It took just a few short hours after the big keg drop at the Stone New Year’s Celebration for us to get to work planning another big year at our Southern California digs. After a few weeks of scheming, tweaking, revising and fine-tuning, we’re ready to share our entire schedule of momentous events that will come to pass at Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens* in 2013! Get out your calendar and prepare to “X” out a great many dates. See you soon!
In preparation for our Epic Eve Dinner and the Stone Epic Festival: The Final Chapter, our all-out festival celebrating all 11 vintages in our Vertical Epic Ale series, Chef Alex Carballo and “Dr.” Bill Sysak teamed up to develop nearly two-dozen recipes for dishes that pair with each of the beers.
Realizing not all of our fans will be able to make it out for these events, but are as amped up as we are to uncap their bottles of Vertical Epic Ale at their own tastings, we wanted to provide the means by which to prepare food that will fall perfectly in sync with those beers. The following are recipes for four dishes that, when put together, make up a comprehensive meal.
It’s our hope that this will excel what will likely already be one of the most heightened and interesting beer tasting sessions of your life. Bon apetit!
Do I attend a grandiose meet-the-brewer dinner, an outrageous vertical tasting, a one-time only beer release or a massive total tap takeover? From November 2 through 11, this will be the sort of daily dilemma plaguing beer enthusiasts as San Diego Beer Week saturates America’s Finest City. With hundreds of events and 10 days to take it all in, we realize advanced scheduling is a must. Submitted for your calendaring pleasure is the full slate of SDBW events taking place at Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens.
Great American Beer Festival… the name says it all. Heck, I’ll go out on a limb and say those four words strung together in that order is darn near poetic. Every year, many of the nation’s greatest breweries descend upon Denver for a three-day beer-a-thon, much to the delight of the ecstatic 49,000+ attendees that are lucky enough to nab tickets.
Beyond pouring about 36,000 gallons of beer (check out some other cool GABF stats from the Brewers Association), this is also the premier beer judging competition for U.S. brewers. And while we don’t always walk away festooned with shiny medals, we ALWAYS have a damn good time. This year was no exception. Though we did get some neat-o awards!
They say all good things come to an end. And as much as it pains me to admit it, I think they’re right. Unfair? Absolutely! Especially while some of the most awful atrocities refuse to go away. (Can you believe that Kenny G is still churning out new CDs?)
But enough about the bad. Let’s focus on the good… the REALLY good. I’m talkin bout Stone Vertical Epic Ale. Travel back in time with me to February 2nd, 2002, before someone inexplicably thought to give Dr. Phil his own show when the groundbreaking Stone 02.02.02 Vertical Epic Ale came to be. The premise was visionary, and hadn’t ever been tried with beer before. Eleven beers in total—each one with its own unique twist and turn in the saga—were to be released one year, one month, and one day after the previous edition (i.e. 03.03.03, 04.04.04, etc.), with the intention of aging them all until at least December 12, 2012, when the series would officially draw to an end with its final delicious release: Stone 12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale.
Did a little light go off in your brain to make you look at your calendar just now? You’re right, that is, like, two months away! So, what are we planning to do? Go gentle into that good night? Hell naw! We’re Stone! And as usual, we’ve got BIG plans…
If you’ve ever been to one of our Anniversary Celebrations, you’re awesome. You’ve been part of something special. Part of something larger than we could have ever envisioned. Something larger than we ever could have created without you. The Stone 16th Anniversary Celebration & Invitational Beer Festival is SoCal’s biggest beer festival, with over 100 beers to choose from! It’s taking place on August 17th and 18th at nearby California State University, San Marcos. Our Rare Beer section is sold out, but we’ve still got tickets left (for now, anyway) for Friday night’s Brewers Reception and the main event on Saturday!
Over the past 15 years, we’ve raised MORE THAN $1.5 MILLION for local charities through these neat little get-togethers with a few thousand of our closest friends, including an astronomical $240,000 at last year’s festival alone! Given that we’re Stone, we always want to go bigger and better, which is why we know that this year’s will be the greatest ever! (’til next year at least…)
- One (1) snazzy commemorative Stone 16th Anniversary tasting glass
- Ten 4-oz. samples (BTW, you get to choose from over 150 amazing beers made by the 50 craft breweries in attendance. BOOM!)
- Free homebrewed sodas, provided by the Society Of Barley Engineers
- Aaaaannnd samples of über-delicious Mike’s Beer Cheese!
Delectable food will be available for purchase from some of our favorite local restaurants/vendors and our very own Stone Catering. Never to be missed, we’ll also have the (in)famous Arrogant Bastard Ale onion rings. (This is the only event each year where we offer them; the only other way you get get em is if you make them yourself!)
We’re doing it all up bigger and better: pouring the very first drops of the brand new, super-secret-super-fresh Stone Enjoy By IPA, adding live music and more space, including a nifty new area we’re calling Steve’s Cigar Lounge. (Stone prez/co-founder Steve Wagner + cigars + kickback area = Steve’s Cigar Lounge.) We’ll of course have plenty of Stone 16th Anniversary IPA on hand as well!
You know what the problem is with you young punk craft beer drinkers today? You don’t know how good you’ve got it! Double IPAs everywhere, flowing like water! Heck, when I was your age, I had to trek over 100 miles uphill in the snow to get something even remotely hoppy! Oh, gosh, who am I kidding? I’m only 27. The fact is, *I* am a young punk, reveling in the bounty of lupulin-loaded libations at my fingertips.
But thinking back, it’s crazy to see how far my tastes have come. And I know for a fact I’m not the only one who can say that. I remember tasting my first Stone IPA years ago… and absolutely hating it. (Sorry Greg. Sorry Steve. I was young and naïve!) It was so much more bitter than anything I’d ever had, and I was sure that I was not, and would never be, a hophead. But I remember telling a friend about my less-than-stellar experience, and he immediately replied, “Oh, you should try Ruination! It’s their Double IPA!” Wait a tick; if their straight IPA was way too bitter for me, why in the hell would I want to try their Double IPA?! But my friend persisted, twisted my arm, held a gun to my head, and somehow got me to try a sip. And then… a HOPIPHANY.
Holy bitter breakthrough, Batman! What was this beautiful, citrusy magic I was tasting?! My eyes were opened. My worldview changed. I had seen the glory of the almighty hop, and it was good. Read More
A few weeks ago we took a walk down memory lane, recounting for you the many accolades and accomplishments Stone achieved over the course of 2011. We are not content, however, to rest on our laurels. We’ve now turned our sights to the future and all the amazing things we have in store for you in 2012. Dates have been set for our annual special releases as well as all of our epic beer fests. So read on and prepare yourself for a whole year of beer-tastic-ness. Ale-mazement? You get the idea… Read More
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.
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.