People have one of two reactions to the idea of putting beer and chocolate together. The first comes from the uninitiated, who tend to crinkle their noses and get a look on their face that says they are trying to figure out if the notion is a joke or not. The second comes from those who have already experienced this decadent marriage of food and drink, who instantly light up and simply say, "Yes, please!"
Beer and chocolate are the perfect partnership. It is a truth that brewers have known for centuries. Whether beer is served with a chocolate dessert or the chocolate is brewed right into the beer, the two work incredibly well together.
It makes sense. Beer and chocolate have many things in common. They are both fermented foods. Both were also probably happy accidents. They were both created before recorded history so we can only speculate how. It seems impossible to imagine that the original creators of chocolate or beer could have possibly intended to invent what they did.
The two also share an affinity for a wide variety of food. Just think of all the different things that come chocolate covered - fruit, spices, coffee beans, mushrooms, hot peppers, insects and even more chocolate. Similarly, beer goes well with almost every food from spicy soup to fried chicken to fruit salad. With two such easy going foods as beer and chocolate, it can be expected that they would make a great partnership.
It is when considered independently that the greatest similarity between chocolate and beer is revealed. The best examples of each is a delicate balance of sweet and bitter flavors. Malt beer is naturally very sweet and would be disgusting without the balancing bitterness of hops. In much the same way chocolate is based on bitter cocoa balanced by sugar. In both cases, perfection lies at that point of balance between bitter and sweet. This is when beer and chocolate are at their decadent best.
Beer truly loves chocolate. Historic cousins and perfect partners, beer and chocolate are great companions. If you have never experienced this decadent fellowship, you are missing something special. Whether you try pairing a chocolate bar with a sweet ale or set off in search of a beer brewed with chocolate you will not be disappointed.