Hoppiest Ever!

Hoppy happy Stone Brewing releases their ‘hoppiest beer ever’

Stone 13th Anniversary Ale has 4.5 lbs of hops per barrel—more hops per barrel than any beer Stone has ever brewed (Stone 10th Anniversary Ale, revered by many as the quintessential hopped-up Stone Anniversary Ale, had 2.5 lbs of hops per barrel).

“The interesting thing about this beer from a brewing standpoint is the sheer quantity of hops that we used in it,” said Mitch Steele, Head Brewer. Just the fact that we’re at four and a half pounds per barrel is pretty huge. It’s definitely as big and as hoppy as anything we’ve ever done…I think Stone 13th Anniversary Ale is going to be right up there with some of the older Stone Anniversary IPA’s, and if all goes well it will be right up there with the 10th Anniversary IPA.”

This is the first-ever release of the Imperial/Double Red style and the first double dry-hopped beer in bottles for Stone. It will be released in 22oz. bottles on June 29, 2009.

The beer has an abv. of9.5% and uses Chinook for bittering and flavor and a 50/50 blend of Centennial and Simcoe for dry-hopping.

Stone 13th Anniversary Ale pours brilliant deep red with a light tan foam, said Mitch, describing the flavor profile. “Up front, the aroma is all piney, resinous and citrus hops. Upon tasting, the hops are still on the front, and they are balanced with the malty, toffee-like flavors contributed from the blend of crystal and amber malts used in the brewhouse. The finish is deliciously bitter, with a touch of warmth provided by the 9.5% alcohol. Bitterness comes in at 90+ IBU.”

Attached files

Comments

  1. gitchegumee says

    How does one use so many hops without giving the beer a vegetal taste? I’ve made some hopped-up beers with lower alpha hops and couldn’t avoid the vegetal taste from the sheer quantity of hop mass.

  2. IPAMEASAP says

    gitchegumee wrote: How does one use so many hops without giving the beer a vegetal taste? I’ve made some hopped-up beers with lower alpha hops and couldn’t avoid the vegetal taste from the sheer quantity of hop mass.

    Try using some higher alpha, pacific northwest hops like they did.

  3. Laughing Dog says

    wow the Piddly 5.2 pounds of hops per BBL I use in My Devil Dog @ 98 IBUs just really doesn’t hold up to Stones Monster!!

    sorry for the sarcasm but the bigger boys crow about their special beers while the smaller brewers make this stuff all the time, guess we just don’t know how to get the press

    LDB

  4. beertje46 says

    Laughing Dog wrote: wow the Piddly 5.2 pounds of hops per BBL I use in My Devil Dog @ 98 IBUs just really doesn’t hold up to Stones Monster!!

    sorry for the sarcasm but the bigger boys crow about their special beers while the smaller brewers make this stuff all the time, guess we just don’t know how to get the press

    LDB

    I concur, sir. Been doing it for years.

    (remember when “the big boyz” meant the swillocracy of AB/Miller/Coor?)

  5. gabewilson50 says

    gitchegumee wrote: How does one use so many hops without giving the beer a vegetal taste? I’ve made some hopped-up beers with lower alpha hops and couldn’t avoid the vegetal taste from the sheer quantity of hop mass.

    Upon reading more carefully, it seems that they’re using this increase in hops in the dry hopping. If it was all in the brewing process, they’d have a beer that would have way more than 90 IBU (their Ruination IPA has 100+, and wasn’t even mentioned in the story). In dry hopping, the vegetal mass pretty much all drops out to the bottom of the cone.

    Using a low alpha hop for a high IBU beer is not a good idea for the exact reason you mentioned. All of the hops that admin mentioned in the story are higher alpha hops (9+% AA). Use the high alpha hops for your first additions and then add some of the lower alpha hops if you want at the end of your boil if you want that aroma. Otherwise, it seems like a waste to use 2-3 times the amount you have to of an already expensive product.

