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Today we're looking at a fascinating collaboration between a craft chocolate maker and a craft brewery. Eric Parkes at Somerville Chocolate is a tenant in Aeronaut's building, so he makes chocolate just a short distance from where brewmaster Mark Bowers and Director of Brewing Operations Filipe Garcia are brewing beer. This has allowed for an ongoi…
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Hops are the primary seasoning in beer, but what actually Are hops, and how are these used? In this quick bonus episode, we look at what hops are, how they're used, when they're added during the brewing process, and how they impact beer flavor. Enjoy this quick primer on hops! Follow Bean to Barstool on social media! Instagram Facebook Pinterest Ti…
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Nick Davis makes bean to bar chocolate at One One Cacao on the northeast coast of Jamaica. The cacao trade on the island has been tainted by a colonial past of slavery and oppression, but is now being reclaimed as farmers and makers take back agency. Nick shares his thoughts on the good and bad of inclusions, the challenges and opportunities in Jam…
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Welcome to Bean to Barstool Bite Sized, where we spend about 5 minutes with some of our favorite people from craft beer and craft chocolate. In today's Bite Sized we hear from Arcelia Gallardo from Mission Chocolate in Sao Paulo, Brazil. When Arcelia first moved to Brazil and began making bean to bar chocolate, the quality of the Brazilian cacao th…
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Today we’re talking with Brad Kintzer, the chocolate maker for TCHO Chocolate in Berkeley, California. In our conversation, we discuss TCHO's corporate ownership and how they source their cacao. We also talk about the flavor labs TCHO has established in many cacao growing regions to work with growers on a mutually-informed flavor lexicon for chocol…
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Hops get a lot of buzz from beer lovers because of their expressive, fruity aromas and flavors, but malt is really the foundational ingredient of beer. You can technically brew beer without hops (though all commercial examples contain them), but you can’t brew it without malted grain, and the different malt varieties offer a dazzling rainbow of pot…
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Mushrooms aren't the first ingredient we usually think of for flavoring beer or chocolate, but many craft brewers and craft chocolate makers are using different species of mushrooms to create unique flavor experiences and, in some cases, provide unexpected health benefits. In today's episode, we talk all about using mushrooms in beer and chocolate.…
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Welcome to Bean to Barstool Bite Sized, where we spend about 5 minutes with some of our favorite people from craft beer and craft chocolate. In today's Bite Sized we hear from AJ Wentworth from Chocolate Conspiracy. AJ loves craft beer almost as much as he loves craft chocolate, and has collaborated with several breweries around the Salt Lake City …
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In our first ever guest episode of Bean to Barstool, New Zealand beer and chocolate journalist Luke Owen Smith interviews Phoebe Preuss of Living Koko. They talk about Living Koko's relationship with Samoan cacao farmers and Savai'i Koko. They also discuss Penina, Living Koko's non-alcoholic beer brewed brewed in collaboration with Brewicolo and ma…
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Is chocolate really an aphrodisiac? In this episode of Bean to Barstool Bite Sized we hear from Michele Hauf, author of Lust and Chocolate, a romance novel themed around craft and bean to bar chocolate. With Valentine's Day right around the corner, spend 5 minutes this morning with Michele as she talks about creating the world of her novel about a …
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Manoa Chocolate in Kailua, Hawaii, makes a variety of single origin bars with beans from farms all around Hawaii, and they also make a range of bars celebrating other crops popular on the islands, like coconut, mango, and passionfruit. Today though we’re going to talk about Manoa’s relationship with craft alcoholic drinks. Manoa makes popular bars …
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In this episode of Bean to Barstool Bite Sized we hear from Chris Heier, co-founder and head brewer at Half Hitch Brewing in Cochrane, Alberta, Canada. At the height of the pandemic when most people were learning to make sourdough bread, Chris was learning how to make bean to bar chocolate. He's one-fourth Trinidadian, and he sourced cacao from Tri…
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I never come away from a conversation with cacao agronomist Sarah Bharath without learning something, and it's probably because Sarah never comes away from anything without learning. Her curiosity and excitement to learn drive the very important work she does working with cacao farmers to better understand the ecosystems of their cacao farms, how t…
