XocovezaArt of Craft ~ brews and reviews
By Greg Richardson

February is the month of Valentineís Day.

Some of us are challenged when it comes to romance. We are not adept a playing the game. We may not understand romantic rituals and tactics. Some of us do not appreciate the meaning or significance of romantic trappings. We may not grasp why there is any expectation of love arriving with paper hearts, uncomfortable clothes, flowery words, or even flowers themselves.

Some of us believe love is more important than all that.

Love is incredibly powerful, the power which holds the universe together. We know the energy, the passion, the vitality of love. Love is a fire burning within us and in the world, both healing and wounding. For some of us, love is too powerful to handle with our bare hands. We try to protect ourselves by wrapping it in rituals and expectations, in bouquets and red paper hearts.

Real, deep, true love is about two becoming one. Each brings their own quirks and their own power. They find ways to fit together, to combine to create something more than each were on their own. The beauty and joy are often in the unexpected. Parts of the relationship people thought would cause conflict or could not see working become the most appreciated.

When love is strong, one partnerís spiciness and another partnerís smoothness work together to make something delicious.

This February I am celebrating a new love which has developed over the last year.

It all started just over a year ago when Stone Brewing Company created a new seasonal beer called Xocoveza. Originally brewed as a one-time offering, Xocoveza is inspired by Mexican hot chocolate. It is built with flavors of cocoa, coffee, peppers, nutmeg, sweetness, and, of course, cinnamon layered deliciously together. Brewed with English Challenger and East Kent Golding hops, was one of the beers on my first Craft Beer Advent Calendar just over a year ago.

Anyone who knows me or reads this column very often could see Xocoveza and I would get along well. We share interests and preferences, and our acquaintance developed into a healthy friendship. As we got to know each other we learned to trust each other and became comfortable with each other.

Our friendship, though, did not ignite into a passionate love. I respected and liked Xocoveza, always enjoying when we spent time together. I introduced Xocoveza to some of my friends. We appreciated each otherís company.

Then, a couple of months ago, something amazing happened.

I knew that Stone had worked with Jeniís Splendid Ice Creams to develop an ice cream inspired by Xocoveza. I heard this ice cream was designed to complement and enhance the flavor of Xocoveza. I thought this might be a little much, even for me.

Even though Xocoveza was a friend of mine, I had never met the ice cream, Xocorosa.

The night before my birthday, Xocoveza introduced me to Xocorosa, and it was a life-changing evening. The three of us spent some truly quality time together, and the flame of love was ignited in me.

Xocorosa is not just Xocovesa-flavored ice cream, or ice cream made using Xocoveza. It is as if Xocorosa were created to balance and bring out the flavor of Xocoveza.

Some people who know them both suggest following a sip of Xocoveza with a taste of Xocorosa. That might be fine for some, but I went all in creating a beer float. I am in love, reveling in how they combine and play on my tongue.

If you are looking for a sensual and loving craft beer experience this Valentineís Day, Xocoveza and Xocorosa are the companions for you. Be careful, and remember how powerful love can be.

Greg Richardson is a leadership and organizational coach, and a spiritual life mentor, in Pasadena, California. He is passionate about craft brewing, listening, and monks and monastic life. Greg is a recovering attorney, executive, and university professor. Gregís website is StrategicMonk.com and he is on Twitter @StrategicMonk. You can email Greg atStrategicMonk@gmail.com.

Return to DaBelly

© 2017   DaBelly Magazine.  All Rights Reserved.