Monday, February 13, 2012

Recap Of Chocofest 2012

My wife Lynn and I had a great time last night at Pike Brewing Company's 4th Annual Chocofest.  This was an event for lovers of good food, good beer, good wine, good spirits and good times; and proceeds went to help Farestart here in Seattle.

Watch for an even more fully-detailed blog post later on, but for now here are just a few of the evenings many highlights and new discoveries:

Carter's Chocolates:
Carter's Chocolates was one of many chocolatiers at Chocofest, but I really like the extra effort they took to make these delicious chocolates with a Pike logo on them.  They paired great with Pike's new 6X Stout or their Old Bawdy barleywine. 

Bainbridge Organic Distillers:
Bainbridge Organic Distillers brought out their Battle Point Whiskey, Doug Fir Gin and Legacy Vodka.  All of them were quite good and along with a few others I tried through the evening, I think it may finally be time to give Gin another shot.  The new crop of small batch and organic distillers cropping up are changing the classic Gin herb blend a bit in ways I'm enjoying. 

Mistral Kitchen:
Mistral Kitchen in Belltown presented some very tasty little stout sandwich cookies that paired well with many of the beer & wine offerings at the event.  Mistral's full menu/philosophy ranges from somewhat casual to quite formal - for any occasion, large or small. 

Mt. Townsend Creamery:
I'm a sucker for good cheese, and there were a couple of nice selections to sample from Mt. Townsend Creamery in Port Townsend.  I especially liked their 'Off Kilter', which combines the flavor of Red Alder with Pike Brewing's Kilt Lifter Ale - and their Fromage Blanc - served up on little pieces of chocolate cookie. 

Pike Brewing Company:
This event was hosted, of course, by Charles and Rose Ann Finkel - owners of Pike Brewing Company, but Pike was also showcasing a new offering: their 6X Imperial Stout.  It was a tasty new stout that paired well with many of the chocolates and cheeses available to sample and a worthy successor to Pike's award-winning 5X stout.  Cheers!

Elsom Wines:
Elsom Wines had some nice selections poured in cute little mini wine glasses, including a Cabernet that paired great with many of the chocolates. 

Naked City Brewing:
Don Webb is a wonderfully creative brewer and is always coming up with interesting new offerings up at the Naked City Brewery & Taphouse in Seattle's Greenwood neighborhood.  He presented two new offerings for this year's Chocofest: Choco Train Milk Chocolate Imperial Stout and Schokoladen Heizenbier - a chocolate Hefeweizen.  Both were great, but I have to conjure my best Ozzy Ozbourne impression and declare "ALL ABOARD" for Chco Train.  It was delicious.  My wife and I both had at least three samples of this one. 

Clear Creek Distillery:
I only had the chance to try the Grappa and the Cranberry Liqueur from Clear Creek Distillery, but both were quite good.  I've actually been searching for a good Grappa - they seem difficult to find at times, and I may have just found a really good candidate.

The Confectional:
These little chocolate covered cheesecake bites were amazing.  If loving chocolate & cheesecake is a sin, I'm going to Hell for sure - unless I find absolution at The Confectional

I'll have a full list and info for all the other great vendors at this year's Chocofest up ASAP.  If you missed out on this year's event, make sure you mark your calendar for next year and bring your sweetheart.  I'd like to thank Pike Brewing Company and Charles & Rose Ann Finkel for putting on a truly enjoyable event. "Foreplay before the big day" indeed!  Cheers!

To see my full set of photos from the evening, please click HERE

Drink responsibly and stay safe out there.

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