Sandra Suazo, owner of Corazon Chocolates (left) works here with a collaborator on creating original chocolates. (Instagram photo).

Chocolate, beer night helps fund Red Deer public library’s new ‘book bike’ purchase

May 3 fundraiser pairs artisan chocolates with craft beer

A book bike will be visiting children’s playgrounds and skate and splash parks this summer.

The aim is to reach out with stories and crafts to kids who don’t often get a chance to visit the library, said Shelley Ross, CEO of the Red Deer Public Library.

While many people will be familiar with book mobiles that carry library materials out to suburbia, it would be exorbitantly expensive to purchase this kind of large vehicle, said Ross.

The Red Deer library instead has an order in for a $5,000 motorized bicycle to help enhance summer children’s reading programs.

Ross said the book bike, equipped with a trailer, will be taking library materials, including some story books, puppets and crafts, out to local parks and trails starting at the end of June.

To help pay for the bike, a chocolate and beer fundraiser will be held at the library on Friday from 7:30 to 9 p.m. in the recently renovated fourth floor of the downtown branch.

During the age 18-plus benefit, Ross said Alberta craft beers will be paired with handmade artisan chocolates for a unique tasting event.

Anita Thomas, board member with the Friends of the Red Deer Public Library, said people often hear of chocolates and wine, but the flavours of chocolates and beer can also be surprisingly complementary.

According to local chocolatier Sandra Suazo, who will be making dozens of handmade treats for the fundraiser, the “decadent marriage” of beer and chocolate is based on several commonalities: Both are fermented foods that have a history going back to antiquity, and both balance bitter and sweet to offer some “amazing and unexpected flavour experiences.”

Suazo, who has been making her Corazon Chocolates in the Park Plaza since December, has already had several collaborations with businesses, including a tasting night with Undercurrent Brewery of Sylvan Lake.

Thomas said the public library is always interested in offering the community new learning experiences — and this is a different example.

Many people seem keen to try out the unique pairing of beer and chocolate, as half the available $40 tickets have already been sold. Contact the library for tickets and more information.


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