Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Brewer: Stone Brewing Company, Escondido, California
Alcohol Content: 6.9%
Official Description from Brewer:
"To say that this gem of an IPA is "hoppy" would be putting it modestly --- and modesty is definitely not one of our strong suits. Big hop flavor and big hop aroma. What about hop bitterness you ask? You bet! We loaded glorious amounts of crisp and refreshing hop bitterness into this brew. First the aroma delights, then the flavor moves us to rejoice aloud! In fact it makes us feel downright poetic. We hope it does for you too!"
First and foremost, my apologies for the bad picture. My photography skills are far from professional and I need some lesson in proper lighting. Secondly, my first experience with Stone IPA came in the trek west. It is the Todd's favorite beer and he keeps it in stock in his house. I drank his Tecate before I ventured into the bottle of the IPA. My memory of that encounter is a good one, but it could be the environment I was in and not so much the beer.
Stone has an issue with either hypocrisy or bipolar disorder, I'm not sure which yet. Their Sublimely Self-Righteous talks about humility leading up to the eventually braggadocio, whereas the IPA just thrusts the boastfulness front and center. I stress the importance of the description because it guides the drinker to a certain expectation. Stone isn't entirely wrong in how they describe the IPA. It certainly is crisp and has really intense hop aroma. Rejoicing aloud? Not so much.
Stone IPA pours invitingly. The ale resembles the memory foam under my bed sheets in color and consistency. It is cloudy, but it shouldn't put anyone off. Remember, the Todd commented on the difference of west coast and Midwest hops. The west coast hop tends to be grassy and grainy, whereas the Midwest hop flows more of citrus. The IPA is bitter and crisp, yet seems to lack in refreshment.
Suggestion: My IPA bias may be showing it's ugly head. It is hop heavy and bitter but because it doesn't feel refreshing, I won't be stocking my fridge with it soon. But, the Todd would tell you otherwise.
Value: My 12oz bottle came in a variety pack of craft beers and came out to about $2. I'll never turn down a $2 bottle of beer, so the value is right. With the alcohol content, it's better than drinking a light lager.
Michelle Factor: Michelle just finished four 12 hour shifts and clocked out before I could offer her a drink. I'm telling you though, she's a hop head so let's say she'd like it, well at least she won't hate it.