Day 13: Stone Brewing Xocoveza by Daniel Fisher
To celebrate the Holiday Season, we have teamed up with beer bloggers and craft beer enthusiasts around the country to host the fifth annual beer advent calendar. This is the season of sharing and we intend to share our love of beer with you.
During the 31 days of December, we will be sharing our favorite regional/winter seasonals/holiday beers with the help from our fellow beer enthusiasts. We hope that you tune in every day, to hear our stories and share our holiday cheer.
Blogger: Daniel Fisher
Twitter / Facebook / Instagram: T: @danontap F: danontap IS: danontap
About Dan: Craft beer advocate. Fine wines, spirits, & dining enthusiast. Business/Marketing Strategist. Proud husband and father. Anime/manga/sci-fi otaku.
Brewery: Stone Brewing – Escondido, CA
Our chocolaty, winter-spiced mocha stout is back. This insanely delicious take on Mexican hot chocolate is crafted with cocoa, coffee, pasilla peppers, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg. First brewed in 2014 with San Diego homebrewer Chris Banker after his recipe was named the winner of our annual homebrew competition, it quickly became a cross-country sensation as craft beer media and fans cheered for Stone Xocoveza…and clamored for more. We too loved this beer, so of course we caroled ¡Claro que sí! Now gifted with a new name, Stone Xocoveza for the Holidays & the New Year has joined our eminent lineup of special releases. We’re releasing it just in time for that time of the year when the joyous spirit of giving is in the air and good behavior is generously rewarded.
-Style: Mocha Stout
-Hop varieties: English Challenger & East Kent Golding
-Specialty ingredients: cocoa, coffee, pasilla peppers, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg, lactose
Why I selected the Stone Xocoveza:
Only a handful of holiday-related seasonals made it to my local store and many were out of stock by the time I got there. I then remembered two beers were in the back of my fridge: the Xocoveza and the Yulesmith (Summer) Holiday Ale. I was initially intending to sample the latter due to the heat wave (it’s in the 60’s this weekend, so it’s almost like summer). After seeing the bottle date I unfortunately realized I held onto it a little too long and felt I couldn’t do it justice…so the Xocoveza it is! Stone is available pretty much everywhere, so if you head out soon there should still be stock.
The beer itself!
The beer pours deep, dark brown with a thin, tan and frothy head and clean persistent lacing on my glass. Mexican spiced chocolate leads on the nose for me, with nutmeg and vanilla following close behind and the peppers cleaning up. My mom and her Chilean family make a drink called “Cola de Mono” (Monkey’s Tail) which uses some similar spices in a coffee, milk and liquor (rum) mixture that is traditionally served during the holidays or in winter months. The nose totally reminded me of it. All the different ingredients come in and out of focus, resulting in a truly complex flavor, though the coffee and vanilla notes played the strongest on my palate. On the finish, I tasted more of the coffee interspersed with hop bitterness and a hint of spice/heat from the peppers. What really makes this beer, though, is clearly the mouthfeel – it is true to style in this end, having a milky consistency, similar to Cola de Mono, that coats the tongue while warming you from the inside out.
What would you pair this beer with?
While this beer may be better suited for dessert, there are plenty of savory dishes I would go to such as bacon-wrapped dates, medium-strength blue cheeses, dry-rub spiced meats, various preparations of mole and any type of pepper dish featuring serranos or poblanos. On the dessert front, one could go with chocolate or spiced cakes and pies, but I for one would love to have this with powdered and spiced doughnuts…or better yet? CHURROS! The milky consistency from the lactose would definitely work for Santa after cookies or whatever you happen to leave out for him.
About Life on Tap
Inspired by the podcasting friends and new media junkies, my wife Sheryl and I decided to tread into The Podosphere on 7/3/2006. “Life On Tap” is just that: our lives through the eyes (or rather all senses) and the appreciation of some of our favorite interests: craft beer, food, and occasionally some fine wine and liquor. If there’s one thing I want readers/listeners/viewers to take away, it’s that craft beer is communal and best shared as often as possible with those you love. Remember our mantra: “Life’s a tap…drink up ’til it’s dry.”
If you are coming down to New York City, please reach out and we can hit up some local spots for some excellent food and brew! firstname.lastname@example.org
About Stone Brewing:
Founded by Greg Koch and Steve Wagner in 1996, San Diego-based Stone Brewing Co. is the 9th largest craft brewer in the United States. Stone has been listed on the Inc. 500 | 5000 Fastest Growing Private Companies list 11 times, and has been called the “All-time Top Brewery on Planet Earth” by BeerAdvocate magazine twice. The multifaceted company will be the first American craft brewer to own and operate a brewery in Europe, and is also building a production brewery and destination restaurant in Richmond, Virginia. Brewing at both locations is anticipated to begin in early 2016. Known for its bold, flavorful and largely hop-centric beers, Stone has earned a reputation for brewing outstanding, unique beers while maintaining an unwavering commitment to sustainability, business ethics, philanthropy and the art of brewing.
For more information, please visit http://www.stonebrewing.com.