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There’s a synergy between microbreweries and LCC: the attention to craft, the ingredients, the process. The opportunity to work with these amazing, local brewers is one we look forward to every year.  What chocolate to pair with what beer?  The combinations are endless and as we like to say, there are no rules! The exploration is a lot of fun and the discovery of a perfect pairing is memorable.                                                                                                                                                      

Due to overwhelming demand in past years, LCC hosted two chocolate and beer pairing sessions at this year's Brewer's Fest. While many of these beers are only available locally, you can probably find similar style beers in your area. 

 

 

Here are this year’s pairings:

Chocolate: Caramelized Hazelnuts

Whole Oregon Roasted Hazelnuts candied in copper kettles and tumbled coated in milk chocolate.

Beer: Zero Gravity – The Keeper (7.2%) Aged and blended Biere de Garde.

 

Chocolate: Organic Spicy Aztec

Dark chocolate with a blend of spicy cayenne pepper, pumpkin seeds, and cinnamon delivers big flavors.

Beer: Trapp Lager Brewery – Star Trapp: The Next Collaboration Lager (6.5%)

 

Chocolate: Organic Creamy Coconut Bar

Classic combo of rich dark chocolate filled with a creamy coconut center made with Kimball Brook Farms heavy cream and creamed coconut.

Beer: Fiddlehead Brewing Co. - Hodad Vanilla, Chocolate, Coconut Porter (5.5%)

Paradise in a glass. This beer is brewed using real vanilla beans, cacao nibs, and plenty of coconut which was toasted in a wood fired oven.

 

Chocolate: BeBop Hop Bar

Collaboration brew-bar; a malty caramel sweetened with Long Trail wort and infused with hop oil creates a one-of-a-kind beer and chocolate experience!

Beer: Long Trail Brewing Co. – Cacao Porter, brewed with Belize cacao nibs and a good malty base


Be sure to check out the video above and some photos from the event that really capture the energy and excitement of the brewers, chocolate makers, and fans! We really shouldn’t wait a whole year to do this again!


 

Although the Burlington Discover Jazz Festival ended a few weeks ago, we are still reminiscing on all the fun times we had with our partners at Long Trail! Our limited edition BeBop Hop Bar, created to raise funds for the FlynnArts “LCC Youth in Jazz Scholarship,” was an incredible success!

Festival goers, hop fanatics, and chocolate lovers purchased 1,695 bars, which raised over $4,300 towards the scholarship fund. Our goal was to beat our record from last year’s Boom Bam Bourbon Pecan Bar sales and…we did!  We raised last year’s number by 349 bars, which will help create even more opportunities in performing arts education for young musicians in Vermont. 

We had so much fun creating the BeBop Hop Bar and are already looking forward to next year. Any ideas for an encore chocolate bar that reflects the Burlington Discover Jazz Festival?  Send them our way!


It’s no secret that Switchback Brewery is a local legend here in Vermont.  Their classic Unfiltered Ale is on tap in every bar in town and chances are if you try it once, you’ll be hooked. 

You may remember from last year’s Chocolate and Beer Pairings at Brew Fest, we paired Switchback’s Porter with our classic 54% Dark Chocolate.  This year, same brewery, different beer, different chocolate and amazing results.

Switchback’s Roasted Red & Honey Caramel

Our Chocolates of Vermont Honey Caramel is made from sweet, locally-harvested honey which is infused into our caramel and then drenched in a semisweet dark chocolate. The honey gives the caramel a complex blend of flavors beyond your typical caramel.

Switchback’s Roasted Red has strong, caramelized malt notes which match up beautifully with the Honey Caramel.  The floral notes in the honey really enhanced and brightened up the rich, hoppy flavor of the Roasted Red.  This is one match you have to try!


Switchback Dooley’s Belated Porter (5.8%) with Lake Champlain Chocolates 54% Dark Chocolate Square  

 For locals, Switchback’s Unfiltered Ale is what you order.  Walk into a Burlington bar or restaurant, you’ll see 90% of the beer drinkers with a murky, amber colored potion in front of them.

I’ll admit, sometimes I go for a Belgian White Ale (I love how it’s served with an orange slice) or will order a house beer if I’m at a microbrewery, but almost always, I go for the Switchback. 

The Switchback Brewery reminds me slightly of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory – mysterious, very few people work there, yet they create incredible beer, readily available on tap at restaurants and bars around Vermont.  

Our fourth and final beer paring at Brewfest combined Switchback’s Dooley’s Belated Porter, a 5.8% alcohol by volume porter, with our Signature Dark Chocolate.  The flavor profile for our dark chocolate includes brown fruit (think cherries, dates, raisins), vanilla, baked brownie and brown spice. 

Porters, like stouts, have chocolate undertones, which in this pairing, brought out those subtle flavors in the chocolate, like brown fruit and baked brownie.  Mmm… 


Beer Pairing No. 3

Posted on August 19, 2009 9:24 AM by Allison

American Flatbread's Zero Gravity Extra Stout with Lake Champlain Chocolates' Organic Mango Truffle

American Flatbread epitomizes Vermont’s general food ethics – use local ingredients, keep it simple - yet inventive – and always delicious.  And of course, brew good beer to go with it. 

