Sunday, September 9, 2007

Stone's 11th Anniversary Recap

My buddy Steve and I traveled down the 15 fwy on our way to Port Brewing for a little food & beverages before the Stone 11th anniversary, but it wasn't easy. What is normally a 1 hr 15 minute drive took us a little over 2 hours thanks to an entire closure of the freeway in Lake Elsinore. After an adventurous and frustrating detour around that town, we finally got back on track and made it to Port by noon. It looked as though most of the breakfast goers had packed up and left, leaving a couple handfuls of people there. We started off with some Amazing Grace and Sharkbite Red, before getting nachos and breakfast burritos. It was then that I was ordering up a Wipeout IPA when Sage questioned the sanity of that order in the midst of a Hop 15 cask. I'm glad that was questioned because I had forgotten they were going to have the Hop 15 there on cask, which was of course unfiltered, a bit cloudy, a little warmer, and just a great easy drinking strong beer all together. I preferred it to the bottled version of Hop 15. After that I noticed people had been ordering up a beer called "Signature" which I inquired about, and was told that it was the beer Tomme came up with when he was on his Belgium trip with other brewers (Vinnie Cilurzo, Sam Caligone, and Adam Avery?). This was a blonde, for lack of a better description, beer made with the addition of Brettanomyces. I really enjoyed this beer (pictured right). No surprise that it had a sourish quality to it just like one of my favorite beers of all time, Russian River Sanctification. However, it wasn't as puckering, and the sourness faded so that the end of the sip had what I think was more of an earthy feel to it. I'm sure my taste buds had been blasted enough by the Hop 15, so any sort of hoppiness coming from the Signature Ale was undetected. That was finished up along with small glasses of Hopout- a blend of Hop 15 and Wipeout IPA made by Beer Molly, which I only mention because it turns out to be a really good beer. You get all of the great pungent hops of the Hop 15 combined with the bitterness of the Wipeout- that makes for a good combination.

We left and arrived at Stone at 2:45 just in time for the start of the 2nd session. The first booth we managed to hit was SKA Brewing from Durango, CO, where we tried their double IPA- I believe it was called Decadent Imperial IPA (pictured left). It was quite good. The next stop along the way was a quick one at the Pizza Port booth where I got an El Camino IPA. We then headed over to the booth with the longest line. No not a Stone booth, not even Russian River (though their line was pretty long as people really wanted some of the Blind Pig IPA and Pliny the Elder). The booth was Maui Brewing Company, with the main attraction being their Coconut Porter. That turned out to be well worth the 5 minute wait, as it was a very flavorful porter. Next, realizing that those couple hours at Port were starting to take their toll on our sobriety, we headed over to the Stone booth to try the 11th Anniversary Ale so we could actually remember it (pictured right). That might have been the last taster that I actually remember anything about. It was a roasty, bitter, hoppy black strong ale or IPA (not sure what they are calling it). The next beers were Ommegang Hennepin, Tijuana Brewing Dark Lager (quite good!), and San Diego Brewing Blueberry Wheat (very good, but at this point way too buzzed to enjoy). So I ended up only using 7 of my 10 tasters, but believe me, it was way more beer than I needed in a day. Lesson learned for next time, but it was fun none the less.

1 comment:

Mattias said...

You lucky bastard.

I am just trying to convince myself that soon I will have a great time over in Denver during the GABF and try to catch upon all the new great US beers that I have missed.