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Beer Hot Chocolate? Wait, What?

HOST 1: Wine and chocolate are something of a natural pairing. But beer and chocolate? It might sound weird, but that’s exactly what a downtown Bakery is serving today.

HOST 2: Arianna Skibell takes us to City Bakery in the flat iron district to find out what the deal is with beer hot chocolate.


In the morning, City Bakery feels like any other artisan café. The air smells sweet and there’s soft music playing.

AMBI: The music playing

But at noon people stop coming in for coffee and start coming in for beer…in their hot chocolate. Joe Mullins is new to alcoholic cocoa.

Joe: It doesn’t taste like beer. Arianna: What does it taste like? Joe: It kind of has like a little like extra bitter at the finish I guess. Arianna: And do you like it? Joe: It’s delicious, I like it a lot.

Every February, City Bakery hosts its Hot Chocolate Festival and every day brings a new flavor. While beer and chocolate might not seem like natural allies, Maury Rubin, the man responsible for this concoction, thinks otherwise.

Rubin: Beer and chocolate go swimmingly together. They’re incredibly nice together.

Rubin opened The City in Bakery in 1990. He still comes in every day.

Rubin: I’m the baker and hot chocolate maker

Twenty-five years ago people were used to drinking cocoa powder and water and they still are. But Rubin makes hot chocolate from real chocolate because it just tastes better. His cocoa was on the menu the day the bakery opened.

Rubin: And it was really popular from the start. And then I began experimenting with some different flavors.

In the second year, Rubin invited some friends over to try some of the hot chocolate flavors he’d been toying with, like banana, bourbon, ginger. And they loved them.

Rubin: In the rearview mirror of hot chocolate history, that was sort of the first unofficial hot chocolate festival.

Rubin said that once the craft beer industry took off, he had new material to work with. And so it was time for me to try it.

Arianna: Is this it? Rubin: That’s it. Arianna: Oh my gosh, ok. Rubin: I think you’re ready to try it Arianna: Oh, it’s delicious Rubin: Thank you Arianna: I didn’t know if it would be or not

I wanted to take my hot chocolate to go, but can you do that?

Arianna: Can you take the beer hot chocolate in a to go cup outside with you? Rubin: Absolutely, it’s a free world. Arianna: And that’s legal or? Rubin: It’s incredibly legal. It’s legal and delicious!

And brings a whole new meaning to the word chocoholic.

Arianna Skibell, Columbia Radio News.


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