Double IPA – American: Stone 18th Anniversary IPA

Stone 18th Anniversary IPA

This week I’m writing about a beer I had a little while ago, and may be a little hard to come by now. It definitely deserves a mention though. This Friday’s beer is Stone 18th Anniversary IPA. A beer brewed for the 18th Anniversary of the company. And, of course it’s an IPA! It’s what Stone has become known for over the years.

Let’s start with Stone‘s description of the beer.

As we compose the text for this celebratory beer‐a golden‐brown India pale ale dry-hopped exclusively and abundantly with El Dorado hops‐we stand ready to leap from the precipice of all we know into a new era for our company, our beers and, most importantly, our fans. It’s one that will see us exploring new territory, both geographically and creatively, as we evolve from pacesetters for the American craft brewing movement to cross‐planetary champions of the worldwide cause of craft, hoisting our banner to proclaim artisanal beers’ vast superiority over stripped‐down, business-driven, industrialized, fizzy, yellow mediocrity. We thank you for shadowing us for the first 18 years of our journey, and welcome you to join us for next leg and all that follows.

I won’t spoil what’s on the back of the bottle, as these are still around. Just make sure if you get one now, drink it asap! Stone’s IPA’s are never meant to last long. Quite a modest description for Stone, which I like. However, there’s still the comment about the larger brewers. It’s a good description, it celebrates their journey so far and gives you a tiny insight into the beer with the fact they use El Dorado Hops.

Let’s start with the malts in this one, 2-Row Pale, Crystal with a small amount of English Brown Malt and Briess Dark Roasted Malt. This is how it gets it’s colour and also some of the complex flavours that I will talk about a little later. As for the Hops, as it says in the description:- El Dorado Hops are used in both the boil and Dry Hop during Fermentation. El Dorado Hops are relatively new to the table, and I think it was quite brave of Stone to only use them in such a high profile offering.

When you pour this beer, it pours a Ruby colour with Golden sides and a medium white head. It really does look nice in the glass. It leaves dotty lacing on the glass as the head dissipates to a Thin Foam on the top of the beer. On the nose there’s loads of Lemon, a little Liquorice, Pine and some slight Cocoa. The way this beer looks and smells makes you want to drink it straight away, I haven’t written about a beer that looks this good in the glass for a little while! On the palate, the first thing you get is Toffee and Liquorice, followed by a big Lemony Citrus kick, ending with some bitter Orange peel and Pine. The Lemon flavour carries through the entire time, tied in with some complex coffee and toffee undertone. This beer feels quite light in the mouth, is medium carbonated and ends quite dry. What a fantastic beer, one that I wish Stone would brew again! I’d recommend it if you can get hold of one now, but in a few months it may be worth passing up.

I purchased Stone’s 18th Anniversary beer at Bottledog in Kings Cross, unfortunately I can’t find anywhere online in the UK to grab one of these. Even if you can’t this time, I’d recommend looking around August time for their 19th Anniversary beer, they’re always good!

EST. CALORIES: 255   ABV: 8.5%

Session Ale – American: Odell Loose Leaf

This Wednesday, something a little bit different. Sometimes over Christmas you need something you can drink all day around the family without getting too… squiffy. That’s usually where the Bud Lights and Carlings come into the world. But not anymore. There’s been a lot of flavourful Session Beers out this year, and today I’m writing about Odell’s Loose Leaf.

Let’s start with Odell’s description of the beer:

You know those epic days that start with an idea, turn into a dare and end with a great story to tell? This is the beer for those days. Crisp and refreshing like any respectable session ale, but a bit more hop-forward and flavorful than some. Perfect for going with the flow.

There’s a longer description on the bottle, but that’s for you to find out about if you buy this beer! As usual, modest with a bit of a story and an insight into how the beer is going to taste. Odell are gunning for a crisp and refreshing, almost Pilsner type beer with a hop kick by the sounds of things!

