I am kind of a planner – when it comes to writing this blog and really in all aspects of my life. I usually have a series of post in mind so when I go to the beer store I’m not just thinking about beers I’d like to try, but also the stories I want to tell in the resulting blog post. On my last trip I grabbed a bottle of Stone Brewing Companies Enjoy By 8.16.14 IPA with the idea of writing a whole post about how important fresh beer is, especially with hoppy beers, and what a great idea it was to place a drink by date boldly on the bottle. It was a solid idea for a blog post, and I could still do it, but I thought it would be a little disingenuous writing a post about Stone and not addressing the controversy generated by their announcement last week.
Stone announced that they are opening two new breweries, one on the East coast of the US and another in Germany. This makes sense, their business has grown and it will save on shipping while assuring the freshest possible beer to their customers. The issue many have was the crowd-funding campaign that Stone announced at the same time, hoping to raise one million dollars from their customers to help support their expansion. I won’t get into all of the details, for a full write-up please see THIS piece by Will Gordon of Deadspin (by the way, Will is one of the most entertaining beer writers around, follow him on twitter @WillGordonAgain). My general thoughts on the subject; I don’t mind startup breweries crowdsourcing some of their funding, it helps spread the word and gets locals excited for an opening/expansion. I would prefer to support the brewery just by buying their beer, but to each his own. Having the tenth largest craft brewer in the US try to raise a million dollars this way is BS. It’s completely unnecessary and anyone who gave to that campaign is a sucker. If Stone needed more cash for this I assume a company that size can get a sizeable line of credit, and if they can’t they need to rethink how they run their business.
Onto the beer review: Stone Enjoy By 8.16.14 IPA pours a clear red-tinted copper with a very mild white head. The smell is dominated by hops, with strong pine and floral scents followed by touches of citrus fruit and earth. The alcohol is also evident on the nose, not strong but noticeable. The taste starts with another big hit of hops; resin, cut grass and lemon with a little tropical fruit. There is a bit of malt in the backbone, enough to provide some balance and a little caramel flavor, but this is clearly a hop-bomb style DIPA. Stone Enjoy By 8.16.14 weighs in at 9.4% ABV, and the booze is evident in the flavor, not overpowering at all but you can taste it a bit. Despite this, it drinks pretty easy for a high gravity beer, the bitterness is very present but not tongue-numbing. This beer is really good, one of the better DIPAs I’ve tasted. I might not agree with how Stone is handling this expansion, but it’s hard to argue the fact that they know how to brew some outstanding beer. Hoppy Boston Score: 4.75/5.
Previous Stone Reviews: