The Fight Against Expired Beer

Jacob McKean

It is hard to overstate the importance of drinking fresh beer. But it may not be immediately obvious to the uninitiated that beer is best served fresh in the first place. It is, after all, fermented, and fermented foods often get better with age. Kimchi, yogurt, miso, kefir, kombucha: these are foods whose quality depends on the serene patience of their creators, a willingness to let the invisible magic of fermentation happen at its own pace, and be ready to enjoy when it’s ready.

Further complicating matters is the fact that some beers do indeed improve with a degree of age. Properly cellared (55 degrees or less, dark, cozy), beers on the robust, high ABV end of the spectrum can evolve & improve with time.

The nine year-round beers we brew DO NOT fall into this category. They are—dare we say—delicate creatures that only express the full-spectrum of their brilliance when FRESH. Freshly brewed beer is bright & fragrant, with clean, well-defined flavors that reflect our brewer’s intent.

Once expired, beer can become a sad, faded reflection of its former self, as age, oxygen, and light sinfully corrode the precious liquid. Drinking such beer can leave a less than favorable impression that’s hard to shake.

For that reason, we go to tremendous, expensive lengths to ensure that fresh beer is available to you. But we can’t be everywhere at once. That’s why we need YOU to join in the fight against expired beer. Read More

The Alchemist / Ninkasi / Stone More Brown Than Black IPA

Jacob McKean

Well, 2011 is rapidly drawing to a close, but we’re squeezing in yet another collaboration beer release—our fifth of the year—before it’s over. This one wasn’t on the calendar originally, but circumstances arose that demanded we brew it.

So we did.

Some background:

One of the many unfortunate casualties of Hurricane Irene was The Alchemist Pub and Brewery in Waterbury, VT, which was completely flooded and destroyed. When Stone Brewing Co. Brewmaster Mitch Steele heard of the loss, he immediately sent out an email to The Alchemist Head Brewer John Kimmich asking if there was anything he could do to help.

“John’s wife, Jen, wrote back suggesting that John fly out to Southern California for a few days… just to get a break from the reality of everything,” Mitch said. “And almost as an afterthought, she casually mentioned that maybe we could even brew something together. I ran with it.“

Mitch asked Jamie Floyd, Brewer/Co-founder of Ninkasi Brewing Company in Eugene, OR, if he wanted to complete the brewing trifecta, and he immediately jumped on board. Read More

Stone New Year’s Eve Celebration

Jacob McKean

Ah, New Year’s Eve. For most people it’s a night filled with promise that typically ends in bleary disappointment. That tingle of excitement — born of a bold sense that this year will be the year of magical change — dies an early death as they sit on the couch at a friend of a friend’s, plastic red cup filled with…something, anything…TV excitedly blaring a tired staged celebration from somewhere cold.

That's an actual red carpet. So posh.

But you’re not most people. And fortunately for you, we’ve got the cure for the common party: the Stone 2011 New Year’s Eve Celebration. Let’s examine exactly how & why this will be an absolutely splendid event:

* Lively Music. San Diego’s premier funk and R&B band, The Styletones, will be playing live on the Restaurant Dance Floor. In the brewhouse, we’ll have 3 DJs spinning for a jumpin’ dance party.

* Fantastic Food. Two Sushi and Seafood Lounges featuring swanky tunes, sushi rolls, nigiri, crab claws, oysters and more; lavish Buffet Stations throughout the party; a Mac ‘n Beer Cheese bar; generous carving station; amazing desserts, including Cherries Jubilee, housemade chocolate truffles, cheesecakes, and the list goes on.

* Awesome Drinks. A fantastic selection of complimentary craft beer, wine, cider, and sodas pouring all night long. Plus three special pours of rare and vintage Stone beers (Stone 12th Anniversary Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout aged in Bourbon Barrels anyone?) You also get a commemorative Stone Brewing New Year’s glass to keep.

* Select Cigars. Enjoy the beautiful evening with a cigar in hand on our Patio Cigar Bar (bring your own, or choose from cigars available for purchase; everywhere else is smoke-free.)

