Beer and Chocolate Pairings

Brandon Carbonare

Calling all beer fans and foodies! Valentine’s Day is around the corner and although we love the traditional heart-shaped box of chocolates and bouquet of roses, why not up your tradition to a Valentine’s Day Experience? We’re talking about beer and chocolate pairings – that’s right, beer and chocolate. Interested? Read all about some of our favorite pairings.

First up, Dogfish Head 60-Minute IPA. This beer has a very unique brewing process, by boiling over 60 different hops for a full hour a pungent, citrusy, and grassy flavor is born. All without being overly bitter. This hop-forward golden amber India pale ale provides piney and citrusy notes with a crisp mouthfeel and slightly lingering bitterness. You can find it year-round, measuring in at 6% ABV with an IBU of 60. With a beer like this, you’ll want to pair it with a spicy or salty dark Chocolate. Elements of spice and salt both pair nicely with the contrasting crispness from the IPA and mellow together with the finishing subtle bitterness of both the beer and the chocolate.  There really is no going wrong with this combo and would make for a perfect after dinner treat.

Our 2nd round is for the pilsner lovers out there. Let’s take a look at Pilsner Urquell! First brewed by Josef Groll in 1842, Pilsner Urquell was the world’s FIRST golden pilsner lager, changing the world of beer forever. Pilsner Urquell’s signature flavor balances sweetness from the triple-decocted malt, and bitterness from our Saaz hops. The thick head of dense, wet foam adds smoothness and seals in flavor and aroma. With a refreshing crispness from natural carbonation, then subtle caramel tones and a clean finish with a pleasing hoppy bitterness. This Czech beer rates a 4.4% ABV and IBU of 40 – pairing perfectly with a medium body dark chocolate. Our chocolate of choice for this beer is dark chocolate truffles. These decadent poppable pearls deliver a uniquely smooth and rich gourmet taste, and there is no going wrong with a smooth dark chocolate center covered in a delicate dark chocolate shell.

Next up we’re going local, to the capital region’s own Brown’s Brewery. Engaging, dark, and bold, Brown’s Oatmeal Stout is an ever-popular ode to the classic English Stout, earning Brown’s the prestigious gold medal at the World Beer Cup. An approachable, easy to drink, rich, and silky-smooth glass of pure delicious indulgence. Coming in at 5.25% ABV and an IBU of 20, this stout pairs with something a little different – coffee flavored dark chocolate. The bold flavors of the stout work perfectly with the just as bold flavor of the coffee beans in the chocolate bar. Give this pairing a go if you’re a true coffee lover.

Staying with the spirit of local, our next beer hailing from Cooperstown, we have Ommegang Three Philosophers. Rich and complex, this tour de force is a glorious blend of elegant Belgian-style quadruple ale and authentic Belgian kriek, its malty depth and gentle sweetness enhanced by sparkling carbonation and a serendipitous touch of cherry. This Beer packs a punch at 9.7% ABV and an IBU of 21. For this beer, we recommend being adventurous. Try some unique varieties of dark chocolate, flavors of cinnamon, cayenne, oatmilk, and more all work with this versatile brew.  These pairings can be customized to give you a unique experience every time and allowing Ommegang’s unique beer to really shine.

Now on to our final pairing, we take a look at Unibroue’s La Fin du Monde, a Top fermented Blonde Belgian triple, coming in at 9% ABV and an IBU of 19. Unibroue’s Flagship, this beer is medium bodied with a pleasant, lingering warm finish, a fine, sustained, and slow effervescence and a white, creamy, generous head. Brighten up your pairing and your day with orange or citrusy dark chocolate. Delicious velvety chocolate with a hint of orange for a bright and citrusy accompaniment works beautifully with this wonderful beer, you can’t go wrong with the warmth of a Belgian triple and orange chocolate, a match made perfect.

While we may have reached the end of today’s pairings, that doesn’t mean there aren’t more out there. Let us know on social media if you try any of these suggestions or just let us know know if you have a recommendation that would be a great combination. Thanks for sticking around and joining us on our pairing adventure.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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10 Creative Chocolate Covered Treats for Valentine’s Day

It’s the week of Valentine’s Day and we can’t seem to get these “chocolate covered” thoughts out of our heads. After all, ‘tis the season for showing your love and appreciation through sweet treats. With this in mind, we thought we’d give you a roster of fun ideas for creative chocolate covered goodies this year.

Dip into our 10 chocolate covered treat ideas below!

