ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Wegmans Food Markets here has nearly doubled its beer selection in the last year or so from about 450 brews to 800, according to the retailer. Many of the new additions have been craft beers representing a range of colors, flavors, aromas and even drinking occasions.
"Absolutely there are beers that complement a sweet finish to a meal," said Mark Spagnola, who oversaw the beer expansion for Wegmans, in a statement.
Take for instance Brooklyn Chocolate Stout—"an imperial stout the color of dark chocolate with a caramelized honey sweetness and hints of bitter chocolate and espresso coffee that make it a perfect partner for ice cream or cake," according to Wegmans. Lindeman's Framboise, a rose-colored Belgian beer with a raspberry aroma, can also be enjoyed with dessert. It complements frozen treats like sorbet, noted the retailer. Pairings suggestions like these are helping uncover some of the mystery surrounding obscure, specialty brews.
"We're making a real effort to help customers with an interest in craft beers learn more about them," said Spagnola. "We've organized our product assortment by geography – East Coast, West Coast, Mid-Atlantic, Europe, the UK, Ireland, Belgian, and so on. We've supported that by adding educational shelf signage, we've published beer and food pairing brochures, and we offer occasional tastings to customers."
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