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Lusty lagers! Sip on aphrodisiac beers for Valentine's Day

Jim Galligan

The brews will get you in the mood, one way or another.

Legend has it that foods like oysters, chocolate and even watermelon have certain properties that ramp up our carnal desires and diminish our inhibitions.  Any cop or bartender can tell you that beer has a very similar effect on the libido, so you can imagine the kinds of sparks that fly when lubricants of the heart such as these are married in a glass.

Guys have been buying ladies Valentine’s Day chocolates for ages, and it’s for a very good reason. Chocolate contains tryptophan, a chemical that helps the brain make seratonin, which scientists believe is involved with sexual arousal.  It also contains the stimulant phenylethylamine, which showers our synapses when we fall in love.  Put these two together and you have a recipe for romance!

The Foothills Brewing Company cut right to the chase when coming up with a name for their cocoa-infused Imperial Stout - it’s called Sexual Chocolate, and it’s released at the brewery once a year, just in time for Valentine’s Day. This 9.75 percent alcohol-by-volume (ABV) cup of love boasts notes of semi-sweet chocolate, roasted malts and a little kick of coffee.  Too bad it’s tough to find outside of its native North Carolina.

For a chocolate-infused brew that’s easier to get your hands on (and smoother than Barry White), look no further than Southern Tier’s velvety Choklat Imperial Stout, or perhaps check out one of these other wonderful chocolate beers I sampled with my wife last year.

Steamy shellfish
It’s been said that the legendary lover Casanova ate 50 oysters a day to keep his libido primed for love.  Perhaps he was on to something, as oysters contain amino acids that lead to the production of testosterone in men and progesterone in women, two hormones that can lead to increased sexual activity. 

Flying Dog’s Pearl Necklace Oyster Stout (a name that begs for off-colored jokes) is a 5.5 percent ABV English Stout that’s brewed with oysters from the Rappahannock River, near the brewery in Frederick, Md.  This roasty treat offers tastes of dark chocolate, hints of coffee and a savory undercurrent, thanks to the oysters. While it may or may not get you in the mood for love, it will definitely help a good cause, as proceeds go to the Oyster Recovery Partnership, whose mission is to restore these magnificent mollusks back into the Chesapeake Bay.

Manly meats
Since the dawn of time, men have been eating the boy parts of butchered beasts in hopes of being imbued with the creature’s animalistic virility.  If you subscribe to such notions and want to have the prowess of a bull, then consider sipping on Wynkoop Brewing’s Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout, brewed with 25 pounds of bull testicles per batch.

While it may sound a little gross, this 7 percent ABV bovine brew is a rich and roasty treat, boasting big notes of dry cocoa and espresso, not to mention a thick thread of umami. Wynkoop has recently announced that they will be making this novel brew year round, so you can have your lover calling you “el toro” whenever the desire arises.

Mighty melon
One aphrodisiac many folks are unfamiliar with is watermelon.  Watermelon contains citrulline, a phytonutrient that can start a chemical chain reaction in the body that relaxes the blood vessels, which boosts the erectile function in the unfairer sex. Basically,  it’s nature’s own Viagra.

21st Amendment’s Hell or High Watermelon comes to mind here, a 4.9 percent wheat beer brewed with flaccidity-fixing fruit. Unfortunately it’s a summer seasonal brew, released from April through September, which means it might be tough to find.  But that’s OK;this nifty recipe from Food.com will show you how to make your own watermelon-infused brews any time of the year.  While I’m not a big fan of beer cocktails, this one is tasty and refreshing, and can be made whenever your little buddy needs a boost.

Seductive saffron
Saffron comes from the crocus flower, which is full of a chemical called crocin.  Studies have shown that crocin increases sexual desire and the frequency of arousal, at least in rodents. 

The Turks of old used to mix saffron into opium to create an irresistible love potion.  More recently, Dogfish Head has used it as an ingredient in Midas Touch, a recreation of an ancient Turkish ale dating from the time of King Midas (those Turks just loved adding saffron to their inebriants!).  This 9 percent ABV sweet ale is made with saffron, honey and Muscat grapes, which makes for a fairly complex brew with notes of tart fruits, herbs and honey all swirling together to romance your taste buds and warm your palate. 

Any one of these beers is a delightful treat to share with your love this February 14, but be warned:  Whoopi Goldberg was born almost exactly nine months after Valentine’s Day. Take care that the amorous ingredients in these crafty brews don’t lead you to make a little too much “whoopi” of your own!

Jim Galligan is co-founder of the Beer and Whiskey Brothers blog, where he and his brother Don cover the ever-evolving world of craft beer and distilled spirits. Follow him on Twitter.  

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