Chocolate Trio: 3 Pairings

Table Mates by | Sep 2017 | Issue #128

Based in Portland, Ore., chocolatier David Briggs is known for incorporating savory ingredients like bacon, Parmesan, and olive oil into his bittersweet confections. For a beer and chocolate pairing, Briggs selects his robust and earthy 74 percent chocolate Orangette Bar with candied orange peel and fresh orange zest added; Rose Hips & Berries Truffle Bar, which incorporates rose hips, red currants, raspberries, blackberries, and hibiscus flowers; and Foietella, a spread made from foie gras, chocolate, and heavy cream. He pairs the sweets with three beer styles: a tart wheat, an Imperial IPA, and a Flanders Brown Ale.

Foietella and Oud Bruin
8.7% ABV | pFriem Family Brewers
Foietella straddles the line between savory and sweet. My favorite accompaniments with foie gras are fruits with some sweetness and acidity. Following that logic, this foie gras and chocolate spread calls out for a barrel-aged sour, like the Oud Bruin from pFriem. The beer offers notes of chocolate, cherry, and dark fruits, with a tartness that cuts through the spread’s richness. Add a baguette or some brioche to complete the pairing.

Orangette Bar and Bes
6.0% ABV | Little Beast Brewing
A mixed-fermentation beer brewed with chamomile, Bes is tart and crisp with floral notes and a hint of citrus. In the Orangette Bar, zesty orange notes combine with a robust, dark chocolate sourced from the Dominican Republic. When enjoyed together, the beer’s floral notes come forward, leading to a bright and clean orange-and-chocolate finish. Because of its tart, crisp profile, Bes keeps the chocolate from feeling too heavy on the palate.

Rose Hips & Berries Truffle Bar and Big Juice Double IPA: Smoothie Edition
8.5% ABV | Three Magnets Brewing Co.
Imperial IPAs aren’t always the best option for a chocolate pairing, but the fruit-forward, juicy hops in this release from Three Magnets makes it an exception. Paired with the Rose Hips & Berries Bar, the beer turns into a tropical fruit explosion up front, while the bar’s sweetness tones down some of the bitterness from the hops. On the finish, the chocolate shines as notes of red berries and hibiscus in the bar round out this unconventional coupling.