Happy Valentines Day everybody! It’s a good day to do something special for someone you love or, at the very least, eat some chocolate. You may be going to a fancy restaurant, cooking a candle lit dinner at home, or be flying solo with your favorite “Rom Com” and some chocolates. The beauty of this beer pairing is that it works for all three scenarios. As long as you’re looking for something chocolate, I can help you find a good beer to go with it.
For dessert I went with a super easy, totally customizable, and pretty fun chocolate fondue. I based it off of a Simply Recipes’ suggestion. It’s customizable because you can add any kind of flavoring you like to it (vanilla, cinnamon, white chocolate, Bailey’s, etc.) and you can dip whatever you like in it (strawberries, banana slices, pretzels, marshmallows, etc.). My girlfriend and I decided to go with dark chocolate strawberries for this trial run and we paired them Brooklyn Brewery’s Local 1 and Rogue Brewery’s Mocha Porter. When I selected the beers for this pairing, I thought about what kinds of drinks people often enjoy with desserts and what kinds of beers were similar. The classic Valentines Day drink of choice is Champagne so why not go with a sweet, strong, well carbonated Belgian like Brooklyn Local 1? Local 1 is even bottle aged with a cork so you can get the whole “pop the bubbly” effect. Rogue’s Mocha Porter, obviously, is aimed at those of us who like a nice cup of coffee with dessert.
Dark Chocolate Fondue
- 12oz dark chocolate chips (or whatever kind of chocolate you prefer)
- 8oz heavy cream
- Whatever you want to dip in the chocolate
This is really a simple two step process. First heat the heavy cream in a pot on medium heat until it starts to slowly boil. Once it is boiling a little bit, start stirring in the chocolate chips until it is all melted together. You can then start dipping to make chocolate covered strawberries, pretzels, etc. or take the pot to the table (rest it on an oven mit) and do it fondue style.
Brooklyn Brewery – Local 1
Brooklyn’s Local 1 is a 9.0% ABV ale that is created using 100% bottle re-fermentation. It has a nice golden amber color with a substantial white head. It has a vibrant aroma that is spicy and wheaty with a touch of alcohol. It has a sweet, well malted Belgian flavor with slight alcohol tones and strong carbonation. Local 1 features a strong hop character for a Belgian style which helps it stand up to the strong flavors of dark chocolate. The alcohol in this ale balances its sweetness well and overall the beer amplifies chocolate strawberries making the entire tasting experience more powerful.
Rogue Brewery – Mocha Porter
Rogue’s Mocha Porter pours a deep, dark brown with a thick caramel colored head. It has a slight smokey aroma and a full body. This is a rich, well balanced porter with a sturdy hop flavor to match its dark malts and coffee tones. Mocha Porter is perfect for dessert because it is more carbonated and has more of a hop bite than the average chocolate stout. It remains crisp and slightly refreshing even after a large meal. It matches the dark sweetness of dark chocolate while cleansing the palate of lingering flavors.
Good Hop Recommendation – BOTH
I couldn’t do it. As hard as I tried to choose one over the other, this one is a draw. I will say that I am a porter fan and a big time coffee drinker so I would choose Rogue’s Mocha Porter. On the other hand, my girlfriend is a big fan of Belgians and liked Brooklyn’s offering much more. This is really not a situation where one brew is better than the other. It comes down to the type of flavor experience you are looking for with your dessert. Brooklyn Local 1 compliments the flavor of the strawberries and the sweetness in the chocolate. Drinking Local 1 with your dessert will keep the sweet flavors of the food on your palate and truly amplify them. Rogue’s Mocha Porter is a darker flavor that stands up to strong flavors, especially in dark chocolate. Mocha Porter offers a more balanced flavor experience with dessert. The mocha flavors contrast the sweetness of the strawberries and have a pleasant cleansing effect on the palate. It all depends what your preferences are. You can’t go wrong either way.
Tim Meyers (Tim@GoodHopBadHop.com)