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Friday, February 10, 2012

Beer and Chocolate Pairing at Iron Hill (West Chester, PA)

It was a snowy Wednesday night when Citizen Elizabeth and I ventured forth to the Iron Hill Brewery in West Chester, PA for their beer and chocolate pairing event with the down-the-street neighbors, Eclat Chocolate.  If you haven't had their chocolates yet, you are missing out, and for fans of the Ferment Nation, there is their beer lover's box of chocolates.  Quite tasty.  Be sure to check them out.

The event started out with a glass of their 10 year anniversary Belgian Quad known as FE 10.  At 10.5% abv, it was a nice starter for the event to get things going.  What I liked about this beer was that it was not overwhelming.  I don't drink Belgian quads much because they can be too syrupy, and just too much.  FE 10 was tasty and smooth and I would definitely drink it again (I can't say that for many Belgian tripels or quads).  After that inaugural glass of beer, it was kind of an open house for beer and chocolate.  Eclat brought five different kinds of chocolate varying in bitterness and ingredients, and Iron Hill paired them up (of course, other pairing experiments were encouraged!) with five of their beers: Russian Imperial Stout, Cherry Chocolate Stout (just tapped that day), Oompa Loompa Stout, a Bourbon aged stout, and  F. Red.
The beer and chocolate that stood out for me were F. Red Ale and the Aleppo Pink Peppercorn chocolate. I mention the Flemish red ale, because I do not drink sour beers often, and I thought this one was quite nice and refreshing.  It also happened to stand out amidst the other four stouts.  And at 5% abv, clearly I should have drank more of that during the evening.  The peppercorn chocolate had, what else, but peppercorns!  It was great.  It also had chili peppers as part of its composition, so there was some heat to this chocolate.  The other chocolates were good, but this was the most memorable.  Citizen Elizabeth and I went back for more several times.
Overall, the event could have been better attended, but it was unclear as to how much snow was going to fall that night, so I do not blame people for cancelling at the last minute (more beer and chocolate for us!).  The friendly and informative staff of Iron Hill and Eclat made the night enjoyable and a success.

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