Tasting Notes: Stone Scorpion Bowl IPA from Stone Brewing

StoneSBIPAPour1000For this week’s installment of Tasting Notes, we track down some tropical fruit refreshment in a tall pour of Scorpion Bowl IPA from Stone Brewing (Escondido, California).

Released as the newest Year-Round offering to join the brewery’s respected lineup of IPAs, Stone Scorpion Bowl IPA is Stone Brewing’s take on those trendy, fruit-forward beers that are so popular right now but “with absolutely no addition of fruit.” Relying solely on Mosaic, Loral and Mandarina Bavaria hops, Stone Scorpion Bowl IPA (7.5% ABV, 76 IBUs) offers a tiki-like experience that possesses “hints of passion fruit, pineapple, tangerine, guava and mango . . . as well as strawberry, blueberry and subtle herbal notes.”

Stone Scorpion Bowl IPA is out now and available in 22 oz. bottles and on draft.  You can expect to find this new Year-Round at craft beer establishments located in Alabama, Florida, California, Virginia, and throughout the rest of Stone Brewing’s nationwide distribution area.

With all that background information now out of the way, let’s stretch the weekend out into this Monday and get into some Tasting Notes!

Tasting Notes for Stone Scorpion Bowl IPA from Stone Brewing

Appearance: This IPA pours a deep golden in color and is capped with almost two fingers of chunky, white foam.  Held to direct light, its appearance brightens and radiates with light orange and brilliant yellow hues.  The beer is impeccably clear and alive with a steady carbonation presence.  Head retention is decent, but the foam does end up reducing down to a thin ring that draws intricate lines of lace across the glass.

Aroma: Tropical notes abound as mango, cantaloupe, papaya, guava, and pineapple are all eager to greet the nose.  In addition to those fruity tones, the hops also offer a subtle musty and earthy quality that hangs out in the background.  This dynamic hop character dominates the profile, but there is just a hint of lightly sweet, bready malt that works its way in to lend some support.

Taste:  Just like the nose, this brew’s flavor is all about that tropical hop goodness.  It starts with a sweet tangerine/orange character (almost candied orange at times) that opens up to welcome notes of pineapple, passionfruit and mango.  Mixed berries then surface and bring with them some subtle floral and herbal tones.  The malts supply some nondescript but balancing sweetness, but this beer is pretty much just straight hoppy fruit punch.

Mouthfeel: On the light side of medium in body with a lighter carbonation, this beer comes across as smooth and slightly creamy.  Although it is more on the hoppy than bitter side, this IPA is still allowed to retain some West Coast bite that lingers a bit in the finish.  The ABV is well hidden and does not influence the experience really at all.  The aftertaste is a satisfying mix of various tropical fruits.

Final Thoughts: From the first sip to the last drop of this bomber, Stone Scorpion Bowl IPA definitely lives up to its name by conjuring up memories of tiki-themed, fruity drink-fueled good times.  The amount of fruit flavor that Stone Brewing coaxed out of these hops is absolutely staggering and impressive.  With that said, it was refreshing to see that the brewers did buck the low IBU trend by keeping this IPA both hoppy and bitter.  This results in a ridiculously enjoyable combination of fruitiness and hoppiness that is innovative, playful and in your face. In other words, it’s everything that an IPA from Stone Brewing should be.  Prost!

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Stone Brewing Brings White Geist Berliner Weisse Stateside for a Limited Time

StoneBerlinerWeisse_GermanCANStone Brewing (Escondido, California) has officially announced that Stone White Geist Berliner Weisse will venture over from Germany to make its debut in the U.S. beginning this week.

Available in Europe as a Year-Round offering from Stone Brewing – Berlin, Stone White Geist is an authentic take on the Berliner Weisse-style that “gains its orthodox lightly sour and acidic character from a specially selected historic Lactobacillus strain sourced from Berlin’s cultures.”  Well . . . mostly authentic because you know Stone Brewing had to put its own twist on the style by raising the ABV a bit to 4.7%. Rounded off with newer German hop varieties (Calista and Hüll Melon), Stone White Geist Berliner Weisse’s “aroma leads with lemon, peach and melon and the unexpectedly bold and pleasantly refreshing tart flavor punches above its ABV weight.”

