The Down and Dirty on Chocolate Beers

March 11, 2016

Alright, so what’s up with chocolate in beer? If you’ve been to a Taco Mac lately, you might have noticed our Influenced by Chocolate flight, available now through the end of March. Through this flight, I’d like to introduce you all to the decadent indulgence that comes from mixing two of everyone’s favorite things – beer and chocolate.


Let’s start with the basics – how does chocolate make its way into beer in the first place? It’s definitely not a new thing. In fact, National Geographic traced the phenomenon back to the ancient brewers, as early as 1100 B.C. Back then, they used the pods of cacao beans to sweeten their brews. Now, there are myriad of ways to brew the sweet, rich flavors of chocolate into complementary beers.


Chocolate can be infused into brews through the addition of cacao nibs, baker’s chocolate – even candy bars can play a part in this game! It really depends on the brewers’ preference, and the taste they’re targeting. For those who fancy a higher ranking on the Lovibond scale (this sentence is for beer nerds only), chocolate and coffee notes can also be achieved through using roasted chocolate malt, which isn’t actually chocolate at all. Malt is germinated grain, most often barley, that have been germinated and dried into a form more suitable for inclusion in beers. These dark, roasted malts can add just a bit of character to a beer in moderation, but when fully committed to can result in a beer as smooth and rich as liquid gold.


Different methods of brewing with chocolate combine to form some of the most tempting nectars in the world of beer. Chocolate beers can be enjoyed alongside your meal, or on their own as an after-dinner treat. Heck, if you want, we say skip dinner and just feast on chocolate beer all night.


The four beers I’ve carefully selected for our Influenced by Chocolate flight each speak to the category a bit differently. From traditionally paired flavors like coffee and berries to experimental peanut butter, these four breweries have each produced beers well-deserving of their spots on this flight.


  • Terrapin’s Liquid Bliss uses brewery-boiled peanuts to their chocolate peanut butter masterpiece.Chocolate-Bar-Flight-2
  • Shake Chocolate Porter by Boulder Beer brews five different grains together to create liquid velvet that will appeal to all your senses.
  • Ommegang comes into the mix with Chocolate Indulgence, a Belgian Chocolate Stout introduced for the brewery’s tenth birthday. Unique Belgian yeast provides a subtle fruity character to balance out the sweetness of the chocolate.
  • Highland Brewing’s Black Mocha Stout presents our biggest chocolate flavored beer. This traditionally sweet stout smells heavenly from the first sniff and is smooth until the last sip.


These four beers come together to offer you the perfect introduction to chocolate beers. If you’re feeling extra spoiled, I might even suggest adding a scoop of vanilla ice cream to make a chocolate beer float! If anything, they’re certainly a great alternative to scarfing an entire box of Russell Stover. What do you think? Give them a try?

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