Weekend Sip: A grown-up Halloween treat? Here’s a beer made with Hershey’s chocolate

The bottle

Yuengling Hershey’s Chocolate Porter, $10.99 for a six-pack

The back story

Who says adults can’t join in the Halloween fun with a very grown-up “treat”?

At least that’s the thought that occurred to me when I learned of this collaboration between Yuengling, the beer maker that bills itself as “America’s oldest brewery,” and Hershey’s
the familiar name in chocolate. I mean, if you’re not surreptitiously nibbling on some of your children’s Halloween candy, why not have a chocolate-y beer? Certainly, it feels like a tasty alternative to all those pumpkin spice-flavored beers that have flooded the market in recent years.

This is actually the fourth year that Yuengling and Hershey’s have partnered on the seasonal brew (it’s available in the fall while supplies last). The idea for it stemmed from the fact both companies are based in Pennsylvania and share a long history in the state, according to Jennifer Yuengling, vice president of operations for the family-operated brewery. “It seemed like a natural fit,” she told MarketWatch.

And certainly, we often talk of chocolate notes in darker beers, such as porters and stouts — in spite of the fact many do not contain any actual chocolate. That’s not the case with the Yuengling brew, which has real Hershey’s in it, though the brewery says it’s not going to share the exact process behind the beer.

One thing is clear, however: The chocolate porter has proved plenty popular. Sales of the beer were up 35% in 2021 over the prior year, according to the brewery.

What we think about it

Beers with added flavorings can often come off as artificial-tasting or gimmicky. Not this one. You get a smooth mouthful of chocolate with every sip — it’s really like having a Hershey’s candy bar in beer form. The Yuengling team says you should also pick up some caramel and dark-roasted malt notes.

How to enjoy it

I say sip this with your kids’ Halloween candy for some chocolate overload. But Jennifer Yuengling says this beer can pair with smoked meats, certain cheeses and plenty of desserts. Either way, it’s best served nicely chilled.

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