“As global participants in the craft beer community, Stone has the unique opportunity to share beers across locations, highlighting the different local and regional influences along the way,” stated Greg Koch, Stone Brewing executive chairman & co-founder. “Stone White Geist Berliner Weisse features the work of our talented team at Stone Berlin, and we’re truly honored to be among Berlin’s craft brewers taking charge as the revivalists to help return this style to its former glory.”

Stone White Geist Berliner Weisse will debut in California beginning this week and a “broad national launch” will follow in the fall of this year.  Once fully released, you can expect to find this Limited Release available in 6-packs of 0.33l cans and on draft at select craft beer-friendly retailers, bars and restaurants in Alabama, Florida, California, Virginia and throughout the rest of Stone Brewing’s nationwide distribution footprint.  Prost!

Vital Information for Stone White Geist Berliner Weisse from Stone Brewing

Release – Limited; California in May 2018, national this fall 
Style – Berliner Weisse
ABV – 4.7%
IBUs – 12
Featured Hops – Calista & Hüll Melon
Fun Fact – On the style’s history: “The Berliner Weisse is a style dating back to at least the 16th century, and to this day, European appellation labeling standards require that a beer must be brewed within the city of Berlin to call the beer a ‘Berliner Weisse.’ A complex sour beer, the style was once honored by Napoleon as the ‘Champagne of the North.’ It’s now enjoying a resurgence by small brewers in the US and elsewhere in the world, many of whom are creating amazing variations with fruit and other creative additives. As Stone deepens its roots in the city of Berlin, it seems only fitting that the team would take an interest in exploring the style in its purest and most authentic form.”
Availability – 6-packs of 0.33l cans & draft
Beer Finder – https://find.stonebrewing.com/#ready

Tasting Notes: Aloha! Berlin from Stone Brewing & Maui Brewing Co.

StoneMauiBottleThis week’s installment of Tasting Notes has us fending off the midweek malaise with a very special bottle of Aloha! Berlin Imperial Coconut Porter from Stone Brewing (Escondido, California) and Maui Brewing Co. (Kihei, Hawaii).

Originally released back in late 2016 as the first of fourteen Stone Groundbreaking Collaborations brewed to commemorate the opening of Stone Berlin, Aloha! Berlin is an Imperial Coconut Porter that carries on a long history of collaboration between Stone Brewing and Maui Brewing Co.  Filled with “the welcoming spirit of the Aloha State”, Aloha! Berlin echoes past collaborations between the two breweries as it showcases “ingredients familiar to the islands – rich coffee and pounds of hand-toasted coconut – and introduces hazelnuts into the mix.”  Clocking in at 9.3% ABV, Aloha! Berlin boasts an experience “deeply rooted in Hawaii, San Diego, Europe and friendship, capturing the true essence of the word ‘aloha,’ which also means on a deeper level ‘joyfully sharing life.'”

Although Aloha! Berlin was originally released in 2016 via a special-order campaign, a limited amount of it and six other Stone Groundbreaking Collaborations were re-released back in December of 2017.  It may be a bit more difficult to track them down these days, but a few of these 750ml and 1.5L bottles might still be tucked away on shelves at select craft beer establishments located in Alabama, Florida, California, Virginia and throughout the rest of Stone Brewing’s distribution footprint.

That should just about wrap up this beer’s background info, so let’s properly introduce Aloha! Berlin to a glass and get into these Tasting Notes!

Tasting Notes for Aloha! Berlin Imperial Coconut Porter from Stone Brewing & Maui Brewing Co.

Appearance: Aloha! Berlin pours a seemingly black in color and wears right at a finger of almond colored foam.  When held to direct light, the color opens – especially at the edges – to reveal that this Imperial Porter is actually a rich, dark brown.  The beer is opaque, but a pulse of carbonation can be seen near the edges of the glass.  Head retention is decent, but it does eventually fall to a lasting ring that leaves behind chunky lace patterns after each pull.

Aroma: Toasted coconut leads the aromatics with a supporting cast of mixed nuts – mostly hazelnuts and cashews.  Coffee rises up to establish a bit of earthiness and a whole lot of roasty goodness.  That roast then draws your attention to the underlying malts that also offer notes of indulgent caramel and bittersweet chocolate.

