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To help tell our “beans to beer” story, we’re excited to announce our collaboration with Somerville’s Taza Chocolate for another special edition of BRIG Mocha Stout. Taza Chocolate is renowned for its stone ground chocolates, sourcing cocoa beans by direct trade from sustainable and organic farmers around the world.

The cocoa in the chocolate being used in this specific batch of BRIG was sourced by Taza from OKO Caribe, a high-quality cocoa processor in the Dominican Republic. Founded by Gualberto Acebey and Adriano Rodriguez, OKO Caribe was the first to implement fermentation, drying, and processing techniques that pioneered the artisanal Dominican cocoa industry. They currently partner with 181 farmers in the cocoa-producing El Cibao region, and has exported award-winning cocoa beans around the world since 2006.

“A lot of people who eat chocolate don’t even know that cocoa is a fruit,” explains Stephanie Larason, Director of Marketing and E-Commerce at Taza Chocolate. “Different flavor profiles come from different beans, depending on terroir. Cocoa nibs from the Dominican Republic are very bright and fruity, and has more flavor notes in common with light roast coffees.”

When choosing cocoa nibs for the collaboration brew, Springdale Director Joe Connolly explained why cocoa from the Dominican Republic made sense for Brig Mocha Stout.

“We went through a full tasting of Taza nibs and cocoa before we settled on the nibs from the DR,” he said. “Nibs from Ghana were roastier and more intense – in our case, as we are pairing with coffee and dark malts we kinda have the roast profile already built into the flavor profile of the beer. A lighter tone of almost milk chocolate seemed like a nice counter to the natural roast of the ingredients already in play. It also allowed some space in the flavor profile for the chocolate character to be more prominent.”

To learn more about OKO Caribe and cocoa from the Dominican Republic, read Taza Chocolate’s Partner Profile here: