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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… 

How to Make Gourmet Smores - Fabulous!

Posted on July 8, 2008 8:44 AM by Leann
So, you might think trying to make a better smore is like trying to build a better mousetrap. But really, isn’t it this constant pursuit of perfection that brought us from living in caves with no fire to living indoors and contemplating the perfect smore?

To be honest with you, I never gave it much thought before my co-workers started mentioning it. I’d go to a cookout, set my marshmallow on fire since I am too impatient to cook it properly, grab a graham cracker and whatever mass produced chocolate was being offered, mash them together and eat. And I was happy.

But I have now been turned onto using our assorted chocolate squares as the base for my smores. Such a simple idea and oh so brilliant. Sure, you can use whole chocolate bars and break them up but the squares are the perfect size for a smore and allow for variety. Imagine – a hazelnut praline smore, a 70% dark chocolate smore, or how about an organic sea salt and almond smore?! It really is brilliant.

So, armed with that knowledge, I’m bringing one of our assortments of chocolate squares to the next bonfire or cookout I go to. This is too good to keep to myself! Or is it?! Try it at your next gathering. And if you’re feeling incredibly industrious and really want to get your Martha Stewart on, why not make a batch of homemade marshmallows from the recipe on our website? You’re guests will never be the same!

Yesterday was a challenging day for everyone here at the Chocolate Factory because we had no internet and no external e-mails for the entire day. Wow, talk about debilitating. I can’t remember what life was like before these modern day conveniences. Luckily, we’re back connected with the e-world today.

But after the many challenges of the day, you can imagine how much I was looking forward to a little restorative Yoga after it was all over. It was just what I needed to settle down – a nice trip to the relaxing Yoga studio where everything is peaceful and happy. A place where there are no worries and they could help me get back some focus and take out some kinks. Almost as an afterthought, I decided to pick up some chocolate for the folks at Yoga as a thank you for bringing me back to myself. Never did I imagine the folks at Yoga needed a little restorative treatment, too. It's such a cool place there, why would they need an emotional and mental boost?

When I handed them the bag of assorted chocolate squares and chocolate hearts, you should have seen the glazed over looks of appreciation, not unlike what you’d see if you rescued a man in the desert and gave him a glass of water. Here I was thanking them for helping me get back to myself and they were thanking me for the same thing. Which brings me to my point. I forget sometimes that I work in an utterly cool place too where we make something that makes people happy every day. Can we claim world peace or a cure for male pattern baldness? No. But we make people happy. And that’s cool. Whatever you do for work, remember to try to spread a little happiness when and where you can. It just feels good. And it’s cool.