* Beautiful You! Since you’re above average, both in personality and taste (and looks too, but then we think everyone with exceptional personality and taste is beautiful), you are critical to this party. Luckily, since like attracts like, you’ll find an evening filled with exceptional people like you. The dullards stayed home. Thankfully.

Lights, bands, DJs, the whole sha-bang

Sound pretty sweet, huh? Well it is. We know this because we did it last year, and it was spectacular. But we’ve made it even better by ironing out all the kinks and adding a bunch of great new features.

Our last New Year’s Eve Celebration sold out, so if you want to enjoy this outstandingly awesome party, it behooves you to make your plans sooner rather than later. Remember, for it to be the best time possible, you’re required!

See you there.

* Wanna go over the top? Get your own private table for the evening, personal hand and foot beverage server, and a bottle of champagne for $250. For details and reservations, send an e-mail to “chuck dot samuelson at stonebrew dot com”.

Brewing Stone 11.11.11 Vertical Epic Ale at Home

Well, well well. 11.11.11. Hmmm. A very special day on several levels. First, it was the Veteran’s Day of all Veteran’s Days. A perfect day to pay tribute and honor those who have served in our country’s military. And perhaps, on a less serious side, 11.11.11 was also Nigel Tufnel Day (who is Nigel Tufnel you ask?…lead guitarist for the legendary band Spinal Tap…made famous for having his Marshall amplifiers custom built with volume knobs that go to “11”…not 10.)

“This one goes to 11….well it’s one louder, isn’t it?”

And 11.11 also was the birthday of two wonderful members of Team Stone, Marty Saylor and Laura Ulrich, so raise a glass to them!

And finally, 11.11.11 signifies the release of the second to last in our Stone Vertical Epic Ale series: the penultimate Stone 11.11.11 Vertical Epic Ale.

We started off developing this beer by brewing a pilot size amber Belgian style ale using a nice variety of German and Belgian amber malts. It was a good start, a very nice beer, but was just missing that special something, that “twist” we like to have in the Stone Vertical Epic Ales. Then, one day last spring, I was in the Temecula Spice Shop in Old Town Temecula, just browsing around. I always like to look for interesting spices and teas and such, and I was looking at some chilies to possibly use for brewing…or to make a great chili for our annual Superbowl Chili Cookoff. The woman in the store told me that she had only one more bag of this wonderful Hatch Green Chili left, and she raved about the flavors from these chilies from New Mexico.

So I bought that last bag, and rather than cook with it, I decided we should try it in a pilot brew. As much as I love chilies, I’m not very well schooled in the different varieties, so I did a little research on the Hatch Chili, and was impressed by their reputation, and the idea of getting great, intense and unique chili flavor without a lot of heat. We also added a touch of cinnamon to that pilot brew, giving it a bit of a Mexican flair, and found the flavors worked amazingly well together, better than I had hoped for!

So here is the homebrew recipe. It’s a pretty basic brew in a lot of ways, so have fun with it. It’s 100% malt this year, no Belgian Syrup or Candi Sugar, so the beer ends up being a little fuller bodied than in the past few years. And as always, we suggest some musical selections that we think will pair well with each brewing step along the way.

Here is the grain bill:

Pale Malt 80.25%

Light Munich Malt 9.10%

Special B Malt 5.6%

CaraBohemian Malt 4%

Crystal 75-80°L 1.05%

As always, I am only providing the all grain version of the recipe, and just percentages, so you can figure out the weights based on the size of your brewing system and your normal efficiencies.

Target OG: 20.5°P (1.082 SG.)

OK, 11.11.11 is a Spinal Tap kind of day, so let’s start things off with the classic “Tonight I’m Gonna Rock You Tonight” which should get all of us in the mood for an Epic Brew Day!