A trip to the Burlington restaurant will offer you literally hundreds of beer options to go with your hearth-fired flatbread.  Their own microbrews are brewed in-house and include intriguing varieties such as Boognosh Brown Ale and Grisette.

For Brewfest, we paired our Organic Mango Truffle with American Flatbreads Zero Gravity Extra Stout.  Like really, really dark beer?  This one is for you.  The word “opaque” doesn’t even begin to describe this darkly roasted malt beer. 

It pairs well with the light tropical fruity flavor of our dark chocolate Organic Mango Truffle.  The flavor of the mango emerges even more and flirts with the chocolate flavor that is oftentimes found in stouts.


Chocolate & Beer Pairings from Brewfest

Posted on August 5, 2009 10:36 AM by Erin



For those of you who missed out on our Chocolate & Beer Pairing at this year's Vermont Brewers Festival, here are the first of the tasting notes as promised.  The event seemed to be a big hit, even despite the weather.  Gary Coffey, our Retail Sales Director, led a crowd of approximately 100 people first through the steps in how to taste chocolate & beer and then through the actual pairings themselves.

Gary started off by explaining to the crowd the first rule for pairing chocolate & beer is...that there are no rules! What tastes good to you may not to your neighbor, so just go with whatever floats your boat.  Just be sure to take your time and to enjoy the craftsmanship that goes into producing each of the fine beers & chocolates.

So without further adieu, here is the first our chocolate & beer pairings...bon appétit!

Pairing #1
Harpoon Leviathan IPA (9.3%) w/ Dark Chocolate Covered Orange Peel

This big beer by Harpoon has a powerful hop bitterness up front and just enough caramel malt to provide a balance to the hop intensity.  Its generous citrus tropical fruit notes make it a perfect match for our deliciously sweet candied orange peels drenched in 54% dark chocolate.

*This one was a favorite at the Vermont Brewers Festival!

Stay tuned for our other 3 pairings....


Chocolate and Beer - The Saga Continues...

Posted on June 25, 2008 11:13 AM by Leann

For those of you who are on the edge of your seat awaiting more info about Chocolate and Beer (and I know there are scores of you…) your wait is nearly over. Gary Coffey, our Retail Sales Director, will be hosting a Chocolate and Beer pairing as part of this year’s Vermont Brewers Festival, July 18-19 at Waterfront Park in Burlington. I can’t tell you exactly which chocolates and beers he’ll be matching up for you as we’re still tweaking the final pairings (and by tweaking I mean hanging out after work and noshing on chocolate and beer.) Besides, if I told you, it’d ruin the surprise.

So, here are the details which are also available online at the Vermont Brewers Fest website . The Chocolate and Beer Pairing will take place Friday, July 18 at 8pm in the Education Tent at the Festival. Capacity is limited so definitely arrive early to be sure there’s space. Admission to the Chocolate and Beer Pairing is free once you enter the Festival.

If you’ve never been to the Vermont Brewers Festival, you should really try to make it. It’s a great time down on the Lake and with so many beers to sample, you certainly won’t be bored. See you on the Waterfront!


What's up with the chocolate and beer?!

Posted on June 23, 2008 1:53 PM by Admin

File this under just another kooky thing we get to do here sometimes. OK. Friday was a company holiday for us (Thank you Jim!!) so Thursday was effectively Friday. Excellent. On my way out the door, Gary – our Retail Sales Director – asked if I had a second to help with something he was working on. Sure, I wanted to begin my three-day weekend and all but listen, he had a tray of chocolate and some beer in his hand. My curiosity was piqued.

So, we headed back to the break room where we often do some of our product tastings internally. There were a couple other people there already waiting to assist in this project. Apparently, Gary was looking for tasters and flavor panel people to help him with beer and chocolate pairings. Yup, you read correctly. Beer and chocolate. Move over wine, there’s a new player at the table looking to shack up with chocolate. My curiosity was now beyond piqued. I was totally bought in but a little scared as to how this was going to work.

Well, I shouldn’t tell you what brand of beer we were working with (Wolaver’s and Otter Creek this time around) or the exact flavors as it’s still a “work in progress” but I can tell you I was totally and pleasantly surprised. I never would have put beer and chocolate together in a million years but there were some really tasty pairings. Sure, you can put a chocolate-covered salty nut with nearly any beer but we didn’t stop there. We went to truffles, we went to chocolate-covered fruit. We even went to spicy chocolate. And it was wonderful.

Where are we going with this? That I don’t know just yet but Gary just stopped by my desk to ask for more assistance with the beer and chocolate. Am I in? You bet I’m in. Next time you’re sitting around with some chocolate on your coffee table and some beer in your fridge, why not give it a go?! What’s the worst that can happen?