Coffee shops in San Diego have similar menus to shops nationwide with a few specialties here and there, but if you check closely you’ll find that many of them include local favorites, namely Vietnamese Coffee and Mexican mochas.
Local brewers Alesmith occasionally brews a popular variant of their Speedway Stout with inspiration from Vietnamese coffee and this latest collaboration between Stone Brewing, homebrewer Chris Banker and Tijuana’s Cerveceria Insurgente channels the cinnamon and sweet heat notes of the Mexican mocha.
I picked this beer up earlier this week, pronounced sho-co-VAY-za, and it’s become one of my favorites from Stone. I’m also a big fan of their w00tstout, however this can be tough to find outside of California. This latest creation, the prizewinner at the annual Stone Homebrew Competition & American Homebrewers Association (AHA) Rally can be found nationwide.
“We’re lucky to have such an inventive and creative pool of participants compete in our annual homebrew competition,” explains Steele. “Just like previous winning recipes, Chris’ beer gave us the opportunity to experiment with ingredients and brew a beer we normally wouldn’t make for a large release. To re-create his recipe, we added cocoa and milk sugar during the brewing process, which gives the beer another level of sweetness. The coffee and additional spices were added to the beer post-fermentation to bring out its unique, up-front flavor and aroma.”
When formulating the recipe, Banker incorporated unconventional brewing ingredients to create a beer emulating the rich, robust flavors of a spiced chocolaty drink, Mexican hot cocoa. Coffee provided by San Diego-based roaster Mostra Coffee, vanilla, and pure cocoa from Southern California’s ChocoVivo gives the brew a sweet, roasty flavor. Cinnamon, nutmeg and a small dose of pasilla peppers create a medley of piquant aromas. The malt bill gives the beer a strong backbone for the various flavors and aromas, while the hops provide the perfect amount of bitterness to balance and harmonize the flavorful diversity.
If you give it a try, let us know what you think!
Photo credit: StudioSchulz.com