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In this episode of Bean to Barstool Bite Sized we hear from Nicole Hewat, the creative mind behind World Tree Chocolate. Nicole is an artist who has created a variety of artwork using cacao and coffee. She published a children’s book about chocolate illustrated with cacao butter-based paintings on glass, and also sells landscape paintings made with…
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Vanilla is a very familiar flavor for most of us. It’s so ubiquitous, in fact, that the word is used as a pejorative for anything that is commonplace and mundane. But that’s not being fair to this fascinating tropical spice, which can display a wide range of expressive aromas and flavors, and can be used in unique ways throughout world cuisine. In …
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Today’s episode is a look back at my favorite beers and chocolates of 2023. You’ll also hear from several friends and colleagues in the beer and chocolate worlds who share their own favorites from the last year as well. Guests include: Ruvani de Silva (beer writer) Mandy Naglich (beer writer) - Listen to Mandy & I discuss her new book How to Taste.…
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Monsoon Chocolate is making bean to bar chocolate in the desert climate of Tucson, Arizona. It’s not a region we might think of as a hotspot for craft chocolate, but as founder Adam Krantz explains, the southwest has a strong historical claim to cacao, and he wanted to honor that heritage while also pushing the boundaries of flavor with unique regi…
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Max Gandy, perhaps better known in the craft chocolate world as Dame Cacao, was one of the first chocolate educators I started following on Instagram many years ago now when I was first getting into the scene. With her Dame Cacao website and various podcasts over the years, she’s been a calm and knowledgeable voice within craft chocolate for nearly…
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Firetree Chocolate in the UK has been making single origin dark chocolate from primarily Pacific island origins since launching in 2018, and they’re among my favorite single origin makers. As much as I love their complex bars, I also love their beautiful packaging, with its swirling colors and gold etching. Their motto is Rich Volcanic Chocolate, r…
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Beer writer Beth Demmon has written a book called The Beer Lover’s Guide to Cider: American Ciders for Craft Beer Fans to Explore, published on September 12 by Mango Publishing. The book explores the potentially overwhelming variety of the modern cider scene through the lens of beer, relating cider varieties to major flavor groupings from craft bee…
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The arrival of fall means the arrival of fall seasonal beer styles. Fortunately for us, fall beer styles like pumpkin beer and Oktoberfest can pair great with craft chocolate, and today we’re going to talk about some of my favorites and recommendations to check out. Pumpkin ales, Märzen, Festbier, and even fresh hop and wet hop beers can be paired …
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A photo of a beer in a glass is a moment captured. There's a new zine in the online shop that gets to the heart of what Bean to Barstool is all about. Beers Remembered is a short zine of brief vignettes reflecting on beers from the past few years. Each of the 18 entries features a full page photo of a memorable beer, and a page talking about the ex…
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Most people associate mushrooms with savory foods, but that’s because many of us are unaware of both the wide flavor diversity of different types of mushrooms and the range of ways in which they can be incorporated into foods and beverages. Just a couple episodes back we talked with pastry chef and mixologist Michael George, who made an award-winni…
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In today's episode of Bean to Barstool Bite Sized we talk with Anna Seear of Ritual Chocolate in Utah. Ritual brews a line of bars inspired by the surrounding Utah wilderness, and one of these bars honors Utah's nickname as The Beehive State. Ritual uses wildflower honey from local Hollow Tree Honey for this delightful bar. Listen in as Anna talks …
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While brewers have long used cacao nibs for brewing chocolate beers, the pulp of the cacao fruit has been an unexplored resource due to its high perishability and cultural obscurity. Leila Carvajal Erker of Cocoa Supply wants to see that change. Her company is importing pasteurized cacao pulp from cacao farms in Ecuador and working with brewers to …
