The 12 days of beer giving: The Nut Shoppe

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By: Eric Strader
ericstrader@gmail.com

Eric Strader/Flavor 574

Many beers have been brewed with chocolate, but have you ever tried chocolate made with beer? Now’s your chance.

The Nut Shoppe in Goshen has once again teamed up with Iechyd Da Brewing Company in Elkhart to bring you beer truffles.

This year, Justin Bell from the Nut Shoppe used one of my favorite Iechyd Da beers, Breakfast Cookies Stout (milk stout brewed with cocoa nibs and fresh vanilla beans, 6% ABV, IBUs 38). Bell reduced the stout and then added it to the chocolate. There is just a hint of the beer flavor that compliments the chocolate nicely.

These candies are made in very limited amounts, so act quickly to get your hands on some of them. Gift boxes of both milk and dark chocolate beer truffles are available at both The Nut Shoppe and Iechyd Da Brewing.

I paired these truffles with three different beers.

A friend of mine had just given me a growler of Lucifer’s Cuvee (double chocolate rye stout, 8.4% ABV) the day after I picked up a box of beer truffles. This is a draft-only option from Latitude 42 Brewing Co. in Portage, Mich. Lots of chocolate in both the aroma and flavor, with a very creamy mouth feel.

Another beer that has just been released and is available throughout Michiana is Founders Big Lushious (7.8% ABV), the most recent release in the Backstage Series. If there was ever a dessert beer, this is it. Also very creamy, with notes of chocolate, coffee and raspberry. The fruit is not overpowering, but if you are not a fan of raspberry, you might want to pass. It paired very nicely with the beer truffles.

Lastly, I paired the truffles with Central Waters Bourbon Barrel Stout (9.5% ABV), part of the brewer’s reserve series. (Thanks to a local friend who brought this back from a trip to Illinois.) Amazingly enough, this was the thinnest bodied beer of the three, but the bourbon flavor was really wonderful. After the bourbon fades, flavors of sweet vanilla and slightly bitter chocolate and coffee tickle your taste buds.

Almost any stout or porter available locally will pair nicely with chocolate. If you are not quick enough to get the beer truffles, do not fret. Beer pairs nicely with any of the other handmade truffles offered at the Nut Shoppe, too.

And if chocolate just isn’t your thing, how about some beer flavored Jelly Bellys? They are available either in bulk or bottled, and could make a nice stocking stuffer for the beer enthusiast in your life.

The Nut Shoppe is located at 204 South Main Street, Goshen. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday.

This is part 5 of the Hop Notes 12 Days of Christmas Beer Giving gift guide. Part 4 featured handmade pottery from the Michiana Pottery Christmas Market (Saturday, Dec. 13). For more Hop Notes, visit the Subscribe page to sign up for email newsletters.

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