Here’s a brew that came out of left field, a porter brewed by ‘The Brew Shed’ microbrewery in Bury St Edmunds (home of Greene King) for Hotel Chocolat, an up-market chain of Chocolate boutiques.
Clearly Hotel Chocolat figure that a chocolate beer might provide some consolation for the man of the house when his good lady returns home laden down with expensive and exotic confectionery.
I realise that sounds somewhat sexist, but that’s exactly how I came by my bottles.
It pours dark brown, not overly dark, with a thin, off white, fast fading head.
It’s medium bodied and pleasant enough, bready, with a dark coffee flavour and the merest hint of chocolate. There are old-school Fuggles Hops in there.
Hotel Chocolat claim “Our cocoa shells are left over from making chocolate, but they’re just too good to throw away.” so the Brew Shed add the cocoa shells to the mash to imbue a more chocolately flavour. It’s an interesting twist, but I’ve had dark beers with more noticeable chocolate flavour.
Frankly, for a beer from a chocolate shop, it’s just not chocolatey enough, and at a fiver (seven dollars) for a 500ml (American pint) bottle, it’s over-priced.