Taste: A firm Porter base establishes itself first with really nice layers of dark chocolate, caramel and toffee.  A toasted coconut presence that is both sweet and booze soaked then emerges alongside a dollop of cream.  Just before the entire experience becomes awash with a closing flood of roasted coffee, a European influence settles in as hazelnuts ride in on another layer of rich chocolate.  There is a lot at work here, but it is all nuanced and ridiculously tasty.

Mouthfeel:  Sitting on the fuller side of medium in body with a moderate carbonation level, this beer has a great weight that maintains a smooth, easy sippin’ experience. Although it is mostly sweet on the palate, the roast from the coffee brings out a nice bitterness that assists with balance and keeps this thing from getting cloying.  The ABV does bring a touch of heat to the throat and further promotes this beer’s intention to be a sipper.  The aftertaste leaves behind some dark chocolate and coffee.

Final Thoughts:  Aloha! Berlin comes together as a wonderful mashup of a solid but larger representation of Maui Brewing’s respected Coconut Hiwa Porter and Stone Brewing’s love of everything that is unapologetically big and bold.  That combo on its own is more than enough to result in an amazing beer, but they took this experience to the next level by recognizing the establishment of Stone Berlin with the addition of hazelnuts – an ingredient that is often used in German treats and chocolates.  All of these layers result in a sip that simultaneously possesses plenty of tropical goodness, a European quality that has a comforting familiarity, a robust coffee character that serves as some middle ground, and a careful mix of the three that translates as a slightly scaled back, not-so-sweet German chocolate cake note.  It is everything you could possible want when you see a beer label that reads “Aloha! Berlin Imperial Coconut Porter“.  It is all things Maui Brewing Co. . . . It is all things Stone Brewing . . . and it is abundantly clear why this offering served as the first of the fourteen beers in this series.  If you are lucky enough to run across this beer out in the wild, you owe it to yourself to try it.  Prost!

Stone Brewing Expands its Exploration of Hops with Release of VirtuALE IPA

Virtuale_22ozBottle_MockupStone Brewing (Escondido, California) has officially announced the release of Stone VirtuALE IPA as an unexpected addition to their 2018 lineup of Special Releases.

Inspired by the literary works of Ernest Cline and meant to serve as “the latest liquid exploration into the world of experimental hop technology”, Stone VirtuALE IPA positions Stone Brewing as “the first to put to use INCOGNITO™, a brand new proprietary technique for processing hops.”  This new process yields “Citra and Mosaic extracts [that highlight] different qualities of the otherwise familiar hops” to give Stone VirtuALE IPA mind-expanding aromatic notes of “berries, resin, floral, orange blossom, grape and grapefruit.”  The experience goes on to showcase “flavors of berry upon grapefruit and hibiscus . . . complemented by a light hint of honey.”  Weighing in at 7.7% ABV and 72 IBUs, Stone VirtuALE IPA comes together to be an American India Pale Ale “with West Coast bitter roots and a dank hop kick that finishes surprisingly tropical.”

“We were fortunate to be asked by one of our hop suppliers, John I. Haas, to participate in an early trial using this new hop product,” said Jeremy Moynier, Stone Brewing senior innovation brewing manager. “We have worked with different people in the industry doing hop trials for several years at Stone. We have played with some hop extracts as well, which can add an exciting dimension to our innovation process. We’ve tested some of these in combination with other hops and in this case, we combined hop pellets with hops from the INCOGNITO™ process. The final beer is definitely unique, adding another dimension to this really cool IPA.”

Stone VirtuALE IPA is available now and will hang around as long as supplies last.  You can expect to find this Special Release available in 22 oz. bottles and on draft at craft beer establishments located in Florida, California, Virginia and in other select states found within Stone Brewing’s distribution footprint.  Prost!

Vital Information for Stone VirtuALE IPA from Stone Brewing

Release – Limited/Special, late March/April 2018
Style – American India Pale Ale
ABV – 7.7%
IBUs – 72
Featured Hops – Magnum, Citra & Mosaic
Availability – 22 oz. bottles & draft
Distribution – FL, AZ, AK, CA, CO, DE, GA, IA, ID, IL IN, MA, MD, MI, MN, MO, NC, NE, NJ NM, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, SC, TX, VA, VT, WA and WI
Beer Finder – https://find.stonebrewing.com/#ready

Craft Brewers Nationwide Collaborate on Epic Bottle Auction For ‘We Are Stoneman Douglas’ Charity Event

50 vintage and rare signed bottles from over two dozen breweries will auction online to raise funds for victims’ families and survivors of the tragic Parkland, FL shooting.

