The William Dean Chocolates kitchen smelled a little more boozy than most mornings as Bill Brown stirred a simmering pot of caramel. The shop’s owner wore a giant smile.

“You can smell it,” he said as he cracked open a can of beer. “If you like beer, it’s two great things together and that’s kind of the hope.”

The chocolatier, who has won many awards for his tasty, chocolatey creations, is trying something new – collaborating with a local brewery to make beer-inspired desserts.

“It’s fun. It’s really cool to make new stuff,” said L.J. Govoni, the owner of Big Storm Brewing Co. in Clearwater. “I think if you’re from Tampa and you like fine foods, you know of William Dean chocolates. That’s not a question.”

The brewery, which was founded in 2012, and the chocolate shop, which has been in Belleair Bluffs for a decade, are two of the better-known artisans in Tampa Bay. Big Storm has won multiple awards each year since 2013 and was named “Best Florida Beer” at the Florida Beer Championships. William Dean has won bronze, silver and gold awards from the SF International Chocolate Salon.

Now, these taste titans have teamed up.

“Beer and chocolate naturally go together,” said Big Storm’s head brewer, Joel Moore. “The fats and the richness of the chocolate get cleaned up by the carbonation in the beer.”

The collaborative products are expected to be released to the public in the fall.

“It’s not like it’s a one-way street,” said Brown as he put the finishing touches on his beer caramel. “It’s a two-way street, so that we’re using their products to create new products and they can do the same with us.”

Storm makes five ‘core beers’ and five ‘specialty beers’, and at any time can have up to 60 beers on its menu. The company has two taprooms; one in Pinellas and one in Pasco County.

A mutual customer turned the two companies onto the collaboration idea.

At any time, William Dean has about 50 different chocolate items available in its shop at 2790 West Bay Drive, Belleair Bluffs.