    If you’re looking for upping your IBUs without adding polyphenols & other vegetative qualities, try using a CO2 extract. The process of extracting the essential oils & alpha acids removes about 99+% of the plant matter, and the bitterness is SUPER clean. Another plus is that almost all of the residual nitrates & pesticides from the farm are also removed in the process.

    Cheers!

  6. South County says

    Ditto with rest of ya, I do like most all of Stones beers, however I’m curious to see what this “amazingly hoppy beer” will sell for (I’m sure it is an excellent beer). I know here in Southern York County their 18.99 Oaked arrogant bastard 6-pack doesn’t go over well, and is referred to as pretentious. I, like any of us, value great beer but I know for most craft enthusiast if it is a standoff between a 9.99 6-pack of Brooklyn and a 18.99 6-pack of stone, Brooklyn is gonna win (twice). For the record I’m not bashing stone, I just find there pricing compared to other comparable beers to be a bit high.

  7. NYSBrewer says

    I usually dont get invloved in these discussions, but I’m going to. Why are we bashing Stone??? Gregs speech at the craft brewers conference was one of the most inspirational, and motiviating speeches I have ever heard. Watch “I am a Craft Brewer”. I get chills and hold back tears every time. Stone is on our side. Let them celebrate an anniversary by brewing whatever they hell they want to. I, for, one cant wait to try this beer. I heard an interveiw by Mitch saying one of the reasons they brewed this beer is because they had a hop surplus. Many of us have found ourselfs in the same situation. They are simply using hops they have in inventory, use the hops!!!!!! You can not argue with success. Comparing an over-hopped beer to an over-salted hamburger is absurd. Too much salt, is never a good thing, too many hops, when done right, in my opinion, is always a good thing. Congrats Stone!!!

  8. beertje46 says

    NYSBrewer wrote: I usually dont get invloved in these discussions, but I’m going to. Why are we bashing Stone??? Gregs speech at the craft brewers conference was one of the most inspirational, and motiviating speeches I have ever heard. Watch “I am a Craft Brewer”. I get chills and hold back tears every time. Stone is on our side. Let them celebrate an anniversary by brewing whatever they hell they want to. I, for, one cant wait to try this beer. I heard an interveiw by Mitch saying one of the reasons they brewed this beer is because they had a hop surplus. Many of us have found ourselfs in the same situation. They are simply using hops they have in inventory, use the hops!!!!!! You can not argue with success. Comparing an over-hopped beer to an over-salted hamburger is absurd. Too much salt, is never a good thing, too many hops, when done right, in my opinion, is always a good thing. Congrats Stone!!!

    I don’t think any of this is bashing, nose tweaking yeah. I bow to Stone AND Greg’s awesomeness. Seriously.

  9. NYSBrewer says

    Not bashing? OK, maybe that was too harsh. Nose tweaking? I’m not even sure I know what that is……(joke)…but there sure was some sarcasm….;) Oh, and see the salty burger reference was removed….I wonder why????(bashing or nose tweaking)????

  10. beertje46 says

    Definitely sarcasm. How else will Stone know we love them?

    BTW, nose tweaking is like the dreaded purple nurple but with less force and applied higher.

  11. GlacierBrewing says

    OH YEA?!?

    ….sorry, I got here late but wanted to get in on whatever it is we’re doing.

  12. beertje46 says

    GlacierBrewing wrote: OH YEA?!?

    ….sorry, I got here late but wanted to get in on whatever it is we’re doing.

    Sez you!

    I think the press release is funny as I would never call any Stone beer under-hopped.

  13. irishsnake says

    My hoppiest beer is hoppier than your hoppiest beer. it’s THIS BIG! No doubt you are unworthy of it.

    Honestly, Stone can celebrate their anniversary however they want. But I’m not the only brewer out here that snickers at their “one trick pony” act (EVERYTHING BIGGER!).

