Chocolate in beer? Yes Virginia there is a Santa Claus! People who know me know I am not one of those brewers who just throws any odd ingredient into the kettle just to try “try something different” or make it “extreme” (said with my best Cali surfer dude accent). While the German Beer Purity Law is a great guideline for making great beer, sometimes you just have to break the rules.
Chocolate is one of those different ingredients that can work as harmoniously with the flavors in beer as any hop. Did I say that?!! Any hop??!! Well yes…and Gimme Chocolate Bock is a perfect example. I brewed GCB specifically for the Chocolate! for Cystic Fibrosis Festival, which we participate in every year. Normally I manipulate certain malts in the grain bill to emulate the rich tones of chocolate. This time I decided to “try something different” (so sue me) and meld the complexities of dark roasted and toasted malts with the rich and slightly bitter flavors of pure cocoa nibs. I worked with Olive and Sinclair Chocolates in Nashville to find the correct varietal of cocoa and decided on the beautiful dark flavors of cocoa from Ghana. I wanted the illusion of milk chocolate so I sweetened the deal with some nutty caramel malt and added a creaminess with flaked oats. All brought together with a clean lager fermentation to allow the chocolate flavors to shine. The result is a beer I am now infatuated with…addicted too…GIMME CHOCOLATE BOCK!!!!