We pair wine with fine foods, fine cheeses, and associate the lovely libation with fine people and fine events. However, wine sometimes isn’t always the best candidate for a pairing.
Meet Greg Orth. Greg Orth, who also owns Sandler Training (a training program focused on sales and sale representatives), also owns Craft Tastings, LLC. Craft Tastings is extremely unique in what it represents. Greg (along with his team of three “flavor advisors:” his wife Jackie, his brother Tim, and his friend Mike Reeser) pairs craft brews with chocolate!
“I get the weird eye all the time for it. People say ‘What? Beer with chocolate?’” Greg explains, laughing. “But as soon as people participate in one of my tastings, they change their mind. They begin to say, ‘Ohhh… Now, I see what you were talking about!’”
You see, Greg has had a passion for chocolate and beer for a long time. He worked at Hershey Chocolate for 15 years and during college, Greg used to go to a bar by Bloomsburg University (which no longer exists) called Russell’s, which is where his taste for craft beers developed.
His first ever experimentation with pairing happened at Dogfish Head in Rehoboth, Delaware. Basically, the owner of Dogfish Head (Sam) let Greg and his team splay a variety of chocolates on a table and test pairings with 24 beers. After figuring out what worked best together, they did their first ever pairing event at the former Muffin Street cafe. Now, Greg hosts pairings at local businesses such as Iron Hill, The Black Gryphon, Commonwealth on Queen, and Annie Bailey’s.
It’s time to give craft beer its well-deserved accolades that wine has always received.
So, what pairs with what? If you’re anything like me, you’ve been asking yourself this questions throughout the entire article thus far.
Apparently, you can either have a complementary or a contrasting pairing. An example of complementary would be a wheat beer with orange notes being paired with a chocolate with similar citrus notes. An example of a contrasting pairing would be a sweeter beer paired with a chocolate featuring sea salt.
Craft Tastings, LLC.
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