At Flying Dog, we don’t take collaborations lightly. Our goals are to learn and grow throughout the process while continuing to push the limits of beer as an art form.
We also don’t take you, our loyal Republic, lightly. We respect you all as beer-lovers and as informed, educated consumers. There is an abundance of incredible craft beer out there and we’re continually honored to be a part of it.
With both of those mindsets in mind we decided to not release our Chocolate Fever Chocolate IPA this year. Almost a year in the making, Chocolate Fever was a collaboration we embarked on with Master Chocolatier Randy Olmstead, owner of The Perfect Truffle in downtown Frederick, Maryland.
We were intrigued by the relationship between the bitterness in both American IPAs and raw dark chocolate. And as we expected, having the perfect amount of perceivable chocolate in the beer was a challenge.
With over 400 pounds of raw cocoa added to the final batch, we were pleased with the amount of chocolate aroma and flavor as the beer conditioned. But at the end of fermentation, those chocolate essences diminished significantly.
What we did produce was an incredible IPA with huge hop character. While it pairs beautifully with chocolate, it does not have enough chocolate character to be called a Chocolate IPA. Randy, an expert on chocolate and beer connoisseur, agreed. So, the decision was unanimous that we simply could not release a beer that could be misconceiving in the market.
All is not lost, though, for you hopheads out there. Our first Single Hop Imperial IPA release of the year – El Dorado – is on shelves now in 6-packs and on tap at a bar near you.