does chocolate beer contain real chocolate?

I’m pleased to welcome a guest post by Patrick Huff, whom I met via the Bloggers Helping Bloggers 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 beer.

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 beer has become so popular that it was added as a category for the 2011 Great American Beer festival.

Many questions come up regarding chocolate beer. 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.

An update to this post: This guest post was originally posted in 2012. Since then, I have tasted a lot of chocolate beers in every destination I visit.  Here is a post I wrote in September, 2017, about some fabulous chocolate beer I discovered in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

Doreen Pendgracs

Known throughout the Web as the "Wizard of Words", I've been a freelance writer since 1993. I'm currently researching and writing volume II of "Chocolatour: A Quest for the World's Best Chocolate". Volume I was published in September, 2013.

38 Responses

  1. Silvia says:

    I can’t resist the urge to think about what these preferences are like. Is chocolate beer a sweet-ish mix like ale lager? Or then again is it significantly better? I don’t think desserts and liquor blend however who can say for sure.

  2. andrea sloman says:

    Intriguing. Actually had not heard of chocolate beer before neither and hence didn’t know that not all of them contain chocolate.

    Not surprised that alcohol with chocolate in it existed centuries ago. Most probably you can find similar potables indeed before in other societies. The Romans for instance drank wine with honey. That some of them added chocolate rather of honey isn’t a stretch.

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

  4. 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.

  5. British_Drinker says:

    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.

  6. Doreen says:

    Thanks to Jon Jefferson for sending me the link to this article about chocolate beer published in Draft Magazine:

  7. Stacey says:

    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.

  8. Kristine says:

    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.

  9. Emilia says:

    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.

  10. Sandra says:

    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.

  11. kelly says:

    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.

  12. Calra says:

    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.

  13. Veronica says:

    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

  14. joy says:

    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.

  15. Becc says:

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

  16. Johnny says:

    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

  17. Koren says:

    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!

  18. nicole says:

    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

  19. Jon Jefferson says:

    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.

  20. Catarina says:

    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

  21. Doreen says:

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

  22. Geek Girl says:

    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

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

  24. Salika Jay says:

    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

  25. 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

  1. January 2, 2013

    […] A while back I asked Doreen Pendgracs if she was interested in swapping posts.  She agreed and last month my post appeared on Chocolate Travel Diversions.  She suggested I write about Chocolate Beer and I rather enjoyed that post.  You can view the post here. Does Chocolate Beer Contain Real Chocolate? […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge