BEer my Valentine

In past years around Valentine’s Day I’ve written about Valentine’s gift ideas for beer lovers and I’ve written about chocolate and beer pairings. This year, I’ve chosen to highlight beers that are Valentine -worthy. So, whether you are sharing your love of beer with others or keeping it all to yourself because it is just that damned delicious, here are some suggestions.

Paris is known as an incredibly romantic city, so we asked our friend Cecile Delth, who runs an awesome beer shop there called Brewberry, what her go to Valentine’s Day beer was. She told us that she loves the Bee My Valentine from To Øl “It’s a cacao stout brewed with cacao nibs honey and strawberries. It’s like a valentine cake or a box of chocolate. It’s a perfect one for this special day.… I love big pastry stouts”
Augie Carton, from Carton Brewing in NJ wanted to make a
chocolate flavored stout with roses for Valentine’s Day. He says it took them 2 years to make what would become Cupid, because they kept putting chocolate into a stout and it didn’t really come out right until they took the chocolate out and used chocolate malts-which made it perfectly chocolatey in just the way they were looking for. Then with the addition of roses in the whirlpool for aroma. The way he describes what he was looking for in this beer and achieves is one of the things I’ve noticed about Carton’s beers often being about creating something that is more a short vignette expressed through beer rather than than just a unique version of a particular style. “It’s like your forgot Valentine’s Day and stopped at a drugstore on the way home and grabe a heart-shaped box of chocolates and a dozen cheap roses and tried to cover your butt.And that’s Cupid!”
“I always associate Valentine’s day with overloading on sweets and chocolate.”says Nicole Erny, Master Cicerone and Beer Sensory Educator from Oakland, CA. “It can be a great excuse to break out a hearty, sweet beer like La Trappe Quadrupel or even something sticky like Mikkeller Raspberry Trippelbock,which is tasty in small portions alongside a rich chocolate dessert. Strong and sweet makes for a luxurious, rich and fast-acting drinking session which is perfect for a romantic dessert at home.”
Be Minefrom Barrel of Monks Brewing, in Boca Raton, FL is one of my own personal favorites. When I asked Brewmaster Bill McFee how this beer came to be, he told me that he wanted to make a really special Valentines beer and decided that using tart cherries and cocoa nibs with their Quadrophonic Quadrupel was just the thing. “We are very proud of how it came out. Both the cherry and the chocolate are balanced, not overwhelming. This is not a “candy beer” but a full flavored complex beer that has just the right amount of tart cherry and chocolate flavors complimenting the dark fruit and raisin flavors of our Quadraphonic. We think it is a perfect beer for sharing with someone special!”
If you ask Sean Paxton, the Homebrew Chef, a question, then you should expect your answer to go beyond just the beer and be food oriented! So, while Sean didn’t commit to a favorite beer, he did offer some advice on how to create the perfect beer-infused candy for Valentine’s Day. You can check out some of his recipes here.
As for us, we will leave the chocolate making to the pros but have great plans for the post-Valentine’s weekend. We’re heading to Asheville for our 3rd Annual Asheville Beer Safari Weekend. So, in addition to the divine local beer, we’ll be visiting French Broad Chocolates for a private tour and tasting. Hopefully they will have some of the amazing chocolate truffles they make with beer on hand!

Do You have a favorite Valentine’s beer?