Preview of the 2023 Great American Beer Festival

There are some excellent chocolate beers being poured at the 2023 Great American Beer Festival! From rich dessert concepts to beers that highlight cocoa in unique ways, here are the chocolate beers you need to try when you’re at the festival.

Chocolate beer to prioritize

Third Eye of Double Star Brewing Barrel – Booth 10-22
This 12% ABV Imperial Stout is brewed with an obscene amount of cocoa nibs from Maverick Chocolate, an award-winning bean-to-bar chocolate maker from Cincinnati. Thick and chewy brewmaster Kelly Montgomery designed the beer specifically to be barrel-aged. The batch poured at GABF spent 12-13 months in Heaven Hill and Buffalo Trace bourbon barrels, and is fermented with Madagascar vanilla. Do not miss it.

Radiant Premium Beer Potential – Booth 17-7
This Black Forest Cake-inspired Imperial Stout is 14.0% ABV, and displays nuance in emulating said dessert. The beer is brewed with a blend of Tanzanian Cocoa Camille cocoa nibs and Chocolate Alchemy’s Fijian Rakiraki cocoa nibs as well as Comoros beans, Tahitian vanilla and Montmorency cherries. The final beer is blended from Woodford Reserve 15-year bourbon and 12-year Weller barrels. Degenerate treatment.

Boxing Bear Milk Chocolate Stout – Taproom Heavy Medal
A great chocolate beer doesn’t have to be old fashioned or have double alcohol levels, and Boxing Bear proves that. This 5.2% ABV Milk Stout earned gold and silver medals from the GABF, and shows that good things can come in small, chocolate-filled packages. The beer is brewed with TCHO’s Ghanaian cocoa nibs (as are many), turning the common ingredient into greatness.

Silver Reef Java Madre – Booth 3-22
This 9.0% ABV Imperial Milk is aged with TCHO vanilla-infused Ecuadorian cacao nibs. They are then steeped with Java Madre Roasting Company ground espresso coffee. Definitely worth checking out!

North Midnight River Walk – Heavy Medal Room
River North brings the heat with barrel-aged beers in its main taproom, but this chocolate-infused treat is flowing in the heavy medal booth due to its World Beer Cup gold medal as the best chocolate beer in the country. The 11.1% ABV Imperial Porter uses TCHO Ecuadorian cocoa nibs.

Abraxas Perennials – Booth 7-23
Maybe you heard about this? One of the country’s most legendary chocolate beers evokes the flavors of Mexican hot chocolate with cacao nibs, cinnamon sticks, and cayenne pepper. You’ll need to keep an eye on the Aged Cabin in case pour times are limited for this 11.5% ABV Imperial Stout.

Pure Project Coreless – Suite 17-8
Other esteemed imperial chocolates are poured at specific times in the Pure Project booth. On Thursday and Friday at 7:30pm and on Saturday at 2:00pm and 7:30pm, you can stand in line to sample this 12.9% ABV dessert brewed with organic Briove cacao from Jedwards International, plus hazelnuts and coffee.

Show Tree Coco Burrito Supreme – United Pavilion
The basic version of the chocolate Imperial Porter has medaled several times at the GABF. This is the big brother of the prize winner. Brewed with chocolate, liquid cocoa, vanilla, peanuts and lactose.

Other chocolate beers you can try

Camper Raspberry Reaper Chocolate Cake Stout – Suite 1-15
Quarter Celtic Mocha Hipster Bomb – Booth 16-16
Railway Café – Kiosk 10-3
Winchester Big Schloss Chocolate Imperial Stout – Booth 11-4
Grüvi NA Mocha Nitro Stout – Suite 2-7
Hoppin’ Frog Peanut Butter Chocolate Hazelnut Caramel Cake – Booth 5-27
Lexington Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Cocoa Porter – Booth 12-19
903 Brewers Turtle Cheesecake Reserve Stout – Booth 13-20
377 Spotted Dog and Hand – Collab Country/Pro-Am Pavilion

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