25 October 2006
The Food Guys: Chocolate Beer?
Yep, along with Spearmint, Mustard, Fireball
DOC: Hey Al. While I'm not a beer aficionado, I do try to keep up with trends
in the marketplace. And this is a new one on me. Have you heard of chocolate
beer? According to ABC News, the Miller Brewing Co. is releasing a new
chocolate-flavored beer for
the holiday season.
AL: Hi Doc. Flavored beer has been around a long time — including a Black
Forrest Cake beer brewed by an Aussie in 2005 — but none of the “dessert” beers
seem to have captured a loyal following beyond the holiday season.
DOC: It appears that the availability of chocolate beer will be limited to
the Midwestern cities of Chicago, Minneapolis, Cleveland and Indianapolis.
AL: Those are cold-weather states. Cold people will drink anything.
DOC: Apparently, beer companies are trying to “prop up” falling sales by
introducing specialty beers that appeal to drinkers who are lured by fruity,
salty and spicy flavors.
AL: And I believe they're targeting younger drinkers. They want to entice a
new generation of beer drinkers.
DOC: And, get this: consumers are asking for vitamin-enhanced,
caffeine-infused beers. In 2005, Anheuser-Busch introduced two new beers: one
containing caffeine and herbal stimulants and another combining caffeine with
fruit flavors. Just last May, the Miller Co. released a malt liquor that packs
more caffeine per serving than a cup of coffee. And that's not all: A small
Texas company has created a beer containing vitamins with claims that the
beverage not only increases one's nutrient intake but also decreases the
severity of hangovers.
AL: Actually, all beer is flavored beer. Whether you drink a rye beer or
creme ale or a hopped up, “extreme” brand like Samuel Adams, it all gets down to
flavoring the beer. For a quick overview, go to www.samueladams.com and you can
even read about their Chocolate Bock. Brewers use a variety of methods to create
chocolate and other flavors. Fruit flavors are brewed by adding fruit or fruit
extracts during the fermentation stage. My wife Patt enjoys the strawberry and
other fruit-flavored beers microbrewed at one of our favorite restaurants in
Here are just a few flavored beers I've heard or read about:
See story at The Anniston Star's website: www.annistonstar.com
- Apple beer. Unibroue Ephemere makes one that has “the fresh apple aroma
reminiscent of Granny Smith and McIntosh apples.” It's said to be “perfect with
cream and light cheeses as well as any apple or pear desserts.”
- Black Forest Cake beer. In early May 2005, Dicky Fife, a brewer in
Christchurch, New Zealand, discovered a great way to market beer to women. He
aged stout for two years in pinot-noir wine barrels, which gave the beer a taste
similar to Black Forest cake, the traditional German chocolate-cherry cake. He
then blended in the chocolate flavor. His product was showcased at New Zealand's
Queenstown Winter Festival in July 2005.
- Mustard beer. Yes, a number of micros have broken the mustard beer barrier.
Just the thing to consume with pretzels.
- Spearmint ale. For those who like to chew their beer.
- Fireball Mead. This one was inspired by the Atomic Fireball, the hellishly
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