Nibs in with hops and malt

Arc Brewing co-owner Jono Walker during the brewing process. Photo: Hayden Parsons
Arc Brewing co-owner Jono Walker during the brewing process. Photo: Hayden Parsons
Beer experts are waking up to the natural harmony between craft beer and craft chocolate.

Such is the case with a trifecta of Dunedin craft beers which use Ocho craft chocolate as one of their key ingredients.

The chocolate company says beer is a ready-made market for its cocoa nibs; small pieces of crushed cacao beans that have a bitter, chocolatey flavour, and are also said to be nutrient rich.

Craft brewers Emerson’s and newcomers Arc Brewing and Noisy Brewing Co are using cocoa nibs in their mexicocoa, chocolate coconut stout and chocolate coffee stout brews respectively.

Ocho sales and marketing manager Steph Sykes said the nibs come out of the roasting process.

‘‘These are single origin and each batch can be traced back to the fermentaries where they came from.

‘‘Each origin presents different flavour profiles, much like a single vineyard wine or specific hop growing areas,’’ she said.

Arc Brewing co-owner Jono Walker said the chocolate stout, which as a strong beer was more popular during the colder months, was originally developed for the Dunedin Craft Beer and Food Festival, but had proven popular at the Blueskin Bay brewery.

New beers like the stout and his popular hazy pale ale, had helped grow the business to its current production of about 300 litres per week — all consumed on site.

Kaikorai brewery Noisy Brewing Co co-owner Chris Noye, who caters to the off-sales market, said he brewed a run of chocolate coffee stout recently; this was done by adding the nibs straight into the fermentation tank.

The brewers were both focused on lighter, summer beers such as lagers and pilsners — but chocolate would not be far away.

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