Mashing:

Use a 30 minute conversion rest at 150°F. This is a moderately low conversion temperature for a relatively short time that should provide a nice balance of malt dextrins in the finished beer. If you are keeping up with these recipes, this particular mash scheme was designed to make a bit maltier, fuller beer than what we’ve done the past few years. If you can, raise your mash temperature up to 165°F after conversion rest to stop the enzymatic conversion of starches to sugars before lautering.

Lautering:

Recirculate your wort gently from the bottom over the top of the mash to deposit the fine particles of malt on the top of the grain and to “set” your bed. Avoid splashing the wort. Recirculate for 5-15 minutes, depending on your system, before diverting wort flow to your kettle/boiling vessel. You should remove almost all the malt particles from the wort flow, but some haze is ok.

Start sparging in the lauter when the wort level is about ½” above the grain bed. Starting earlier will decrease your efficiency, because the water will dilute your first wort. Sparge water should be between 165°F and 170°F to maximize extraction, but avoid going over 170°F or you’ll extract harsh compounds from the malt husks.

Fun trivia: Did you know the technique of sparging was invented by Scottish brewers in the 1700s? Up until that point, brewers would mash in, and then draw off all the liquid, and then add more water and mash again, repeating the process 3-4 times to obtain separate worts with decreasing gravities that were used for separate beers. Sparging as a standard brewing practice became common in the mid 1800s.

Sparge until you hit your target boil volume or until your wort gravity being drawn-off reaches 3°P (1.012 SG), whichever comes first. Don’t lauter past 3°P, because when the sparged wort coming off the lauter is that low in sugar content, you risk extracting tannins and other harsh character from the malt husks.

Be careful not to rush the mashing and lautering step, or your brewing efficiency will go down. These steps should be done gently, with care. A good music selection will assist in keeping things relaxed and gentle during lautering. Don’t go too mellow, just enough to keep you focused on the task at hand and inspired. Therefore, I suggest Spinal Tap’s “Hell Hole” or “Rock and Roll Creation” to keep things relaxed and focused.

Boil:

Here is the hop bill:

2.9 grams per gallon Warrior hop pellets (15% AA)

2.9 grams per gallon Perle hop pellets (10% AA)

All added at the start of boil. There are no other hop additions during the boil. This should get you about 65 IBU’s. Boil for 90 minutes.

You do know that hops are the flowers produced by female hop vines, right? Therefore, a perfect song choice when adding hop flowers to the boil is “Listen To What The Flower People Said” by Spinal Tap.

Always be safety minded, and beware of spontaneous combustion during flameout…

Whirlpool

Hop and Spice additions, to be added at the start of the whirlpool process:

2.9 grams per gallon New Zealand Pacific Jade hop pellets

1.4 grams per gallon U.K. Target hop pellets

1.4 grams per gallon New Mexico Hatch mild green chilies (dried and crushed)

1.4 grams per gallon crushed cinnamon stick

Pacific Jade is a newer hop variety from New Zealand, we first used it in the Stone 15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA (How much more black could that beer be? The answer is none. None more black.) We just love the pineapple, citrusy, and spicy herbal flavors it contributes. UK Target is a high alpha English hop that provides both a characteristic English earthy hop character and hints of Orange Marmalade and Tangerine. We used this hop in our Stone 14th Anniversary Emperial IPA.

The dried crushed chilies we got from Biad Chile in Las Cruces, New Mexico. We went with the mild version, not hot, because we really wanted the wonderful flavor without a lot of heat. The varieties are a blend of NM 6-4, AZ-20 and AZ-19, and are referred to as “Anaheim type” chilies, even though they come from New Mexico. So if you can’t find New Mexico mild green chilies, perhaps dried and crushed Anaheim chilies would be an acceptable substitute.

The chilies and cinnamon stick we put in a mesh bag and hung in the whirlpool. The addition rate is fairly low. To paraphrase our lab tech Rick Blankemeier, we didn’t want to brew a chili beer, we wanted to brew a great beer with chilies. The low addition rate allows all the other ingredients to blend in. You can taste the chilies, but this is far from a one-dimensional beer. Be sure to bust up the cinnamon stick into small pieces to maximize flavor extraction.

