Stone Winter Storm 2010

Stone Brewing Co. is headed into another perfect storm! While we always like to give our brothers and sisters in craft brewing ample representation on our draft lineup at the Bistro, there are just too damn many of our own delicious brews taking up space in our cellar. That’s why, starting Sunday, February 7th, 2010, all 32+ taps at the Bistro bar will be devoted exclusively to some very special Stone beers. Digging into the cellar was never so tasty!

2010-SWS

Now, if Sunday February 7th has a vaguely familiar ring to some of you, it’s no wonder: Stone Winter Storm kicks off the very same day as Super Bowl XLIV.

WHAAH?

Yeah, you heard us. They’re both on the very same day. Now before you go getting your Official NFL Snuggie all in a bunch, hear us out. While Stone Winter Storm does indeed start on a blessed day, it lasts for at least a whole blessed week, and GK and Dr. Bill have picked out plenty of treasured special vintages to be poured throughout the ongoing celebration. Therefore, we’d like to remind folks that the “camping-out-the night-before” approach really isn’t necessary in order to try some spectacular Stone offerings.

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So, feel like griping about an intense selection of special Stone brews? Fine. We’re happy to indulge you by receiving your complaints and/or concerns—but you’ll need to get it out of your system and get over it soon. We’ll be accepting your Game-related Gripes (below) for the next two weeks. After that, the complaint desk will close and you’ll just have to work through the cognitive dissonance on your own.

  • The official two week complaint period lasts from Wednesday, December 2nd – Wednesday, December 16th in the comments section below.
  • Check out the 2009 Stone Winter Storm lineup

Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale

Ken Wright
“Bittersweet” is a good way to describe the feedback we’ve received from our fans over the last year and a half since the release of 2007’s Stone 11th Anniversary Ale. Bittersweet. Yeah, that pretty much sums it up. The term is quite descriptive of the beer itself, of course, as it aptly describes the flavors of the esteemed big hopped, high gravity IPA with roasted malts. But the word “bittersweet” applies in other ways as well.

First of all, receiving unsolicited rants and raves from our fans whenever we release a new beer is undoubtedly a pretty sweet thing. (Truth is, those of us here at Stone just can’t get enough of hearing how great we are!) Yeah, that’s sweet. The accolades bestowed specifically upon Stone 11th Anniversary Ale, however, have been tempered in large part by the sobering—and yes, in many instances, bitter—acknowledgment that this wonderful, ebony-hued gem had all but disappeared from the shelves shortly after its debut, likely never to be seen again. People begged and pleaded for its return in their calls and emails, and I did my best to break it to them gently. Stone Anniversary Ales are like comets, I would explain, bursting forth gloriously but all too briefly from the heavens—and then exiting beyond our earthly dispensation, leaving us wistfully agape in thirsty wonder…or some damn thing like that. The point is, we’re sorry kids, that’s just the way it is sometimes.

Sigh…but not all the time!

So, to all those who still mourn the passing of the late, great Stone 11th Anniversary Ale, it’s time to wipe away those tears and crack open this bottle of Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale. Go ahead, do it. Hmmm…taste familiar?

Brace yourself, bereaved fans of Stone 11th Anniversary Ale, for your joyous new day has finally come! It’s like your first crush–you know, the one who broke your heart when she/he decided to go to the junior prom with what’s-their-name–has suddenly come back to you to go for a cruise down the main drag on Friday night. It’s like…it’s like finding that long lost gold watch, given to you by your father, who got it from his father, who got it from his father. It’s like when your best buddy in the world, Sam the family dog, finally sauntered up the front porch steps one sunny afternoon after having been on a six-week runaway. Yes, it’s just like that.

And it’s like this: A brilliantly hopped double IPA–providing a wake up call of floral and citrus aromas–backed up by a deliciously smooth and dark roasted maltiness. You get the best of both worlds with this black double IPA.

Remember, though, this is one of our Limited Releases (like Stone Cali-Begique IPA) that we fit it into the brewing schedule whenever we can. It has begun showing up on draft only in Southern California, but will slowly be making make its way to other areas across the country. Keep your eye out for 22 ounce bottles showing up in January, and check our distribution page for where they’re heading. Be sure to savor the moment when this Sublime brew comes your way, and don’t be afraid to feel a little Self-Righteous. After all, you have impeccable taste.

