MADRID, SPAIN - APRIL 02: A waitress throws a black craft beer in one of the bars participating in 'Artesana Week Lavapies', in Argumosa street, on 02 April, 2022 in Madrid, Spain. In the VII edition of the craft beer fair, in this neighborhood in the center of Madrid, 18 producers collaborate and up to 400 types of craft beers can be tasted, in 17 different premises, for a universal price of 2.50 euros a half pint on tap. (Photo By Ricardo Rubio/Europa Press via Getty Images)
The Main Reason Chocolate Beer Can Be Deceiving
By Chase Shustack
The combination of beer and chocolate sounds enticing, and chocolate beers have become a trend thanks to breweries like Yuengling, which has often collaborated with chocolate manufacturer Hershey's to produce beers like the "Chocolate Porter." However, chocolate beers can be deceiving, and while you may be tasting chocolate, you might not be drinking a "true" chocolate beer.
According to the Smithsonian Magazine, while some beers may have chocolate notes or aftertastes, they may not have any cocoa or chocolate in them at all. According to Homebrew Academy, this is caused by a particular blend of dark roasted barley which, when fermented and brewed, has a taste similar to chocolate.
Brewer's Union also tells us that "chocolate malt" doesn't have any chocolate, and it gets its name from its dark color and somewhat bitter taste, similar to chocolate. Nonetheless, some beers actually do contain real chocolate, and when it comes to making them, a brewer can add it to their beer at any point in the brewing process.
Using real chocolate could include anything from introducing cocoa powder into the mashing process to adding milk chocolate into the fermenting process. Some brewers even age their beer on cocoa nibs or broken-up cocoa beans to help get that rich chocolate taste.