Press Release: Pike Brewing Hosts 2nd Annual Chocofest

Champagne and caviar, lox and bagels, ham and eggs, wine and cheese, oysters and stout, salsa and chips, coffee and donuts…some things just go together. But why, one may wonder. Pike pushes the envelope to answer that age old question, “What beverages go best with everyone’s favorite food: chocolate? For the second year in a row, Pike pairs the best beers, wines, spirits, and mead with an assortment of chocolate that would make Willie Wonka jealous.

Thursday, February 11, 2010
6:00 to 9:00 pm
The Pike Pub’s Microbrewery Museum Room
$25.00 per person
R.S.V.P. to Michael St. Clair
mstclair@pikebrewing.com
206 812 6613

Pike’s Chocofest, billed as “foreplay before the big day” is a romantic and educational way to discover the wide variety of chocolate treats from here and around the world. Stations set up throughout the Micro Brewery Museum and Naughty Nelly Room feature different chocolate treats, each presented by an expert (usually the chocolate makers themselves). Adjacent to each chocolate table is a drink table staffed with experts to sample and explain their beverages.

This year more than two dozen different chocolates will be sampled along with more than 20 different beers, wines, mead and spirits. Please join us for this fun and eductional event.

  • Badger Mountain Vineyards and Powers Winery – Seri Sedlacek will pour Badger Mountain Port and Powers Malbec
  • Carter’s Chocolates – Matt Carter of Port Orchard, WA will present his boutique truffles made with 3 different Pike beers.
  • Chocolate Box – This neighborhood retailer, located just steps from the Pike Place Market, specializes in Northwest chocolatiers and will showcase Lesley’s French-style artisan chocolates by sampling her “seafoam”, and salted caramels.
  • Chukar Cherries – Jamen Tyler will bring a dynamite Chukar Cherries – Pike Brewery tasting combo.
  • Classical Wines – Ole Thompson and Mrshall Jorgensen will pour: Bodegas Toro Montilla-Moralles Albalá, Montilla-Moriles (Amontillado Viejisimo – Dry 30 yr. old), Don PX 2004/2005 (unoaked, very rich) and Don PX Gran Reserva 1982 (Great Vintage!) From Bodegas Gutiérrez de la Vega, Alicante: Casta Diva Cosecha Miel 2007 (Sweet Muscat) and Casta Diva Recóndita Armonía 2005 (Sweet Monastrell)
  • Clear Creek Distillery – Lynn Bauer will represent this producer of Eaux de vie, Grappas, and Pot-Distilled Wine Brandy made with the finest fruit from Oregon orchards using traditional European brandy-making techniques; and McCarthy’s Oregon Single Malt Whiskey made in the Islay tradition of Scotch whisky.
  • Click Wholesale – Local distributor of fine beer, including Pike, and wines; will present Ommegang Chocolate Indulgence from Cooperstown, NY and Fiklin Chocolate Port.
  • Claudio Corallo – A “single origin” chocolate company with a compelling story of “plantation to bar” chocolate from São Tomé e Príncipe, the smallest and least well known country in Africa. The North American importer is located here in Seattle.
  • Confectional – boutique bakery in Seattle’s historic Pike Place Market, offering exquisite, sinfully dense, baked cheesecakes and cheesecake truffles
  • Fran’s Chocolates – President Obama’s favorite salted chocolate caramels presented by Fran Bigelow
  • Gelatiamo Gelateria – Maria Coassin and Skyler Locatelli are brainstorming to outdo themselves with another blockbuster Pike and Gelatiamo creation; a tough act to follow on the heels of last years Pike XXXXX Gelato, now permanently on the dessert menu at Pike.
  • Leonidas Chocolate – from Wallingford’s Bottleworks creamy chocolates from Brussels
  • Merchant du Vin Corporation – Jhon Gilroy of MdV will present Browerij Lindemans of Belgium and Samuel Smith Organic Fruit Beers
  • Mount Baker Vineyards – Randy Finley, owner, will pour his favorite wine pairing with chocolate.
  • Noble Wines – Naomi Smith will pour Scharffenberger Brut and Helix Cabernet
  • Oh! Chocolate – Stout Truffles made with Pike XXXXX Stout
  • Pacific Distillery LLC – Marc Bernhard will present his local, Woodinville made Absinthe
  • Pike Brewing Company – Pike’s menu features local, sustainable foods paired with Pike beers. Desserts include a Chocolate and Ale Pairing with Carter’s Pike infused Kilt Lifter, Tandem, and Stout truffles; and Gelatiamo XXXXX Stout Gelato Floats. A surprise beer or two will be paired with chocolates for Chocofest.
  • Ritrovo Italian Regional Foods – U.S importer of extraordinary Italian Bru-Co Chocolates.
  • Sky River Brewing – Denise Ingalls presents Sky River Mead from Sultan, WA
  • Taste Restaurant – Pastry Chef Lucy Damkoehler’s amazing Pike beer infused cupcakes
  • Theo Chocolates – In Fremont, America’s first genuine Bean-to-bar Organic chocolate factory making chocolates that compete with the finest of Italy, Belgium and France.
  • Trevani Truffles – Anne Boyington’s will bring her creative, locally produced Truffles that she sells only at farmer’s markets using many items from local farmers.

Though not as old as beer, wine or mead, cocoa trees, from which chocolate is created, were used in the Amazon more than 4,000 years ago to make a drink which was seasoned with herbs from the forests and countryside. Early people attributed fertility to the pods, which are said to resemble human genitalia. By 600 AD, the Mayans began to cultivate the earliest known cocoa plantations. They had faith that chocolate was the God’s favorite food. The Aztecs agreed, adding that it was the ultimate aphrodisiac. Love itself may be free, but chocolate has always been a luxury and has even been used as currency. So much for free love, the pleasures of a luxurious Central American brothel were recorded to have been purchased by Hernando de Oviedo y Valdes, a member of a Spanish expedition in 1513 for 10 cocoa beans! Legend tells us that Emperor Montezuma drank upwards of 50 goblets of thick red chocolate daily, throwing the solid gold goblets away after each use. Though today such conspicuous consumption is politically incorrect, Valentine chocolates are still wrapped in red paper, often presented tied in golden ribbon. Cortez, who was the first Westerner to cultivate cocoa, sent a gift of American cocoa beans, back home to Charles the First. In order to make the bitter sweet, he added sugar and vanilla, nutmeg and other spices, all exotic imports at the time. Charles fell in love. So did the Pope, who approved its consumption on Fridays. The chocolate craze was revolutionary, soon spreading to France, Italy, and Switzerland. 13 years before the Declaration of Independence was penned, New England business people signed on to build this country’s first Chocolate factory. The 19th century saw solid growth and by 1830, the English introduced the first chocolate designed to be eaten as a confection. The Swiss, Belgians. Italians and Dutch all have legitimate claim to chocolate’s hall of fame, but as quick as you can say “cocoa nibs”, in the 21st Century, Seattle, dripping in truffles, caramels, gelato, pralines, and cocoa has become “chocolate central” rivaling Europe’s chocolate capitals.

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