    But I’m not sure you can say that here? I guess we’ll see (I thought the saltiest hamburger thing was very funny).

  14. lhall says

    I don’t think they are a one-trick pony. Their smoked porter is really good, and on the more subtle side than some other smoked beers I’ve had. And there can never really be too much hops! While the salty hamburger bit made me laugh, it’s not the same.

  15. irishsnake says

    lhall wrote: I don’t think they are a one-trick pony. Their smoked porter is really good, and on the more subtle side than some other smoked beers I’ve had. And there can never really be too much hops! While the salty hamburger bit made me laugh, it’s not the same.

    Look, I’m not trying to bash Stone (tweak? absolutely.), but I am sure that I am not alone in giving the “hoppiest ever” thing an eye roll.

    And yes, Stone doesn’t only make over the top beers, but that is where they hang their hat. I am comfortable with the “one-trick pony” line.

    Love it? Hate it? Could care less? Whatever. But if we are posting press releases, why can’t people react honestly?

  16. NYSBrewer says

    Has anyone tried Levatation??? Its a 4.8% session beer by Stone, it just hit the Syracuse market, and it is unlike anything I have ever had by Stone. It has a malty charachter, with a good amount of hops, but very drinkable. They do what they do best, and that is make quality beer regardless of IBU’s or ABV. As Linus pointed out, their smoked porter is on the mark. So no, they are not a one trick pony. No one is saying you cant respond the way you feel, but many of us have been inspired by Stone. They are one of the great American breweries and I am proud of them. So say what you feel, and so will I.

  17. Sulfur says

    What happened to the “salt post”?? Was it removed by the original poster? Or was it censorship? I mean really:( . I thought it was very pertinent to this thread, it being about a new release of the extreme beer movement. It was a delightfully sarcastic response and I certainly hope it wasn’t censored out. If it was, shame on you. The fact is that not everyone believes in “the hoppier, the better mantra.” Just because Stone is at the top of their game doesn’t mean they can’t be criticized!

  18. NYSBrewer says

    I dont think ADMIN would have removed the “salt” post. Lets clarify…who did remove it? No one is saying you cant criticize. Say what you want.

  19. IPAMEASAP says

    Isn’t this America, where the freedom of speech is our right? Say what you want about Stone or what ever you want. IT IS OUR RIGHT!! Let’s not be jealous of Stone, but consider them “Heroes” in our industry. They started of very small and have grown to be a very large brewery. It shows us all, that in this country of freedom, that we can achieve our dreams. GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!!!

  20. wiredgourmet says

    I did not remove it (or the couple of posts that followed addressing it directly). That’s all I can say. If the admin thought it was inappropriate, that’s his call.

  21. Scott M says

    Greg is an awsome brewer and here is one reason why, he keeps his feet on the ground. Congrats to Stone Brewing and Greg!!

    Shot at the AHA Convention, Greg standing, ok Greg’s feet next to our ice supply at the Dogfish Head kiosk.

  22. Sulfur says

    Ok, so why is it that we can criticize AB-Inbev all the time but when it comes to Stone we get censored? Most of us posting are brewers and so we have reasons for our opinions. The actions above show to me that this forum is biased. By accepting only the “party line”, you ignore perspectives from the other side that in the end contribute and strengthen the value of our feedback.

    WG’s post with the salt analogy is a kind of humor called SARCASM;) . The point was to show how some view beers that are over proportionately hoppy. The beauty of craft brewing is that you can make a super hoppy beer, and you can also make a challenging, well balanced beer. Whatever spins your crank…By shutting out disagreements you weaken the value of this forum.

  23. BrewinLou says

    Wow this thread has taken a turn for the less humorous. Hey if we can not poke fun at a press release from another brewery what is the point. I do not think anyone posting here meant any ill will towards Stone. More so towards their propaganda machine. It is a sad condition how far most PR firms are out of touch with the products they are hawking. But hey, they are the brewery that named a beer Arrogant Bastard, so does this mean we can not be arrogant bastards back at them?

