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Monday, 16 August 2010

Kernel Brewery Export Stout & Pain au Chocolat

A wise man once said “Beer, not just a great breakfast drink”. Ignoring that advice for a moment; let’s focus on morning drinking for the sake of this week’s FABPOW.

The Kernel Brewery is quickly developing a reputation for producing great beer, and rightly so. The single-hop pale ale series that they’re churning out are almost always exceptional (special mention for the centennial, simcoe and chinook), delivering a thirst quenching burst of American hop and a big smack of delicious bitterness. Their Export Stout is based on a recipe from 1890 and weighs in at 7.8 per cent. It’s inky black with a tan head, the aroma is intensely roasty with a woody spiciness behind. In the mouth it’s full but not overly so, there’s the suggestion of sweetness at first, succumbing to a dry bitter finish. Perhaps some dark fruit and a slight floral note from the hop but definitely delicious.

A meal or snack made by hand is almost always more rewarding than something you grabbed from a shelf. I say almost, for there are some things that you’re always better off buying. Puff pastry and pain au chocolat to name but two. So go and buy the latter, in all its buttery, sweet, chocolaty glory and enjoy it with some 1890 Export Stout.

The slight sweetness in the beer is boosted by that in the pastry, the chocolate amplified, the fattiness cut by the dry bitterness, the palate lifted and cleansed. A gorgeous combination that makes you feel a bit more adult about eating pain au chocolat.

Note: Can also be enjoyed at other times of the day. Poncy snifter glass optional.