Barista Chocolate Quad, between beer and coffee
Our Barista Chocolate Quad is a strong dark beer of the quadruple type with hints of chocolate and bridges the gap between beer and coffee. The Barista tells you straight away what it is all about. The focus here is on malt rather than hops. The Barista Chocolate Quad is a genuine degustation beer and makes for the ideal finish to a meal.
This strong dark one stands up well to a robust meat dish; a steak or a stew for example. Its sweet impressions come from the sugar residue in this beer that does not re-ferment in the bottle. The Barista story started a few years ago, back in in 2012. After several visits to the USA, Xavier Van Honsebrouck, CEO and owner of the Van Honsebrouck brewery, came up with the idea of brewing a beer with the aromas and taste of chocolate and coffee. This led to the creation of the Kasteel Winter, the Barista’s predecessor.
In the Barista toasted and roast malts are predominant but are enhanced by chocolate malts, pale ale malts, pils malts, coffee and cocoa powder. The beer is fragrant with, and tastes of, caramel, toffee and chocolate. “We spent a long time searching for the ideal recipe,” brewer Hans Mehuys divulges. “We managed it in the end, also thanks to the classic Kasteelgist (Kasteel yeast) that accounts for the fruity aroma. In terms of hops, we opted for two Belgian varieties: Belgian Kent Golden and Safir.”
The Barista Chocolate Quad joins the ranks of rather dry, dark beers, such as the Cuvée du Château. Taste it and prepare to be surprised by aromas and tastes you’d rather expect from coffee or chocolate, always sustained by the warm glow of alcohol.
Why not arrange a marriage between beer, coffee and chocolate? Xavier Van Honsebrouck: “The most enjoyable aspect of the brewing trade is experimenting and discovering new flavours. But you have to open yourself up to it. Your classic beer drinker will straight away try to pigeonhole a beer, place it within the box of a tried and trusted beer style. If the box doesn’t fit, they are at a loss. We prefer to think outside the box, to colour outside the lines, and will always consider whether these new aromas and tastes add something to our range. Whether or not the new beer fits an existing beer style, well, that is not too important at the end of the day. The beer drinker has to be convinced by what he finds in his glass. We are very happy to see that most beer drinkers – including those who were hesitant to start off with – are won over by the Barista once they have tasted it.”
Xavier rightly is proud of this new addition to his beer family. Whether or not he is able to inscribe his name in elegant lettering on top of the cloud of froth that covers this delicious dark beer, remains to be seen.