The whirlpool step is where you separate out your proteinaceous trub. This is called, in brewing techno-speak, the “trub break.” An appropriate song choice here could be Spinal Tap’s “Break Like The Wind.”

Fermentation:

Yeast Addition: Pitch a Belgian yeast strain, enough to get 20-25 million cells per milliliter (requires a starter). We used the Wyeast 3220 Flanders Golden strain. This strain produces a lot of banana esters, which we found blended really well with the cinnamon flavors.

After the trub has been separated from the wort, chill the wort using an immersion chiller or a heat exchanger to about 65 °F. Add enough yeast to get a cell count of about 20-25 million cells per milliliter. We used a fairly high pitching rate (yeast addition rate) here, because we wanted to ferment at a lower temperature but still ensure the beer fermented out completely. This means that you will most likely have to build up your yeast culture at home using a starter. We fermented the Stone 11.11.11 Vertical Epic Ale at 68°F to maximize fruity ester formation and minimize the clove/spicy flavor formations, which form at higher levels with warmer Belgian yeast fermentation temperatures.

One thing about this yeast: it’s a powerhouse and ferments well below normal gravity limits. In this case, we formulated the beer to finish out between 4 and 4.5°P, but the yeast took it down to about 2.5°P, which resulted in 9.4% abv.

By the time you are pitching, your brew day is just about complete….so you can spin some “All The Way Home,” the very first Spinal Tap song co-written by musical geniuses Nigel Tufnel and David St. Hubbins.

Aging:

After fermentation completes (should finish between 2.5 and 3°P), chill the beer down to about 35°F or so, and let it sit until the beer clarifies, at least one week.

Package the beer as normal.

Perhaps now is the time to start celebrating your successful brew, and celebrate by pondering the wonderful mysteries of brewing, a mysterious art which we now know was started in ancient times, hundreds of years before the dawn of history, by an ancient race of people… the Druids…. at their mystical brewing site “Stonehenge.” Nobody knows who taught the Druids how to brew, but their legacy lives on. Enjoy your brew day!

Try your hand at brewing all of the Stone Vertical Epic Ales. Homebrew recipes for each can be found at:

Stone 02.02.02 Vertical Epic Ale

Stone 03.03.03 Vertical Epic Ale

Stone 04.04.04 Vertical Epic Ale

Stone 05.05.05 Vertical Epic Ale

Stone 06.06.06 Vertical Epic Ale

Stone 07.07.07 Vertical Epic Ale

Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale

Stone 09.09.09 Vertical Epic Ale

Stone 10.10.10 Vertical Epic Ale

Stone 12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale

11.11.11 Is Upon Us

Jacob McKean

You’re undoubtedly aware of our Stone Vertical Epic Ale series. You may even have a cellar stocked with previous incarnations of our annual (plus a month and a day) homage to the wondrous effects of Belgian yeast and transformative hand of Father Time.

So the series itself requires little introduction, but this year’s installment merits some explanation. To put it succinctly, it is a Belgian-style amber ale brewed with cinnamon and Anaheim chillis from New Mexico’s legendary Hatch Valley (famous for growing complexly flavorful chillis prized by foodies.)

How that brief description translates into the taste of a beer is another matter. For those duties, I give you Stone’s Brewmaster Mitch Steele:

Appearance:

The Stone 11.11.11 Vertical Epic Ale pours a deep amber with a cream colored head of foam.

Aroma:

The Belgian yeast strain we used this year has more pronounced banana aromatics than the clove flavors produced by some of the yeast strains we have used in past years. Mixed in with the banana esters are toffee malt notes, hints of spice — clove and cinnamon — and a trace of very mild green chili in the back. The aromas all blend together incredibly well.

Taste:

Upfront, the yeast-derived banana flavors are blended very nicely with toasted and toffee-like malt flavors, fruity esters, and balanced hints of cinnamon. Mid palate the Perle and Pacific Jade hops and the Hatch green chili flavors come through. The beer finishes dry, and bitter with just the most subtle of hints of chili heat and a touch of alcohol.

