Believe it or not, Father’s Day is right around the corner. Yes, it feels like Memorial Day and Mother’s Day was just yesterday and that is because time flies. It happens whether you are having fun or not. I get that both were less than a month ago, but I do feel as if I was just sitting down to figure out what to get my mother.

My mother is an easy person to buy for. She likes simple things – chocolate, wine, jewelry. Ya know, all the usual things us gals like. My dad, though, he is a little bit more difficult. Sure, he likes things he can do with his hands, but I don’t know how to buy for someone like that! I can’t go to the hardware store and buy him a new drill because I don’t know if he needs a new one and I don’t know which one to get if he did!

This year, I am sticking to something simple which I know he loves – beer. I don’t want to give him just that, so I decided I would pair them some chocolate, and I didn’t know where to even begin! It isn’t just the thought I want him to appreciate – it is the pairing! I did a lot of research and because I am going to give him a few different types of beer, I found some of the matches for them!

Hopefully you can use this to aid you in giving your father a little bit extra this Father’s Day!

IPA’s – I am actually starting with what might be the might difficult pairing because of the bitterness that can be found with these brews. To combat that, you want to find something with a little spice or salt. I actually had a few sea salt caramels with an IPA and found it to be an enticing pairing. Be forewarned that there can be a vast difference from IPA to IPA, but I tried a few with this combination and felt pretty confident about giving a tin of these to my father with the IPA I chose for him.

Stouts – A stout in itself of heavily reminiscent of chocolate, so how could they not be a great duo? The darkness of the stout tends to go best with the darker styles of chocolate, especially those with a higher cocoa percentage. I suggest trying it out with a 72% cocoa, which should provide a nice rich taste to compliment the coffee like flavor of the stout.

Ambers – This could go for either the lager or ale variety, as both pair very well with chocolate. The malt sensation in amber brews and caramel overtones so over swimmingly with white chocolate. The two make for a delicious pairing. The primary reason comes down to the fact that they are both lighter options and do not leave you feeling as full as some of their counterparts.

Lagers – Did you know that lagers account for over 50% of the beer consumed in Canada? Just a shout-out to our friends up north! Lagers can be all over the place in terms of taste and consistency, but for these purposes, we are looking at a pale to medium bodied varieties. Oh, I know why I mentioned that 50% number – that is the percentage of chocolate that you want to consider pairing with it. The closer to that figure, the better the experience will be!

Ales – Ales as well can be all over the place of the taste and color spectrum. They typically consist of malt and fruit aromas that gives us enough to help pair with chocolate. For ales, I have found a 58% variety tends to pair well. It is dark enough to give the rich taste you are after, but subtle enough to not over power the drink itself.

I hope that gives you some direction as you try to pair your favorite beers with chocolate! Please let us know how it went!