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Michael George is a bartender and pastry chef in Salt Lake City. They split their time between a couple different bars—you can find them on various nights at Water Witch, a James Beard-nominated bar, and Acme Bar Co. They bring a passion for flavor and story, their own vibrant personality, and the sensibility of their background in the kitchen to t…
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Belgian Witbier and Bavarian Hefeweizen are both standard strength wheat ales with expressive fermentation flavors, and while they hail from different national traditions, pairing guidance for both with craft chocolate is pretty similar. Despite the intriguing flavors of these beers, they are fairly light bodied and delicate, and they get bullied a…
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While both coffee and cacao have many beautiful things in common related to flavor, creativity, science, and innovation, they unfortunately also both face many of the same challenges. The products of these crops are luxury items in North America and Europe, but represent the livelihoods of often low-income farmers and laborers in their countries of…
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Mandy Naglich has written a book that explores how our senses interact with food and beverage, and how understanding our senses can help us better enjoy our favorite indulgences. How to Taste: A Guide to Discovering Flavor and Savoring Life (Citadel) combines science and whimsy to teach us more about our sensory world and bring our favorite flavors…
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Leila Carvajal’s family has worked with cacao for generations, stretching back to the 19th century, but every generation has reinterpreted their relationship with this fruit tree that gives us chocolate. Growing up in Ecuador, Leila remembers visiting the cacao farms that provided beans for CocoaSupply, her family’s company. Leila eventually became…
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A lot of my listeners come to this podcast from the craft chocolate world, and given how complicated and overwhelming beer can be, I want to make sure you all get to enjoy the beer-related parts of Bean to Barstool to the fullest. Today we’re going to look at the ingredients and processes of brewing and some frequently asked questions about beer, w…
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In today's episode of Bean to Barstool Bite Sized we talk with Emily Stone of Uncommon Cacao, one of the leading companies providing ethically and traceably sourced cacao for bean to bar chocolate makers. Emily talks about the process of beginning a relationship with a new partner at origin and her desire for transparency in cacao sourcing to be a …
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In this episode David Nilsen talks with Arron Liu of Chocobien in Hong Kong. Chocobien is a bean to bar chocolate company that produces many truly unique bars that employ flavors and ingredients from other artisan food and beverage segments, including beer, whiskey, coffee, sake, tea, and more. Arron talks about the ideas behind these bars, the par…
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In this episode of Bean to Barstool Bite Sized, we spend about 5 minutes with Hazel Lee, the creator of Taste with Colour: The Chocolate Tasting Flavor Map. The map allows people to use color to identify flavors, and Hazel talks about how this process can be beneficial to folks of all levels of tasting experience, and why no one should feel intimid…
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Many people don’t realize chocolate is a fermented food. Before we can make chocolate from cacao, that cacao has to undergo a fermentation process. This process is usually spontaneous, meaning the microbiotic cultures that carry out the fermentation are not manually added to the fermentation substrate but instead occur naturally. That doesn’t mean …
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In this episode of Bean to Barstool Bite Sized, we spend about 5 minutes with Natalie Suwanprakorn of Xoconat in Bangkok, Thailand. Nat makes her Up in Smoke bar by smoking cacao nibs over a Thai aromatic candle often used for Thai desserts. It’s a wonderfully evocative bar, and your reaction to it will largely depend on whether or not you have a c…
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Pairing beer and chocolate is one of the major topics of Bean to Barstool. Chocolate can pair beautifully with a wide variety of grown-up beverages, however, and most people probably think of wine for this role first. Estelle Tracy leads wine and chocolate pairing events professionally, but she comes to this not as a stuffy expert, but as a curious…
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In this quick bonus episode, Bean to Barstool host & Final Gravity co-editor David Nilsen shares details about the forthcoming Final Gravity zine—a new quarterly print beer publication—as well as the launch of the Final Gravity Patreon to support it! Listen in to get all the exciting details about this project and learn how you can be involved. You…