Overall:

Not your typical chili beer! The famous mild green chilies from the Hatch Valley in New Mexico add layers of delicious flavor with a very mild heat component. The base beer itself is very reminiscent of a European amber beer, with Perle and Pacific Jade hops, Munich and other roasted German and Belgian malts, hopped and brewed to a very Stone-like 65 IBU and 9.4% ABV. Cinnamon is a wonderful spice if used judiciously, which we did here-it doesn’t by any means dominate the beer’s flavor, but definitely adds a subtly complex spice note that blends amazingly well with the banana esters and green chili.

ABV: 9.4%

IBU: 65

OG: 20.5°P

TG: 2.5°P

Malts: Pale, Crystal, Munich, CaraBohemian and Special B

Hops: Warrior, Target, Perle and Pacific Jade

Now that you’ve received the full rundown on this beer, we’ll tell you that it will begin percolating out onto shelves and taps starting on November 7th, 2011. Why not on 11.11.11, you ask? Because the beer gods prefer releases to be on Mondays. So there.

2011 San Diego Beer Week, Part 2

Jacob McKean

San Diego Beer Week: Nov. 4-13th

Last week we presented you with the 11 amazing San Diego Beer Week events we’ll be hosting at the Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens. This week, we venture a bit further afield, out into the broad, welcoming arms of America’s Finest City for 26(!) devastatingly awesome events (more to come — we’re shooting for an even 30.)

An exciting point about this year: virtually all of the events we have planned will feature an actual, live member of Team Stone on hand to answer your questions, raise a toast, and/or adorn your body with their signature.

A startlingly large number of these events will be attended by Stone CEO & Co-Founder Greg Koch, who has apparently obtained a hoverboard or Star Trek-style transporter; without such a device, I struggle to explain how he will be able to make so many appearances. So if you’d like to meet Greg, this is your chance because he will probably go into some kind of anti-social hibernation mode after it’s all over.

Now, on to the events. They’re helpfully listed on the right side of our SDBW website in a super handy Google calendar, allowing you to import them directly into your own Google calendar if you happen to use one. As you can see, there are a ridiculous number of events per day, but if you manage to attend all of them, Greg will reward you by covering every inch of your exposed skin (…or at least the back of your hand) in #gregface temporary tattoos. You wouldn’t want to miss that opportunity. Greg’s a bit of a shrinking violet, so it helps him come out of his shell.

As far as strategy goes, we recommend reading through all of these listings and determining which reservations/tickets you want to jump on. These events are popular and tend to fill up. Missing one means you’ll have to carry the pain of your failure-to-act until next year, so don’t let work or family or probation check-ins interfere with your browsing. It’s San Diego Beer Week we’re talking about here.

2011 San Diego Beer Week, Part 1

Jacob McKean

Not only is San Diego Beer Week simply too much beer week for a single blog post, it’s too much beer week for a single week, thus stretching to a slightly more comfortable but still utterly intense 10 days from November 4th-13th, 2011.

And in those 10 days, we will quite literally be taking it to 11 by hosting 11 incredible events at the Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens. And we’re just talking about events actually at Stone; events around town are coming up in the next blog post.

Returning gems include:

Rare Beer Breakfast, Friday, November 4th, 9:00 AM-12:00 PM. Our kick-off event for San Diego Beer Week returns for a second year with decadence galore. Amazing food, hard to find beers and live music. (Read: Lotsa tasty bacon. Lotsa tasty rare beers. Lotsa tasty live tunes.)

Beer U: Intro to San Diego Craft Beer, Monday, November 7th, 7:00 – 9:00 PM. Stone’s beloved blabbermouth, Ken Wright, tells the story behind San Diego’s brewing success while offering samples of some of the brews that put San Diego on the map, along side some up-and-coming greats.

Meet the Brewer: Firestone Walker, Friday, November 11th, 6:00 PM. Rub elbows with some of the award-winning crew from Firestone Walker Brewing Co. They’re visiting us to continue their 15th Anniversary celebration and will be bringing extra special beers with them, including just-released barrel-aged Firestone Walker 15.

