Let’s face it: chocolate may as well be its own food group. For starters, it’s delicious — and good for you — thanks to boatloads of antioxidants, flavonoids and other nutrient-rich goodness. Long ago, the culinary world got on board with creating dishes and desserts with the sweet treat, but only recently has the craft brewing community adopted the ingredient with open arms. Although chocolate beers are having a moment right now, anyone who’s ever attempted to brew one knows how difficult, and occasionally super messy, brewing chocolate beers can be. Traditionally, brewers have reached for cacao nibs (enclosed in a mesh bag) to attempt to incorporate the sweet, roasty, sometimes bitter flavors of chocolate into malt-forward beer styles like porters and stouts. But cacao nibs aren’t always reliable in achieving a desired chocolate flavor profile. Anyone brewing with cacao nibs is also at risk for having a major mess on their hands and a hefty project cleaning them out of clogged pipes, hoses and valves. So what’s the solution? For us, brewing the best chocolate beers means brewing with Cholaca.
In 2012, Ira Leibtag founded Cholaca — our Colorado-based chocolate company with one goal in mind: “to bring healthy, organic and regeneratively farmed liquid cacao to the world, while curating sustainable economic partnerships with farmers throughout Ecuador and Columbia.” A water-based pure liquid cacao, Cholaca has gained a huge following not only with health-conscious, chocolate loving consumers through natural grocery retailers like Whole Foods, but also through the company’s wholesale division with chocolatiers, bakers, chefs, baristas, and now brewers. It’s all-natural, and made simply with high-quality single-origin cacao, water and coconut sugar. It’s free of emulsifiers and additives and we make it our mission to produce our liquid cacao as sustainably as possible. Our beans our sourced exclusively from heirloom cacao farms owned and operated by regenerative farmer cooperatives — and we’re darn proud of that. As a Fair-Trade company, we only do business directly with the leading Regenerative Farming Cooperatives of Ecuador and Columbia. We’re committed to sharing the stories of the farmers we work with, many of whom have been stewarding their ancient cacao groves for generations.
In liquid form, Cholaca can be added in an unsweetened, lightly sweetened or sweetened form directly into a brite tank. We’re the first cacao ingredient supplier to create a liquid cacao product that can be emulsified in water — which is why more than 1000 craft breweries across the country are using Cholaca to brew chocolate beers. Cholaca is typically added post fermentation, creating a consistent flavor that isn’t extracted. It also makes for an easy clean-up process. No more cleaning out clogged pipes full of cacao nibs; just rich, authentic chocolatey flavor. Our friends at Dream Chaser’s Brewery had tremendous success when their Coconut Essence of the Void — a chocolate imperial stout brewed with Cholaca and organic roasted coconut — won the best in show award at the Queen City Brewers Festival in North Carolina on February 3, 2018. From small craft breweries, to the largest ones out there, Cholaca is now being brewed in all of the best chocolate beers! Oskar Blues Brewery currently brews all of their chocolate beers with Cholaca including Mocha Bourbon Barrel Aged Ten Fidy Imperial Stout & Death by Coconut Irish Porter.
For brewers interested in testing out our easy-to-use, flavor packed liquid cacao, we offer free samples (CLICK HERE TO REQUEST), and tips on brewing with Cholaca along with suggested dosage rates. And we’re not just sharing tips on how to brew with it. Check out our recipe board for ways to incorporate Cholaca into everything on your brewery menu from waffles to Cholaca roasted sweet potatoes!
*Photography by Tyra Sutak