We continued our 10th anniversary celebrations by brewing our very own Thornbridge Brewery chocolate porter last week. Well timed as it was chocolate week too!
Beer, as well as chocolate, is one of our favourite things, plus Sheffield is the beer capital of the UK, so Cocoa's 10th birthday seemed like the perfect excuse to unite our two loves! We often visit beer festivals at the weekends and are always excited to try the Thornbridge Brewery guest brews especially the ones with experimental flavours..
We approached Thornbridge Brewery and were delighted with their enthusiastic response to our proposal of a beer/chocolate collaboration.
We have always been big fans of Thornbridge and thought it'd be great to work with such a fun open minded company.
The Thornbridge Brewery is an award winning independent brewery founded and formerly situated in the grounds of Thornbridge Hall near Bakewell, Derbyshire, England.
It didn't take long before Simon Webster, Chief Operating Officer of Thornbridge Brewery, invited us down (along with some of our best chocolate) for a chat to discuss chocolate beer recipes with himself and Rob Lovatt, Thornbridge Brewery's award winning brewmaster. Ideas were a-brewing...
We liked the idea that chocolate could be beer's ally in helping to tempt a female audience into trying a brew.
Most of our female friends don't drink beer and tend to go for cocktails or wine. I once tried to get my non beer drinking friends to try beer by mixing Stout with Prosecco ("a black velvet cocktail") It went down a treat.
Simon is also a big fan of Beer Cocktails – his particular favourite is a Jaipur Mojito!
Rob and Simon came up with the idea of a 6.8% chocolate porter. A Full bodied, stronger beer whose natural mocha malt flavours would complement the added cocoa flavours perfectly. The idea being that it would be a shorter stronger indulgent beer almost like a chocolate liqueur, which would also go rather well mixed with fizz. A wintery tipple to be drunk as the dark nights are drawing in. They decided on a brew day during chocolate week (13th-19th October).
So last week we spent a hard day's slog at Thornbridge Hall's original brewery, helping Pete Jervis, (a very passionate Thornbridge brewer) make their anniversary chocolate porter.
We didn't expect the experience to be so hands on. It was actually quite hard work but now it really feels like our own beer. We got very hot and it was ever so steamy. It reminded us of when we visited a cocoa plantation in Grenada and had to ferment the cocoa beans, that was also a hot and sticky job!
If the idea of a chocolate porter isn't sweet enough, how about serving it with ice cream! We are very excited about trying the Cocoa Wonderland brew as a beer float.
I can imagine our hearty chocolate brew is perhaps the perfect beer for a thick, rich, chocolatey beer float, it's hoppy finish will balance out the sweetness in the ice cream. But what flavour would go best I wonder?
Cocoa Wonderland Chocolate Porter is brewing as we speak and shall be ready to launch at the Sheffield Steel city 40th Beer & Cider festival at Kelham Island museum, which starts 29th October. It will also be available in selected Thornbridge pubs.
Our aim is to visit every establishment that serves it (but not all at once!