Stone Mix Tape Vol. 10 Blend from Another Planet Debut!

February 17th, 2015

Threads for the Mix Tape

Back at the end of the summer of last year, a small group from our family of restaurants was invited out to the Stone World Bistro in Escondido to sit down with the brain trust of Stone Brewing Co. to blend a beer from a collection of their beers. This was a wonderful opportunity extended to us that has been extended to others in the past who have been loyal business partners with Stone throughout the years. Our group has been pouring Stone brews for over 7 years now in Texas.

Co-Founder of Stone Brewing Co., Greg Koch

Mix Tape Vol. 10 is the result of that blending session that took place over a few hours with 16 beers to choose from ranging from dry hopped or botanically infused IPAs to barrel aged beer. Founder Greg Koch, Brew Master Mitch Steele and Special Projects Manager Steve Gonzalez were all at the table but they really just let us go our own way. We stumbled around tasting some beers. We tossed around some ideas of directions we thought we might want to pursue.  Then, we dove in with the beakers and started creating blends.  Steve was great for us as he took extensive notes as we tried this and that.  And about an hour in, we thought we came up with an interesting blend with the Coffee Milk Stout being a strong role in the blend. But, there was this other beer on the table, Varna Necropolis, just staring at us.  That beer was incredible.  It would have been a shame with that beer on the table not to blend it in somehow someway. Two threads of the first blend still felt appealing.  There were flavorful, patient and had nuance that could provide enjoyable subtleties to a beer with strong character.  That is where the Varna stepped in with it Golden Ale ass self with a Saison yeast aged in Bourbon barrels for 12 months.  Big, bold, badass and Stone.  Through some trial and error, we felt like we came up with a sexy, elegant beast that will be enjoyable to taste now and for a few years to come.

Special Projects Manager Steve Gonzales, Capt. Keith, Stone Brew Master Mitch Steele


The Vol. 10 blend is almost equal parts of Varna Necropolis, Cali-Belgique aged in red wine barrels and Cali-Belgique with Montmorency Sour Cherries that finished at 51 ibu and 8.6% abv. As you should always try to do with beer, we had to roll with the punches.  A week later as Steve went to blend the three beers into the bright tank, he realized that there wasn’t enough aged Cherry Cali-B to make the blend work on the scale we hoped for.  He decided to blend fresh Cali-B and fresh pressed sour cherries into the bright tank. Of course this changed the flavor profile some, the original blend is still lurking and, with age, our gargoyle will be birthed from the gargoyle that you will hold in your glass this Friday, February the 20th.  We couldn’t be happier with his decision as it added a completely new dynamic to the beer with fresh sour cherry instead of aged and the fresh bitterness from the fresh Cali-B.  This was a thrilling experience to take part of and we really couldn’t be any prouder to share this beer that the crew from Stone Brewing Co.  helped us create…for you…..the Beerknurd!

To another 20 years!!


Tasting notes from Stone for Mix Tape Vol. 10…

Lots of sweet and sour intense cherry flavors. Lots of red wine and bitter woody notes from the barrel aging, plus a hint of bourbon from the Varna Necropolis. Spicy phenolic flavors from the 3 Belgian yeast brews combined into this beer. Intensely complex beer with lots going on and a lingering finish of cherry, wine, oak, and bourbon. Suitable for extended aging. Suggested serving temperature around 45-50F

Look for tappings of Mix Tape 10 periodically at The Moth or your local Flying Saucer.

Alpine Beer Co. coming to Texas and The Moth March 9th

February 14th, 2015

In the back then sliding quickly to the front of our minds last year when Green Flash let Alpine Beer Co. brew beers at their facility in Mira Mesa, we wondered if the hoppy delights of Alpine would finally make it out of California. We were not sure how or when but we had hope for the first time.  The intention of that first partnership was to help Alpine raise capital for growth of its’ own fully realized capacity in Alpine, CA.

Honestly, that was the first time I started hearing about Alpine and their greatness for hoppy beers and not too shabby sours. I might have heard Alpine once in passing but the rate of distant breweries spoken of is at a break neck speed right now. Now that I think about it.  New Belgium collaborated with Alpine Beer Co. sometime ago for the Super IPA.  We were fortunate to get some here in Texas.  I remember it being pretty darn good.  Still, I didn’t take the time to learn more about Alpine then. I, generally, focus on the beers in front of my face and tend not to chase or trade. Well, Alpine is about to be in front of all of our faces next month.

Green Flash has been good friends of ours for some time now. I remember the first keg of West Coast IPA that came to Texas some 7 or 8 years ago.  I was told that I must buy it because my distributor knew I would like it. And damn, he was right.  Back then, we had to wait about every 4 months for one keg of West Coast IPA.  Oh my! How things have changed for Green Flash since which makes it so logical how the GF/Alpine partnership has evolved now too.  Green Flash knows firsthand the hard work to get beer anywhere in this land. So of course, Mike and Lisa Hinkley and Chuck Silva would have respect for the wonderful beers crafted by Pat McIlhenny and his crew at his small brewpub with only 1,500 barrels of capacity a year. But, we are getting a little ahead of ourselves though.