-Ken Wright

Front Label

Front Label

Back Label

Back Label

Tap Handle

Tap Handle

Arrogance Is Goin' South! Stone distribution opens up in Texas and the Southeast

Scott Sheridan and XXXXX, kicking off Stone in Florida Stone Regional Sales Representative Scott Sheridan kicks off Florida with help from Oldsmar Taphouse owner Tony Falso

Up here in the office between tours, those of us on the tour team have the distinct privilege of reading and responding to the fan mail that comes into the brewery daily. It is indeed very cool to know that, through our humble yet passionate efforts (well, maybe not humble), we have been able to turn so many people on to great beer. And do they let us know it! In the last couple of months we have been able to bring more Stone brews to more people in more places than ever before: Texas has received an expanded lineup of our beer, North and South Carolina are now receiving copious amounts of Arrogance for the first time, and so is the state of Georgia. Ain’t that a peach! But our southward march hasn’t ended there. Last week we FINALLY entered Florida, much to the rejoicing of Floridians all the way from the Panhandle to Key West!

These days, instead of receiving all those wistful—if not downright desperate—letters that start with the line “PLEASE sell your beer in [any one of previously Stone-free zones],” we are happy to be reading more and more letters from folks who can hardly believe their eyes when, upon unsuspectingly walking into their local bottle shop, they see before their disbelieving eyes the brown bottled deliciousness that is Stone, proudly declaring its residency for the first time! These thank you notes are a real shot in the arm, and its a great feeling to hear from so many happy Stone lovers. Here’s an excerpt from one such letter:

Moved to Raleigh NC five years ago and had to console myself with lesser brews since you didn’t distribute to my area. Imagine my happiness when I saw a big gargoyle display right by the front door of the Peace St. Market yesterday! I’m drinking my first Bastard in years as I type this. Thanks for finally sending your liquid heaven out to my neck of the woods!

Eric, Raleigh NC

And how about this one:

I just got the news of the DECADE today and discovered that you guys DO listen to your fans …you’ve actually started distributing to GEORGIA! I have one thing to say about that: HALLELUJAH!

Rory Atlanta, GA

The big push started back in September, when trucks full of Stone beer started rolling into Houston, Austin, Dallas, and Amarillo. Although two of our brews, Stone IPA and Arrogant Bastard Ale, had been readily available in the Lone Star State since 2001, there’d been an increasingly vocal demand for more of our beers to be added to the lineup. Working in conjunction with Ben E. Keith Company, we’ve finally been able to bring Stone Pale Ale, Stone Smoked Porter, OAKED Arrogant Bastard Ale and Stone Ruination IPA into Texas as well—and our Texas brewery rep, Jason Armstrong, says the response among rejoicing Texans has been HUGE!

The response in Dixie has been no less enthusiastic. Our own Head Brewer, Mitch Steele, was in Georgia a couple of weeks back, where he and our Southeast Stone rep and native son of the South, Scott Sheridan, attended some of the Stone kick off celebrations at places like The Trappeze Pub in Athens. According to these two very seasoned veterans of the beer trade, they’d never before seen such a successful roll out. People were ecstatic!

Adam Smith, Salesman from Savannah Distributing

Adam Smith, a salesman from Savannah Distributing, was just a LITTLE excited to finally have the chance to get Stone out to his customers: He got some serious ink laid down on his right shoulder by Matt Roland at Tribal Urge in downtown Augusta. Way to represent, Adam!

And because one good turn deserves another, Mr. Sheridan has now headed down to Florida to usher in a great new era of great beer in the Sunshine State. Here’s what he said of the recent rollout:

“Sure Joe Maddon and the Rays made it to the World Series…Sure Tim Tebow and the Gators are having a great year…But what could be bigger than the arrival of Stone Brewing Co. in Florida? Uh…nothing!!”

Scott was on hand to celebrate the Florida kick off at the Gulf Coast’s Oldsmar Taphouse on Saturday, November 14th. On tap was a lineup of Stone beers as never seen before and, quite possibly, never again (at least not any time soon…). Year-round award winners such as Stone Pale Ale, Stone IPA, Stone Ruination IPA, Stone Smoked Porter, Stone Levitation Ale, Arrogant Bastard Ale, and Oaked Arrogant Bastard Ale were gracing a Forida tap tower for the first time. He also managed to wrangle away from the Stone brewery in California archived masterpieces such as Stone 08.08.08 Veritcal Epic Ale, a trio of Stone Anniversary Ales featuring the 10th, 11th, and 12th versions, 2008 Imperial Russian Stout, 2008 Old Guardian Barleywine, 2008 Double Bastard Ale, and the gracefully aged 2006 Double Bastard Ale. Now THAT’S a kick off! Nicely done, Scott!