That is, as they say, just the beginning. We’ve added a slew of new events to our roster, which will surely blow the minds of all those brave enough to attend. Here are some of these newfangled wonders:

Bitter Sunday, November 5th, 11am – 11pm & Saison Saturday, November 12th, 11am – 11pm. These spectacular all day celebrations will feature 24+ world-class IPAs and 24+ Saisons on-tap, respectively. A brilliant way to taste your way through these classic styles.

Master Pairings Dinner: Stephen Beaumont vs. “Dr.” Bill, Tuesday, November 8th, 6pm – 9pm. Our renowned beer expert “Dr.” Bill Sysak (@BistroBeer) goes head-to-head with acclaimed beer writer and notorious Canadian Stephen Beaumont (@BeaumontDrinks) in a showdown of beer pairing excellence. The diners will vote on the superior pairing for each course of this decadent feast. The loser will drop down to one knee and bestow the winner in this high-ego matchup of the year! (Make sure to bring your cameras kids!)

Stone Pour It Black Festival, Sunday, November 13th, 10am – 4pm. Joining the ranks of Oakquinox and Sour Fest in our panoply of epic beer festivals, the first annual Pour It Black festival will dance freely among porters, stouts, schwartzbiers, and Black IPAs from around the world mixed lavishly with modifiers ranging from Belgian, Double, Imperial and Barrel-Aged. If you’ve been to our other festivals, you know the level “Dr.” Bill brings to the taps, so no further hyperbole is necessary.

Next up: San Diego Beer Week events around America’s Finest City.

2011 National Book & Beer Tour

Jacob McKean

Did you hear that we wrote a book? It’s called The Craft of Stone Brewing: Liquid Lore, Epic Recipes, and Unabashed Arrogance.

We bet you hadn’t heard that, which is why we’re sending our demonstrative CEO & Co-Founder Greg Koch on a 9-city book tour. That’s right, Greg & his face are coming to your town, assuming you live in one of the selected 9 cities east of the Mississippi.

What will Greg do on this book tour, you ask? Well, lots of things, but he’ll be talking a lot about exactly how Stone morphed from a tiny two person operation into one of fastest growing, most widely known craft breweries in the world, all while maintaining a fierce commitment to business ethics and the principles our founders hold dear.

So what exactly can the lucky folks who attend these events expect? Well, we’ve selected a veritable potpourri of venues, so it depends on which one(s) you go to.

  • If you choose to attend one of Greg’s talks at a university, you’ll hear about the history of Stone, his entrepreneurial philosophy, and the secrets to the company’s success.
  • If you attend one of his events at a bookstore, you’ll get to meet Greg, have the opportunity to get your photo taken with him (instant holiday card material), and get your beloved copy of our tome signed by him.
  • And finally, if you attend one of his events at a bar, you can expect an absolutely stellar selection of Stone beers, the opportunity to share a beer with said CEO, hear his stump speech, catch him as he dives off the bar, get a temporary tattoo of his screaming visage affixed to your person, and have a generally joyful time.

Copies of the book will be available for purchase and signing at every event. That may also be true of the temporary tattoo thing.

So check out the handy interactive map on our book tour website and see if your city has been selected as one of the lucky hosts. Regardless of whether or not it has, we highly recommend that you stop whatever you’re doing and attend all of them. Dedicated “roadies” will receive additional temporary tattoos and inscrutable words of wisdom.

The Great American Beer Festival Was Utterly Fantastic

Jacob McKean

Whew, well, the Great American Beer Festival is over, and now, just over a week after it ended, things are finally getting back to normal.

It’s hard to encapsulate just how much work goes into putting together the GABF.

The sheer enormity of America’s premier beer festival, which occupies a staggering 300,000 square foot portion of the Colorado Convention Center, requires a seemingly endless swarm of green shirted volunteers, along with hundreds of security guards, cleaners, and staff. All told, 49,000 beer fans attended this year, with tickets selling out faster than ever before (literally in days once they went on sale months earlier).

