#pastrystout – PorchDrinking.com
Valentine’s Day has its chocolate hearts and Easter its chocolate eggs, but chocolate beer can be enjoyed all year. And why not? Chocolate and cocoa are more than additions to dessert, they a delectable ingredients that enhance a multitude of savory dishes such as mole sauce, chili, barbecue and ravioli. Granted, chocolate beers tend to lean to the sweet side, but has anyone ever had a chocolate shake in the summer? Chocolate exists as a diverse, adaptable and downright delicious ingredient, and brewers have mastered its integration into beer. Here are six noteworthy examples of chocolate-infused beer (even if it’s been a while since the release date, the beers can be found on shelves, or in your beer buddy’s cellar).
For most, the foray into the world of beer trading is swiftly met with an introduction to the secondary value world, as that perceived value tends to drive the trading market. Fortunately, there are still areas free from the shackles of “me first” mindset. Luckily, through my own beer journey, I’ve been fortunate enough to find a small group that acts as a family. While the group mostly allows us to maintain connections online and send each other beers as presents, surprises, and BIFs (beer it forward, essentially chain mail but with beer as presents); recently I have focused my domestic travels on meeting these people in person. With SF Beer Week in progress and more than a half dozen faces I had yet to meet in person, I “sailed off for the San Francisco Bay”.
“Ride, captain ride upon your mystery ship. Be amazed at the friends you have here on your trip.”
Lately, there has been quite a few articles about the rise of pastry stouts and why this is a problem, such as this recent article from the Chicago Tribune that argues we’re forgetting what beer tastes like. In case you did not know, a pastry stout is beerspeak for liquid dessert. Most often, pastry stouts include cacao nibs, vanilla, coconut and other adjuncts that help enhance the stout to emulate sweet treats.
The pastry stout debate, IMO, is moot. As craft beer continues to diversify, so do our taste buds. What is beer supposed to taste like nowadays? The answer is no longer “hoppy,” but subjective. It could be barrel-aged and malty, super hazy or fruity. The craft beer landscape is vast and ever-changing, with new hop varieties, ingredients, and techniques that pop up every day. Whether you’re a Reinheitsgebot beer purist, or you prefer your beer to taste like a chocolate bomb, the beauty of craft beer is that there is something for everyone. And pastry stouts, much like other styles of beer, if done well, are fantastic. WeldWerks Brewing‘s Peanut Butter Cup Achromatic Imperial Stout is one such example.