A Beer Befitting Its Name: Stone Delicious IPA

India pale ales are our bread-and-butter here at Stone. We love them as much as you do. Similarly, we get an immeasurable amount of satisfaction out of experimenting with new hop combinations to create IPAs with flavor profiles that vary from what we’ve thus far experienced. The arrival of Stone Delicious IPA provides a tangible example of why continual IPA and hop exploration are so fulfilling. With the new Lemondrop varietal as a centerpiece and a massive dry-hop comprised exclusively of lemony El Dorado hops from Washington State, this beer lives up to its name behind a plethora of tart, citrusy notes and a stunning grove-like, lemon tree bouquet, providing a graceful yet in no way subtle one-two punch to the senses. Our newest IPA is unique to our stable of beers in every way…including the fact it just so happens to be our first gluten-reduced offering.

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You read that right. In addition to being incredibly flavorful and hopped in our typically heavy-handed way, Stone Delicious IPA is also fermented in a manner that breaks down and removes gluten, rendering gluten levels so significantly that the beer qualifies as a “gluten-reduced” ale per the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration). It’s a nice bonus that will allow nearly everyone out there to enjoy our bold style of craft beer—something we’ve always wanted but, up until the advent of this beer, haven’t been able to make happen. We’re excited to introduce our beers to those who haven’t yet had a Stone-brewed IPA, or perhaps even a craft beer of any kind. And for those of you who know all about our hoppy ales, we’re thrilled to provide a new one we’re particularly high on, reduced gluten levels or not.

For those for whom gluten is a concern, numerous questions are bound to spring to mind in regards to gluten-reduced craft beer. So, we’ve taken a stab at some of the more obvious queries Stone Delicious IPA is bound to evoke. Of course, if you still have questions, we’re happy to field them. Just shoot us an email at delicious@stonebrewing.com. Who knows, your question and our answer may even make it onto this FAQ page.

NOTE: The answers below exclusively refer to the bottled version of Stone Delicious IPA. For information on Stone Delicious IPA served on tap, please see the response specifically related to the draft version at the bottom of this FAQ.

How does Stone reduce the gluten levels in this beer?

We have colleagues at our long-time yeast supplier, White Labs to thank. It’s their enzyme, Clarity-Ferm, which makes Stone Delicious IPA possible. We start by brewing the beer exactly like we do every other beer at our brewery using all-natural ingredients (barley, hops, water and yeast, exclusively) with dashes of creativity and heart plus a boatload of hops. When boiled wort (unfermented beer) is transferred to fermentation tanks where yeast is introduced to convert fermentable sugars to alcohol, we add Clarity-Ferm, which separates and eliminates the potentially inflammatory nature of the gluten protein chains.

Does Stone Delicious IPA contain gluten?

Though we’ve harnessed modern advances to significantly reduce the amount of gluten, traces of gluten remain in Stone Delicious IPA. However, the amount of gluten in this beer is far below the Codex threshold of less than 20 parts per million in total gluten for “gluten-free” products; so much so that its gluten levels are too low to be measurable by available testing methods. Furthermore, the brewing process for Stone Delicious IPA renders the beer free of barley epitopes (peptide sequences and reactive sites in gluten molecules triggering negative reactions in the small intestine).

Where is Stone Delicious IPA brewed?

Currently, the beer is brewed at Stone’s flagship brewery in Escondido, a municipality in North San Diego County, California.

How do you prevent cross-contamination by Stone beers containing gluten?

We take numerous, specific steps to ensure there is no cross-contamination in our brewing or packaging facilities. We carefully clean and sanitize every tank, pipeline, hose and piece of equipment that Stone Delicious IPA will touch, and conduct numerous tests at our brewing facility checking for gluten levels.

How is Stone Delicious IPA tested for gluten?

The gluten testing is conducted by White Labs using an ELISA assay, the R5 competitive Gliadin assay from R-Biopharm. Yes, that is a mouthful, so allow us to further explain. The ELISA assay quantifies the prolamins from the wheat, rye and barley using an antibody that recognizes the potentially inflammatory sequence QQPFP, which occurs repeatedly in the prolamin molecules. This is the only method of gluten testing for products containing alcohol that is approved by the federal government.

Where can I see test results?

Each bottle of Stone Delicious IPA has both an “enjoy-by date” printed on its bottlenecks and a “julian date” laser-engraved on the bottom of each bottle. You can use either of these denotations to retrieve test results for the beer in your bottle by visiting the Stone Delicious IPA webpage and viewing a PDF of the White Labs report corresponding to those numbers.

Delicious_JulianEnjoyBy2Does Stone utilize any barley malt alternatives to brew this beer?

No. We do not replace the barley malt we use for our other beers with rice, quinoa, sorghum, buckwheat or any other grains.

Where can I purchase Stone Delicious IPA?

Stone Delicious IPA is distributed to every state where Stone beers are sold, including the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. The best way to locate retail accounts where Stone Delicious IPA is sold by consulting our online Stone Beer Finder.

If I find Stone Delicious IPA on tap, can I expect it to be at the same gluten levels as the bottled version?

Because the draft accounts where we distribute our kegged beer would have to basically have independent dedicated lines via which to serve Stone Delicious IPA—something that isn’t feasible for the majority of bars and restaurants—the beer will likely be served from lines that have previously served non-gluten-reduced beer. Therefore, we cannot guarantee that the gluten levels of the beer will be the same when served in such a manner. While the beer in the keg is the same as the beer in the bottles, there is always the chance that it could mix with previously served beers in the lines of the draft system and, thus, become intermingled with beer containing gluten. To be safe and ensure the health of those with greater gluten sensitivity, we similarly do not make the gluten-reduced claim for Stone Delicious IPA served from draft systems and growler fill stations at Stone-operated facilities (Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens and Stone Brewing TapRoom restaurants, Stone Farms or Stone Company Stores). It is best to purchase Stone Delicious IPA in bottles if you are gluten sensitive.

