Cleveland Chocolate with Noble Beast Brewing (Ep. 34)


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"I think each chocolate can say something different in each of its own settings. I think it’s more of what you’re looking for it to say to you. You can sit on your couch and essentially travel around the world with chocolate."

Rebecca Hess is the founder and chocolate maker at Cleveland Chocolate Company in Cleveland, Ohio. Rebecca was a classically trained fine dining chef who fell in love with bean to bar chocolate and changed her career to make chocolate her life. Cleveland Chocolate produces classic single origin bars that let their cacao shine through, as well as a thoughtfully curated rotation of imaginative inclusion bars.

In today’s episode we’ll talk with Rebecca about her transition from chef to chocolate maker, her favorite cacao origins, and collaborating with Noble Beast Brewing in Cleveland on their elegant chocolate beers. We’ll also hear from Shaun Yasaki, founder of Noble Beast Brewing.

On Wednesday, February 9 at 6:30 p.m. I’ll be giving a 45 minute Facebook Live talk called Chocolate, Beer, & Chocolate Beer. I’ll be talking about the basics of bean to bar chocolate and the use of ethically-sourced cacao in the craft beer world. The event is completely free and no registration is required. You can watch the video on either the Tipp City Public Library page or on my beer events page. Hope to see you there!

Chocolate bars discussed in this episode from Cleveland Chocolate include Pisa Haiti 79% and the same bar with chili pepper, as well as Oko Caribe Dominican Republic 70% and 91%.

Beers from Noble Beast Brewing mentioned in this episode include Baker’s Russian Imperial Stout, Peacemaker Imperial Stout, and Cookies & Milk.

The music for this episode was sampled from instrumental versions of the song “Valentine” written and performed by indie folk musician Anna ps from her 2016 album Umbrella. You can find out more about Anna and get in touch about booking her for a show at her website.

Rebecca Hess is a traditionally-trained chef with 20 years in the culinary industry. She is the owner and chocolatier at Cleveland Chocolate Company, a craft bean to bar chocolate shop that she established in 2020 in Cleveland, Ohio. The transition into the world of handcrafted chocolate started as a hobby and quickly grew into much more after receiving fresh cacao pods. With her long fascination with fermentation, she started fermenting the fresh cocoa beans to learn the process of chocolate making from start to finish. Utilizing the same values she had as a chef, her focus is on quality, ethically-sourced ingredients, which results in well-balanced, approachable chocolate.

Shaun Yasaki started his brewing career at Fat Head’s Brewery, co-founded Platform Beer Co., and moved on to create Noble Beast Brewing Company, a brewpub in Cleveland, Ohio. He has won multiple GABF medals and has a passion for traditional beers and techniques, and designing new and innovative brewing equipment.

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