November 26/Boston -- Most people might not pair beer and chocolate, but this holiday season, that could be about to change. Samuel Adams and San Francisco-based craft chocolate maker TCHO have teamed up to introduce the Samuel Adams Beer Lover's Chocolate Box. The brewers at Samuel Adams worked closely with TCHO's Chief Chocolate Maker Brad Kintzer to design the gift box so that each premium chocolate pairs with a Samuel Adams brew from the Samuel Adams Winter Classics Variety Pack. Just in time for holiday festivities and gifting, this assortment of specialty chocolates will prove to any foodie that beer and chocolate are the perfect combination.
Chocolate lovers and craft beer connoisseurs alike will enjoy the surprising flavor combinations. The malty sweetness and rich flavors of craft beer enhance, and are enriched by, the flavors of rich premium chocolate. The carbonation of the beer also cleanses the palate from the heavy finish of the chocolate; after a sip, the palate is ready for another taste. You may even become convinced that chocolate pairs better with craft beer than red wine, which is thought of as a traditional pairing.
Full-flavored craft beers like Samuel Adams have helped elevate craft beer to its rightful place at the table as an ideal food pairing and alternative to wine. In fact, in a recent Gallup poll, beer topped wine (and liquor) as America's favorite alcoholic drink. Craft beer is an accessible food pairing too , for about the same price as a mediocre bottle of wine.
Jennifer Glanville, brewery manager at the Samuel Adams Boston Brewery shares her passion for food and beer pairings: "The idea of pairing beer and food has been around for centuries, but many people are just starting to explore the idea and have fun with it while learning what works. From a juicy burger to a rich cheese or dessert, there's a beer to create that perfect pairing – it's all about letting the flavor of one enhance the other," says Jennifer. "We're looking forward to hearing drinkers' responses to the Samuel Adams Beer Lover's Chocolate Box. So many people think of wine as the quintessential chocolate pairing, but we think this pairing will certainly change some minds."
What Brad Kintzer, TCHO Chief Chocolate Maker, comments, "As both a veteran chocolate maker and novice homebrewer, I'm amazed by the flavor complexity found in beer – and by the similarities in the chocolate making process and how complementary the resulting flavors can be. Great beer - like great chocolate - is the result of a careful fermentation that yields an array of flavor possibilities," says Brad. "Many of the flavors found in cocoa and chocolate can also be found in beer, and you can taste the synergy when they are paired. Many food and drink combinations come off as a bit forced as 'pairings;' they just don't seem to work together flavor-wise. In developing the Beer Lover's Chocolate Box, it was surprisingly natural to pair Samuel Adams brews with our TCHO chocolates."
The Samuel Adams Beer Lover's Chocolate Box includes 12 8g chocolates, and the first 150 orders will also include two Samuel Adams Perfect Pint Glasses. The chocolate box is available nationwide for $16.95 at TCHO.com/SamuelAdams; limited quantities will also be available at the Samuel Adams Boston Brewery gift shop. Samuel Adams Winter Classics Variety Pack is available through December for a suggested retail price of $13.99.
NYC Beer and Wine Sommelier, Gianni Cavicchi recommends some additional food and beer pairing tips: "Craft beer comes in such a variety of styles that it can complement most any meal and can add dimension to recipes in cooking. Beef is one of the best pairings for Samuel Adams Boston Lager. The brew's upfront malt flavor matches the caramelized flavors of the meat, and its hoppy finish prepares the palate for the next bite," says Gianni. "Samuel Adams Boston Lager is also a great beer to match the intensity of a creamy cheese, like a Roquefort blue cheese. The deep flavors and firm texture of blue cheese needs a bold and well hopped beer to cleanse the palate, and the earthy, nutty, and smoky flavors in the beer are reflected and enhanced in the cheese. And of course, pairing chocolate and beer is a win-win. In fact, it's actually better to pair beer with chocolate than wine because sometimes the intensity of chocolate takes over wine and the acidity in wine doesn't balance."
Samuel Adams Beer Lover's Chocolate Box Pairing Notes:
Samuel Adams Boston Lager + PureNotes™ Dark "Chocolatey" (70%)
The malt character and subtle Noble Hop bitterness of Boston Lager bring out the rich, fudgy flavor and malty sweetness of TCHO's "Chocolatey."
Samuel Adams® Winter Lager + PureNotes™ Dark "Citrus" (67%)
Winter Lager's rich, hearty flavor is a pleasant balance to the delicate, smooth flavor of TCHO's "Citrus." The subtle citrus notes in both the beer and the chocolate complement each other perfectly.
Samuel Adams® White Christmas + PureNotes™ Dark "Fruity" (68%)
White Christmas is a crisp, unfiltered white ale blended with holiday spices. TCHO's "Fruity" chocolate boasts bright berry notes that highlight the citrus and wheat characters of this ale, while bringing out the warmth of its spices.
Samuel Adams® Holiday Porter + PureNotes™ Dark "Nutty" (65%)
Holiday Porter is a robust and flavorful brew. The complex espresso and roasty notes of this beer are deliciously accentuated by the roasted nut and toasted malt notes of TCHO's "Nutty" chocolate.
Samuel Adams® Old Fezziwig® Ale + SeriousMilk™ "Classic" (39%)
Old Fezziwig Ale is bursting with spices of the season and the rich flavors of roasted malt. The creamy, caramel notes of TCHO's "Classic" milk chocolate balance delicately with this beer's ginger and cinnamon undertones.
Samuel Adams® Chocolate Bock + SeriousMilk™ "Cacao" (53%)
Chocolate Bock is a dark, decadent beer with a big, malty character, combined with the subtle sweetness of chocolate. TCHO's "Cacao" dark milk chocolate brings out the chocolate notes of this beer and complements the brew's nutty and fruity notes.