To beer and chocolate or not to beer and chocolate – that is the question!


Back in June, you may remember that we began to experiment with chocolate and beer. No, there are no plans to open a MIA brewery anytime soon but we thought, if nothing else, it would ensure we had a few cases of beer around the office during the summer months. 

The first idea was to simply have a play around and try and work out some great beer and chocolate pairings but we decided to go a step further by attempting to brew some different beer styles with the addition of our very own Madagascan cacao plus some of the other ingredients that we use in our bars. 

For this, we enlisted the help Jacob Liddle, who in addition to being Commercial Manager at is an avid home-brewer, beer-lover, creative chef and all-round food & drink explorer. 

After getting to grips with the unusual ingredients such as Madagascan cacao, which isn’t exactly covered on normal brewing courses or manuals, Jacob produced a stunning Nugget Brown, Cacao & Coconut Brown ale earlier in June. 

This time, he wanted to have a go at brewing something slightly more summertime-centric, so after some recent visits to Germany he decided to attempt a wheat beer. 

A wheat beer or weizen is a brew, that is usually top-fermented and uses a large proportion of wheat relative to the amount of malted barley.  Beautifully refreshing, wheat beers are unfiltered providing a classic cloudy appearance and often citrus notes and aromas. So how would this beer style work with the addition of cacao and candied orange?

Here’s Jacob to explain more:

“After some recent jaunts to Germany, it’s fair to say I have become infatuated with wheat beer.  That’s not to say that I have become beer-monogamous. I still regularly cheat on wheat with an array of porters, stouts, bitters, ipa’s, saisons and more, but my respect and love of the style will remain for life.”

“Due to this newfound fondness, I was slightly one-track minded when experimenting with the MIA ingredients for brew two. We all know that chocolate and orange are the best of friends but how would they react to some other A-list ingredients such as hops, yeast, water, wheat and barley, not to mention Madagascan cacao? Weizen yeast is well known for producing complex banana and clove flavours during fermentation. I thought this may be too much of an onslaught on the taste buds so decided to opt for an American style wheat beer which uses yeast that produces less flavours during this magical fermentation process.  The hope is that this allowed the chocolate and orange flavours to be showcased and come to the fore in the brew.”

 “I’m obviously biased but the ingredients didn’t just bond, it was an absolute party.  The beer retains its refreshing wheat beer characteristics with depth on the palate but also offers ever so subtle notes of MIA cacao and zesty orange peel. For me, it’s a cracking beer to be drunk in the sun as an alternative to an ipa or lager or, for the adventurous, try it paired with a chocolatey desert. I give you the Jiddler’s Tipple – MIA Choco Orange Wheat Beer.” 


Not one to turn down either chocolate or beer, we obviously volunteered to give this latest creation a try and we honestly think he’s onto a winner. The beer has a beautiful amber colour with fruity orange aromas on the nose.  On the palate, it has a floral quality with a zesty undertone and a rich and expansive character.  It’s certainly not a beer you will see every day but it certainly has a lovely complexity and a finish that lingers. 

So that’s a Ginger & Cacao Milk Stout, a Nugget Brown, Cacao & Coconut Brown ale and now a Choco Orange Wheat Beer created. A huge thanks to Jacob for all his help! We would love to hear from any other home or micro-brewers out there who have and would like to get their ‘chocolate on’ in the brewhouse.

Stay tuned for our next experiment where we will be matching 7 beer styles with our 7 MIA chocolate bars to give you our ultimate chocolate and beer pairing guide.