BEER AND CHOCOLATE: An ideal Valentine’s combination

Also available in Monday Magazine, originally posted on January 27th, 2019.

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and you know you should get something nice for your significant other. But do you feel like you always fall back to the usual flowers and chocolate?

Well, there are some great local options that can keep your gifts to theme while offering something just a little different.

Chocolate and beer go exceptionally well together, especially when they’re combined in the brew. A local classic is Phillips Brewing’s Longboat Chocolate Porter, offering a smooth, sweet touch of chocolate with every sip, and it goes great along with any chocolatey dessert. This beer offers such a great chocolate taste that if you want to do something a little different, it’s perfect as an ingredient in a decadent cake or cupcakes, delicious cookies, or a rich fudge.

Other local alternatives to satisfy that chocolate fix include Spinnaker’s Chocoholic Chocolate Milk Stout, the coffee infused offerings of 4 Mile Brewing’s Mocha Porter and Category 12 Brewing’s Excitation Cacao Nib Espresso Stout. And if you want to add a little spice to the occasion, there’s Twa Dogs Chili Chocolate Milk Stout. Consider putting a few of these together for a fun twist on the classic box of chocolates.

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Feb. 17 marks the 10th anniversary of the Island Beer & Spirits Festival, running from 2-6 p.m. in Distrikt Nightclub at the Strathcona Hotel. At $25, it is one of the lowest cost beer festival events in Victoria. It has grown leaps and bounds since its start, especially with the number of breweries and distilleries being offered. General admission tickets are available for purchase at the Hotel or on Eventbrite, but at that price they won’t be around for long. The vendor list will be available soon, so keep an eye out on their Facebook page for updates.

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In recent weeks, another new brewery has been announced for Victoria, with Whistle Buoy Brewing Co. slated to open in Market Square on the courtyard level. Look for more on them in coming months as they work to open their doors.

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