Saturday, January 2, 2016

Stone Brewing Co. -- Enjoy After 12.26.15 Brett IPA

This beer is thanks to my buddy Brian and his wife Jenn who gave it to me for my birthday in January.  I faithfully cellared it in my closet waiting for this beer to age.

This beer is a Brett IPA, which the bottle describes as being spiked with Brettanomyces, a wild yeast "that, over time, brings about charmingly unpredictable complexities of spice, funk, acidity and more."  The idea behind this beer to follow in the footsteps of the original IPAs of the 1700s.  Brettanomyces was as common yeast in the barrels used to age those IPAs.  I like the idea of tasting beer the way it was originally enjoyed.  Part of why this beer requires aging until December 26, 2015 is so it can carbonate in the bottle.  I enjoyed mine on January 2, 2016 and found it to be lightly carbonated; however, the foamy head was a little out of control.  Initially when I poured it the glass was entirely foam.  Looking around online I did not have a unique experience.  With a lot of patience it receded enough so I could add some more until I had a full glass.

Tech specs: 750 ml bottle; 7% ABV; Hops include  super galena, simcoe, delta, target, amarillo, calypso, and cascade; 70 IBU

It is a straw color, but hazy with little bits of yeast settling at the bottom like home brew.  The wild yeast definitely makes this a unique beer with some fruity citrus tang and a little bit of sweetness.  The hops give a nice initial punch, and then they balance with the malt to give a lingering hoppy flavor.  This is my first Brett beer so to me and I found the bitterness was stronger than the typical hops noticeable in an IPA.   I can see why they describe the taste as "funk" as the yeast yields its obvious contribution. 

This isn't a beer I would drink every day, but that wasn't the intent.  It says "experiment" on the bottle.  I enjoyed this beer and wish I had a few more to spread out over the next year to see if the flavor changes further.  I would be happy to drink it again.

You can read my past Stone posts: 11.11.11 Vertical EpicImperial Russian Stout, Old Guardian Belgo Barley Style Wine, and Double Bastard Ale.  Sadly, I meant to do an entry on the Stone Brewery Tour, but never got around to it -- it's awesome, and if you can get a spot it is worth it.

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