromas, roasted malt and sweet chocolate.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t taste the hazelnut but there was a very light hint of sweet chocolate. I’m a super huge fan of hazelnuts and this didn’t really tickle my fancy as I was looking forward to taste the hazelnut in this. The Milk Chocolate Almond Rocher was a sweet treat to end things with the Rogue.
The last pairing was the Stone Coffee Milk Stout with the Salted Caramel Slice. Many thought that the Salted Caramel piece was a bit too heavy to go with the stout and funny enough, it was wonderful with the Mango Django!
The stout was smooth, bittersweet and creamy while the mango-centered cream in the Mango Django burst with robust tastes of mango and passion fruit. Paired together, the stout’s taste mellowed and the sourness of the chocolate’s creamy fruity centre amplified – the Mango Django saved the day!
Definitely more chocolates for me!