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In this episode we talk with brewers at Hi-Wire Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina, about 10W-40, a family of Imperial Stouts brewed with French Broad cacao, Dynamite coffee, and Ugandan vanilla. We talk with Peter Batinski, head brewer at Hi-Wire’s South Slope location in Asheville, where he trials many of Hi-Wire’s beers and leads innovation, a…
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In this episode of Bean to Barstool Bite Sized we hear from Annabelle Popa, an artist and graphic designer who has created many of the eye catching labels for Rabid Brewing in the south suburbs of Chicago. When you enter Rabid’s taproom, you’re greeted by an enormous 9'x16' mural hanging over the bar that depicts a fanciful scene telling a mytholog…
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In this episode we talk with Arcelia Gallardo, the founder and chocolate maker at Mission Chocolate in Sao Paolo, Brazil. Arcelia has taken a long and winding road to making world class chocolate in Brazil, and as she’ll explain, her own journey is interwoven with the growth of the cacao industry and bean to bar chocolate scene in Brazil over the l…
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In this episode of Bean to Barstool Bite Sized, host David Nilsen spends five minutes with Erica Gilmour of Hummingbird Chocolate. Hummingbird is in Lanark County, Ontario, the maple sugar capital of a region known for its maple. Fittingly, they make a bar that celebrates this sweet regional distinctive, and as the maple run is currently in full sw…
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In this episode we talk with Sarah Bharath, a former academic who now works with cacao farmers in Trinidad & Tobago on behalf of Meridian Cacao, assisting them in improving their farming and post-harvest processes in hopes of increasing the amount of fine flavor cacao Meridian is then able to purchase and pass along to craft chocolate makers. We al…
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In this quick bonus episode, Bean to Barstool host David Nilsen shares some exciting announcements about upcoming projects! A couple of these you might know about, but listen to the end (don’t worry, it’s only 5 minutes) for news about a couple very exciting projects that will be launched soon! You can purchase The Bean to Barstool Guide to Bocks z…
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In this episode we talk with Nicole Hewat, founder of World Tree Chocolate. World Tree offers curated chocolate boxes based on flavor preferences, but Nicole is also an artist, and she has used cacao in various forms for watercolor paintings as well as illustrations for a book about the cacao-growing and chocolate-making process. During our convers…
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In this episode of Bean to Barstool Bite Sized, host David Nilsen spends five minutes with Sara Ratza of Ratza Chocolate in Tarpon Springs, Florida. Sara is board-certified as a Holistic Health Practitioner, and uses medicinal herbs in many of her bars. She’s also the author of the new book Drinking Chocolate: Ancient Traditions for Modern Healing—…
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With Valentine’s Day around the corner, I figured this was a good time to sit down with author Michele Hauf, who has written a romance novel themed around craft and bean to bar chocolate called Lust and Chocolate. During our conversation we talk about her process for writing the book, her own journey into craft chocolate, and whether or not chocola…
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In this quick bonus episode, host David Nilsen, author of Pairing Beer & Chocolate, talks about how to pair craft chocolate with Doppelbock, a strong German lager style often released in mid-winter by U.S. craft breweries. The malt flavors of Doppelbocks work beautifully with a variety of dark chocolate styles, but there are things to keep in mind …
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In this episode of Bean to Barstool Bite Sized, host David Nilsen spends five minutes with Scott Watson, the founder and chocolate maker at Loon Chocolate in New Hampshire. Prior to becoming a chocolate maker, Scott was a brewer at Nutfield Brewing in the late 90s. Here Scott talks about the similarities between the two careers, and how the sensory…
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AJ Wentworth, the founder and chocolate maker for Utah’s The Chocolate Conspiracy, loves craft beer almost as much as he loves craft chocolate, and he’s partnered with several Salt Lake City craft breweries on a series of beer-infused craft chocolate bars, including a bar with Uinta Brewing’s Baba Black Lager. In today’s episode, AJ and beer writer…
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