Beer and Chocolate pairing
Thirsty, Chesterton Road
As ever, Thirsty's Sam Adamson put on quite a list for us for this tasting. We met up to match some beers to some bars and anyone fortunate to be at the event was served seven delightful beverages and seven equally perfected chocolates!
For those of you who weren't there, or anyone who was there but can't... ahem... remember exactly what was paired then here's a cheat sheet and our yarn to trigger your memory.
Buxton x Stillwater artisanal Superluminal raspberry sour; Coppeneur 71% Madagascar
We kicked off the evening with this intercontinental fruity sour beer and a fairly dark, chalky madagascan chocolate from German producers Coppeneur.
Tiny Rebel x Weird Beard Cardinal wolf; Naive Peanut Butter
Murky Belgian style beer hopped to the extreme to create a flavour bomb of citrus and estery goodness. Whole peanut style milk chocolate from Lithuanian producers Naive.
Viscous rumours Brighton Beer; Nomnom salt caramel Love
Malty oat stout from the South Coast with no trace of the 7% abv on the can. Unctuous milk chocolate from South Wales new-boys-on-the-block NomNom. Halen Mon caramel sits between their cocoa in this devour able bar.
Howling hops passionfruit gose; Rozsavolgyi x Pariani Pistachio Gianduja
Between our chat and the pairing event, somehow our original beer choice was lost but luckily this funky sour stepped up to the plate. Pistachio flavours and buttery textures in the chocolate built up the remaining elements for this pairing. Check out the rest of Kati's chocolate here!
Magic Rock Engine Engine Number Nine Cola Weiss; Naive Nano lot Colombian
Weiss beer from Huddersfield geniuses Magic Rock made with an eclectic mix of botanicals and cola nuts. The second treat from our new Lithuanian producers. This bold Colombian bar is part of the Nano lot, tiny productions of cocoa masterfully treated and sold in limited stock quantities.
Wiper and True x Stillwater Artisanal x Left Handed Giant Vital One; Michel Cluizel Mangaro 67%
Imperial malted milk stout from some top breweries. Higher ABV than the Viscous Rumours but with a similar texture. Coffee and chocolate flavour notes! Extreme citrus Madagascan bar from French bean-to-bar producer Michel Cluizel. A lower cocoa quantity and an extremely creamy texture paired well with the stout.
Siren x Tool Tickle Monster; Michel Cluizel Mokaya 66%
A triple IPA! Siren super hopped this Tickle Monster and barrel aged it. Quite a beer to fit into a pairing but luckily the flavour profile of this Mexican bar is a little spicy so those elements broke through the wall of flavours in the beer.
We hope you enjoyed the evening if you did come along, and if you didn't then please come into either shop to find some of the treats that were on the menu and try them for yourself!
Sherry Two Ways
Bacchanalia, Mill Road
Jim, of Bacchanalia fame, has a furtive interest in unusual pairings and we love working with him to produce out of the ordinary events. This one was no different; he suggested that we pair a flight of sherry with things that are not typically eaten with sherries. Five different sherry styles later, we landed on a savoury and a sweet edible thing for each delectable drink. Here they are!
Bodegas Hidalgo, Manzanilla - La Gitana; Michel Cluizel 47% Milk Chocolate - Maralumi & Epoisses, French Washed Rind Cow Cheese
Manzanilla is the purest of the sherries we sampled. High acidity and floor flavouring matched up to the umami notes in the cheese with apple rind and floral notes. Maralumi is a hefty milk chocolate and as in the other pairings, without being careful with the sample size it quite easily overpowered the sherry.
Lustau, Fino - Puerto Fino; Venchi Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Spread & Tyrolean Speck
The second of the solely biologically aged sherry styles, this fino had a serious 'burnt matchstick' nose but a slightly heavier body than the Manzanilla. Luckily it had some space for a dark cocoa flavour although again, the sample size was important. Unusually, the Speck was almost too light for the sherry but luckily the fat content in this belly cut helped the texture of this pairing along fantastically.
Lustau, Amontillado - Los Arcos; Venchi Marron Glace & Tartuflanghe Truffle Chips
Amontillado broke in the start of the oxidised sherry styles beautifully, lending a salty hand to the incredibly sweet candied chestnuts from Piedmont company Venchi. As it happened, we tried Tartuflanghe's truffle crisps with just about every other sherry to follow and it seems like there wasn't a bad match in the bunch for these thick cut potato treats.
Bodegas Hidalgo, Olorosso - Faraon; Rózsavölgyi Csokoládé Piedmont Hazelnuts with Ginger and Chocolate & Turchet Green Olives with Walnuts
We really lucked out with this pairing, Olorosso was a sherry I was nervous to pair; it has a huge barrel aged body but remains salty and even spicy in some cases. However, the chocolate hazelnuts were an instant win and the ginger brought out huge spicy scents and oaky body. Green olives in oily vinegar with walnuts were a polarising flavour. Some people loved the added saltyness and others found them detracting from the sherry.
Lustau, Pedro Ximinez - San Emilio; Beenleigh Blue Sheep Cheese & Mattei Pistachio Cantuccini
Following a flight of dry sherries, a glass of Pedros Ximinez was like donning a dressing gown after a long day. I was determined to pair this treat with a blue cheese, but the texture and flavour of the drink ruled out anything overly sweet or anything with too runny or fatty a texture. Beenleigh is a long standing favourite for us in the shop and its unique bitterness balanced the syrupy wine perfectly. Most people agreed that the Cantuccini were a little too sweet for the pairing but with careful sample control the texture worked.
Once again, thanks for coming and please stay in touch to hear about future events!