Back here in sunny So Cal (sat by the pool and read a sci-fi novel on this glorious 80 degree morning–not to gloat or anything), I look forward to hearing from all our new fans–and of course, our old friends too. So please drop us a line whenever you feel like sharing your enthusiasm with us. It really makes our day. Cheers!

-Ken Wright

The Return of Sawyer's Triple

My job here at the brewery (tours, fan correspondence, special events, etc.) gives me the frequent and pleasurable opportunity to interact with our fans on a daily basis. I definitely think it’s important that people be able to connect with us on a personal level and understand, that behind all the Arrogance and bombast, we are in fact ordinary—but no less interesting and authentic—folks just like themselves. This honest and unstaged interaction makes people feel good about supporting us in what we do. And one very central part of our mission in our endeavor to make fantastic beer, one that further strengthens this relationship with our fans, is our involvement in charity work. This is, of course, no glossy public relations chore, but rather a deep abiding, heartfelt conviction that dedicating ourselves to being the best brewers we can be means also dedicating ourselves to being the best citizens we can be—and that means bettering the community in which we live in every way we can.

Occasionally, this commitment has moved us to take up important causes that directly affect many of us here at Stone on a deeply personal level.

Some of you may recall a special beer that we brewed back in 2003 under the name “Sawyer’s Triple,” a golden, Belgian style ale quite unlike anything else we’d ever done before. By all accounts it was a marvelous beer, and I often get inquiries from fans as to whether we would consider bringing it back. Well, we are indeed bringing it back, and we are doing so to further the same cause that we took up some five years ago when we originally brewed this very special beer: the fight against ALD. ALD (Adrenoleukodystrophy) is a rare and devastating neuro-degenerative disease that typically affects young boys, ultimately taking them from us before they see their twelfth birthday. You may recall this illness from the 1992 film Lorenzo’s Oil.

Bill Sherwood

You may also recall that Sawyer’s Triple is named in honor of Sawyer Benjamin Sherwood, the son of Bill Sherwood, Stone’s facilities manager and an accomplished brewer, and his wife Janis Sherwood. Sawyer was a wonderful kid, and we are truly blessed to have had the privilege of watching him play baseball, running around the brew house while visiting his dad at work, and just being a bright, happy and energetic little boy. Bill, as a loving father and dedicated brewer, crafted Sawyer’s Triple soon after Sawyer was diagnosed with this terrible condition in the spring of 2003. The beer was to be sold specifically for the purpose of spreading an awareness of ALD and to help find and effective treatment, and eventually a cure, for this tragic affliction. 100% of the sales of this beer were donated towards the fight against ALD.

Sawyer Benjamin Sherwood

Sadly, Sawyer left us just before the initial release of Sawyer’s Triple later that year. But the cause continues, and we at Stone are just as dedicated as ever to rallying the kind and enthusiastic support from among our fans and the greater community that makes it possible to improve and save lives. Therefore, it is with no small amount of gratitude and conviction that we are pleased to announce that we are bringing back Sawyer’s Triple again for the very same noble endeavor. And I want to personally invite you to participate by spreading the word—and by picking up a bottle (or two…or three) of this ale that we have brewed on behalf of such an important cause.

Here is what you need to know:

  • Bottles of Sawyer’s Triple will be available for sale at the Stone Company Store starting Tuesday, November 11th. The 22 oz bottles will sell for $6 each (plus tax and CRV).
  • Sawyer’s Triple will be available on draft as well at the Stone World Bistro & Gardens for $6 a pint.
  • As before, absolutely 100% of the proceeds will go to charity; specifically, to Fight ALD!, the research and education foundation started by Janis Sherwood.
  • Although the sale of Stone Special Release beers has often been limited to 2 or 3 bottles per person, there will be no such limit for Sawyer’s Triple. Please note, however, no “case discount” will be in effect in order to provide Fight ALD with as much funding as possible.
  • Currently, Sawyer’s Triple is available for sale exclusively here at Stone.

I hope that you will join me, Team Stone, and the rest of our devoted fans in paying tribute to a noble spirit and in promoting a noble cause. Here’s to your health, generosity, and fulfillment!

-Ken Wright

LINKS:
-FightALD.org
-stonebrew.com/sawyerstriple
-Read the back of the 2008 label
-Photos from the bottling run on Flickr
-BeerAdvocate.com’s Reviews