 

OAKLAND PARK, FL (April 5, 2018) – Following the horrific events at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida this past February, brewers from across the country are coming together to offer assistance and support to those affected most. Over two dozen brewers nationwide have donated rare and vintage bottles of beer — many of which are signed by owners, founders, and head brewers from companies such as Stone Brewing, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, and more — in what has become an epic and unique lot of craft beer for the ages.

This lot is being auctioned online via the We Are Stoneman Douglas site (https://one.bidpal.net/wearemsd, click “Auction Items” on menu) with proceeds benefiting the Broward Education Foundation’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas fund. One hundred percent of all funds generated by this project will directly benefit the families of victims, survivors, and those affected by this tragedy. A second lot of signed barrel-aged and vintage beers from Funky Buddha Brewery, and a private dinner for 30, will also be auctioned.

This online auction (with over 50 other incredible auction items) is being organized by the Parkland Golf & Country Club located in Parkland, FL with assistance from Funky Buddha Brewery in Oakland Park, Florida. Individuals can bid on the online auctions through Sunday, April 8th. Due to regulations, these bottle lots will be available for local pickup only.

“This has been an amazing show of support and solidarity from brewers around the country, most of whom signed on and contributed unbelievable beers within minutes,” says Ryan Sentz, co-founder of Funky Buddha Brewery and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School graduate. “Although this tragedy was horrific beyond words, we can take heart in the incredible response from the community and others that shows we have the strength and bravery to rise above it and make a true difference in people’s lives.”
 
Bottles include (pictured above):
Funky Buddha Lot:
buddhabottlesweb

**Editor’s Note: The writers at Mashing In typically prefer to write their own content, but we all decided it was best to immediately post this press release verbatim due to its important subject matter and the timely nature of this auction.**

Totalitarian Imperial Russian Stout Debuts for Stone Brewing

StoneTIRSbottlesStone Brewing (Escondido, California) has officially launched Stone Totalitarian Imperial Russian Stout as its newest Special Release offering.

Moving in as the successor to the fan-favorite Stone Imperial Russian Stout that was developed in 2000 and discontinued in 2016, Stone Totalitarian Imperial Russian Stout has arrived with an upgraded recipe that boasts “the careful addition of Belma hops and flaked oats.”  Although the beer retains the original recipe’s old-world nature by pouring “jet-black with a fluffy chocolate head and [tasting] of deeply dark fruit flavors with rich chocolate and coffee overtones”, the added flaked oats enhance the beer’s “long-lasting smooth and silky finish” while the new-world Belma hops “[intensify] its berry flavors and aroma while subtly introducing a juicy melon undertone.”  In an impressive show of force, Stone Totalitarian Imperial Russian Stout flexes its power with a 10.6% ABV and 65 IBUs.

“Our most devout fans don’t surrender quietly when we discontinue beers or skip Stone Special Release favorites,” said Jeremy Moynier, Stone Brewing senior manager of brewing & innovation, and nearly 14-year Stone veteran. “We always tell them they may see it again and in this case, the one year hiatus was well worth the wait. The additional hops and flaked oats add a new layer of complexity and mouthfeel that truly enhance an already remarkable beer.”

Stone Totalitarian Imperial Russian Stout is available now and has plans to remain on shelves and taps into the month of July 2018.  You can expect to find this Special Release available in 22 oz. bottles, 6-packs of 12 oz. bottles and on draft at craft beer-focused establishments located in Alabama, Florida, California, Virginia and throughout the rest of Stone Brewing’s nationwide distribution area.  Prost!

