Friday, August 28, 2009

59. Stone Pale Ale

Stone Pale Ale is from the Stone Brewing Company in Escondido, CA. We had this beer on tap at the Trolley Stop as part of their “Off-Centered Arrogance Night,” which was the night before the Dayton Beer Fest.

Stone Pale Ale is an amber color with minimal head and a light malty nose. It begins with a low-key malt front with limited sweetness, setting up things smooth and clean. From there, Stone Pale Ale moves on to light hoppiness before finishing clean with some minimal lingering bitterness. The mouthfeel is light, smooth, and clean. This is a well balanced beer overall—not the Stone most people think of or are used to drinking.

I also had a Dogfish Head Sahtea on tap: it was pretty much the same as in the bottle—lots of Chai, maybe less juniper taste present in beer. From there, I moved onto the Stone 13th Anniversary on tap: very nice—hoppy and delicious. Not nearly as overbearing or punishing as I’ve heard it is in the bottle (someone described it to me as “being so hoppy it clawed out my taste buds and left them for dead”). Needless to say, I was excited to try it, and thus was a bit disappointed when I found my taste buds pleasantly surprised instead of sacrificed on the altar of hoppiness. In my disappointment, I consoled myself with Dogfish Head’s Immort Ale, which was also on tap, but by then I was getting into my cups enough that I can only tell you it was enjoyable. And besides, you already got the main beer of the day plus a couple extras along the way—stop getting greedy. Finally, I did also get to see Casey shotgun a Stone 12th Anniversary—way to mainline the hard stuff. Chugging a big heavy beer like that seems painful, but everyone loves a dare.

From the Stone website: “Our flagship ale, Stone Pale Ale is our Southern California interpretation of the classic British style pale ale style. Deep amber in color, Stone Pale Ale is robust and full falvored. A delicate hop aromais complimented by a rich maltiness. This is an ale fo those who have learned to apprecaite distinctive flavor. Stone Pale Ale is great by itself, or with food that requires a beer of character.”

ABV: 5.4%
IBU: 41
Hops: Columbus, Ahtanum


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