Beer and Chocolate Pairing at Equal Exchange and a Giveaway

Hubby and I hopped on the train last week on a rainy afternoon and headed down to North Station. We were chatting along the way about what a beer and chocolate tasting would be like. Would it really be just beer and chocolate? Seemed too much like a wine and chocolate pairing, only weirder…

Equal Exchange Cafe, Boston, MA

After getting off the train, we headed over to Equal Exchange Cafe to see what this beer and chocolate pairing was all about. The cafe was a cute little space that we agreed Hubby should check out some time when he needs a coffee in the North Station area. He usually grabs a DD coffee in North Station when he takes the train home, but it would be worth the one block detour to try some of their free trade coffees.

Equal Exchange Cafe, Boston, MA

Once we arrived, we met a variety of people from Harpoon Brewery, Equal Exchange, and chatted with a handful of other bloggers. We had the whole cafe to ourselves for the evening and to kick things off, we were encouraged to grab a beer.

Chocolate and Beer Pairing Guide

Once everyone arrived, they encouraged us to grab a seat so we could begin the tasting. For each beer and chocolate pairing we first tasted the chocolate, then the beer, then the chocolate and beer together. I’ve done chocolate tastings in the past and it’s similar to tasting wine. First you smell the chocolate. It’s recommended to smell it in a bowl so that any residual smells from you hands won’t interfere with the smell of the chocolate. After noticing the aroma of the chocolate, you take a small bite and chew it a few times. Then allow the chocolate to melt on your tongue. Be sure to take note how the taste of the chocolate changes as it melts.

Harpoon UFO White and Dark Chocolate with Almonds

The beer tasting was similar. We were instructed to swirl the beer around in our cup with our hand over the top to capture all of the aroma in the cup. Then smell the beer prior to tasting it.

Harpoon 100 Barrel Series Catamount Maple Wheat and Milk Chocolate

Lastly, we would taste some chocolate and once it started melting on your tongue, take a drink of the beer. It was interesting to see how the flavors danced around in your mouth. Some started with a strong taste of the beer and others finished that way. It was also interesting to see how the two together had such different flavors than each component on it’s own.

Harpoon Dark and Caramel Crunch with Sea Salt

I am NOT a fan of IPAs and we tasted a Rye IPE that I could not drink on it’s own. However when the chocolate was added to the mix, it tasted like a completely different beer. This was a really unique experience that I’m glad I got to try out.

The aftermath of the tasting

And now on to the giveaway! They gave us goodie bags on the way out the door and I’ve decided to pass my goodies along to you. I can’t ship beer, so I’ll be keeping the bottle of beer they gave me (sorry guys).

Package contains:
– One Harpoon Brewery bottle opener
– Two Harpoon Brewery beer coozies
– Two Equal Exchange coffee mugs
– Three bars of Equal Exchange organic, fair trade chocolate
– One Coffee, Tea, and Chocolate Pairing wheel

Giveaway Package

Giveaway rules:
– Winner will be chosen using
– US shipping addresses only
– Giveaway is open until 12:00 PM (noon) EST on Thursday, May 17th
– Mandatory first entry: answer the following question: What is your favorite kind of beer or chocolate? Have you ever paired them together?
– For an additional (optional) entry, Tweet the following “RT @beantownbaker Beer and Chocolate?!? Who knew they could be so great together! @EEcafe @harpoon_brewery”

AND, Equal Exchange is also doing a giveaway on their Facebook page. Be sure to check it out here where you can download a pairing guide and enter to win their giveaway. The grand prize is a tasting event for 20 people at Harpoon Brewery!

This event was provided free of charge, but the opinions are 100% my own. Special thanks to Terry from Antler for inviting me to the event!

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18 Responses to “Shipping Cupcakes in a Jar”

  1. #
    CB — November 9, 2008 at 4:22 pm

    I love it! Where did you get the jars? Now I totally wanna do this for xmas gifts!

  2. #
    Jen — November 9, 2008 at 4:23 pm

    I looked everywhere and just couldn’t find them. I ended up ordering them from Amazon. They weren’t very cheap so that was a bummer…

  3. #
    CB — November 9, 2008 at 4:35 pm

    Ah bummer. What size are the jars? I wonder if Ikea would have them? Whats the amazon link?

  4. #
    Jen — November 9, 2008 at 4:42 pm

    I ordered them from here. You want the wide mouth jars so the cupcakes fit and the 1/2 pint size is perfect.

    The yellow cupcakes didn’t rise much so I added more frosting to fill the jar and the chocolate ones rose quite a bit so they had less frosting. My sister said that the chocolate one had the perfect amount of frosting or could use a smidge more, so you want a cupcake that has at least a small dome.

  5. #
    ttfn300 — November 9, 2008 at 7:29 pm

    haha, i’ve never seen that before 🙂 love it!

  6. #
    Katie — November 10, 2008 at 1:14 pm

    OH FUN! I’ve seriously always thought about doing this and never did. I’m starring this post to remind myself at Christmas. Too cute!!

  7. #
    Janna — November 11, 2008 at 2:46 pm

    I have been dying to try this ever since I saw it last year on someone else’s blog. They actually baked the cake in the jar and then iced it like a cupcake. I am going to have to order some of those iddy jars! Too cute!

  8. #
    Beth — November 16, 2008 at 4:25 pm

    Hmmm…might have to do this for Christmas instead of those “ingredients in a jar” thing we were thinking of.

  9. #
    Renée — March 12, 2009 at 3:24 pm

    I really want to try this, but I keep reading online that you shouldn’t put frosting in the jar because it will get moldy by the time it reaches its destination. I’m sure you would have heard if it was moldy when it got to your friend right? I would just be so embarrassed if that happened. Any help?

  10. #
    Jen — March 12, 2009 at 3:30 pm

    Renee – I’ve done this twice and both times haven’t heard of any mold. I froze the cupcakes/frosting in the jars prior to shipping them. I also shipped in the winter. My one sister even didn’t go get her package from the office until a week after it arrived and it was still good. I would guess she ate her cupcakes about 10 days after I sent them. I’m not sure if shipping in warm weather will have an impact on potential mold…

  11. #
    Renée — March 12, 2009 at 3:33 pm

    Alright I’ll definitely give it a try then. It will make for a very good Easter present for my faraway friends =)

  12. #
    Jen — March 12, 2009 at 3:35 pm

    Oh that’s a good idea!! I might have to order some more jars and do the same myself…

  13. #
    Hillary — June 5, 2009 at 3:25 pm

    What a clever idea! I would love to get a cupcake in the mail! 🙂 Maybe I’ll send out Valentine’s Day Cupcakesnext year!

  14. #
    CuteCupcakesAllTheTime — May 6, 2010 at 5:39 pm

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  15. #
    CuteCupcakesAllTheTime — May 6, 2010 at 5:40 pm

    Love these!! We have featured you on our blog.

  16. #
    Pat — February 16, 2013 at 11:19 am

    Did you freeze them before shipping? The jars looked frosted…

    • beantownbaker — February 24th, 2013 @ 10:21 am

      I did freeze them. They defrosted as they were shipped. I’ve done it with and without the freezing depending on the weather and whatnot.

  17. #
    PinkSuga — October 27, 2014 at 7:38 pm

    What shipping method did you use? Overnight or Express???

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