Vital Information for Stone Totalitarian Imperial Russian Stout from Stone Brewing

Release – Special Release, mid-March through early July 2018
Style – Russian Imperial Stout
ABV – 10.6%
IBUs – 65
Featured Hops – Magnum & Belma
Fun Fact – On the style’s history at Stone Brewing: “When the densely dark Stone Imperial Russian Stout was still in its infancy, the style wasn’t recognized by the US Government’s agency regulating brewery labels. They thought it implied that the beer was brewed in Russia rather than being an historic English style that had originally been brewed for the Russian court. We had three options:

1. Name the beer simply Stone Imperial Stout
2. Name the beer Stone Imperial Russian-Style Stout
3. Fight back
The team embarked on a three-year naming battle before finally earning the style’s full recognition for Stone and all fellow US brewers. Stone Imperial Russian Stout was born as obstinate as it returns.”
Availability – 22 oz. bottles, 6-packs of 12 oz. bottles & draft
Beer Finder – https://find.stonebrewing.com/#ready

Stone Brewing Adds Scorpion Bowl IPA to Year-Round Lineup

ScorpionBowl_22ozMock_FinalStone Brewing (Escondido, California) has officially launched Stone Scorpion Bowl IPA as its newest Year-Round release.

Here to prove that you can load a massive amount of juicy fruit goodness into an India Pale Ale “with absolutely no addition of fruit”, the brewers at Stone Brewing gave Stone Scorpion Bowl IPA the power to pack “a mouthwatering fruit punch to the palate” with only the use of floral and citrusy Mosaic, Loral and Mandarina Bavaria hops.  “Refreshing but with just the right amount of bitterness”, Stone Scorpion Bowl IPA (7.5% ABV) stays true to its tiki roots thanks to that hop bill supplying “hints of passion fruit, pineapple, tangerine, guava and mango . . . as well as strawberry, blueberry and subtle herbal notes.”

“Stone Scorpion Bowl IPA was initially brewed with the intent to add fruit,” said Jeremy Moynier, Stone Brewing senior innovation brewing manager. “However, once we brewed it, we couldn’t believe the amazing fruit aroma and flavors we’d coaxed from the hops alone. To heck with the fruit!”

Stone Scorpion Bowl IPA is available now in 22 oz. bottles and on draft.  You can expect to find this new Year-Round brew at craft beer-focused establishments located in Alabama, Florida, California, Virginia and throughout the rest of Stone Brewing’s nationwide distribution area.  Prost!

Vital Information for Stone Scorpion Bowl IPA from Stone Brewing

Release – Year-Round, nationwide launch begins March 2018
Style – American India Pale Ale
ABV – 7.5%
IBUs – 76
Featured Hops – Mosaic, Loral & Mandarina Bavaria
Availability – 22 oz. bottles & draft
Beer Finder – https://find.stonebrewing.com/#ready

Stone Brewing’s Exalted IPA Makes Seasonal Debut

2018_ExaltedIPA_12ozCan_FinalStone Brewing (Escondido, California) has announced that it is officially launching its Hop Worship Seasonal IPA Series with the release of Stone Exalted IPA.

In an act of continued devotion to the divinity of hops, Stone Brewing has established the Hop Worship Series as a lineup of seasonally released India Pale Ales that challenges “Stone’s zealous brewers . . . to take their passion for hops to the next level.”  Emerging as the first offering from this new series, Stone Exalted IPA (7% ABV, 55 IBUs) has been bestowed with the “divine qualities of Loral and Citra hops [to give] this beer beautiful aromas of fresh citrus, elegant floral notes and mild grain and wheat characteristics.”  These ambrosial aromas carry over into the flavor with notes of lemon and lime that are “accented by Thai basil and a big floral component, resulting in a beer that is crisp with lingering citrus flavors and bitterness.”

“Our brewing team really knows a thing or two about their hops. Stone Exalted IPA is an exemplary display of their ability to create entirely new flavor profiles with the careful execution of hop blending. I certainly find myself on higher ground thanks to their incredible work.”

– Greg Koch, Stone Brewing Executive Chairman & co-founder

Stone Exalted IPA is officially available now and has plans to hang around through May.  You can expect to find this new Seasonal offering available in 6-packs of 12 oz. cans and on draft at craft beer establishments located in Alabama, Florida, California, Virginia and throughout the rest of Stone Brewing’s nationwide distribution footprint.  Prost!

