Denver Brewery Debuts Chocolate Orange Stout

A smooth liquid cacao makes adding it to the brew process easier

A snowy day is perfect for sipping a hearty stout.

In this busy world, there often isn’t enough time to sit back and relax. A few Saturdays ago, I found myself at Breckenridge Brewery in the morning, munching scones and drinking Cholaca. Pure liquid cacao is something I don’t think twice about putting in my body, especially when it is sourced from co-ops that utilize sustainable farming practices. Cholaca, a company based in Boulder (where else?), makes three varieties of liquid chocolate: unsweetened, lightly sweetened, and sweetened. Using only coconut sugar, Cholaca is organic, vegan, and gluten-free. Its products are sold in the refrigerated cases at Whole Foods and online through Sprouts and Amazon.

You may have wondered why I was sipping chocolate at a brewery? Breckenridge Brewery came out with an outstanding Chocolate Orange Stout as part of its seasonal Nitro Series using Cholaca. The velvety texture of the nitrogen head make this an easy winter drink, whether straight from the can or (heaven forbid) a glass! This stout is so mellow with hints of chocolate and orange that I can easily sip this all day. Many stouts are just too heavy and rich, but this one is "just right," says Mama Bear.


Abbe Odenwalder

Cholaca works as an easy drink mixer.

Cholaca is so good and so easy to use that a myriad of brewers are also using it in some fabulous concoctions. It’s free of emulsifiers, additives, and preservatives, making it easy for brewers to use instead of cacao nibs (which may contain organisms that clog filters and leave tank residue). In Cholaca’s case, the nibs are milled, heated, and made into liquid cacao using a unique process that makes this stuff so good. I’m not joking. I don’t know if its unsweetened chocolate is available yet in the stores, but after trying it in this hot chocolate recipe, I’ve got to say this is the mellowest, least bitter unsweetened chocolate I’ve ever tasted. You almost don’t need to add sugar.

After a tour of Breckenridge Brewery, we sampled a few products made with Cholaca. If you’ve ever been to the brewery, it is always a good time. It is close, so I’ve been a few times. (Maybe my Midwestern roots make me feel so at home in a farmhouse.) Picture a giant stone fireplace and open rafters, quilts thrown over chairs, a view of the Front Range that could be a postcard, long picnic tables out front, giant windows and wood floors; you already have an idea of what Breckenridge looks like. If you come to Denver, don’t miss it. You can even bike there from downtown!

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The chef prepared special dishes that would blend well with the Chocolate Orange Stout. The eggplant bruschetta would be perfect for a party appetizer, as would the steak-shishito pepper. But if you go to the brewery on your own, be sure to have a tour and a tasting; and make sure to order their biscuits in a cast-iron pan with smoked butter and fresh preserves. Oh my!