Monday, February 8, 2010

SF Beer Week event: Beer + Chocolate = LOVE

SF Beer week how I love you so- your insane rare beers, barrel aged goodness, barley wines, guest brewers and of course, pairings. One of which was my own! Beer + Chocolate = LOVE actually had 2 event dates, Thursday and Friday but because Friday was the start of SF Beer Week, Friday was the official event of the evening.

Chocolate! Chocolate! Chocolate! MMMmmmmmm yet something else I love so dearly. Beer has so many vast varieties of flavors, textures and complexities that truly compliment those in different chocolates. Tannins and the high acidic wines overpower the subtle flavors that you can get out of chocolate.

We also had the great sponsorship from TCHO chocolates, which were kind enough to donate their 4 amazing flavors of dark chocolate-
1-"Citrus"- Madagascar, 67% Cacao and Organic
2-"Chocolately"- Ghana, 70% Cacao
3-"Nutty"- Ecuador, 65%, Organic and Fair Trade
4-"Fruity"-Peru,  68%, Organic and Fair Trade

These chocolates really worked well with the beers that we paired because of their high profile one flavor note (hence the name of each chocolate). A lot of the people who came had never seen or heard of this local San Francisco chocolatier before so they were very pleased to have tried it. Plus they are very excited to know about their location in Pier 17 in the Embarcadero, where you can also get a fantastic Blue Bottle Cappuccino to go with your chocolate should you so wish.  I also bought some great chocolates at their store to be part of a raffle that we did each night- their chocolate covered Cacao Nibs and their chocolate covered Mango Morsels-mmm delish! These were raffled off with a bottle of Dogfish Head's 120 IPA, Deschutte's Abyss, BrewDog's Dogma, a Saison Dupont and with this being pre-Valentine's day and all, a romance package filled with lotions, candles and creams- for $5, not a bad raffle if you ask me!

As always, I make my 'students' take notes and hand them into me afterwards. Everytime I do this, each night is always different, which I just love.

The Thursday night meetup group's top 3 beers of the evening were:
1-Dogfish Head's Burton Baton
2-Saint Somewhere's Lectino Divina tied with Avery's Hog Heaven
3-Dogfish Head's Fort

Thursday's top 3 favorite pairings were:
1- Dogfish Head's Burton Baton paired with Vosges' Naga Bar
2-Saint Somwehere's Lectino Divina paired with Tcho's "Citrus"
3-Dogfish Head's Fort paired with Tcho's "Chocolatey".

I always ask people to switch around the pairings and come up with some on their own. Mike really liked Alesmith's Speedway Stout paired with Tcho's "Chocolatey", Avery's Hog Heaven paired with Tcho's "Fruity" and Dogfish Head's Burton Baton paired with Tcho's "Citrus".

For Friday's meetup group, their top 3 favorite beers of the evening were:
1- Alesmith's Speedway Stout
2-Cascade Kriek Ale tied with Saint Somwehere's Lectino Divina
3-Dogfish Head's Theobroma

Friday's top 3 favorite pairings were:
1-Dogfish Head's Theobroma paired with Chauo's Firecracker
2-Avery's DuganA paired with Vosges' Naga Bar
3- Stone's Speedway Stout paired with Tcho's "Nutty".

Some interesting pairings you guys came up with:
1-Stone's Smoked Porter with Tcho's "Fruity" by Meredith
2-Cascade Kriek Ale with Chauo's Firecracker by Casi
3-Avery's Hog Heaven with Vosges' Naga Bar = OMG Chai! by Courtney
4-Avery's DuganA paired with Tcho's "Fruity" by Sasha
Alex said " I will murder for the curry chocolate (Vosges' Naga Bar).
Devon said "Pop rocks chocolate = awesome".

A good time was had by all. Elissa said "Thank you! You guys are a gracious, cool couple and this was an enjoyable, worthwhile event. Your professionalism and beer knowledge exceeded by expectations. Cheers!". Thanks Elissa! We look forward to the next event- Strong Ales, Barley wine and Samuel Adam's Utopias on March 19th. We hope to see you fabulous ladies there~

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