As far as I can read from a distance and through some hearsay is that Pat McIlhenny is a very intentional, passionate and particular brewer. He began home brewing in 1983 during his career as a firefighter. In 1999, after a little hands-on experience and a stroke of luck obtaining a brew system he decided to start Alpine Beer Co.  Coincidentally, he started off contracting his McIlhenny’s Red with AleSmith until he could get the brewery in his hometown off the ground nine months later. The only thing he has been able accomplish since then is brew some of the most brilliant hop driven beer and quality sours all the while being a fire fighter until he retired as a Captain in 2009. That retirement was after expanding his brewery in 2008 and before he built his pub 2010. That doesn’t read like hearsay to me.  That is more like testimony to a driven man inspired to create beauty through the science and artistry of brewing beer. Not to mention, Alpine Beer Co. has been family run with his wife and son the entire duration with now only 20 employees to this very day.

Two years ago, riding around with Chuck one day on a small tour of breweries, we stopped at AleSmith for some tastes and immediately Chuck began talking shop with the guys of AleSmith before anyone knew he was offering his surplus of hops to AleSmith after they mentioned their shortages. Hops are the spice to brewers now as spice was the gold to traders centuries ago.  It makes perfect sense to me now that Green Flash would be willing to help out.  When the evolution of the partnership turned into an acquisition, I didn’t think twice about the intention of the deal.  As Mike has said, ‘it is a Win-Win’. Chuck and Pat get to nerd out on recipes.  Employees from both companies will mix cultures. Alpine employees get health insurance and 401k for the first time of their existence. Green Flash gets to help distribute their beers. Also, it is a very savvy and friendly means of growth that is seemingly much different than AB/InBev purchasing craft breweries. Their futures are bright.

Chuck Silva, Pat McIlhenny, Mike Hinkley

When Alpine arrives next month, they will bring world class beers that originated from a small town outside San Diego. Say what you will about ‘Best of’ lists but currently they hold six beers in Beer Advocates’ Top 250 Beers of the World.  That is no small feat considering Texas only has four in the list which just happens to be Live Oak’s Hefeweizen, Jester King’s Atrial and Aurelian and Lone Pint’s Yellow Rose. The Moth is very pleased that Pat will be able to join us for a beer dinner Monday, March 9th at 6pm.  They will be bringing with them Alpine Ale, Capt. Stout, McIlhenny’s Red as well as the famous Nelson, Duet and Hoppy Birthday. Please join us for a very special night of friends, brews and great food. Our dear friend and hop pusher, Chuck Silva will be on hand too. Two of the greatest hop innovators around today… can you say no?

Drink Alpine or go to bed!

The Alpine Beer Dinner kicks off our series of The Meddlesome Moth’s  5 Pairdines for 5 Years on Monday, March 9th at 6pm. Tickets are $75 which includes gratuity but not the Eventbrite fee.  Stay tuned for more information on the food menu and other beer dinners.

Tickets are available on

Blog from the Dallas Museum of Art

September 18th, 2014

This was posted by Melissa Gonzales from the DMA.  Really one of the best museums around if you have never been. Something for everyone who needs something to do anytime.

Beer Review- Jolly Pumpkin Bam Biere and Calabaza Boreal

August 5th, 2014

Beer Reviews: It’s the Great Jolly Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.


And it is great. Also, it’s jolly. Also, delicious. Founded by Ron Jefferies in 2004 with the goal of creating artistic, delicate, and complex beer while maintaining traditional and small scale production, Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales has since been providing the wide world of beer with one phenomenal wild-fermented, oak-aged brew after another. Now, after we’d waited in a field all night, the Great Jolly Pumpkin finally appeared on our market and is here with gifts.


First up was the Bam Biere. Named for the brewer’s Jack Russel terrier, this is a dry-hopped golden farmhouse ale, and it’s every bit as advertised. On the nose, I found light, but bright funk with peppery spice. Hints of juicy stone fruit waft up with suggestions of plum and apricot before grassy hops lay a bed of fresh cut hay.

The taste carries the nose to the palate faithfully and gently across a delightfully teasing body. Pepper and funk dominate then fade into a reserved tart and bitter finish with notes of aloe vera, rose water, and orange blossom. This is a refreshingly dry beer that’s simple enough to session on a hot day, while keeping such a subtle swirling current of complexity just beneath its placid surface that, on your third glass, you’ll still discover something delicate and new.


Then, we tasted Calabaza Boreal, an oak-aged wild Belgian brewed with grapefruit and peppercorn in collaboration with Anchorage Brewery. On the nose, aggressive funk and pungent black peppercorn dominate, then wane to allow notes of peach, candy sweetness, and licorice to waft up. On the palate, we get another light body, this time, with eager acidic tartness that leads to juicy orange as it warms. The finish sweeps in with a pulpy sweetness that carries robust bitterness of grapefruit pith.

These beers and everything else we’ve tasted from them have been simply stellar brews that communicate clearly this brewery’s purpose and mission. You can always tell the beer made by people who truly care and are as passionate about making beer as we are about drinking it, and now they’re here among us. Look out for more selections from Dexter, MI in the future. None of us will be disappointed. Welcome, Great Pumpkin.



Stay Hoppy Dallas Blog

July 11th, 2014
I recently had a real quick discussion with Matt Abendschein and his Stay Hoppy Dallas blog.  You might find some of it interesting. Have a great weekend!
The Moth