Valentine’s Day is upon us once again. It’s that one holiday of the year that we dread because we’re under the pressure to do something romantic that will sweep our partners off their feet. Something that will make us seem thoughtful and caring, beyond the flowers and candle-lit dinners.
Speaking of which, you may have planned a night out at one of those fancy restaurants, or maybe splurged on an expensive bottle of champagne. The truth of the matter is, you’ll surprise your significant other more if you come up with something more original.
The answer, my friend, is beer. We all know the popularity of beer has increased dramatically in the last few years, yet most Valentine’s suggestions are based on wine and food, or chocolate pairings, but isn’t it time for something more exciting?
If you’ve already started the beer journey, or are just looking to get started, this is a perfect opportunity to taste and figure out what type of beer you like. You can share your beer exploration with your partner as a fun activity, while enjoying your meal at the same time.
So go ahead and cancel that dinner reservation. Stay in and be prepared to wow your lover with your beer knowledge. Forget the wine and champagne, beer can be romantic, too.
The label on this bottle is probably the most alluring and dreamy-looking out of all the other beers listed. A monochromatic drawing where mysterious figures surround a donkey, all behind a soft, flowy cursive lettering is what draws you in. If you remember reading A Midsummer Night’s Dream in school, you’ll get the connection, hence the donkey. Puck is the mischievous elven creature who makes the other characters fall in love (or in lust, really). He basically screws up who’s supposed to love whom.
Beware of the Puck.
Your partner may be scared when seeing this black, inky beer poured into their glass. the truth is, most people shy away from dark beers because they think that dark = strong. But you know better. This beer is the perfect dark beer for those wanting to ease their way into drinking the big Imperial stouts and the like. What makes this beer unique is that it’s a type of hybrid between a stout and belgian-style ale. Most beginners are open to trying belgian ales because they’re sweet, tasty, and pretty consistent. They don’t, however, veer towards the scary dark beers. The porters, stouts, and all the other boozy beers that seem intimidating.
If your lover is still uneasy about the beer, coax them into trying it by pouring it over a velvety, creamy scoop of ice cream.
Allagash Black will turn them on to the delicious dark side.
You can’t go wrong with German beer. Germans have perfected the art of brewing beer, and they still hold the crown. Doppelbocks are a delicious breed of beer that tantalize your taste buds like no other brew. There’s a subtle sweetness and perfect balance of maltiness, dark fruits, and caramel notes that are just right for Valentine’s Day.
Any German beer is made to pair amazingly well with food. This isn’t surprising since Germans consider beer to be “liquid bread.” Luckily, a lot of German foods will complement this holiday with delicious meal pairings. Think of juicy, flavorful foods like duck, venison, or sausage, of course. No need to worry about making a statement or expressing your love, these flavors will be anything but boring.
Porters, like stouts, are an acquired taste. Similarly, dark chocolate falls under this category (hint, hint). Porters have a specific flavor that varies with each style. Some are closer to stouts, while others are a bit lighter. Some are chocolatey, some smoky..This particular porter from the always delicious Anchor Steam Brewery, has strong notes of coffee. It’s another beer that pairs magically with chocolate. Ever heard of a mocha? Yeah, that’s coffee and chocolate. Try pairing it with a traditional box of chocolates and be prepared to experience some delicious intensity.
Hangar 24 Vinaceous
The strangest and most experimental beer on this list, Hangar 24’s Vinaceous is “an ale brewed with Mourvedre wine grapes, on French oak”. Fancy. If you like wine, you’ll most likely like this beer. It’s an interesting flavor full of grape and sweet fruit.
The longer it sits in your glass, the more nuanced the flavors become. You’ll notice hints of molasses, caramel, malt, and even some slight tartness the more sips you take. It’ll pair perfectly with cheese, where you can show off your cultured tastes and score even more romantic points. At 8.7% ABV, Vinaceous is surely the most charming of them all.
As strange as this beer may seem, give it a shot. You won’t know until you try it.