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West 6th Brewery | Pay it Forward Cocoa Porter

west sixth cocoa porter
Katie Oswalt

Chocolate can be extremely polarizing. It can magically alter the brain chemistry of a hormonally-crazed female, turn pint sized trick-or-treaters into sugar charged hellions, or serve as the perfect wing-dessert to a romantic dinner for two. However there are certainly situations where chocolate may not necessarily work. It probably doesn’t pair well with soup, nor serve as an appropriate topping to a kale and tofu salad (trust me Ive tried) and to some it might seem a tad averse to mix chocolate with beer. But such is not the case with West 6th’s Pay it Forward Cocoa Porter.

Cocoa Porter is now available in cans throughout Kentucky, brewed and distributed by Lexington’s still-young West 6th Brewery. Before it hit store shelves, I discovered this gem’s name scrawled across  the taproom chalkboard. What was even more curious was the wording:  the “Pay it Forward” Cocoa Porter. Upon deeper investigation with the bartender, the bearded brute grinned and winked– “you’ll find out soon.” Intriguing sales tactic, my friend. I had never enjoyed the presence of chocolate in my beer before and would normally steer clear. Somehow, I soon found myself staring at a midnight-black brew with a head the color of almonds after this tempting hook. Mixed emotions ensued.

With the first cautious drop, my tongue was delighted  and confused by the joyous marriage of flavors. Could it be? My favorite taste from childhood finally playing so selflessly with the chosen beverage of my adulthood? The merriment was true. Even better, a teensy hint of coffee aroma wafted inside the glass after each sip. And at 7% ABV, this sweet treat is certainly not child’s play as the palate may assume. Tickled, I mentally placed this bold brew on my short list of go-to beers.

This malty brew’s cocoa-ness, however, is a bit superior to the Hershey Bar from your trick or treat cache. West 6th partners with Taza Chocolates to source Organic and sustainable direct trade Cocoa nibs from Central/South America– delivered fresh from growers that were paid an ethical and fair wage for their delightful crop.

If the taste itself doesn’t emit Warm-and-Fuzzies, the “Pay-it-Forward” title will. For each 6-pack of Cocoa Porter sold, West 6th donates $.50 to a rotating non-profit in the Lexington area. West 6th supporters and fans are helping to determine each organization for these proceeds. Big high-fives for this local brewery’s support for other

As I happily sip my own can of this scrumptious porter at home, I wonder how complete my life could be if my beloved Take-5 bar could be captured in an equivalent liquid friendship…

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