“I used to be a beer racist, but you changed me.” – April A
Ninkasi’s Believer Red has long been a beer that makes me smile. Yes, it’s delicious. More importantly I really like the philosophy around the name: Believer.
We all want to believe in something and last night I made believers of new beer & chocolate tasters. April’s quote, my host of last nights event, nails it: remove your prejudice and simply fall into the possibilities.
As part of the annual Oregon Chocolate Festival, I deliver lively & tasty “Beer & ____” sessions each year. This year – my 5th year doing so – I also introduced what I dubbed the ClassPort. Everyone who attended all three of my tasting sessions over the course of the Friday – Sunday weekend event was eligible to win a complimentary private beer & chocolate tasting; they got their ClassPort stamped at each class.
Three people dedicated themselves to the task (!) and I ended up giving away 3 sessions. Why not!? They made the time and participated, I love engaged guests, and it’s fun all the way around.
Last night I delivered the first of the three private tastings to 8 game and mostly unfamiliar-to-this-concept folks. Suffice to say minds were changed!
Here’s what I find are 3 of the consistent surprises when people put beer and chocolate together.
- Most people have never even thought of putting beer and chocolate together, never mind attended an actual planned tasting event. The element of Surprise & Delight is on my side!
- The tasting first of the beer alone, then the chocolate alone, then the two together is a good pattern for the S & D factor. “Wow! Who Knew? Really??” are all rallying exclamations from guests.
- Since beer is so incredibly diverse, it’s easy to blow minds multiple times with however many courses you choose to feature. I planned 3 last night (menu below).
The next time you think of beer, think of chocolate.
The next time you think of chocolate, think of beer.
Then invite some friends over and make some new believers out of them.
Oh – and Ninkasi beers, by the way, make great choices. I’ve featured them many a’time with success. Choose the beers and chocolates you like, mix and match, and simply have fun exploring.