The feeling of walking into the GABF is incomparable. With excitement building for months in advance, the line to get in nearly a mile long, virtually half the crowd dressed in a variety of absurd costumes, and a gaggle of bagpipers in full Scottish regalia playing at an almost inconceivable volume, the buzz and excitement somehow manages to fill every corner of the cavernous room.

It was an incredible joy to meet so many Stone fans, many of who had very nice things to say to us as we poured countless 1 oz. tasters of our precious beer. And to see so many people wearing Stone t-shirts, hats, and the like was a disproportionate show of pride from our loyal legions.

Overall, the 2011 Great American Beer Festival was a characteristically rewarding and tiring experience. Stone Colorado Regional Sales Representative Chris Cantrell put countless hours into planning Stone’s presence at the festival and lined up a series of tremendous events at some of the fantastic craft beer establishments that have cropped up around Denver in recent years.

Stone CEO & Co-Founder Greg Koch was out and about with characteristic verve, signing copies of our book, “The Craft of Stone Brewing Co.” with co-author Randy Clemens and posing for a seemingly endless series of photos with fans.

Several other members of Team Stone, including yours truly, made their presence felt, either by helping with booth set-up, pouring beer, or appearing in a rigged and preposterous quiz game against Durango, Colorado’s venerable Ska Brewing Co. (who were the victors of said game; we’re contesting the results and demanding a rematch).

All in all, it was a tremendously good time and an unparalleled opportunity to try an epic assortment of incredible craft beers; which is, of course, the point of the whole exercise.

In fact, the tidal wave of extremely high quality offerings at the festival can only lead this beer lover to a larger conclusion: that now is, undoubtedly, the best time & place in history to drink beer…and you don’t even have to be at the GABF to do that!

The Great American Beer Festival: See You There

Jacob McKean

The Great American Beer Festival is one of the world’s classic beer drinking experiences. This will be the 30th year of this epic celebration of American brewing, and it’s almost impossible to put into words how much it has changed.

From its very humble beginnings, to the colossal event it is today—which nearly takes over the city of Denver for three amazing days—the GABF is the ne plus ultra American beer festival.

In case you couldn’t tell, we’re very excited about it. The GABF is always an amazingly good time. From pouring beer on the festival floor to seeing old friends at the great beer bars around town, the GABF is more than the world’s premier beer drinking opportunity, it’s a gathering of the craft beer tribe.

In celebration of this fact, we’re putting together 5 worthy events at some great craft beer loving venues in Denver. For details on these amazing events, head over to the Stone Brewing in Colorado Facebook events page.

As for the Festival itself, we’ll have a very special opportunity for fans: Stone CEO & Co-Founder Greg Koch will be signing copies of our brand new book, The Craft of Stone Brewing Co.: Liquid Lore, Epic Recipes, and Unabashed Arrogance, along with co-author Randy Clemens.

The book is an insider’s guide on the history of Stone, and it shares homebrew recipes for many of our celebrated beers including Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine, Stone Smoked Porter, and Stone 12th Anniversary Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout.

In addition, it features recipes from the Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens like Garlic, Cheddar, and Stone Ruination IPA Soup, BBQ Duck Tacos, and the legendary Arrogant Bastard Ale Onion Rings, among other fascinating tidbits contained in the tome.

The dynamic duo of Randy & Greg will be signing & selling books at the Stone booth on the Festival floor at the following times: Thursday 9/29 from 7:30-9:30pm, Friday 9/30 from 6pm-8pm, and Saturday 10/1 from 2pm-4pm and 6pm-8pm.

But that’s not all, folks. We’ll also be pouring a bevy of wonderful Stone beers at our booth, including:

  • Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale
  • Double Dry Hopped Stone IPA
  • Stone Levitation Ale
  • Stone 15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA
  • 2011 Stone Old Guardian BELGO Barley Wine.

Yeah, you’re not going to want to miss our booth.