Ballast point is not this type of brewery.
Don't get me wrong, they know what the hell they're doing. Their beers are all finely tuned with accuracy and subtle details of flavor. Chef Colin's knowledge of the delicate balance of flavors and chemistry are unprecedented. But at this event they did not simply tell us to sit back and accept what they think are the best pairings they have to offer.
Instead, we were presented 5 sweet profile beers and somewhere close to 10 different types of chocolate and desserts. Then we were told to simply explore the variety and combinations of these flavors and textures.
Pairing it supposed to be fun, there are no right or wrong answers, that's what we are all here for. "Beer is for sharing beer is for fun". -Jennifer Mann
Those trained Cicerones that have commented on pairing chocolate and beer have almost always agreed that milk chocolate tends to pair better with traditionally chocolatey beer such as porters and stouts. Dark and milk chocolate works well with higher intense and sours beers, perhaps Belgian strong ale, barley wine, Flemish red or brown, framboise, fruit infused lambics and even sours! Basically you're balancing the sweetness of the chocolate with the sour tartness of the beer.
And for the very brave why not try a spicy dark chocolate bark with a heavy duty IPA, the hoppy bite of the IPA sets the spice of the chocolate on fire!
The first rule of pairing is to match intensities, the second is to find flavor harmonies and contrasts.
It is possible that you may be one of the beer enthusiasts that is of the opinion, that chocolate and beer pairing doesn't really work all that well together! Well to that I say, why not find that perfect pairing for you! I believe that we all taste things differently and what I may think is an amazing match may not excite you as much, but the experimenting can sure be fun!
What was most amazing about this evening at Ballast Point was that we were the ones given the creative freedom to decide what chocolate and beer worked best together! Our opinion was the only one that mattered! Of all the pairing events I have participated in, this was by far my favorite for that reason......we tasted and tested all the possible combinations and now I know what I absolutely have to have again...... Chipotle Black Marlin Porter by Ballast Point along with a dark chocolate truffle or two!