All things chocolate (beer)

Beer drinkers, as wine drinkers, are pretty well catered for in New Zealand. There are plenty of microbreweries and brew pubs about – Brew Moon, the Dux de Lux and the Twisted Hop are amongst some Canterbury favourites – but even the big breweries have pretty decent beers. One of the biggies is Speight’s Brewery. Known as “The Pride of the South”, it is based in Dunedin and produces a very tasty dark beer called, in an obvious move, Old Dark.

Normally, given my preference for wine I don’t get to taste too many new beers but, as Bealey’s Speight’s Ale House opened around the corner from us in Christchurch recently, it seemed churlish to ignore their obvious speciality. Especially so when I discovered that they have a limited edition Chocolate Ale (Dunedin is also the home of Cadbury) on sale at the moment. I demanded a pint and spent the next hour drinking it – it’s certainly not something that will go down fast.

Despite a few initial doubts, it was a fine flavoured, although sweet, drink. It had a true dark chocolate taste with a cherryish aftertaste. Immediately it reminded me of the Black Forest chocolates that were my childhood favourites from the Christmas box of Cadbury’s Roses. That was, of course, before Cadburys decided to replace them and the yummy marzipan ones with some of those manky praline-centred things. The information on the bar suggested pairing the Chocolate Ale with rich chocolate deserts but it is a perfect after-dinner drink on its own. Maybe there should be an Irish version – Chocolate Guinness, anybody?



Food writer. Broadcaster. Blogger. Author. Married to Eight Degrees Brewing. Member of the Irish Food Writers' Guild, founder of Irish Food Bloggers Association and co-author of Sláinte: The Complete Guide to Irish Craft Beer & Cider (New Island)

You may also like...

6 Responses

  1. paul says:

    There was a recent American try at that sort of thing – Samuel Adams Chocolate Bock. Made with Scharffen Berger Chocolate. Mmmm.My favorite Cadbury was the kiwi fruit filled bars. Can’t get them up here for some reason.

  2. Caroline says:

    I must say that I haven’t noticed kiwifruit-filled bars since I came here but, I must admit, Cadbury’s is no friend of mine – apart from that Black Forest chocolate in the Roses box. I’m much more a fan of the blackest of dark chocolates and am currently working my way through a bar of Richfields 70%…in very small pieces! Must keep an eye out for the bars that you mentioned, though, just in the interests of research, you understand.

  3. Markham says:

    I was down in Dingle recently, and in an ice-cream shop there they did an incredible bitterweet hot chocolate.Any idea where I could get a nice easy recipe?

  4. Caroline says:

    Was that Murphy’s Ice Cream, by any chance? I’ve heard great things about them but, as yet, their ice cream remains untasted. I really must get myself down to Dingle or Killarney to one of their shops. I’ve just been on your blog – The Big Drought – and figure that you didn’t go for the Blackcurrant and Guinness Sorbet, then?

    I’ll pass you on to one of my other pages, where I talk about hot chocolate, with cinnamon and chilli. You could leave out the cinnamon and chilli if they are not to your taste and, if you can’t come across the Ibarra Mexican Chocolate, try using a very dark bar of chocolate. About 70% cocoa solids is good – the better the chocolate, the better the hot chocolate. Have fun! Although I wouldn’t have thought that it would really be hot chocolate weather in Ireland at the moment. Isn’t it still summer?

  5. Markham says:

    Nope – not even Bailey’s Haagen-Dazs.Yes, it was Murphy’s – was down there a while back, weather was pretty nasty that weekend so hot choc was the perfect tonic. They do an incredible Rosemary and ginger ice-cream – quite a taste combination. I believe you can get their ice-cream in Dublin and I’m sure if it’s here you can get it elsewhere.Thanks for the link, I’ll be sure and give it a try.

  6. Caroline says:

    Wow! Rosemary and ginger sounds like a really interesting combination of flavours. I’ve just been poking around on their website and they seem to have loads of Dublin stockists. None for New Zealand though – yet. I think I’ll have to wait till I get back to Ireland.

    Good luck with the hot chocolate! Let me know how it turns out.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *