Saturday, September 28, 2013

Vermont Brewer's Fest Beer & Chocolate Pairings W/ Lake Champlain Chocolates

I decided to put up a post this week regarding the chocolate and beer pairing event I attended at the information tent during last weekend's brewer's festival. I was fortunate enough to have tickets to both sessions that day, which meant an afternoon of learning followed by an evening of beer gluttony. I also volunteered for our local homebrew club, the Green Mountain Mashers. John and I ran into some good friends as well as a few other homebrew "know-it-alls". The following is basically copied from a printout I received at the pairing event - I thought some people would like to see it if they didn't get a copy:

Pairing 1: Zero Gravity & Otter Creek Collaboration, Berliner Weiss (3% ABV) with Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Carmael. The sour wheat beer is traditional to Northern Germany and is very light with a tartness resembling champaign. Sea salt highlights the dairy and lactic sourness of the chocolate. Together the beer's high sour lifts the cooked dairy flavors of the caramel. I noted the seas salt giving a kick in the last bite.

Pairing 2: VT Pub & Brewery Lake Champlain Chocolate Stout with Organic Vanilla Truffle. The beer is a rich, dark, smooth and sweet; a full bodied milk stout brewed with Madagascar cocoa nibs roasted at Lake Champlain Chocolates. Organic butter and heavy cream pair well with the milk stout. Deep roasted, chocolate flavors blend nicely with the Madagascar bourbon vanilla. The pairing is sort of self-explanatory with the use of chocolate in the beer.

Pairing 3: Alchemist Heady Topper (8% ABV) with (1) Dark Chocolate Orange Peel & (2) Dark Covered Almond. A variety of citrus, bitter, and sweetness of pineapple are led by a piney aroma in the beer. The orange peel in the chocolate creates a citrus bomb. Balance of sweet and sour notes. The chocolate almond's bitterness complements this big beer by boosting the roasted almond notes.

Pairing 4: Wolaver's Organic Oatmeal Stout (5.9% ABV) & Cordial. The cordial piece is showcased by the oatmeal stout inside a thin dark chocolate shell. They do this by cooking the beer down only slightly, to highlight the oatmeal and malt flavors and aid in a thicker consistency. This was by far the best chocolate of the night. You have to eat it in one bite as the beer easily flows out of the thin shell. This is also a 100% organic food and beer pairing!

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