Beer of the week: Stone’s Xocoveza

Stone's Xocoveza is a collaboration with Mostra Coffee and Belyzium Craft Chocolate.
(Stone Brewing Co.)

Beer Name: Xocoveza
Brewery: Stone
Style: Imperial Stout
ABV: 8.1%

An international powerhouse, Stone Brewing has been tempting, challenging and pleasing palates since 1996. Stone is known for teaming up with the brightest minds in craft beer, beverage and social culture to introduce customers to new aromas and flavors. PACIFIC spoke with Stone’s Jeremy Moynier about Xocoveza, a collaborative twist on a Mexican hot chocolate with Mostra Coffee & Belyzium Craft Chocolate.

What was the inspiration for the name Xocoveza?
JEREMY: In 2013, Stone Xocoveza was the winning beer in our annual American Homebrewer’s Association sanctioned homebrew competition. This beer stood out immediately when we were judging the competition beers because of its full flavored complexity. We paired the winner, San Diego homebrewer Chris Banker, with our friends from Mexico at Cerveceria Insurgente and brewed the beer as a national release for the first time in 2014. The name comes from Banker’s vision of brewing a beer inspired by Mexican hot chocolate.

How did you team up with Mostra and Belyzium?
JEREMY: We love working with local purveyors and Banker turned us on to Mostra Coffee, and it’s been awesome working with them ever since. They are like-minded and dedicated to quality, and recently just won Roast magazine’s “Roaster of the Year” award, which is a top honor in the coffee world. They ensure we get the absolute freshest coffee possible and match up to our brewing schedule so there are some challenges and logistics involved, but it’s well worth it.

Greg Koch, our executive chairman and co-founder discovered Belyzium while working on our projects in Berlin, Germany. He got the idea to incorporate this into Stone Xocoveza. It’s amazing chocolate. There is so much opportunity in beer to experiment with so many different additions and when you find something that fits perfectly like what we are able to source from Belyzium ... it’s a home run!

What’s in it?
JEREMY: Coffee, chocolate, pasilla peppers, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and lactose.

Xocoveza is available at all Stone's tap rooms and bistros.
Xocoveza is available at all Stone’s tap rooms and bistros.
(Stone Brewing Co.)

What should someone expect the first time trying Xocoveza?
JEREMY: The aroma is intense cinnamon, cocoa and coffee up front with an added layer of nutmeg and vanilla. You also get hints of the pasilla peppers in the aroma. All of these elements are in the flavor as well and all meld together. The fruitiness and very subtle heat of the pasilla peppers comes through on the finish and really rounds this beer out. It’s an experience tasting this beer and you will get more and more complexity as you keep tasting and as it warms up.

Perfect pairing?
JEREMY: I’d go with our street tacos – either Chipotle Shrimp Tacos or Yucatan Pork. Then head right to dessert and finish it off with a Stone Brownie Sundae.

This beer gal’s take:
A beer version of Mexican hot chocolate? Sold! A delicious, balanced stout with notes of cocoa, coffee, cinnamon, vanilla, spice, and just a smidge of heat from the peppers. Perfect for sitting by a fire, apres-ski and under-a-blanket-Netflix nights, the Xocoveza is a fall and winter staple in your fridge inventory. I’m a dessert fanatic, so I’ll be pairing mine with a gooey dark chocolate lava cake or cinnamon-vanilla bread pudding.

Where can I get it and how long?
JEREMY: All of Stone’s tap rooms and bistros. It’s available nationwide and you can locate it on our beer finder at

Extra juicy tidbit?
JEREMY: We have a couple of very cool collaborations in the works but can’t give away details just yet ... but we have Stone Neverending Haze IPA coming out at the end of the year that we are super excited about. It’s a 4% Hazy IPA featuring Mosaic and Citra hops with Sigmund’s Voss Kveik yeast. We also have Stone Buenaveza Salt & Lime Lager that’s out right now as a California-only release, but will be released nationally in the Spring. This is a very refreshing, crushable beer that came from one of our brewers, Ben Sheehan. He was inspired to brew a beer to complement his outdoor lifestyle of surfing, mountain-biking, off-roading and fishing. In name and inspiration, it’s a nice counterpoint to Stone Xocoveza.