You ever think about nutbutter?
Yeah, me neither.
But when the folks at Nutista offered the chance to try their latest nutbutter collaboration with Stone Brewing, Xocoveza, along with the beer that inspired it, I tried my best to wait a few seconds before saying “Yes, please!!”
Wait, Stone is collaborating on … nutbutter? Huh?
Three partners formed Nutista in 2016 — Tristen Cross, a tech/biotech marketer into healthy living and eating; John Huber, a stock analyst looking for healthier alternatives to peanut butter; and Greg Koch.
Yes, that Greg Koch, co-founder of Stone Brewing. Kinda makes sense now, doesn’t it?
Koch’s nutbutter revelation came as the result of a trip to Italy for a collaboration brew and trying the local hazelnuts. He figured he could do for mass-produced nutbutter what craft brewing has done for beer — produce higher-quality products by carefully sourcing ingredients and creating unique recipes.
They also take the “craft” approach by making very small batches (about 150 pounds each) using traditional methods and slow-and-low processing.
And yes, just as in craft beer, the meticulous sourcing and production comes at a price — about $12 per 8-ounce jar. But if you’re into the beer, you’re already used to paying premium prices for quality products. Comes with the territory.
Xocoveza is the fourth collaboration with Stone, the others being Totalitarian Imperial Russian Stout, Tangerine Express IPA, and Farking Wheaton w00tstout.
The Xocoveza butter is made with cashews, Valencia peanuts, Belizian cacao, Brazilian coffee, two different cinnamons (from Indonesia and Sri Lanka), nutmeg, sea salt, brewer’s yeast, lactose, and papilla peppers.
I was debating on which to try first, the butter or the beer. But then I instinctively took a sip right after I poured the beer, so there you go.
The cacao and cinnamon are prevalent up front. Just a touch of heat from the peppers on the finish. Smooth, creamy, little bitterness.
Then I cracked open the nutbutter. I first tried it straight. I wanted the full experience, not cutting it with crackers or bread or anything.
Wow, there’s a whole lot going on here. Like peanut butter got a Masters’ degree.
Yes, the nuts are there. But so’s the cinnamon. Then the coffee. Then the nutmeg. And just like the beer, a trace of heat from the peppers remains.
Back to the beer. Coffee’s a bit more pronounced after the nutbutter. Chocolate and spices intermingle.
Then the nutbutter. More peanut-buttery this go ‘round, the spices taking more of a backseat. Again, the slight heat finish from the peppers.
Aside from the fun of enjoying it with the beer, the nutbutter itself would make a great snack. I can see spreading it over a few crackers for a midday boost to keep you going until dinnertime.