Will Stone brew other beers with lowered gluten levels?

There are no current plans to brew more gluten-reduced beers, but years of brewing experimentation have taught us never to say never when it comes to craft beer!

Hoppy Uncharted Territory: Stone 18th Anniversary IPA

We pride ourselves on being unpredictable, but we’re able to be honest with ourselves and say that, when it comes to our annual anniversary beer releases, fans know what to expect—something extremely hoppy! And most years, that means an over-the-top India pale ale. Ten out of the 17 anniversary beers we’ve produced to-date have been IPAs, including the past four consecutive years. So, it should come as no surprise that this year, our milestone-celebrating beer is another IPA. But, much as we’ve refused to be completely predictable with our anniversary IPAs (the past four years have featured an imperial British-style IPA, double black IPA, lemon verbena-infused imperial rye IPA, and 100% German-hopped double IPA), 2014’s commemorative hop monster is extremely original. In fact, we’re billing Stone 18th Anniversary IPA as the “hoppiest golden-brown IPA on Earth!” (Yes, that’s our subtle brand of sarcasm you’re picking up there!)

Anything But Just Another IPA: Beachwood/Heretic/Stone Unapologetic IPA

We can see the headlines now: Stone makes another IPA! The world is shocked at such a divergence from a company that hardly ever explores hoppy beer styles. Yes, that’s sarcasm! Obviously, no one will be shocked to discover we’re making yet another aggressive IPA. We’ve never tried to hide our lust for hops. Heck, we freely fly our hophead flag. But we’re sure the question will arise. Stone has already made a bunch of IPAs, so why make another. Isn’t the already lupulin-obsessed market saturated with hoppy beers? And who says the world needs another IPA, anyway? We do!

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The Next Step: Stone Enjoy By 04.20.14 IPA

We, like many hopheads, are immensely bullish on the incredible flavor and intense citrusy, bitter impact provided by our ultra-fresh Stone Enjoy By IPA. But believe it or not, for us, it isn’t just about the beer. Yes, given the massive outpouring of affection for this West Coast double IPA, that last statement sounds kind of odd, but it’s true. Stone Enjoy By IPA was forged with greater intentions than mere satiation. It was designed to convey the importance, nay, the necessity of drinking hoppy beer when it’s fresh. We overtly stamp each batch with a 35-day Enjoy By date, and when that day comes up on the calendar, this beer should be out of your fridge and off retailers’ shelves. Drinking it beyond the date printed on that evergreen bottle simply won’t provide the same, vivid experience. But we went far beyond the bottle, communicating the facts on freshness via our Stone Enjoy By IPA website and our social media channels. It was a worthwhile endeavor, and much of that was thanks to you. Through social conversations online and over pints of this beer, many who had no idea how important beer freshness was have been converted, thus improving their quality of life and craft beer enjoyment forever. For those of you who helped increase the reach of that lesson, we thank you and are excited to share the steps we’ve taken to further broaden the reach of this important message and share in the many splendors of Stone Enjoy By IPA.

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Ego-Boosting Brew: Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale

It should come as no surprise to anyone that the company that produced an unapologetic beer called Arrogant Bastard Ale sees no reason to defend its own self-assured state of mind. We’ve been bullish on the notion of bold, flavorful, artisanally produced beers long before many caught on and began to flock like moths with particularly good taste to an insanely bright and attractive flame. Thanks to our naturally inquisitive and adventurous style of brewing—big hops, big flavor, big wood, etc.—we’ve been ahead of the curve at nearly every turn in the dramatic American craft brewing revolution. So, we’re justified in being pretty pleased with ourselves and our innovative brewed creations. Hence the moniker of our black India pale ale, Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale.

Wring Around the Brewhouse: Stone Ruination IPA

We’ll be the first to agree that brewing is an art, but as anyone who’s ever tried to scale up a recipe or dial in ABV for consistency knows, it’s also a science. As exemplified by the consistency of our beers, our brewers have the smarts to turn out well-engineered ales. That said, whenever we can, we like to keep the math as simple as possible. Take, for instance, one of our most popular beers, Stone Ruination IPA. That hop-heavy double India pale ale is a result of a basic mathematical equation—one-times-two—and proof that sometimes in life, there’s no need to overcomplicate things. When in doubt, just max it out!

A Case of What If: Stone Cali-Belgique IPA

While we hold true to time-honored traditional brewing processes, we’re anything but conformists. Ours is a brewery where, rather than blindly adhering to methods and styles simply because “that’s the way it’s been done for hundreds of years,” we make a practice of regularly taking a step back, clearing our minds of all we know and contemplating simple but essential queries like “why not?” and “what if?” Our beers are founded on the logic gained from centuries’ worth of brewmasters who mashed in ahead of us, but their true flavor and character is a result of our inquisitive, experimental nature. A poignant example of this is presented in our Belgian-style India pale ale, Stone Cali-Belgique IPA.

A Hoppy Standard Bearer: Stone IPA

When Stone co-founder and original brewmaster Steve Wagner crafted our initial batch of Stone IPA, little could he have known that that highly hopped first attempt at amplifying a British classic would become so popular and, for many beer drinkers, an India pale ale by which all future New World interpretations of the style would be judged. For many, Wagner’s bright, potent creation was their first IPA. (Was it yours? If so, let us know on social media using #StoneIPA)