As boys, we liked our milk chocolatey. As men, we like our beer chocolatey — along with our milk.
But we’re not talking about mixing some chocolate powder into a pilsner *barf*. Chocolate beers are most typically in porter or stout form, which utilizes dark malted barley and ale yeast that ferments at the barrel’s top. Both porters and stouts have the same fermentation process. However, stouts tend to use unmalted barley, resulting in a thicker tasting beer with higher alcohol content.
To get that rich, dark-chocolate flavor of a chocolate porter or stout, Brewmasters experiment with combining dark-roasted hop varieties with raw or roasted cacao nibs or whole beans, and other ingredients. The addition of one ingredient may increase one of the beer’s flavor profiles, but decrease others. Take a look at the handy beer flavor profile star graph provided by Rogue brewery to held conceptualize the trade-off.
If you need to inject more chocolate into your beer, you can’t go wrong with any of these picks.
Great Divide Brewery is no stranger to superb chocolatey stouts. Its Yeti stout series of beers have won numerous awards at the Great American Beer Festival. This variation of the Yeti is a limited edition and can be enjoyed between April and October. It includes notes of coffee and vanilla to mimic the flavor of the Mexican champurrado drink.
Oregon’s Rogue brewery has done it again with this exceptionally smooth, chocolatey, and bubbly Chocolate Nitro Stout. If you’re unfamiliar with nitrogenized beers, they contain infused nitrogen and only a little carbon dioxide. The nitrogen bubbles are much smaller, providing a creamier head and overall taste.
This very limited release beer (March-June) from Abita should definitely be on your list of chocolate beers to track down and try. It’s based on the classic New Orleans dessert Chocolate Doberge (pronounced dough-bash). If there’s one beer that tastes like chocolate cake in a bottle, this is the one.
Like most of their beers, the Black Chocolate Stout is simply a solid go-to beer when you’re in the mood for a beer full of dark, rich, and roast-y flavor. You’ll taste hints of espresso in this limited edition (October-March) strong chocolate stout.
Over the years, this South Florida brewery has proven it can hang with the big boys of craft beer. The Nib Smuggler Chocolate Milk Porter from Funky Buddha boasts chocolate cacao nibs straight from Brazil and Madagascar vanilla beans. This beer is impeccably smooth and pairs well with spicy Caribbean foods.
Chocolate Rain is a more decadent version of the already heavy bourbon-barrel-aged imperial stout that The Bruery brews. This vibrant and flavorful beer can be hard to get your hands on, like many of the beers made by the award-winning brewery. But, if you can find it, it’s worth the price tag ($43 per 750ml).
Short’s is a Michigan craft brewery that’s not afraid to push the brewing envelope with crazy and unconventional concoctions. Its Chocolate Wheat has nothing crazy happening within the smooth maltiness of this seasonal beer. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a beer that pairs more perfectly with a campfire and fall weather.
You probably didn’t know that Yuengling is America’s #1 craft brewery (by sales volume). Two of Pennsylvania’s national treasures, Hershey’s and Yuengling, have collaborated to create an exceptionally drinkable chocolate porter. This beer is a fresh take on the brewery’s 200-year-old dark brewed porter, and it’s definitely worth a try.
Founder’s bourbons barrel-aged, Kentucky Breakfast Stout isn’t just one of the most delicious chocolate beers you’ll ever try. It could be one of the best beers you try — period. Ranked the #12 best beer in the world by Beer Advocate, this chocolate and coffee-forward with hints of charred oak is not just a beer but an experience.
Hailing from Great Britain, this chocolate porter is a favorite of our mates across the pond. The chocolate malt is the front leading flavor profile followed by a perfectly blended finish of bitterness, sweetness, and fruit.
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