High on Hops: Best Chocolate Beers

Chocolate Beer

If you need to be reminded of the over-emphasis on food in our obsessive modern culture, look no further than Wikipedia’s list of food-related holidays. July is full of obscure culinary celebrations like “Gummi Worm Day” and “National Corn Fritter Day.” There are so many honored foods that poor Caesar salad and spare ribs have to share the fourth of July. Is nothing sacred?

For the dessert-inclined, July has five food holidays that directly reference chocolate. Ah, chocolate. It can run like a river on a hot fudge sundae (“National Hot Fudge Sundae Day” is July 25th) or be molded into a firm candy bar bed for your favorite nuts (“National Chocolate with Almonds Day” is July 8th). Preparation can be crispy like a cracker (“National Chocolate Wafer Day” is July 3rd) or creamy as a glass of chocolate milk (celebrated on July 28th).

Related Post: New Belgium’s Salted Belgian Chocolate Stout

Thankfully, craft beer fans don’t have to wait for an anonymously anointed day to say cheers to chocolate. There are dozens of brews crafted with or inspired by this decadent treat.

To get you started, here are five picks for can’t miss chocolate bomb beers.

Imperial Choklat Stout
Southern Tier Brewing Co.
Seasonal Release: November
10% ABV

Choklat is a part of Southern Tier’s renowned Blackwater Series, a label the brewery uses to highlight some of its more decadent offerings. Rich with creamy chocolate goodness, this imperial stout spotlights all that’s right with dessert beers.

Sexual Chocolate
Foothills Brewing Co.
Seasonal Release: February
9.75% ABV

Fans wait in long lines to purchase Sexual Chocolate at its annual release day in Winston-Salem. The aroma of roasted cocoa leads into a luscious, dry chocolate sensory overload. The alcohol is well-masked and dangerous, so savor slowly.

Chocolate Rain
The Bruery
Bruery Reserve Society Exclusive
18% ABV

Perhaps the hardest beer to obtain on the list, bottles of Chocolate Rain are only available to Bruery Reserve Society members. Vanilla, caramel and yes, lots of chocolate are at the fore with a tinge of sweet liqueur at the finish. It’s chocolate milk for grown folks with very expensive tastes.

Shake Chocolate Porter
Boulder Beer Co.

Shake won the gold medal at the 2014 World Beer Cup in the chocolate beer category due to it tasting eerily similar to a fudge milkshake. The chocolate wheat backbone sets the stage for a full mouthfeel and near-infinite drinkability.

Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout
Cigar City Brewing
Seasonal Release: March
11% ABV

According to the Mayans, Hunahpu gave cocoa to the world. Cigar City took that gift and raised him Madagascar Vanilla Beans, Ancho Chilis, Pasilla Chilis and Cinnamon to make one of the country’s most coveted brews. The combination of sweet and spice make it one of the most complex and rewarding beers to search out.

No matter what the food holiday calendar says, every day is a good day for chocolate. With these beers as a guide, you’ll be able to celebrate all year long.