Tag Archives: Stone brewing

It’s gonna be epic!

6 Mar

Recently, Brian, Miranda, and I (and Jen too) sat down around a partial run of Stone Brewing’s Vertical Epic series.  Sure it would be more epic if we had all 11 beers in the series.  But we didn’t learn about, and start buying bottles of the Vertical Epic until 2009, when Miranda fell in the love with the 09.09.09. And lets be honest, we are not in college anymore. That many big beers (averaging 9%) in one sitting sounds more like pain, rather than a challenge. At this point in our lives, one of the best things about this, is that we get to learn more about beer.

In brief, Stone’s Vertical Epic series is a series of Belgian-style beers, each uniquely designed and brewed for aging to then be drank together, at a vertical tasting upon the release of the last vintage. The first vintage 02.02.02 was, you guessed it, released on February 2nd, 2002. The final vintage, 12.12.12, was released with a huge festival that provided guests with a vertical tasting of all 11 vintages and carefully designed food pairings. For more information, check out their website.

So here we go, with our mini-vertical of the Epic: the last four years of the series (09.09.09, 10.10.10, 11.11.11 and 12.12.12). Continue reading


Stone’s 16th Anniversary IPA

20 Sep

I cracked open a bomber of Stone 16th Anniversary IPA while camping recently. Clocking in at 10% this is a big IPA. I apologize now that this is not the most complete beer review but I was cooking while enjoying it and you know how cooking while camping is, managing food over the fire as well as on the camp stove. Anyway, the beer poured a nice bright copper color. Then there was the nose, the bottle doesn’t say whether or not the beer is dry hopped but the nose was awesome. It had a strong citrusy, sweet resinous hop smell that I just love. The taste started as wonderfully as one would expect form a beer with such fine hop bouquet but finished with an odd perfume like quality. This was not an awful perfumey quality like someone dumped Chanel in my beer. More like the way a citrus blossom smells. Looking closer to bottle again, this IPA was brewed with lemon verbena, an herb with a lemony flavor. I think it is a bit odd that I could not smell this herb but yet found it to be such a strong component of the taste of the beer.

I was drinking out of a very small mason jar and while I liked the first two glass fills, the strength of the lemon verbena was a bit too much. If I stopped there I don’t think I would recommend this beer to my friends, but I poured another glass as I sat down for dinner. With a spicy bowl of chili in front of me, the beer shined. The heat of the chili overwhelmed the lemon verbena while the strong hop flavor stood out. Alone this beer is ok but with food it is a very good beer. I really enjoyed the rest of the bottle with dinner.

I met a monk in El Paso…

30 Jul

Far be it from me to dog my hometown as not being very “cosmopolitan”, but it has historically lacked some of the finer things in life.  Namely places to get something other than a Coors Light.  Well, it looks like El Paso has started to take itself in a new direction I am happy to say!  A couple of blocks down from my Mom’s house is a relatively new joint called The Hoppy Monk.  With an emphasis on beers from Europe, Texas, and California, this tap house has about 150 bottles and 45 + drafts.  There were the standard Deschutes and Rougue offerings, along with some NY beers as well.  With the saying “Good people drink good beer” as their motto, I was happy to find a place that is trying to bring some craft beer to El Paso. Continue reading

Beer and Cupcakes

21 Jun

Probably not the best thing to eat/drink at 10 PM, but what the hell, right?

That title got your attention, didn’t it?  Not much to complain about if you have one of each, right?  Tonight was all about the cupcakes, and it ended up getting me thinking about a beer in the fridge.  Next thing I know, I’m enjoying both.

I’ve been trying to perfect this coconut cake recipe that I tried last week, and I decided to take it down to a cupcake to see if I could get similar results, or possibly a better one.  Cupcakes seem to have the ability to enhance the cake experience for the eater, plus you can pack a shit-ton of flavor into a small delivery system.  I like to hollow mine out and fill them with something “extra”.  This time it is a coconut pastry cream mixed with some whipped cream.  A little coconut buttercream frosting and toasted coconut and these babies are ready for consumption.  While “testing” one of the final coconut cupcakes, I had an epiphany…more like I just realized I had a Ken Schmidt / Maui / Stone Kona Coffee Macadamia Coconut Porter in the garage.  Could there be a better beer to go with a coconut cupcake?  Probably not.  Glad I saved it for a special occasion. Continue reading

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