Love your Easter eggs but still want your craft beer kicks? Don’t panic, here’s our guide to pairing up your two great loves
The key to any great food and drink match is finding complementary flavours. Beer tends to have a less complex flavour profile than wine, which actually makes it easier to pick out the taste you are after and work with it. Chocolate, too, also tends to have one dominant flavour – whether that’s the 80 per cent cacao or the salted caramel added later.
By far the easiest beer to pair with chocolate, look for one with chocolate or espresso notes. Porters also work well, particularly if they’ve been aged in wine barrels. Pair these with a good-quality dark chocolate – the bitterness of the cacao will help bring out the sugars hiding in the beer.
Try: Tuatara Black WCF Chocolate Stout with Lindt Excellence 85 per cent cacao.
A hoppy IPA might not seem the obvious choice to drink with chocolate, but choosing a sweet chocolate pairing can take the bitterness out of your beer, making for an enjoyable match. Make sure the chocolate has at least 50 per cent cacao though, so the flavour doesn’t get lost.
Try: Tuatara APA with Whittaker’s Waikato Grown Aromatic Oolong Tea in 50 per cent Dark Chocolate.
A light zingy beer goes well with a lighter chocolate and a bit of citrus. White chocolate is a match, but make sure it’s not too creamy. If you’re going dark, then 30–40 per cent cacao is the maximum.
Try: Emerson’s Pilsner with Whittakers Hawke’s Bay Braeburn Apple with Heilala Vanilla in 28% cocoa White Chocolate.
Fruit and nuts pair wonderfully with Belgium beer. A good Dubbel or Tripel with a light milk chocolate fruit and/or nut bar is a match made in heaven.
Try: Tuatara Belgium Tripel with Wellington Chocolate Factory New Zealand Hazelnuts.
A good cherry beer works well with a sweet, dark chocolate.
Try: Lindermans Kriek with Wellington Chocolate Factory Madagascar Somia Plantation, 70% cacao.