Category Archives: Stone Brewing Co.

Stone 20th Anniversary Encore Series: 14th Anniversary Emperial IPA

Brewery: Stone Brewing Co.
Country: USA
ABV: 8.9%
Style: English IPA
Other Notes: 2010 label, 2016 re-release. 100 IBUs. Hops – UK Target, Boadicea and East Kent Golding

Brewer Description: (from bottle) We went to England this past spring as self-styled “IPA Hunters” on a mission to learn more about the confusing and often contradictory history or India pale ale – to look for some certainty where those before us have found mostly mystery and mercantilism. While our success in this pursuit is open to debate, there can be no question that we returned home inspired by the ghosts of Burton and by the experience of poring over 150-year-old brewers’ logs handwritten in (India?) ink. Stone Brewing Co., after all, traces its lineage back to the British Empire’s brewing history: We make ales, and all of our original offerings used traditional British styles as a jumping-off point. If this seems a roundabout way of letting you know that, yes, we are in fact brewing another IPA to mark our Anniversary, well, so be it.

This one, however, promises to be different! From the imported white malt to the “Burtonised” water to the rare yeast strain to the most pungent hops Kent has to offer, we used all-British ingredients to brew our “Emperial” IPA. While we may have brewed Stone 14th Anniversary Emperial IPA with our own distinctively modern, San Diego-style touch, what good is history if you can’t rewrite it to suit your tastes?

In this case, our tastes called for highly intemperate quantities of Target, East Kent Golding and Boadicea hops, bestowing upon this dry-bodied ale a powerfully spicy, earthy aroma. On the palate, peppery hops assert themselves early and often, with malt sweetness making a brief appearance before being beaten back by a long, complex and decisively bitter finish. What better way to contemplate the fate of empires past, present and future?

My rating: 3
My beeradvocate.com rating: 3.86
My ratebeer.com rating: 3.7

Intro: A 22 oz bomber, bottled on 22nd October 2016, and poured into a Spiegelau IPA glass.
Appearance: A slightly hazy pale golden orange colour with a one finger white head that had good retention and left nice lacing.
Aroma: Caramel and pine with fruity apricot jam, orange and perhaps a touch herbal.
Taste: Caramel malt, biscuit sweetness, light lemon tea, followed by pine, herbal and lingering citrus bitterness.
Mouthfeel: Dry-ish, medium to light bodied with moderate to light carbonation.
Overall: This was an interesting English DIPA with nice maltiness and hops.

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Stone Xocoveza

Brewery: Stone Brewing Co.
Country: USA
ABV: 8.1%
Style: Milk / Sweet Stout
Other Notes: 50 IBUs. Hops – English Challenger and East Kent Golding. Brewed with cocoa, coffee, peppers, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg

Brewer Description: (from bottle) There’s nothing like making a beer so beloved that people feel compelled to campaign for its return. So, in the spirit of the holiday season, we are very pleased to give our fans the number one item on their wish lists. That, as illustrated by the avalanche of social media requests, is Stone Xocoveza, an insanely delicious take on Mexican hot chocolate brewed with cocoa, coffee, pasilla peppers, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg. First brewed in 2014 with San Diego homebrewer Chris Banker after his recipe was named the winner of our annual homebrew competition, this beer is layered with smooth roastiness, chocolate and a touch of spice. This creamy, semisweet mocha stout has gone from initially being a one-time offering to a yearly tradition thanks entirely to you. Happy holidays from all of us to all of you… and feel free to continue enjoying it long into the winter months, as this gem will age beautifully and is definitely not exclusive to the holidays!

My rating: 4
My beeradvocate.com rating: 4.08
My ratebeer.com rating: 4

Intro: A 330ml bottle, bottled on 2nd October 2016, and poured into a snifter glass.
Appearance: Dark brown in colour with a one finger brown head that dissipated fairly quickly but left nice lacing.
Aroma: Milk chocolate, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, nuttiness and peppers.
Taste: Lots of cinnamon upfront with nutmeg and mild chili pepper spiciness. Chocolate, coffee and vanilla follow.
Mouthfeel: Full bodied with low carbonation.
Overall: I was worried that this would be too sweet, but that turned out to be unfounded. The adjuncts were nice and gave it a nice winter/holiday feel to the beer. I would get this every winter and perhaps even age a few to see what happens.

