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.
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.
In November, the three brewers came together and brewed “The Alchemist / Ninkasi / Stone More Brown Than Black IPA.” It was quite the occasion, so we made a nifty video about the beer and the brewday:
But wait, there’s more! You’re probably thinking, “What a great story filled with heartwarming details! And while the video described the beer fairly well, what I really want is a super-detailed sensory and technical breakdown of this luscious liquid, along with information about distribution and ingredients.”
Ask and you shall receive. Here are Mitch’s tasting and brewing notes.
The Alchemist / Ninkasi / Stone More Brown Than Black IPA
Stats: 7.4% abv, 80 IBUs
Availability: Limited 12oz bottles & draft, beginning December 19th
Distribution: AZ, CA, CO, FL, IL, MA, NC, NM, NY, OH, OR, PA, SC, TX, VA, VT, WA
Malts: Maris Otter Pale, Light Munich, Carafa III Special Dark, and CaraHelles
Hops: Super Galena hop extract for bittering, Nelson Sauvin and Delta for flavor, dry-hopped with a blend of Citra and Galaxy.
Tasting notes, provided by Brewmaster Mitch Steele
Appearance: Deep brown, a bit hazy, with tan foam.
Aroma: Whoa! This beer is all about, resiny, piney, dank and citrusy hops! The first shot is intense blend of pine and orange rind, and then as your sense of smell just starts to recover, the dankness and resiny herbaceousness come through with hints of grapefruit. This is a powerful hop blend!
Taste: The hops also dominate the flavor of this beer. Orange and grapefruit rind take center stage in the flavor, followed by, you guessed it: piney / resiny notes. The beer has a modest body…not sweet at all…and has a lingering bitter, drying end. Beyond the bitter end there are light hints of roasted malt and chocolate in the finish.
Overall: The hop character in this beer is unique and very pronounced. Galaxy is a newer hop variety from Australia that we think has strong tropical fruit and stone fruit characteristics. Citra and Delta are newer American hop varieties — Citra possesses strong citrus and dank flavors, while Delta has a milder profile with melon and berry notes. And of course Nelson Sauvin from New Zealand has its intense namesake’s white wine notes along with—surprise!—more dank notes. They all blended together well in this beer, a tribute to one of our favorite styles.