Stone Brewing Co.
Escondido, CA

Style: American Strong Ale
ABV: 7.2%
Stone Brewing is a California brand that needs no introduction for anyone who fancies himself a “beer aficionado.” They’ve been a craft legacy brewer since the early to mid- 90’s and foisted their Arrogant Bastard upon the world in 1997, along with the “you are not worthy” word-of-mouth marketing campaign. It was such a big deal, the Great American Beer Festival is alleged to have created a new category, American Strong Ale, to house it as it defied traditional categorization.

With California roots, it’s not shy with the Humulus lupulus. Pouring a dark red pruny color, it holds a thin head throughout the pour. The nose is dry hopped and the first sip continues very dry. There is a big, faintly malty body of fruit, pine, and mild citrus notes dominated by the big, hoppy aromas of their classified blend. It finishes dry with a lingering bitterness.

It’s a big beer, obviously, and one to please hopheads or someone in the big-IPA mood.