A Beery Easter Basket

Our Beer Sommelier, Maggie Cubbler, discusses some of her favourite beers that will be fantastic along with--or instead of--your Easter chocolates. Your move, Easter Bunny.

 I'll admit it. I'm a weak bastard when it comes to all of these seasonal sweets out on the store shelves this time of year. I could murder a full kilo of those chocolate eggs. It's the crunchy coating that does me in. If it's not chocolate eggs, it's those creme eggs that make me want to empty the creamy centers into a bowl, lock the door and grab a ladle. 

I guess all this chocolate has Easter on the brain for me because I recently dreamt I was having a dinner party with my friends and the Easter Bunny showed up.* As any good dinner party guest does, he came bearing gifts of chocolate and beer (because why wouldn't the Easter bunny bring chocolate and beer?) While I'm sure my dream Easter Bunny didn't have specific pairing principles in mind,

A Beery Easter Basket

Our Beer Sommelier, Maggie Cubbler, discusses some of her favourite beers that will be fantastic along with--or instead of--your Easter chocolates. Your move, Easter Bunny.

 I'll admit it. I'm a weak bastard when it comes to all of these seasonal sweets out on the store shelves this time of year. I could murder a full kilo of those chocolate eggs. It's the crunchy coating that does me in. If it's not chocolate eggs, it's those creme eggs that make me want to empty the creamy centers into a bowl, lock the door and grab a ladle. 

I guess all this chocolate has Easter on the brain for me because I recently dreamt I was having a dinner party with my friends and the Easter Bunny showed up.* As any good dinner party guest does, he came bearing gifts of chocolate and beer (because why wouldn't the Easter bunny bring chocolate and beer?) While I'm sure my dream Easter Bunny didn't have specific pairing principles in mind, it actually gave me a great idea: let's celebrate Easter with chocolates and beer!

Not everybody prefers to celebrate Easter with cheap chocolates from the grocery store which is where a delicious beer can step in. So whether you're looking to make a chocolate orange more mature or would prefer an Easter basket filled with beer instead, here are a few of my favourite pairings and beers. And ones I'd probably ask the real Easter Bunny to bring:

Beer and Easter Chocolate Pairings

Believe it or not, beer is a fantastic partner to chocolate. While delicious dark Belgian chocolates are heavenly with the likes of a rich Belgian Quad or a Doppelbock, even the cheap stuff can be lifted to another level with a great beer. Take, for instance:

Milk Chocolate Eggs

Rochefort 6

Belgian dubbels are a match made in heaven with milk chocolates. The Rocherfort 6's fruity, yeasty notes have a whiff of milk chocolate while the semi-dry finish cleanses the sweet richness of the chocolate eggs preparing you for more. Lots more. Oh so many more...

Chocolate Orange

Celis White

There's a creaminess to the carbonation of the Celis White Witbier that interacts nicely with the chocolate by both complementing and cleansing it. Hints of orange marmalade and lemon accentuate the orange bit of the, well, chocolate orange while a bit of classic coriander gives an interesting contrast. Looking at the difference between a chocolate orange and a pale Witbier, you'd be surprised at this pairing--but it really works!

Caramel Eggs

Wild Beer Millionaire 

Decadent and sweet, just like our precious caramel eggs, the Wild Beer Millionaire is a Sweet Stout with apparent notes of milk chocolate, cocoa, lactose and caramel. The addition of Cornish sea salt to the brew gives that briny, salty character which lifts a simple caramel egg to a posh salted caramel status. Tip 'o the cap to this one, kind gentlepeople.

Beery Treats

There are some beers that are so delicious, so rich, yet so sweet themselves that they'd be better off on their own. Here are some of my favourite beers that I'd happily swap chocolates for:

Brewdog Semi-Skimmed Occultist

This stout is divine. A lovely balance of chocolate, vanilla and coffee flavours are accompanied by a roasty coffee note. A subtle milk chocolate character is enhanced by a creamy, dreamy mouthfeel thanks to the addition of oats. So, this beer is pretty much a grown-up punk beery creme egg. Grab a ladle.

Belching Beaver Peanut Butter Stout

I know the whole peanut-butter-chocolate combo is a pretty American thing. But if you haven't had the celestial experience of a peanut butter cup you'll get it with the Belching Beaver Peanut Butter Stout. Pouring with a treacle-like consistency, its peanut butter character is full bore and complemented by a creamy chocolate quality. With neither character overpowering the other, if you didn't love peanut butter and chocolate before, you will now.

Devil's Canyon Full Boar Scotch Ale

Speaking of full bore, this luxurious Scotch Ale from California's Devil's Canyon is to-the-walls smooth and rich. Notes of chocolate, caramel, toffee and a hint of smoke come through rather strongly in this malty sweet ale. Fortunately, a lively carbonation and delicate bitterness balance it out so it's not too sickly. You wouldn't want that "I ate too many chocolate eggs" feeling.

 

*True story. Weirdly.