Vital Information for Stone Exalted IPA from Stone Brewing

Release – Hop Worship Seasonal IPA Series, February – May 2018
Style – American India Pale Ale
ABV – 7%
IBUs – 55
Featured Hops – Citra & Loral
Availability – 6-packs of 12 oz. cans & draft
Beer Finder – https://find.stonebrewing.com/

 

Stone Brewing Files Lawsuit Against MillerCoors

GK_ProjectGargoyle_1x1Stone Brewing (Escondido, California) announced today that it has filed suit to defend its iconic STONE® brand against one of the world’s largest beer conglomerates, MillerCoors.

Widely known for its commitment to never sell out to Big Beer, Stone Brewing is now boldly stepping up to Big Beer by filing a lawsuit that “alleges that MillerCoors is trying to rebrand its Colorado Rockies-themed ‘Keystone’ beer as ‘STONE.'”  Stone Brewing feels that this rebrand – a move that has led to the repeated and habitual reference to Keystone Light as simply “STONE” or “‘STONE” in MillerCoors’ marketing and social media posts – can only lead to confusion in the marketplace, leaving the craft brewery with “no choice but to combat MillerCoors’ aggressive marketing moves, which abandon Keystone’s own heritage by falsely associating with the one true STONE®.”  The official Complaint goes on to allege “federal and state causes of action for unfair competition, trademark infringement and related claims.”

“Keystone’s rebranding is no accident,” said Dominic Engels, Stone Brewing CEO. “MillerCoors tried to register our name years ago and was rejected. Now its marketing team is making 30-pack boxes stacked high with nothing but the word ‘STONE’ visible. Same for Keystone’s social media, which almost uniformly has dropped the ‘Key.’ We will not stand for this kind of overtly and aggressively deceptive advertising. Frankly, MillerCoors should be ashamed.”

Stone Brewing is represented in the lawsuit by Noah Hagey, Rebecca Horton and Toby Rowe of San Francisco litigation boutique BraunHagey & Borden LLP.

For more information on this lawsuit, you can check out the video below where Greg Koch, Stone Brewing executive chairman & co-founder, explains his brewery’s stance and reasons for pursuing this action.  Since this situation is ongoing, we will be sure to update you here with any and all information as it develops.  Stay tuned.  Prost!

Stone Brewing Releases Loral & Dr. Rudi’s Inevitable Adventure Double IPA

Inevit_FBStone Brewing (Escondido, California) recently announced that it has officially begun the Limited Release of Stone Loral & Dr. Rudi’s Inevitable Adventure Double IPA.

Emerging as an unlikely union of new and old hop varietals, Stone Loral & Dr. Rudi’s Inevitable Adventure Double IPA introduces the popular and trendy Loral hop (released in 2016) to the long-standing old timer known as Dr. Rudi (a.k.a. Super Alpha, available since 1976).  With 40 years separating these two hops, shenanigans ensue as this Double India Pale Ale plays Loral’s tones of “citrus, peach and . . . fresh berries” against Dr. Rudi’s “classic piney and herbal notes.”  As unexpected as it may be, Stone Loral & Dr. Rudi’s Inevitable Adventure Double IPA comes together to be “refreshing, crisp and smooth with mild bitterness and an ABV (8.9%) that boosts the overall aromas and flavors of this inevitable adventure.”

“We have been a bit obsessed with Loral hops lately,” said Jeremy Moynier, Stone Brewing Senior Innovation Manager. “We’re loving its bright, floral qualities and have been impressed with the hop on its own and blended with others. Dr. Rudi is an older hop, one we haven’t used much lately and we were blown away by how the two complement one another – a good example of how sometimes opposites attract.”

Stone Loral & Dr. Rudi’s Inevitable Adventure Double IPA is officially available now and will hang around into the month of June.  You can expect to find this Limited Release available in 22 oz. bottles, 6-packs of 12 oz. bottles and on draft at select craft beer establishments located in Alabama, Florida, California, Virginia, and throughout the rest of Stone Brewing’s nationwide distribution area.  Prost!

Vital Information for Stone Loral & Dr. Rudi’s Inevitable Adventure Double IPA from Stone Brewing

Release – Limited, February – June 2018
Style – Double India Pale Ale
ABV – 8.9%
IBUs – 84
Featured Hops – Loral & Dr. Rudi 
Availability – 22 oz. bottles, 6-packs of 12 oz. bottles & draft
Beer Finder – https://find.stonebrewing.com/#ready