does chocolate beer contain real chocolate?

As I pack and get ready to attend the Chocolate Festival in St. Lucia this coming week, I’m pleased to welcome the first ever guest post on Chocolate Travel Diversions with Doreen. I met Patrick Huff in “Bloggers Helping Bloggers” (a subgroup of the Blog Zone group on Linked-in.) BHB is comprised of a terrific group of supportive and talented bloggers. Patrick asked if I’d be interested in exchanging posts with him, and so, this month he’s guest posting here to enlighten us about chocolate beers. And later this month, I’ll guest post over on his craft beer blog about how to pair chocolate with various libations — including beer!

Please welcome Patrick to our chocolate loving community. He’s agreed to respond to comments and answer any questions in my absence.

Chocolate Beer Demystified

Early on, when my fellow beer geeks and I were still learning our way around the beer aisle, we stumbled upon a beer called Mackeson XXX Stout, a chocolate lover’s dream. Chocolate had to be added in order to have this much chocolate flavor, or did it?

is there chocolate in chocolate beer

Chocolate beers have become so popular they were added as a category for the 2011 Great American Beer festival.

Many questions come up regarding chocolate beers. Are they all brewed with actual chocolate?  What types of chocolate are used?  When and how are they added to the brewing process?

Believe it or not, adding chocolate to beer is not a new idea.  Patrick McGovern, an expert in ancient ales and Sam Calagione, the founder and president of Dogfish Head Brewery, collaborated on an ancient ale inspired from the analyses of pottery fragments found in Honduras. The fragments indicated an alcoholic drink brewed with chocolate, used to toast special occasions, dating to about 1,200 B.C.

chocolate stout

But do all chocolate beers have actual chocolate?  Surprisingly, no!  Typically most beers that have chocolate  flavor profiles have no chocolate at all.  Brookland Brewery’s Black Chocolate Stout achieves an intense chocolate character from using dark malts such as chocolate malt.  Cool huh?  But other brewers add different forms of chocolate to their brew such as Young’s Double Chocolate Stout, a sweet ale brewed with dark chocolate and chocolate essence.

Other forms of chocolate are sometimes incorporated into  beers, such as cocoa nibs and cocoa powder.  One example of using cocoa nibs is Samuel Adams Chocolate Bock, a malty lager, which is aged on a bed of cocoa nibs.

A brewer also achieves his or her results from adding chocolate to specific stages of the brewing process.  Chocolate can be added to the mashing process, the boil, the fermentation or the aging process.

While you may find quite a few chocolate stouts, chocolate also finds its way into other styles such as bocks, porters, brown ales and barley wines.

Indulge Your Chocolate Craving

The next time you find yourself in the beer aisle, look for these interesting chocolate brews.

Rogue Chocolate Stout from Rogue Brewery.  A dark American stout with rolled oats, roasted barley,  chocolate malt and chocolate.  Creamy, medium to full bodied beer with sweet chocolate and coffee notes. Perfect for dessert.

Black Oak Double Chocolate Cherry Stout.  A soft carbonated stout from Ontario, Canada. Pours dark brown with a creamy tan head. Lightly tart cherry flavor and medium chewy mouthfeel.  Finishes with a dark chocolate flavor and pleasant bitterness.

Ommegang Chocolate Indulgence. Cooperstown, New York.  Opaque with a mocha head.  Fruity esters, chocolate and roasted malt flavor. Medium body and softly carbonated.

Rogue Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Ale.  An interesting ale inspired from Voodoo’s Memphis Mafia Doughnut, created as a nod to Elvis’ entourage.  Made with more than a dozen ingredients, including chocolate, creamy peanut butter and ripe bananas.

Dogfish Head Theobroma.  A light orangey ale with Aztec cocoa powder and cocoa nibs from  Askinosie Chocolate, honey, chilies and annatto seeds. Subtle chocolate, chile,  and sweet flavors with medium body and medium carbonation.

Thanks to Patrick for getting our taste buds pumping with thoughts of delicious chocolate beers. We have a fabulous beer named Stir Stick Stout made right here in Manitoba where I live. It’s made with chocolate malt and is one of the most delicious beers I’ve ever had. But they have a very small distribution at present. How about you? Do you know of any chocolate beers that haven’t been mentioned here? Do share, and join in the conversation. And remember to join us back here the week of December 17th, when I’ll be freshly back from the Chocolate Festival in St. Lucia. I’m sure there will be plenty of delicious stories to share.

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36 Comments

  1. That was a very cool post. I loved the information about where it came from. I found it no surprise that it’s origins date back to the South American cultures. i’ve never tried chocolate beer but I sure will now. Thanks for the recommendations Patrick. Just in time for the holidays. :)
    Susan Cooper recently posted..3rd Day From My Kitchen – Three Day Gravlax: RecipeMy Profile

  2. Salika Jay
    Twitter:

    Very interesting post indeed. I only know of few beers but not chocolate beer. So I’m yet to try one and I’d like to start with Dogfish Head Theobroma. It sounds quite interesting.
    Salika Jay recently posted..Kuala Lumpur Attractions: Batu CavesMy Profile

    • Doreen
      Twitter:

      Start looking at your local liquor store, Salika. you might be quite surprised, as there are chocolate stouts and beers all over the world. And Guinness from Ireland is widely available. Although it’s not a true chocolate stout, it goes exceedingly well with dark chocolate and Guinness makes tremendous chocolates truffles from its beer!
      Doreen recently posted..does chocolate beer contain real chocolate?My Profile

