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TCHO New American Chocolate
NEW AMERICAN CHOCOLATE

Momentum

Lots of things have been getting going lately.
Thanks to our esteemed factory team—who I cannot fathom how they are able to get the things done they have—we have a functioning factory now complete with our molding line. I tell you to go from shipping these little kraft packages filled with our beta chocolate, molded on our mini-molding line, to seeing molds cranking out of our full-sized molding line is amazing. Going from a production team comprised of Rick, Laurel, myself, and one or two others—Emi/Zohara/Rob/an intern or two depending on the day—to a team of ten or eleven dedicated production members…. crazy how a year can change things.

Lots of things going on.

February here in the Bay Area is “Strong Beer Month” —8% or higher I believe— this past Strong Beer Month, TCHO paired up with the local brewery 21st Amendment on one of their strong beers—21a’s “Ripple” aged with our “Citrus” nibs. Myself coming from a background working in the home winemaking/ home beer-making industry got extremely excited about the pairing. I essentially saw this an opportunity to connect two things I feel extremely passionate about: my new found love for amazing chocolate, and amazing beers. I’ve written about my recent experience at the NHC—National Homebrew Conference—but didn’t really delve into the entire experience. Wednesday I attended the Brewing Network’s “BNA4”, anniversary party at Linden St. Brewing—Linden St. was officially launching their flagship “The Urban People’s Common Lager.” The four or five hundred people –both local and from around the country— signaled the beginning of the conference. Thursday was Pro-Brewer’s Night, having somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,100 attendees. We paired up with Triple Rock Brewery (Berkeley, CA), who had aged their “Stonehenge Stout” with our Ecuadorian nibs. Needless to say the whole night went swimmingly; there was a steady stream of eager tasters—for both the beers and chocolates. Myself, I didn’t mind too much not getting the chance to fully experience all the beers—from the 52 different breweries—solely because of the amazing responses I got from people. I met people from all over the country, Alabama to Hawaii, many experiencing TCHO for the first time. I spoke with quite a few brewers about usage of nibs in beer, and informed a few of our Saturday session. Late-night hanging out with my friends from the Cellar crew—headed by “Tasty” McDole of Longshot fame, and Randy G. from MoreBeer!—dragged myself back home to get a couple hours to recoup.

Saturday, our Chocolate-Maker/ Mad Chocolate Scientist Timothy Childs, myself, and Roger Davis (head brewer from Triple Rock) spoke during one of the afternoon seminar sessions. Ours, aptly named “Chocolate and Beer”, was an amazing experience for me. Granted I’m not much of a public speaker, but I still really enjoyed connecting with interested homebrewers. I gave out some nib samples for people interested in making their own chocolate-infused beers—we even had so many people interested I ran out before everyone got a sample. The whole night was capped off by Sean Paxton’s amazing dinner where each course was paired with chocolate, and included a Rogue’s beer as an ingredient.

Perfect ending to a long four days, but a beginning to something else.