  1. Chocolate Dipped Fruits: Our hand dipped in-store chocolate strawberries are an essential this time of year. Same goes for our chocolate covered pineapple. However, apple slices, orange slices, watermelon slices and bananas are also fantastic when covered in chocolate. You can’t go wrong with pretty much any sweet or tart fruit.
  2. Chili Peppers: The flavor of a chili pepper mixes beautifully with the savory taste of chocolate. A sweet pepper could be an interesting choice, but a spicy pepper adds a perfect contrast to the sweetness. Give it a try.
  3. Pie: Yes, pie. The whole pie. Whip up your favorite key lime pie recipe and cover it in chocolate. You’re at the top of the dessert game! Congrats.
  4. Potato Chips: This one’s easy. The saltiness of a potato chip combined with the sweet flavor of chocolate is addicting!
  5. NEW Market 32 Pretzels & Graham Crackers: We’ve introduced these before here on our blog, but seriously, we just can’t get over how satisfying they are! Get them before they’re gone!
  6. Pickles: This might seem questionable at first but the sweet and tangy flavors mix well. You have to try it yourself to fully understand!
  7. Filet Mignon: If you’re interested in going all out for Valentine’s Day why not combine dinner with dessert? It’s a thing. Trust us. If you try it, let us know what you think!
  8. Peanut Butter Crackers: Peanut butter crackers are a top tier snack by themselves, but dip them in some chocolate and you’ve added a dynamic star to your romantic snack game.
  9. Edamame: If you’re looking for a healthier treat to snack on for Valentine’s Day and beyond, try chocolate covered edamame. Edamame is a nice alternative to common salty snacks like chips, so it’s ok to go ahead and add some chocolate.
  10. Strawberry Cookies: Everybody loves chocolate dipped strawberries, but how about chocolate dipped strawberry cookies? It’s a simple, yet creative spin on a Valentine’s Day classic.

Chocolate treats are always in our minds around Valentine’s Day. We hope you enjoy these unique ways to try chocolate like you never have before. Need a chocolate mix to get started? Find it here.

Happy chocolate-covering!

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7 Valentine’s Day Essentials Beyond Flowers and Candy

Valentine’s Day is approaching and love is in the air at Price Chopper and Market 32! We always enjoy the classic flowers and chocolates to help you put a smile on the face of your valentine. However, this year we thought we’d introduce you to some new Valentine’s Day ideas…you know, just to keep your special someone on their toes.

  1. Hallmark Cards: Never has there ever been a time when someone received a Hallmark card and it didn’t make them feel warm and fuzzy inside. You can’t go wrong with Hallmark, especially on Valentine’s Day when displaying your appreciation is imperative. Luckily, we have these joyful cards available at your local store for you to do just that!
  2. Hot Sauce: Hot sauce is definitely a Valentine’s Day sleeper. Just a small bottle makes a fantastic gift, and can heat up more than just your food. Check out our variety of hot sauces, from our classic PICS Hot Sauce to the fiery Hoff Sauce from our friends at Hoff and Pepper out in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
  3. NEW Market 32 Chocolate Covered Pretzels & Graham Crackers: Our bakery team took it into their own hands to add a new element to the chocolate covered treats game. Introducing NEW Market 32 Chocolate Covered Pretzels & Graham Crackers: trust us, they taste even better than they sound. Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to give them a try!
  4. Chocolate Dipped Strawberries: What more can we say about these? A Valentine’s Day classic that always has us looking forward to this time of year. We hand-dip them ourselves in store!
  5. Chocolate Dipped Pineapple: It all started during a strawberry shortage. Jim R., a former Produce Team Leader in our Newburgh, NY store never panicked, deciding to dip pineapple rings into chocolate as a substitute. His idea was a hit and the rest is history! We’ve offered these unique treats in our Produce departments around Valentine’s Day every year since then.
  6. Local Craft Beer: We partner with a wide variety of craft brewers in our region: folks like, Ithaca Brewing Company in Ithaca, NY, Stony Creek Brewing in Branford, CT, and Magic Hat Brewing in South Burlington, VT. Did you know you can build your own six pack in our stores? Combine all of your loved one’s favorite local flavors into one, and let them sip their way to Valentine’s Day glory.
  7. Price Chopper & Market 32 Limited Edition Valentines: Send your Valentine one of our custom sweet nothings before they run out! Visit our Instagram page here to view our latest set of custom valentines. Screenshot them and send them to your special someone! 

Flowers and candy are great, and you can order flowers from us here, but there are a bunch of other ways to showcase your feelings this Valentine’s Day. Get creative and try something new from this list!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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