Do you have a Tio Xevie? I have a Tio Xevie - that's "Uncle Xavier" in Spanish. When I was a little five year old half Mexican dude visiting family in East LA we went to Tio Xevie's house. We sat in his kitchen, at an ice-cube patterned Formica topped table, on a black and white checkerboard linoleum tile floor. Tio Xevie turned on the gas at an old stove top, struck a wooden match and lit the burner, then tossed a few tortillas right on the grate. They would warm and get a few roasty black freckles - then he would reach in the fire with his bare hand, pick them up (I was 5, it was amazing) and flip them.
You got a paper napkin in front of you - and a stick of butter with half the wrapping ripped off was in the center of the table. Tio Xevie would toss a steaming tortilla on the napkin. You hold the stick of butter by the wrapped end and blot the naked end on the tortilla. Then you roll the tortilla and eat it - butter dripping down your hands, some on and some off the napkin. If you were lucky, and it was chilly, you might get some champurrado. Champurrado is Mexican hot chocolate. It's got bittersweet chocolate, vanilla, cinnamon, milk, and a bit of corn flour to thicken it. Delicious rich stuff.
So what's my Tio Xevie, tortillas, and champurrado got to do with a Russian Imperial Stout? Well I was preparing Captain Jack Turtle - a Russian Imperial Stout with cocoa, vanilla bean, and cinnamon - for transfer to kegs last night. I took the usual in-process taste test and was reminded of champurrado, then the memory of Tio Xevie's kitchen came to me.
Do you have a Tio Xevie? Everyone should have a Tio Xevie. But just in case you don't - I've got a Russian Imperial Stout for you that is nearly as rich as my memory of Tio Xevie.
We'll be tapping Captain Jack Turtle this Saturday December 12th at the BCT Brewing Project tasting room. Just in time for the winter holidays. You can have a glass at the brewery, or take a growler home for your holiday feast - and when you do enjoy it, raise your glass and say "Un brindis por Tio Xevie."
In August of 2016 we poured the last glass of BCT Brewing Project beer. Though the BCT Brewing Project is no longer a thing, we designed all of the beers, and we still design award winning beer for craft breweries internationally.