Chezzanna Chocolate and Hop and Stagger - an amazing combination!

We recently visited the wonderful workspace of Anna, owner of Chezzanna Chocolate – her workspace kitchen really is lovely – she has truly made it into a beautiful, creative space, perfect for inspiring the making of chocolates. This is hardly surprising as she loves all things creative including painting, upcycling furniture and gardening, this creativity definitely shows through in her chocolate creations.

 

Whilst there, one of the chocolates we were lucky enough to try was a dark chocolate truffle, infused with beer – her choice being the delicious Hop and Stagger Porter. It was incredible.

 

We asked Bob, of Hop and Stagger, just what makes their international award-winning Porter so good: “The Porter is all about the taste, the layers of it. Everything from chocolate and red fruits, through to caramel. It’s not an assault on the taste buds at all – more of a gentle flow of subtle flavours that create the taste. It’s a 5% beer but as it is so well balanced and easy to drink you would never guess”.

 

Speaking about how the combination came to life, Anna told us that she wanted to make an alcohol infused chocolate and thought that a real ale would work perfectly. “I came across the Porter, which has hints of chocolate in its flavours, and I was sold! I didn’t want to choose just any drink off a supermarket shelf – I set out for a local drink and found the tasty Porter and when I added it to the dark chocolate the combination was something special”.

 

We completely agree – and as huge Hop and Stagger fans and chocolate lovers – it was amazing.


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Hop and Stagger’s best-selling beer at the moment is a close call between Golden Wander and their slightly more hoppy Shropshire Pale Ale (which is Bob’s personal favourite session ale). Anna’s personal favourite chocolate is her salted caramel milk chocolate.


One thing that both Chezzanna and Hop and Stagger have in common is their passion for what they produce and their care in producing top quality products. Anna will only ever use top quality Belgian chocolate and the finest, natural ingredients to create flavours. Hop and Stagger produce a range of hand-crafted ales that reflect the wonderful traditions of brewing in the UK


We think that Shropshire is an outstanding county for food and drink provenance, thanks to talented, caring, hard-working producers like Bob and Anna.


Bob says: “I think that Shropshire is very much an entrepreneurial food and drink county. You only have to visit a food fair in the area to realise the diversity of products available, but you also quickly see that they all have one thing in common, they are passionate and dedicated folk that love the product they create”.


We asked them both to spill the beans on some little-known facts about themselves and their businesses. For example, the name Chezzanna was created due to Anna’s childhood nickname given to her by her sister of ‘Cherub’ – over the years it shortened to Chez, which was then merged with Anna and an extra ‘Z’ added, and voila! Anna also spent nine years as a beauty and holistic therapist prior to entering the wonderful world of chocolate making!


Hop and Stagger are currently looking for a brewery pet to keep their head brewer, Mark, company. We think this is a fabulous idea – we often work with our dogs around us here at Buy-From Shropshire during office days!


We are so excited to see what the future brings for food and drink provenance in Shropshire. Hop and Stagger are currently working on creating a range of low alcohol beers that do not sacrifice taste or depth of flavour. They are also investigating ways to use their spent hops, and have analysed the nutrient values post-brewing, they are hoping to find a suitable process that can turn them into something useful. Watch this space!