St. Lucia’s chocolate beer

It’s a choc-full of beer.

The St. Lucian-based Antilla Brewing company and the Jade Mountain and Anse Chastanet resorts, have partnered to introduce a new chocolate beverage. The Nick Troubetzkoy Imperial Chocolate Stout Beer is made from pure cocoa. Served locally on the island and at the two resorts owned by its namesake and his wife Karolin — the unique beer is inspired by their Russian heritage, and one of the island nation’s biggest agricultural produce, said the company’s brewer and chief executive officer.

“We focused on creating a traditional beer with real cultural flair to it, and we wanted to use something that was grown on the island,” said Andrew Hashey. “The Russian inspiration comes from the origins of the Troubetzkoys, and the cocoa comes from St. Lucia. Together we have this complex dark beer and added something fresh to it, and it’s a wonderful combination.”

The location of one of the two resorts lies on a former cocoa plantation on the island, which still operates as a farm today, he added. So when the idea to create a beer arose, Hashey said they wanted to use something local and pay homage to Russian imperial stout — a dark pungent beer.

“Jade Mountain has a farm of over 200 cocoa trees and they take great pride in their chocolate development and what they do with the land, so when we talked about a beer, we thought out the linkages with the owner and thinking of imperial stout,” he said. “Russian stout is one of the most respected very complex beers, and we use cocoa nibs from the cocoa to add a new value to it.”

The fermentation process for the stout uses natural and organic cocoa, and can take anywhere from 10 days to a month, but Hashey said he normally considers a full month as apt brewing time before serving.

Compared to other bigger beer companies in the country, Hashey said he gets to prioritize resourcefulness in beer creation, and test out different ingredients for their brews.

“There are breweries on the island and they have mainstream lagers so they don’t really experiment, but small guys like us are creative and we have the time to be creative,” said Hashey.

Like the beer’s name implies, it actually does taste like chocolate and it is something that huge beer aficionados will appreciate, said Hashey.

“No question it’s among the obvious flavors of the beer. It has a great aroma and a subtle aftertaste of chocolate, and that’s the key,” he said.

This is something that lovers of beer and curious drinkers will love, he added. But they should also be prepared for its powerful taste.

“I think beer lovers will absolutely love it, and so will the people looking for something complex and different in a beer,” he said. “It’s an overwhelming beer and it’s pretty strong. But the feedback has been great among beer geeks and connoisseurs.”

And of course St. Lucians are some of the stout’s biggest fans.

“The local folks love it, and the island has a lot of lovers of beer so its not too much of a stretch that they drink it,” said Hashey.

Hashey said the beer is only available in St. Lucia, for local sale and at the two resorts. But he said a high demand for it in North America will eventually bring the beer stateside in the future.

“We have a lot of demand in the United States and Canada, because no one else is doing this thing and this is quite exotic and we are working on that,” he said.

Reach reporter Alexandra Simon at (718) 260–8310 or e-mail her at asimo[email protected]local.com.

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