As I have said before, there is a local beer, a milk stout, made by Lakewood Brewing company called The Temptress. I think this is one of the best things in the world – not the best beer, best things.
The other week, at the Cobra Brewing Company event, I ran into a guy out in the yard wearing a Lakewood shirt. He worked at Lakewood Brewing. He was one of those people (at least on this day) that acted like he knew everything. The thing is, though, nobody knows everything… but he did know an awful lot.
So I stood there for a long time and pumped him for all the knowledge I could. Types of beer, good and bad local brews, the future of the local breweries, small business philosophies and how to grow, sour beers (the hottest, coolest, newest thing – awful, terrible, spoiled swill in my opinion) and on and on.
We talked about how difficult The Temptress is to make. Then he said that for this holiday season, Cinco de Mayo, they were making a seasonal special edition Temptress – the Mole Tempress.
I have mixed feelings about these special variations. Some are really good – the Bourbon Barrel Temptress is fantastic. Some are not so great – the Raspberry Temptress was too Raspberry-y. The thing is, how do you improve on perfection?
But Mole Tempress? That sounded interesting.
For those of you not from these here parts (or parts south of here) Mole is a complex, Mexican sauce made with hot chili peppers and a myriad of other spices. It is ground, reconstituted, and cooked into a thick paste that screams with flavor. It is good stuff.
This isn’t something that you would immediately associate with as a beer ingredient. But local craft beer can afford to experiment. That’s the whole idea.
Meanwhile, fast forward to now – this is the rare slice of pleasant weather time here in North Texas – the wonderful few days between the cold, wet winter and the killer summer heat. Bike riding time.
There was a terrible accident on Highway 75 – a semi tractor trailer burst into flames beneath a crossing turnpike. The entire highway was shut down. My cow-orkers were caught in the ensuing backup – some sitting stuck on frontage roads for hours. I saw the news on the early morning Television – but it didn’t affect my bike ride to work in the least.
As the workday wound down I somehow remembered a Tweet I had received from Lakewood Brewery that the Mole Temptress had been released. At about the same time I received another from the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema that they had a keg of said brew on tap.
I had never ridden my bike from my work to the Alamo Drafthouse. I sat down with Google Maps and figured out a route, winding across a busy freeway and through a few varied neighborhoods. It wasn’t very far. A single beer on the way home would be a good way to mark a Friday after work (we are broker than broke right now – it’s all the entertainment I can afford).
So off I rode in the beautiful weather of the early afternoon. I had to wind around a bit – one problem with Google Maps route-finding is that it is hard to tell in a mixed residential/apartment/commercial/retail area if you can ride from one parking lot to the next or if there is a big wall there, invisible to the overhead view. Still, it took less time than I thought.
The theater was abuzz – The Amazing Spiderman 2 was premiering and there were costumed heroes, throngs of loud kids, and a big velcro jumping-thing. But they did have my Mole Temptress on tap.
It was good, very good. A complex, spicy mix – the hot pepper and chocolate flavors came through just right. I don’t think it was as good as the regular Temptress – but few things are. Maybe nothing is.
Still, a change of pace, a hot spicy cold drink, on a nice late afternoon, on an outside patio next to a gaggle of bikes… there are worse things.