Hotel Chocolat Group plc

04/25/2022 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 04/25/2022 17:14

What is chocolate beer?

You heard right - chocolate is no longer confined to the realm of truffles

We adore experimenting with chocolate. In fact, we've created everything from Lime Chocolate Truffles and Red Wine Truffles to whole new genres of chocolate. (Try our vegan 45% Nutmilk and 65% Supermilk). Our chocolatiers have learned a lot about what works and what doesn't. And all this experimenting has inspired us to go even further. We've created a cacao-powered skincare range, Rabot 1745, and even cacao-based tipples like our Chocolate Cream Liqueur. But what continues to surprise people is our chocolate beer.

Here's why we can't get enough of this refreshingly original beverage.


What is chocolate beer?

As it says on the tin, chocolate beer is just like your classic beer. However, it contains nuanced, bitter cacao tones alongside (or instead of) your typical botanicals- like juniper berries and rosemary.

To get these chocolate tones, brewers ferment beer with cacao (the raw components of the cocoa bean). Different levels and intensities of chocolate flavour are achieved by adding the cacao at different stages of the beer-making process. For instance, the early introduction of cacao tends to result in a subtle cocoa flavour. To create a richer chocolate taste, you'll be better off adding it later on in the beer-brewing process.

Chocolate beers tend to be porters, brown ales and stouts. However, there's no reason you can't incorporate cacao into any beer variety. When making our chocolate beer, we wanted to see how a cacao twist tasted with two different types of beer. We went for a dark porter-style ale - our Cocoa Beer, and a fruity pale ale - our Cocoa Blonde. We adore how cacao contributes to each beer's own unique flavour.

Does chocolate beer always contain real cacao?

It's worth noting that some beers may list chocolate notes without containing or being brewed with any real cacao. This is because the unique mix of botanicals results in notes that resemble a chocolatey flavour, despite the fact that this flavour is created by a combination of other ingredients.

At Hotel Chocolat, we couldn't create our chocolate beer without using the same high-quality, ethical cacao that we use in our irresistible chocolates. We actually use the leftover cacao shells from making our chocolates in our cocoa beers. We find this is a fantastic way to reduce our food waste and make something uniquely delicious.


What does chocolate beer taste like?

If you're worried that chocolate beer tastes like other chocolate drinks you've tried in the past - like chocolate milkshakes, mochas, or hot chocolate - don't fret. As delectable as these beverages can be (we certainly enjoy a velvetised hot chocolate), chocolate beer generally has a much more subtle cocoa taste.

To best describe the unique taste of chocolate beer, we need to introduce you to our own cocoa beers. Get ready to try our classic Cocoa Beer and our fruitier Cocoa Blonde.

Cocoa Beer

Our Cocoa Beer is a dark porter-style ale. It's the perfect chocolate beer for those who prefer their beverages on the less sweet side. Taste fabulous malty notes and undertones of bitter chocolate from our repurposed cacao shells. We love this well-hopped beer with its subtle toasted cacao twist. You might never have thought a cocoa beer would become your new go-to. But this expertly crafted beverage might just change your mind.

Cocoa Blonde

Our Cocoa Blonde is a West Indies pale, fruity ale with a fabulous malty edge. Our very own cocoa estate is on the tropical isle of Saint Lucia, where bright and juicy mangos and fragrant coconuts grow alongside our cacao trees. With our Cocoa Blonde, we wanted to replicate this blend of sunny notes and flavours in one beverage. We think each bottle of this beer encapsulates a cool taste of Caribbean summer - it's a true taste of our tropical home.

How to enjoy chocolate beer

Though we adore the confectionary side of the culinary world, we must admit, we think that cocoa beers are best enjoyed alongside a hearty savoury meal. Whether you prefer a roast dinner brimming with golden potatoes or a root vegetable tart, the malty cocoa notes in chocolate beer will shine alongside a made-from-scratch dish complete with seasonal vegetables and satisfying carbohydrates.

This said, here at Hotel Chocolat we love experimenting with unusual flavour combinations. Why not sample our cocoa beers alongside different dishes? You might just land on a stellar combination.

Can you get other chocolate alcohol drinks?

As well as beer, you'll find that other beverages like wine and gin often list chocolate undertones on their packaging. While this can also be regardless of whether they actually contain any cacao, various spirits can be distilled with real cacao.

We created our own Cacao Gin, for instance, which gets its subtle malty chocolate flavour from cacao shells during distillation. Just like with our beer, we create this gin using our leftover cacao shells. Five botanicals - macadamia, juniper, coriander, orange and grapefruit - give this gin a fragrant, uplifting finish. It provides the perfect balance to its slightly more bitter, chocolatey edge.

Some of the most decadent cocktails contain a hearty dose of chocolate liqueur or syrup. To give people the option of using a truly indulgent chocolate cream in their alcoholic creations, we created our Velvetised Chocolate Cream. The perfect blend of our punchy signature vodka, high cacao chocolate, and silky smooth cream results in this satisfyingly rich beverage. Its delicate cocoa notes, depth of flavour, and sumptuous texture will earn it a spot on the most exclusive drinks tables.

For those who enjoy a sweeter tipple, our Salted Caramel Cacao Vodka Liqueur will hit the spot. Drawing on our expertise running two bars - one in London's Borough Market and one on our Saint Lucian cacao farm, we created the ultimate indulgent liqueur. After infusing vodka with cacao for a malty edge, we melt in the most sublime salted caramel. It's an ideal liqueur for enjoying on its own or adding to a symphony of other cocktail ingredients.


Cacao: the perfect ingredient for food and drinks

It's no secret that we can't get enough of cacao. From our luxury chocolate boxes to beauty products, latte sachets, and, of course, beer. Take a look at our collections to explore this delectable ingredient in all its glory.

And whether you'll be trying a bottle of our Cocoa Beer or our other chocolate beverages, let us know what you think @HotelChocolat on Twitter!