It’s February and whether you are celebrating Valentine’s, Galentine’s, or Singles Awareness Day, chocolate is the quintessential accompaniment. And what could be more perfect than to enjoy this year’s celebrations with some lovely chocolate beer? In fact, chocolate craft beer.
There are many breweries creating a variety of beer styles with chocolate flavours in their profiles. Some of these are brewed with lactose, or milk sugar, and actual chocolate, while others derive their flavours from chocolate malt.
There are a few versions of this malt available, but as a rule they are characterized by a range of chocolate and cocoa notes that they can impart to your beer. And like your favourite heart-shaped box of candy, a delicious chocolate craft beer will help you enjoy the festivities and indulge your sweet tooth. However, not only are these lovely on their own, but they will also pair amazingly well with all your chocolate treats and decadent holiday delights.
James Brown Brews: Chocolate Orange Stout
Available at McHughs 3.89
If your candy obsession is Terry’s Chocolate Orange or you just can’t put down the Jaffa Cakes, we have the beer for you. Having won Beoir Champion Beer of Ireland at the 2015 Killarney Beerfest, this dry Irish stout boasts dark chocolate flavours and finishes with a lovely hint of orange.
Unlike the Terry’s, however, the orange notes in this chocolate craft beer are subtle and smooth, and are a fabulous compliment to the roasty coffee and dark chocolate flavours of the stout.
Northern Monk: Northern Star Mocha Porter
Available 3.20 Drinkstore.ie
In my last piece I wrote about the rise of coffee-infused beer and this particular brew will call to all those who love a good mocha.
Northern Monk created this porter in collaboration with the experts at North Star Micro Coffee Roasters. The blend of coffee beans adds a dark roasty character with hazelnut nuances to the beer. They then add dark chocolate and lactose which produces a brew with smooth and creamy texture and gorgeous mocha flavours.
The White Hag Brewery: The White Sow
Available Martins Off License 3.70
Billed as a Oatmeal Chocolate Milk stout, this beer is made with locally sourced Irish oats, contributing to a rich mouthfeel. The brew itself is made with cocoa and lactose, also locally sourced, which create a balanced chocolate flavour, that isn’t cloying or too sweet.
This smooth stout also boasts roasty characteristics with coffee notes and a lovely creaminess, without an overwhelming ABV, clocking in at 5.2%.
Galway Bay: Buried at Sea
Available at Molloy’s 3.85
A 94 on Ratebeer, this complex Chocolate Milk Stout is full of flavour and body with notes of dark chocolate, brown sugar and cream, and a roasted dark malt backbone. Like some of the others on this list, this one too was made with lactose and chocolate, creating a decadent flavour profile for the most avid of chocolate lovers.
Brooklyn Brewery: Black Chocolate
Available at Drinkstore.ie 3.99
With a 10% ABV and gorgeous decadent flavours, this is Brooklyn Brewery’s version of the famous Russian Imperial stout.
A chocolate craft beer perfect for the cold nights of February, with a dark intense chocolate flavour created by roasted malts, this rich and refined stout has lovely hints of vanilla, licorice, and fruit. This beer also gets more amazing with age, so pick up a few bottles and stash some away for a vertical tasting with next year’s batch.
A historian by trade, Christina founded the Ladies Craft Beer Society of Ireland to have some semblance of a life outside of her Ph.D. An academic at heart, she then went on to turn her love of craft beer into something a bit more formal and has become a BJCP (Beer Judge Certification Program) Beer Judge.
With this background, she is devoted to educating the consumer on the history of beer styles and brewing, as well as what makes up the perfect pint.