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Beer and Chocolate Tasting Event

September 28, 2011 1 comment

On Tuesday evening, September 20th, Johnson Bank hosted a Beer and Chocolate Tasting at Three Cellars in Franklin. The event featured six different craft beers paired with six different chocolate truffles that were made by a local chocolatiere.

The beer and chocolate pairings:

  • Lindemans Framboise with Chocolate Raspberry truffle
  • Hinterland Luna Coffee Stout with Chocolate Kahlua truffle
  • Breckenridge Vanilla Porter with Chocolate Vanilla truffle
  • Grand Teton Sweetgrass with Chocolate Orange truffle
  • Schell Firebrick with Chocolate Caramel truffle
  • Rogue Chipotle Ale with Chocolate Chili Pepper truffle

Lindemans Framboise with Raspberry Chocolate Truffles

Upon arrival, guests signed in and received a 5 oz. tasting glass with the Johnson Bank logo on it. The Lindemans Framboise and Raspberry Truffle pairing was set up in the middle of the store. Lindemans Framboise is a low alcohol (about 2.5% abv) raspberry lambic. It’s bursting with fresh raspberry flavor and has a tart sweetness to it. As expected, when paired with the raspberry truffle the flavor of the beer compliments the sweetness of the chocolate, but also that tartness helps balance it out a little. This pairing really showcased how a fruit beer like this can be enjoyed as a dessert.

The other 5 tasting stations were set up outside in the brand new beer garden that was built adjacent to the store this year. We stepped outside, and they couldn’t have asked for better weather for the event. The temperatures were in the mid 60s as the sun began to set. It was a perfect early Autumn evening outside!

The first table right outside the door was pouring Rogue Chipotle Ale with a Chili Pepper Chocolate Truffle. The beer was really interesting and I got a slight peppery smokiness toward the back from the chipotle. I can’t recall if the truffle had any heat to it or not from the chili pepper, but the pairing was unique.

Next up was Grand Teton Sweetgrass American Pale Ale with the Chocolate Orange Truffle. I was really surprised by this one. I wasn’t sure what to expect from a hoppy beer with orange-flavored chocolate, but I have to admit, they went together really well. The citrus hoppiness of the beer was really bright on the palate, and when paired with the orange truffle, seemed to accentuate both the fruitiness of the beer and chocolate and the spiciness of the hops.

The Schell Firebrick is a smooth and easy drinking Vienna-style lager. It was paired with a rich Chocolate Caramel Truffle. The malty beer itself has caramel notes to it and seemed to step aside and let the caramel truffle really shine on this one.

I was really eager to try the remaining two beer pairings, because I’m a big fan of porters and stouts. Breckenridge Vanilla Porter is a dessert beer in some regards, just because of the sweetness the vanilla affords to this one. Here was another example of two complimentary flavors exhibited in each. The vanilla and roasted chocolate malt combined with chocolate vanilla was a smooth, rich treat.

Finally, Hinterland Luna Coffee Stout with the Chocolate Kahlua Truffle may have been my favorite. The stout had a deep roasted and espresso-like coffee flavor, along with a dark chocolate bitterness. That combined with the chocolate laced with Kahlua was heavenly. The truffle just melted in your mouth, and all those chocolate and coffee flavors merged into a rich, roasted deliciousness.

Johnson Bank's Beer and Chocolate Tasting at Three Cellars in Franklin, WI.

Overall, I was very impressed with the Beer and Chocolate Tasting. Three Cellars was a great venue to host the event (what’s better than keeping a beer focus at an amazing craft beer store?). I also thought Johnson Bank did a wonderful job organizing the event and making it a unique opportunity for customers to experience something wonderful with a special craft beer and food pairing. Maybe even for others it was a chance to open their minds to the possibility of pairing craft beer, instead of wine, with something like chocolate that they normally wouldn’t even consider.

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