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Stone 20th Anniversary Citracado IPA

Brewery: Stone Brewing Co.
Country: USA
ABV: 9%
Style: American Double IPA
Other Notes: 80 IBUs. Hops – Nugget, El Dorado, Centennial and Citra

Brewer Description: (from bottle) For 20 years our passion for brewing and our obsession with hops have challenged traditional styles and expectations for beer. So it’s only fitting we commemorate this momentous occasion by crafting a liquid ode to bold brewing that satisfies your hop thirst and pays homage to our flagship San Diego brewery, located on Citracado Parkway (which itself pays homage to the citrus and avocado agricultural history of the region).

“Citracado” also teases the two key ingredients of this beer. “Citra” refers both to the juicy gem of a hop and its citrusy (and tropical) aromas and flavors. “Cado” inspired us to utilize wonderful, native avocado flower honey. Combine the two and the result pours like silk abounds with enough hops to match our excitement for reaching this 20-year milestone. We thank you sincerely for the years of support and pledge that we will, as always, strive to live up to the reasons for your loyalty!

My rating: 3
My beeradvocate.com rating: 3.86
My ratebeer.com rating: 3.7

Intro: A 22 oz bomber, bottled on 28th August 2016, poured into a Spiegelau IPA glass.
Appearance: It poured a clear copper amber colour with a huge four finger off white head that had excellent retention and left great lacing.
Aroma: Dank pine, caramel malt with citrusy mandarin, grapefruit and orange zest. Some tropical mango and peaches appear as it warms.
Taste: Citrus grapefruit bitterness, orange zest, lemon and pine with some light malt caramel and breadiness in the background.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate to low carbonation.
Overall: It’s not bad, but I tried Stone’s 5th and 10th Anniversary IPAs over the past week and enjoyed them both slightly more than this 20th Anniversary Citracado IPA.

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Stone 20th Anniversary Encore Series: 10th Anniversary IPA

Brewery: Stone Brewing Co.
Country: USA
ABV: 10%
Style: American Double IPA
Other Notes: 2006 label, 2016 re-release. Hops – Summit, Chinook, Crystal and Simcoe

Brewer Description: (from bottle) Every one of you who spread the word has built up this brewery to what it is today. We can give no credit to a radio ad, to a TV ad or to a billboard – and I’m glad. MIKE PALMER // Team Stone since December 1998.

None of this would be possible if it weren’t for two visionaries. Greg Koch and Steve Wagner. Thanks for having the guts to go out and take a major risk and performing the near impossible. DAVE DYER // Team Stone since July 1998.

I came to the brewery almost seven years ago in response to a help wanted ad that read “if you like accounting and beer, send us your resume.” That’s for me, I thought. What the job really is, is much more than just accounting and much, much more than just beer. CONNIE GREEN // Team Stone since December 1999.

Stone is just not the company I work for, it is something I truly believe in. The culture, vision, attitude, and bragging rights over my friends and family make this company a passion for me. I appreciate all the Stone fans for their support over the years. JAKE RATZKE // Team Stone since January 2000.

My love to my family at home and to my Stone brothers and sisters and, of course, most of all to all the great Stone fans out there who make it all worth it. Cheers! MIKE LOPEZ // Team Stone since March 2000.

“Does Stone make a light beer?” NO! And stop asking, you wussies! KAREN WESTFALL // Team Stone since March 2000.

With the Stone 10th Anniversary IPA our love affair with the hop continues. My compliments and thanks to everyone who’s been a part of our history. We have an incredible Team here at Stone, and we’ve really enjoyed sharing our beers. GREG KOCH // Team Stone since October 1995.