After tasting this beer, I think it’s simple but effective recipe wise. I couldn’t find any hints at the recipe for this one, so research drew a blank. For the malts, Extra Pale Maris Otter and Pilsner malt are used for the Extra Pale look and feel, but a bit of bready, biscuity flavour. The hops are Centennial, Crystal, a bit of Sorachi Ace and Cluster with a Centennial Dry Hop during fermentation. It’s fermented with an American Ale yeast.

This beer pours a light Golden Colour with a Medium sized head which retains well. It leaves sticky lacing on the sides of the glass. A great looking beer, almost Pilsner like. On the nose there’s lots of Citrus – Lemon, Grapefruit, Melon and a touch of Orange. After this there’s earthy, spicy aromas and some breadyness from the Malts. The flavour follows the nose, starting with a Citrus kick, fading to Earthy and Spicy notes and finishing Malty and bready. There’s a slight Spicy and Floral aftertaste. This beer is quite fizzy, as all “session” beers are, but it goes will with the flavour letting the Sharp and Crisp aspects of the flavours come out. It finishes medium sweet. I really do recommend this beer for partying over the Christmas period, or even chilling with your Family on Christmas Day. At least you can have 6 of these without worrying instead of making a fool of yourself after 3 big Imperial Stouts! (ha!)

Unfortunately, a lot of beer is out of stock during the Christmas Period but you can purchase Loose Leaf at the following:

Beers of Europe

Ales By Mail

Beautiful Beers

Unfortunately, Odell do not ship directly to the UK but contacting Beers of Europe or Beer Ritz for a big order would be a start!

EST. CALORIES: 135   ABV: 4.5%

Fruit IPA – English: Pressure Drop Nanban Kanpai

Although the weather is getting worse, I’m going to crack on with a few more warm (or humid and cloudy) weather beers that I think are great. This week a Wheat Beer/IPA/Fruit Beer mash up from a local brewery, Pressure Drop (Hackney, London). This is a wheat IPA brewed with Oranges and some other citrus fruits. This one is a serious refresher, and seems to be a limited edition or rotating brew as it isn’t even mentioned on the brewery’s website.

Let’s start with Pressure Drop’s description:

Wheat IPA brewed with Yuzu, Orange and Grapefruit

An extremely short description of the beer from Pressure Drop, but they are always a company that leave the tasting notes to you and the rubbish about evil corporate brewers behind. I always get the impression that they don’t bother themselves with anything apart from brewing some good beers.

After doing a little bit of research and talking to their representatives at London Craft Beer Festival I discovered a little bit about the recipe. First, we have the malts which I believe to be, 50% Pale Malt and 50% Wheat Malt. As for the hops, I think they have used Citra and Riwaka hops to go with the Yuzu, Orange and Grapefruit. The hops and fruit really compliment each other and it’s a great choice for this recipe. Whoever came up with this recipe know what they’re talking about!

When you pour this beer it seems quite flat and doesn’t leave much of a head, but it’s an impressive cloudy bright orange. The next thing you notice is a crazy citrus and tropical fruit smell coming from the glass which is unlike any other smell I’ve had from a beer before. You also get some gooseberry, a strange tropical juice and blood orange. This is truly a unique brew before you even taste it! After tasting, initial notes of grapefruit and orange rind, some lychee finishing with lots of tangerine and grapefruit reminiscent Yuzu fruit. As I said this beer isn’t really that carbonated, but it has just enough to make the flavours sparkle. It finishes very sweet but with sour undertones. I can imagine drinking this beer on a beach out of a pineapple! This really is a beer for beer lovers, and one to introduce cocktail lovers to what beer can really be like!

Overall, this is a truely unique brew and I recommend you try it!

You can purchase Nanban Kanpai in the UK at:

Bottledog, Kings Cross

Eebria

Alesela

As I said, it is a limited/rotating release so I’d recommend checking back occasionally if it’s out of stock.

For any bars/shops that would like to stock Pressure Drop beer, I’d recommend contacting the brewery directly. But please be aware, they don’t have barcodes on the bottles!

EST. CALORIES: 195   ABV: 6.5%