Beer may not be the first thing people think of when they think of Valentine’s Day and chocolate, but I actually think some beers pair better with chocolate than anything else. For those who have a loved one who can appreciate beer, or one who might be persuaded if a good beer experience pushed them over the edge, I am here to help. There are beers that naturally pair with chocolate because some literally have chocolate in them, or they may have a naturally chocolate flavor to them. They may also just have a dark fruit or sweetness to them that complements the chocolate. Stouts are generally going to be the most obvious choice because they tend to have a chocolate-y flavor to them, but many are purposely made with chocolate. However, there are other styles that pair well as well. I would say porters, Belgian dubbels or quads and lambics are all great choices as well. Porters and dubbels may have a little of the bitterness that pairs well with dark chocolate and quads and lambics, being on the sweeter end are more likely to pair up with milk chocolate. I’m going to recommend four of my favorite beers to pair with chocolate that range a little in terms of style and strength. All of them are available in larger bottles to share with your sweetheart. Southern Tier Choklat is one of my favorites. It’s a big beer at 10% ABV, but it’s an absolutely delicious combination of roasty malt, big dark chocolate flavor with a silky body. It pairs seemlessly with any kind of chocolate, but dark chocolate especially. Another along similar lines of thought is Maine Beer Company’s Mean Old Tom. This one is not a chocolate stout per se, but is a “regular” stout, meaning it’s not flavored with anything special and it’s not a super high ABV imperial stout. Nevertheless, it has strong notes of coffee and chocolate and pairs perfectly with a dark chocolate. Another one to try is Stone Smoked Porter with Vanilla Beans. This one has a mild smoky flavor to it. I’m not generally a fan of smoky flavored beers, so when I say its mild, it really is. However, the vanilla beans actually give it a slightly bourbon-y, slightly chocolate-y flavor. It’s low in the ABV range at 5.6%, so it won’t incapacitate you for the rest of the night either. Lastly, for the more adventurous palate, Dogfish Head Theobroma. This one is part of Dogfish Head’s ancient ale series. It is based on the findings from ancient clay pots found in Honduras of the oldest known alcoholic chocolate drink. It dates back between 500 and 1,200 B.C. It’s a combination of cocoa power, cocoa nibs, honey, chiles and annatto (fragrant tree seeds). It seems like an unlikely combination, or at least one that I had no idea how it would taste. Anyway, it’s really pretty good, but takes a few sips before you settle into it. It really tastes like a bitter dark chocolate bar. It seems odd because it’s not really dark, but it has a dark chocolate flavor. It went really well with a high (72%) cocoa chocolate bar. I think I may have had it once before and didn’t care for it, but the second time I had it in combination with dark chocolate, I really liked it. There you have it. Four choices for Valentine’s Day or any other day you want to share some beer and chocolate with your significant other.