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
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
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.