Beer and chocolate – a match made in heaven?
Beer-loving ladies from across the industry have marked an early end to Lenten promises by hosting their annual Beer and Chocolate tasting at the Draft House, Tower Bridge.
With Easter firmly in their sights, the women sampled five beers matched perfectly with five different chocolates. From pale ales to porters and barley wines to golden ales, beers from Sambrooks, Fuller’s, Calsberg, Brewsters and Fordham were available to sample.
This is the third annual Beer and Chocolate tasting by beer and women group Dea Latis, named after the Celtic Goddess of Beer.
Annabel Smith, spokesperson for Dea Latis, said: "Beer is one of the most versatile types of drink there is and with this showcase, we're proving that beer and chocolate really is a match made in heaven!
"Our group's aim is to share all that is great about beer with women – some of whom are perhaps put off by the media's portrayal of beer. Typical points that can put women off are the images of the beer belly or pint glasses. With beer having fewer calories than wine and with the growing popularity of third of a pint glasses, two of those myths can be dispelled at once!
"With events such as these, we hope to make beer more accessible to women and provide the opportunity to taste the beer in an informal atmosphere."
The Beer and Chocolate matches are:
Brewster's Chocolate Cyn (4.8% ABV) with Divine Dark Chocolate with Orange & Ginger (Selected by Jane Peyton, School of Booze)
A 4.8% porter containing Fairtrade cocoa from Divine chocolatiers, and cinnamon, Chocolate Cyn is deceptively light for a dark beer, with a rich chocolate and coffee character with a spicy bitterness from the cinnamon. This is a collaboration beer brewed with Sara Barton at Brewster's Brewing Company with three Dea Latis members - Jane Peyton, Marverine Cole, and Shea Luke.
Jacobsen Barley Wine, 9.5% ABV, with Thornton's Alpini Continental Chocolates (Selected by Joanna Dring, communications manager, Carlsberg UK)
The 2011 vintage Jacobsen Barley Wine is brewed at the Carlsberg micro-brewery in the heart of Copenhagen. At over 9%, this is a beer that really packs a flavour punch! Its aroma is complex, with notes of liquorice, caramel and nuts along with smoky undertones. Paired with hazelnut and almond chocolate from Thornton's, the beer's full-bodied and semi-sweet taste perfectly matches the nutty chocolate. Perfect to share with friends after a scrumptious dinner party!
Fuller's Golden Pride (8.5% ABV with Merry Berry Mixed Spice & Fruit Dark Chocolate (Selected by Jane Peyton, School of Booze)
A full bodied barley wine with a huge amount of fruit character - orange marmalade, mango, figs, raisins, and treacle malt, and a firm hop base to balance the sweetness. This beer should replace any temptation to drink Cognac after a meal!
Sambrooks Pale Ale (4.2% ABV) with Paul A Youngs XO Marmite chocolate (Selected by Jo Miller, marketing director, Sambrooks Brewery)
Sambrooks Pale Ale is brewed using Maris Otter floor malted barley, and a blend of English and New Zealand hops including Admiral, First Gold, Celeia and Hallertau. The result is a golden ale with an aroma of spicy meadow herbs and a sharp, marmalade and lingering dry taste.
In keeping with the south London brewer’s tradition of working with local producers, they have matched this with the creative genius of Soho chocolatier Paul A Youngs XO Marmite chocolate. The Madagascan chocolate in the recipe is a fine and equal partner to the fruity and tangy nature of the beer. This is not a match for the faint hearted and or the unadventurous. It does show the rich diversity of beer and chocolate matching.
Fordham Doppelbock (8% ABV) with dark chocolate TBC (Selected by Julie Finney-Hogg, marketing director, Heathwick)
Dark & rich with a big beer taste, Doppelbock is an exceptionally smooth, full-bodied dark lager with a bold character that is sure to brighten your spirits. Doppelbock is brewed with Munich, Pilsner and Carafa malts, combined with Perle and Tettang hops, and in strict adherence to the Reinheitsgebot, the Bavarian Purity Law of 1516. Its complexity makes it an ideal match for all types of chocolate as well as Black Forest cake and dried fruit rum tart.