    • Selika. The cool thing about Theobroma is that it is actually orangish in color. The chocolate is subtle and it ages well.
      Patrick Huff recently posted..Ralph Steadman – The Wine Lover, The ArtistMy Profile

  3. Sure thing Susan. I will certainly have my share as well
    Patrick Huff recently posted..Ralph Steadman – The Wine Lover, The ArtistMy Profile

  4. Chocolate beer… another excuse to indulge in chocolate. Yeah, I am a huge fan of chocolate. LOL Great post! Who knew there were so many chocolate beers?
    Geek Girl recently posted..Author Interview: Susan Leigh NobleMy Profile

  5. Doreen
    Twitter:

    Cheryl: wait till my book comes out! It will introduce you to ALL things chocolate! You will be surprised!

  6. Interesting. Honestly had never heard of chocolate beer before neither and hence didn’t know that not all of them contain chocolate.

    Not surprised however that alcohol with chocolate in it exixted as early as 1,200 B.C. Most likely you can find such beverages even earlier in other cultures. The Romans for instance drank wine with honey. That some of them added chocolate instead of honey isn’t a stretch;-)
    Catarina recently posted..Africa growing faster than Asia?My Profile

  7. Local for me, Arcadia Brewing has their seasonal Cocoa Loco. This beer uses chocolate malt (barley malt roasted to a rich chocolate color also giving similar flavors), cocoa nibs, and 63% semi-sweet milk chocolate. Aside from drinking I have also used this beer to make mole, which traditionally has chocolate in it.
    Jon Jefferson recently posted..Repeal DayMy Profile

  8. As long as it tastes like chocolate, I’m in! I’ll be seeking these out in Total Wine soon.
    nicole recently posted..holiday gift guide | under $30My Profile

  9. I had no idea chocolate beer existed! I don’t normally drink beer, but I have a terrible sweet tooth, so I’ll definitely have to try this!

  10. Great post! I haven’t tried any of these beers yet, but I will have to soon. Maybe this weekend : ). Have you ever had Kona Koko Brown? It’s my favorite beer right now, but very hard to find in FL.
    Johnny recently posted..How to Improve Your Finances After an AccidentMy Profile

  11. Ha, I had no idea!
    I loved Catarina’s comment too, just added to an interesting blog :)
    Becc recently posted..Please SantaMy Profile

  12. Chocolate is the best!
    robert recently posted..The most expensive truffle chocolateMy Profile

  13. joy

    Okay I just lost a bet to my brother who said there was such a thing as chocolate beer. Being a chocoholic, I’m dying to try this. I’m a bit scared but well, we only live once. Thanks for sharing, your post cost me $5.

  14. I’m more of a vodka girl and I’ve tried the vodka mudshakes but this chocolate beer is intriguing. Is it like a fizzy mudshake?
    Veronica recently posted..Architecture and nature co-existing happily together – is it possible?My Profile

  15. I’m a big dessert person but I’ve never been a fan of beer or any carbonated drink. It make me feel bloated. But this is kind of interesting. Hopefully I can find this in the local markets.
    Calra recently posted..New Years Eve Cruise in Sydney 2012 Harbour Fireworks Cruise!My Profile

  16. I have never ever heard of chocolate beer and now am so much into trying this one. This looks really fab. This Christmas surely it will be a chocolate beer for me. Thanks for sharing.

  17. I so much love both, beer and chocolates and seeing them together in this post and getting to know about it is great. I will surely try this chocolate beer out.

  18. Chocolate! Yum! This is definitely my cup of tea… or should I say my mug of beer. Looking forward to trying this brand, thanks for recommending it.

  19. This is definitely something I would love to try, I’m big on exotic flavors and all that. Thank you for letting us know about this.

  20. I can’t help but wonder what this taste like. Is it a sweet-ish blend like lager beer? Or is it even sweeter? I for one don’t think sweets and alcohol mix but who knows. This is pretty exotic.

    • Doreen
      Twitter:

      Hi Stacey. Patrick may have more to say about the specific flavours of the beers he has reviewed, but I’ve never found the chocolate beers to be sweet. Just extremely full flavoured, and they pair very nicely with dark chocolate.
      Doreen recently posted..does chocolate beer contain real chocolate?My Profile

  21. Doreen
    Twitter:

    Thanks to Jon Jefferson for sending me the link to this article about chocolate beer published in Draft Magazine:
    http://draftmag.com/features/10-chocolate-beers-to-drink-now/

  22. British_Drinker

    For you Brits out there .. you could try XT Brewing Co and Will Torrent’s ‘Roast Cacao’ Chocolate beer. Not quite so full on as some, but it is brewed with real cocoa beans and has long aftertaste of chocolate.

  23. Hi,

    Superior Chocolates beer Ideas and about Chocolates also.
    Really Helpful Blog.
    I read each and every blog of yours.
    I am a Huge Fan of your Blogs.
    Thanks for sharing amazing ideas with us.

  24. Chocolate beer, wow very cool. How many are this price

    • Chocolate beer (stout) usually does cost more than regular beer. It’s about $3 for an average-sized bottle in the liquor store.
      Doreen recently posted..exploring OahuMy Profile

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  1. Chocolate Makes the World Go Round – and pairs well with just about anything

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