A better easter

The Sunday lunch on Easter weekend is, for me, an unsung delight. It's usually the first time in the year that we enjoy a sumptuous Roasted Lamb dinner (paired with a chilled Shipyard Rye Pale Ale), followed by consuming my own body weight in chocolates.

As a kid I used to love an Easter egg hunt in the garden. My Dad would follow me as I hunted the nooks and crannies of the garden, planting fresh chocolates where I'd already found others, in a bid to confuse my young mind. This year, I plan to get my own back, with an Easter Ale Hunt for my Dad. Of course, all my Easter Beers will, hopefully, have a natural food partner in Chocolate.

As you might expect, the best beers for chocolate are the bigger, maltier brews, unless we're looking at white chocolate, when a sweet finished golden might just hit the spot too.

My top three recommendations from Classic Ales for this coming weekend would be...

Wainwright Golden Ale - Partnering golden beers with chocolate can be a tricky business. The delicate malt textures risk being overwhelmed by thick, voluptuous chocolate elements. But, with Wainwright, it's got a delicious sweet fullness that could partner beautifully with white chocolate.

Wychwood's Gingerbeard - because ginger and chocolate are just too good together. The fire in this beer means I'd look to match it up with a high cocoa content, slightly more bitter chocolate than the mainstream milky, sweet ones.

Marston's Pearl Jet Stout - a beer full of chocolate and coffee flavours and a sweet finish? You might remember our recommendation to use this beer in Stout Chocolate truffles. This Easter though, I fancy this one as a Stout Float. A scoop of vanilla ice-cream in my stout, makes this a lovely dessert beer with a mini-egg topped Chocolate torte.

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