chocolate beer?
#1
I dunno... I like chocolate and I like beer... not sure what they would taste like together

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<font class="Head2">Chocolate beer?</font>
<font class="byLine">By <a target="_blank" href="mailto:gappleson@post-dispatch.com" class="storyByline">Gail Appleson</a></font>
<font class="byLine">ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH</font>
<font class="byLine">Sunday, Nov. 05 2006</font>

Pecan pie with coffee. Sounds good. How about pecan pie and cognac? Hmmm, even
better. Well, what about pecan pie and beer?

Hey, don't turn up your nose.

The folks at Anheuser-Busch Cos. have a new product for you. Chocolate beer.
That's right. Chocolate beer. And no, it's not anything like the golden brew
you use to wash down pizza. Instead, A-B recommends you serve it in a snifter
at room temperature and sip it as you would an after-dinner drink.

"Michelob Celebrate Chocolate complements a variety of desserts such as
raspberry crème brûlée or when poured over vanilla bean ice cream with a
cara-mel swirl, " said Kristi Zantop, brewmaster, as she whirled the dark lager
in its pear-shaped goblet. "It would be an ideal match for pecan pie."

The chocolate beer is the com-

pany's newest seasonal creation. It's the third flavor in A-B's special holiday
line that was launched in 2005. It joins last year's Michelob Celebrate Vanilla
Oak and Budweiser Brew Masters' Private Reserve.

Brewed with caramel and roasted malts and matured on cocoa beans, the chocolate
beer looks like liquid dark chocolate with a creamy latte-colored foam. It
doesn't taste like conventional beer, nor is it syrupy sweet like a liqueur.

"It's not candy-like," Zantop said. And while the chocolate brew is 8.5 percent
alcohol by volume, which is higher than a regular Budweiser at 5 percent, it
doesn't have the high alcoholic notes found in a brandy at 40 percent alcohol.

Though the combination of beer and chocolate might sound pretty incompatible,
the mixture is far from new.

In Britain, Young's & Co. Brewery PLC has been making a Double Chocolate Stout
for more than 10 years.

Some U.S. craft breweries also have been producing chocolate beers for some
time.

These brews get their chocolate flavor from roasted malts used in the
beer-making process and they might also contain chocolate extract or
ingredients used in making chocolate. For example, St. Louis-based Schlafly
Beer has been selling its Chocolate Porter for the last three years near
Valentine's Day. The deep-brown ale, which is available on draft for about six
weeks, is made with real cocoa.

New York's Brooklyn Brewery has been bottling Black Chocolate Stout since the
early 1990s. Brewed for the winter season, the beer gets its chocolate flavor
through a blend of specially roasted malts. In February 2004, the Boston Beer
Co. introduced Samuel Adams Chocolate Bock, which is made with a blend of
Scharffen Berger chocolate and a hint of vanilla. The chocolate bock was sold
this year during the Valentine's Day season.

Despite the fact that chocolate beer has been around for many years, most
consumers probably would tell you they never heard of it. That may well change
now that Anheuser-Busch, the nation's largest brewer, has decided to take the
leap. So did its arch rival, Miller Brewing Co., which is launching Frederick
Miller Classic Chocolate Lager. Both companies' chocolate beers are being
offered only for the holiday season.

The Michelob Celebrate flavors are bottled more like upscale spirits than beer,
lending themselves to gift giving. They come in sleek 24-ounce bottles that are
available separately for about $10 or in a gift set. That package, which sells
for about $20, includes one bottle of each flavor and two 13.5-ounce Ritzenhoff
Crystal snifters. The vanilla flavor, which is aged on whole vanilla beans and
bourbon barrel oak, packs a little more of a punch with 10 percent alcohol.

The third flavor, Budweiser Brew Masters' Private Reserve, is an all-malt lager
available in a 46.5-ounce magnum and a 32-ounce bottle, priced at about $11 and
$8 respectively. Both have swing-top closures. A-B recommends that the
honey-colored brew, which contains 8.5 percent alcohol, be served in a
traditional pilsner-style that funnels the beer's hoppy aroma.

Unlike promotional efforts behind its key money-making brands, A-B is not
planning a big media blitz, said Pat McGauley, vice president of innovations.

"As with all our specialty and seasonal beers, we are building interest in them
mainly through word-of-mouth," he said. "This is by design. We know consumers
like to discover new things and be the first to share this news with their
friends."

A-B's specialty sampler collection was introduced in 1997 and seasonal beers
were launched last year. Current seasonal offerings include Jack's Pumpkin
Spice Ale, which will be sold for the first time this year in bottles. Last
year it was only available on draft.

While chocolate beer may seem a long stretch from Budweiser, industry experts
said it makes sense that A-B would venture into the dessert brew market.

"It's all part of the expansion of consumer choices. The growth this year and
over the last few years has been in craft brews," said Eric Shephard, executive
director of Beer Marketer's Insights.

Beer makers saw the success other beverage companies were having when they
offered consumers new tastes. For example, he noted flavored vodkas.

"It's a no-brainer that A-B and Milller would experiment with new kinds of
flavors," he said. "Now they are getting into this in a much more serious way."

Jeff Becker, president of the Beer Institute in Washington, said that while the
seasonal beer category is relatively small when compared to all beer sales, the
unique nature and limited status of these brews make them favorites among beer
aficionados.

"While there is little statistical data on seasonal brews; anecdotally, their
acceptance with consumers appears to be both intensifying and broadening," he
said.

Andy Ayers, owner of Riddle's Penultimate Cafe & Wine Bar in University City,
agreed. He said diners at the restaurant, which has been holding beer dinners
since 1986, have become much more open to trying new types of beers.

"At first it was hard to get people to try different beers," he said. "But it
has just exploded."

gappleson@post-dispatch.com


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Messages In This Thread
chocolate beer? - by Historian - 11-06-2006, 09:57 AM
chocolate beer? - by VoxClamantis - 11-06-2006, 10:22 AM
chocolate beer? - by AdoramusTeChriste - 11-06-2006, 02:58 PM
chocolate beer? - by Mommie2Boys - 11-06-2006, 03:19 PM
chocolate beer? - by veritas - 11-06-2006, 05:11 PM
chocolate beer? - by Historian - 11-06-2006, 08:12 PM
chocolate beer? - by Historian - 11-06-2006, 09:16 PM
chocolate beer? - by Mornac - 11-06-2006, 10:52 PM
chocolate beer? - by Historian - 11-06-2006, 10:59 PM
chocolate beer? - by Historian - 11-07-2006, 05:11 AM



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