Stone Brewing Co. are one of the companies that is at the forefront of the Craft Beer boom that we’ve seen over the past several years, but they’ve actually been around since 1996 – that’s 21 years, so they’re now old enough to drink their own beer since they’re a USA company! They’re probably one of the main companies that has helped kill the old myth that “American beer is crap” and there are many, many great American beers available on the market now, and Stone have been responsible for many of those including their Arrogant Bastard ale – which was so successful it branched off into it’s own brewery called Arrogant Brewing – their Ruination Double IPA (a extremely strong but wonderful IPA), and their Stone IPA, which is what I’m reviewing today and is probably now their flagship beer. And very good it is too.
The first thing you notice about Stone IPA when you pour it is the colour, which is a golden, deep amber that reminds you of a very rich, honey. You can tell it’s going to be a good drink just from looking at it, and when you lift it up to your nose you can smell the hops, along with a sweet fruitiness, but also a slight hint of pine which took me ages to place, but it’s very subtle and gives a very fresh aroma that enhances the beer. It’s not the best smelling beer I’ve ever had, but it is very pleasant.
But, as with any beer, the proof is in the drinking and Stone IPA drinks very, very well. A bit too well, actually, since it’s an extremely light, mild and smooth beer which is fresh, hoppy but has a hint of cereal which reminded me a bit like having my morning corn flakes! It’s hard to pinpoint why, but it has that slight sweetness but not overpoweringly so. I mention that it drinks a little bit too well, since it’s very easy to drink and when I poured the beer out I didn’t actually check what it’s alcohol percentage was, so I was very surprised to see it was a considerable 6.9%! It doesn’t drink like a beer that is that strong, so if you are drinking these do take it easy since they belie their strength.
Overall, Stone IPA is a great beer, it’s not the cheapest at around £3 a can, but it’s extremely refreshing, easy to drink (especially given it’s ABV) and great at any time whether having a lunchtime beer in the beer garden, or a drink at home at night. Stone are masters at their craft, and it’s easy to see why many consider this IPA to be their flagship beer.
A light and refreshing IPA with a lovely hoppiness, which is much easier to drink that belies it’s strength.