Perhaps the most amazing thing is that after ten years there’s still so much I’d like to do with beer – more recipes to brew, experiments to try, other beers to sample and enjoy – that the next ten years won’t be nearly enough. STEVE WAGNER // Team Stone since October 1995.

My rating: 4
My beeradvocate.com rating: 3.92
My ratebeer.com rating: 3.8

Intro: A 22 oz bomber, bottled on 25th August 2016, to be enjoyed by 23rd November 2016 (drank on the 27th, so I’m four days late). Poured into a Spiegelau IPA glass.
Appearance: It poured a clear copper amber colour with a big three finger slightly off white colour with great retention and nice lacing.
Aroma: Tropical pineapple with touches of mango followed by citrusy grapefruit and mandarin, pine and a hint of caramel.
Taste: Caramel biscuit malt with a blast of tropical stone fruits, bitter citrusy mandarin and its zest with notes of pine and citrus pith.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation and boozy on the finish.
Overall: This was nice, with my only minor complaint being that I’m not too fond of a boozy feel on IPAs or Double IPAs in this case. Other than that, I found it enjoyable.

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Stone 20th Anniversary Encore Series: 5th Anniversary IPA

Brewery: Stone Brewing Co.
Country: USA
ABV: 8.5%
Style: American Double IPA
Other Notes: 2001 label, 2016 re-release

Brewer Description: (from bottle) It’s late July as I write this. Weather’s been great. Good San Diego weather – nice and hot, but not too hot. The days are like a warm burrito accented by the salsa fresca of the afternoon’s cool ocean breezes. Perfect beer-drinking weather (admittedly, I think ALL weather is perfect beer-drinking weather). August is knocking on the door. September and our 5th Anniversary Open House are just around the corner, and the phrase “going green” is beginning to take on a life of its own. Seems like I’ve been asking Steve and Lee for weeks for some hints on what they are doing with the Anniversary IPA this year and I haven’t been getting anywhere. It’s tough to rope in a brewer sometimes. So, just now I went out in the brewery looking for one of them and, lo and behold, I managed to corner them both. “OK, you guys,” I said, planting my feet firmly, “nobody’s going anywhere until you tell me what the hell we’re doing with the 5th Anniversary IPA so I can write up the label.” After a long pause and some shifty glances side to side looking for an out, they realized the only way they were going to get away from me was to give up some information. “We plan on doing a lot more dry hopping this year,” said Steve. I had kinda figured that, so no way I was going to let them off that easy. “Actually, we’re going to hop it more all around, just especially in the dry hopping,” volunteered Lee. Jokingly, Steve piped in: “Hmmm, maybe we could just pack a fermenter with hops and then fill the remaining space with fermenting beer. Heck, why not just switch the amount of malt we use with hops…that way we could add a little malt in at the end and say that we’re ‘dry-malting’ it.” Now, that’s a thought…. So, how would we describe this year’s Stone 5th Anniversary IPA in comparison to years 1-4? In a word, “more.” Enjoy it because there won’t be any more Anniversary IPAs after this one…

My rating: 4
My beeradvocate.com rating: 3.95
My ratebeer.com rating: 3.8

Intro: A 22 oz bomber, bottled on 25th August 2016, to be enjoyed by 23rd November 2016 (drank on the 26th, so I’m three days late). Poured into a Spiegelau IPA glass.
Appearance: It poured a clear copper amber colour with a big three finger white head with pretty good retention and nice lacing.
Aroma: Citrus zest mostly mandarin and lemon, grapefruit, pine, biscuity malt and flowery.
Taste: Biscuity malt, light caramel sweetness, mandarin, orange zest bitterness, a hint of tropical mango and peach, with a light floral and herbal element.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.
Overall: I was not impressed with my first sip, BUT actually, this got a lot better the more I drank it. Its not too sweet and not too bitter in my opinion, which seems to be a rare thing with Double IPAs these days. I enjoyed it, especially the more I had.

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