Stone Imperial Stout. Classic craft stout. It is also now the base for Stone Imperial Whiskey. In partnership with Iowa’s Foundry Distilling Company, the “whiskey is made with the wort of Stone Imperial Stout (liquid resulting from the first stage of the brewing process), distilled and aged in 30-gallon charred oak barrels for 30 months. This is a monster of a whiskey clocking in at 127 proof.”
New month, new One Batch Dispatch from Stone Brewing . 9 Minutes to Midnight is a double dry-hopped imperial black IPA blended with a bit of whiskey barrel-aged Stone 25th Anniversary Triple IPA.
You will not see a lot of milkshake on this blog but this one from Stone Brewing has extra interest behind it…
“Stone Violetta Iris Mikshake IPA This beer is named for a breast cancer survivor Violetta Iris Dirkmaat, the mother-in-law of our Senior Manager of Brewing & Innovation Steve Gonzalez. It’s pleasantly sweet (like her!) with an unexpected combination of vanilla, blood orange and raspberry, and a lesser-known New Zealand hop variety called Moutere. Raise a glass of this rose-colored beer to the strength of survivors, and Violeta’s motto: Volharden.”
Stone released their first anniversary beer under Sapporo and surprise, it is an Imperial IPA.
This triple dry hopped imperial IPA pours a surprising dark orange color. It is a shade under 10% ABV so it is quite a big beer with a very creamy malty mouthfeel to it. The hops coat the mouth with each sip. To start I get berry notes but that moves to a more lemon lime flavor as it warms up. Stone has a few hop tricks for what some might think is just another big IPA.
Stone has a new One Batch Dispatch out now, Travelogue Triple IPA.
This is a big one, as they describe, “Our trek started with Amarillo hops – a favorite from Stone history that we’ve fallen in love with all over again – combined with Loral and Mosaic. Meanwhile, we used flaked wheat and oats, which you’d typically see used in a hazy beer, but filtered this one for a classic, bright appearance.
That all went according to plan. But the surprise came when this beer that we expected to be a double IPA, came out at a massive 10.7% ABV. Despite the big alcohol content, this beer is incredibly smooth, letting the intense tropical & citrus notes shine with a glorious lingering hoppiness.”
How’s this for beer business water cooler talk…
“Sapporo U.S.A., maker of the number one selling Asian beer brand in the United States, and Stone Brewing, one of America’s largest and most innovative craft beer brands, have reached an agreement for Sapporo U.S.A. to acquire Stone Brewing. Supporting both business’ long-term growth strategies in the U.S. market, the transaction is expected to close in August 2022. “
Could this work? Sapporo already controls Anchor and aside from can label designs that are a little plain, seem to be in the same craft brewing pecking order as they were before. But though Stone has slipped into seltzers and brand extending Buenaveza lagers, it is still primarily a hop house something Sapporo is decidedly not.
Sapporo does seem to have a California heritage brewery soft spot. Stone is a world brand despite the pullback from Berlin and having both a West Coast and East Coast brewing operation has benefits. Though if I signed on to brew at Stone and I was suddenly making Sapporo for a living, it might be stunting creatively.
For some, the past bold statements from Greg Koch and initiatives to keep craft independent will be “flip flop” fodder for semi-humorous tweets but to me…
The big question that I fall back to is that despite the relative security of a stable parent company, what happens if Stone doesn’t generate money at the clip required. What happens then? Or what if Sapporo decides five years down the road that they want out of a hyper competitive California and U.S. beer market?
As with Anchor Brewing, only time will tell if the two can work together. Maybe Sapporo, Stone and Anchor can do a Hoppy Holiday lager for Christmas.
Stone Brewing is one of many who are getting back to throwing anniversary shin-digs. Below is the info for number 26.
“The Escondido “mothership” is hosting an epic affair at a size and scale never-before-seen at this location! We’re taking over the entire Bistro & beyond for the main celebration from 3pm-7pm.
Hardcore Stone fans can join the Rare Beer Festival from 12pm-3pm, which includes an exclusive beer list and festival area in the gardens PLUS early admission to the main event.
Join us for the grand finale! The festival is returning to the grassy North Promenade behind Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens – Liberty Station with beer from 50+ breweries from 11am-3pm. “
Fruit fireworks for the Fourth courtesy of Stone Brewing…
This is probably more DIPA than IPA since it clocks in at 9%. So save for a nightcap.
Stone has gone into their vaults to un-retire beers and this was the one that I wanted to try again the most, so let’s see what I think of this re-release ten years later.
Getting a matcha type nose to this initially, then that first sip is a punch of it and a punch of alcohol. I can sense that their are hops underneath but the ABV is covering it well. The tea is solidly second place throughout. I get a tiny squeeze of lemon as well to add another dimension. Glad this is in a 12oz can for sure.
One quarter of the year gone by in a flash. Now it is time for spring-y beers or as they should be called in SoCal, early summer ales.
~ e-visits to (3) breweries that will be pouring at the return of the Firestone Walker Invitational
~ special featured reviews of press review beers from Figueroa Mountain, Stone and Firestone Walker
~Heads-Up on Los Angeles Beer Events
~ Three suggested beers to buy this month. One light, one medium and one dark
~ A Book & A Beer reads South to America by Imani Perry
~ A Podcast & A Beer listens to History Hit with Dan Snow
~ Great Beer names and Best Beers of the Month
~ I will tap the Firkin and give my no holds barred opinion on the craft beer world.