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Beer & Chocolate Pairing

Day 723 - Paddle of beer by Clive C
Day 723 - Paddle of beer, a photo by Clive C on Flickr.
A few weeks ago, I was fortunate to be able to attend a Craft Beer & Chocolate Pairing night at CocoaNymph, as part of BC Craft Beer Month. It just so happened to be on a Friday (October 25th, to be exact), and by the time I got home I was too tired to blog about it and had to prepare for my last tea party. But it was a memorable beer night and I took some tasting notes - which is how I am able to still write about what I tasted intelligibly. The event was co-hosted with Lundy from Pink Pints.

All the truffles served were delights no one ever tasted before - either seasonal truffles, or the ones that are part of the steady collection were actually the future-version of themsleves. And I got to tell you: if you liked CocoNymph’s truffles so far, brace yourself for the type of goodness that makes one wax poetic or just swoon on the spot.

Beer no. 1: Black Betty Blackberry Saison (Vancouver Island Brewery). It’s a fizzy light amber coloured brew with a raspberry aroma. The flavour is beer with raspberry notes, bitter, fresh-tart, sweet and leaves a stinging fizz afterwards.

Chocolate pairing: CocoaNymph’s new recipe for the Glinda truffle: blackberry sage. Tart, fruity, musky and earthy-herbaceous. Beautifully complemented the beer.

Beer no. 2: Sweet Punk Dunkelweizen (Longwood)
Dark brown beer that looks (and tastes) like thin drip coffee. If it does not sound appealing, it’s because it’s not my taste. At all. It also has a very strong coffee, roasted notes, and mocha notes (hints of cocoa).

Chocolate pairing: Melissa, CocoaNymph’s hazelnut crunch truffle, with a whole candied hazelnut in the centre. Nutty, sweet and a soothing honey aftertaste. Great redeeming point for the harsh coffee-beer prior experience. By the way - once this truffle’s recipe was modified, it completed the task of turning the entire CocoaNymph chocoaltes & confections gluten free.

Beer no. 3: Sap Sucker (Fernie Brewing Company)
This maple porter is frothy, even darker than the previous beer. Malty flavour.

Chocolate pairing: Barnabas the Tortoise, which is a milk chocolate filled with orange brandy ganache and caramel.

Beer no. 4: Pumpkin Pearzen (Moon Under Water)
Unclear, pale golden liquid, looks like unfiltered pear juice. Aroma is spicy and reminiscent of pears and pumpkins simultaneously, but also surprisingly sour and bitter in flavour. Very smooth mouthfeel with hints of spice.

Chocoalte pairing: Prancer, which is CocoaNymph’s first seasonal truffle - a pumpkin ganache that is just absolutely wonderful and gets better every year!

Beer no. 5: Spirit Chaser (R&B Brewing)
A porter made with Sumatra coffee from Salt Spring Coffee Co. Looks like a very dark coffee. Aroma of smooth coffee, roasted beans. Flavour is bitter and sour, just like a too strong coffee.

Chocolate pairing: Ultra Dark truffle, with cacao nibs on the outside. I believe this is a completely new truffle that is not part of the steady collection of truffles yet.

Beer no. 6: Lost Souls (Parallel 49)
Chocolate and pumpkin flavoured beer, which was apparently too much for me. I think by this point I had too much beer! But not too much to form the opinion, that I do not like coffee and beer together, and strangely enough, when it comes to craft beers, I probably lean towards the light and fruity ones. While with “normal” barley beers, I prefer the darker actually.

Chocolate pairing: Illa - the salted caramel truffle that started Rachel in her sweet chocolate path (very similar to the SeaNymph bar, which is what the chocolatiere is probably most known for). It practically goes with everything and enhances everything. Personally, I prefer it with a glass of dark red wine such as Shiraz or Zinfandel.
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