Beer of the Week: Xocoveza Tres Leches

Stone Brewing adds another tasty layer to an already decadent holiday-time stout

From the Beer Writer: ‘Tis the day after Thanksgiving and it’s likely the last thing you want to think about after a gluttonous day capped off by a dense wedge of pie is more dessert, but I’ve got good reason for you to do so. It comes in the form of a reimagined holiday classic from Stone Brewing called Xocoveza. From the moment it first hit taps and shelves in 2013, this Mexican hot chocolate-inspired stout has been a favorite of fans of the North County-based mainstay. An imperial stout brewed with wintry baking spices, chocolate, coffee and chili peppers, it’s a seasonally appropriate offering that nearly any palate can get behind thanks to the balance struck with that Santa-length grocery list of ingredients. Some would say there’s no reason to mess with something so universally beloved, but this year Stone’s brewing team attempted to make this beer even better by inventing a spin on the recipe to make it resemble Mexican hot chocolate and another south-of-the-border. Enter this week’s featured beer: Xocoveza Tres Leches. A spongey cake soaked in three types of milk—evaporated, condensed and heavy cream—tres leches is familiar to many a San Diegan, including yours truly, and I find this new version of Xocoveza as good as, if not better, than the original…and that’s saying a lot. Lactose and oats bring a creaminess showcases all that chocolate, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg, while allowing the coffee and peppers to remain present in the background, upping the approachability of an already easy-to-appreciate beer. A snifter of this will make for an ideal transition from Thanksgiving to whichever of the happy holidays you and yours celebrate. Enjoy one…after you’ve fully recovered from yesterday’s feasting, of course.

From the Brewer: “We’ve been brewing Stone Xocoveza for eight years now. We are always looking at ways we can do things differently, or attempt to improve upon already great recipes. Stone Xocoveza is the beer version of a Mexican hot chocolate. We started to think about other Mexican desserts we could riff off and tres leches cake came to mind. Our Senior Manager of Brewing and Innovation, Steve Gonzalez, had a grandmother who used to make tres leches from scratch and decided to try to emulate that in this recipe. He came up with the idea of using a trifecta of rice, oats and lactose to achieve the creaminess and richness of the dessert. We did a lot of trials to try to hit on the perfect balance. Stone Xocoveza is a complex beer and this version is still very complex with some added dimension on top of all the original ingredients, including coffee, chocolate, spices and peppers. It’s one of the harder beers to brew because of the amount of ingredients and the challenge of handling all of them. We definitely didn’t make it any easier on ourselves with this version, but it was worth the effort and we are stoked with the results!”Jeremy Moynier, Senior Manager, Innovation & Supply Chain, Stone Brewing

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