Stone Brewing | Stone IPA
ABV: 6.9% | IBU: 77
I have become something of a fresh IPA snob. With so many amazing hoppy ales to choose from these days, once you’ve tasted a super fresh IPA, it becomes difficult to stomach a dust-covered bottle that says India Pale Ale, but doesn’t include a bottled on date. Have you had a Stone Ruination bottled the same month you bought it? WOW. The difference is palpable.
Under normal circumstances, i.e.: Living in America, this is typically a non-issue – as many of the best beers have date codes. But moving to Switzerland, which is outrageous, and not living in a major city means access to true American-style IPAs have become limited. Cue the violin and tears.
Of course I’m amped to try new, local beers and have been enjoying my fair share. But sometimes the familiar hankering for a fresh, hoppy American IPA overwhelms me. And in my “research”, I’ve found that A) India Pale Ales in Switzerland generally means pale ale brewed with Belgian yeast and 2) American IPAs in Switzerland must be based on an America from a parallel universe, because it’s generally just not quite the same. Now, I have discovered the occasional Sierra Nevada Torpedo – which is of course great, but as of yet, not all that fresh. The struggle is real.
So, when I learned of a local distributor that claims to sell fresh beer from the land of the free, home of the brave, I naturally dropped everything and made my way for the Promised Land. And the promise was fulfilled. Front and center, as I walked into the warehouse, was Stone Brewing IPA stacked to the ceiling. I nearly fell over when I saw this bounty. You see, I had forgotten Stone has now begun brewing beer in Berlin. And when I turned a can over, the Canned On Date was only two weeks prior. My salvation was at hand.
Now, a funny thing occurred to me as I labored to stuff the distributor’s entire inventory of said beer into a tiny Euro-hatchback. I had never had regular ol’ Stone IPA. I double checked my Untappd feed, since if it didn’t happen on social media, it didn’t happen in real life. And sure enough, there was no check-in. This can be explained by my other beer-related disorder – Shiny New Thing Syndrome. If you visit Stone’s website, there are no fewer than TWELVE different India Pale Ale options. And that doesn’t include all the ‘Enjoy By’ releases or collaborations. Due to my aforementioned disease, when shopping for beer, I am forced to buy the latest, shiniest new beer, not one released 19 years ago – pffft.
Well, allow me to rescind my pffft of Stone’s IPA. In my fervor for a fresh, truly American-style IPA I may have gone a little berserk and drained many beers. When my Beer Hanger had subsided, I stopped to enjoy this classic. And, to the surprise of no one anywhere ever, it’s excellent. A bright golden pour with a bright white head, this beer hits on all off the qualifications I’m looking for in an American IPA – bitter, citrus and pine. In that order. With just enough malt to balance things out. I could, and continue to, drink this beer every day. When I get back to the States, I’ll continue to seek out the latest and seemingly most interesting new brews on the shelf. But I also know what beer will be a perpetual staple in my fridge.
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