Calgary

Calgary's craft chocolate boom helps infuse new flavour into local craft beer

How well do craft chocolate and craft beer go together? That's what two Calgary artisans want to find out.

McGuire Chocolate and the Annex Ale Project make a perfect pairing in Cowtown

Watch the craft of making chocolate beer

4 years ago
Duration 1:57
McGuire Chocolate and the Annex Ale Project make a perfect pairing in Cowtown

How well do craft chocolate and craft beer go together?

That's what two Calgary artisans want to find out.

McGuire Chocolate prides themselves in teasing subtle flavours from exotic cocoa beans through careful selection and roasting, while Annex breweries makes small limited batches of boutique beer.

They've decided to pair up to make a chocolate beer, that should hit the market on March 7.

"It's just kind of fun to play around with different flavours," said Annex brewer and founder Andrew Bullied, who was previously the head brewer at Village Brewery.

"We have made what we're calling 'Unifying Concept.' It's a chocolate stout, comes in at 7.2 per cent alcohol." 

McGuire Chocolate sources cacao beans from around the world, but the nibs used by Annex are from Haiti.

"It's got this really nice sweetness to it. We think it's gonna add a lot of complexity to our beers," he said.

Craft chocolate booming in Calgary

Craft beer — and all its many flavours — is booming in Calgary, but so is craft chocolate.

"Craft chocolate is honouring the natural cacao bean," said Mark McGuire with McGuire Chocolate.


"All of our chocolates have the same recipe. It's cacao bean and cane sugar. We don't mix it with flavours. We don't add anything, so when you taste differences in our chocolate, you know that the difference comes from the different cacao beans."

McGuire says there is an entire community of "grassroots" craft chocolate makers in the city, and he personally knows a handful of companies.

"I think there are technically six that we know of," said his fiancée, Victoria Myers. "They're all doing something a little bit different."

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