  24. liammckenna says

    IPAMEASAP wrote: Isn’t this America, where the freedom of speech is our right? Say what you want about Stone or what ever you want. IT IS OUR RIGHT!! Let’s not be jealous of Stone, but consider them “Heroes” in our industry. They started of very small and have grown to be a very large brewery. It shows us all, that in this country of freedom, that we can achieve our dreams. GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!!!

    Indeed.

    Just want to point out that it is entirely possible to achieve this in other places as well (outside of America).

    As this is a professional forum I’m (perhaps erroneously) assuming we can all be constructive, helpful and opinionated without being petty, harshly judgemental or overly negative towards others’ brewing philosophies/approaches/tastes.

    I love bitter beers. I also love malty beers. Mostly, I like balanced beers. I, personally, have encountered many beers that I would consider to be – for want of a better descriptor – hop tea. Too many hops is not ‘always a good thing’. In my opinion it is always a bad thing.

    I will not comment on Stone’s beers as I have never encountered them.
    They have obviously found/developed an appreciative market for their products and their growth and longevity should be admired by all. Congratulations to them and best wishes for continued success.

    Pax.

    Liam

  25. liammckenna says

    IPAMEASAP wrote: Isn’t this America, where the freedom of speech is our right? Say what you want about Stone or what ever you want. IT IS OUR RIGHT!! Let’s not be jealous of Stone, but consider them “Heroes” in our industry. They started of very small and have grown to be a very large brewery. It shows us all, that in this country of freedom, that we can achieve our dreams. GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!!!

    Indeed.

    Just want to point out that it is entirely possible to achieve this in other places as well (outside of America).

    As this is a professional forum I’m (perhaps erroneously) assuming we can all be constructive, helpful and opinionated without being petty, harshly judgemental or overly negative towards others’ brewing philosophies/approaches/tastes.

    I love bitter beers. I also love malty beers. Mostly, I like balanced beers. I, personally, have encountered many beers that I would consider to be – for want of a better descriptor – hop tea. Too many hops is not ‘always a good thing’. In my opinion it is always a bad thing.

    I will not comment on Stone’s beers as I have never encountered them.
    They have obviously found/developed an appreciative market for their products and their growth and longevity should be admired by all. Congratulations to them and best wishes for continued success.

    Pax.

    Liam

  26. wiredgourmet says

    BrewinLou wrote: It is a sad condition how far most PR firms are out of touch with the products they are hawking.

    Case in point: “Stone 13th Anniversary Ale pours brilliant deep red with a light tan foam, said Mitch, describing the flavor profile.”

    That really made me chuckle.

    I find it interesting that there remain criticisms a good deal chillier than my original (at least as I intended it). So perhaps the sin wasn’t in being harsh, but in being irreverent? And perhaps especially coming from some little punk startup no one has heard of?

    Yet 🙂

  27. Moonlight says

    From the land of Arrogant Bastard? and You are not worthy?
    I would venture to say that anyone with this choice of marketing words is not so thick skinned that they would take offense easily.
    I know for a fact that Greg (and everyone else I know at the brewery) has far more sense of humor than many posters on this board…and perhaps Admin.

    I choose to make pointed posts from time to time, not with any offense intended (and apologies to any readers who are personally offended) but with the intent of stirring up conversation and ideas. This forum would border on useless if we merely regurgitated what was status quo.

    Does anyone remember the CBC video by Greg? We are innovation, we don’t just follow. The salt post is from a Craft Brewer and I am proud to be a part of people who post their insights and intuitions…,and thankfully HUMOR! You need new ideas and opinions and HUMOR to be creative and get the juices flowing…salt helps with that.

    If the salt post goes, then I request any of the rude and offensive references to “Arrogant Bastard” or “You are not Worthy” be deleted as well.

  28. NYSBrewer says

    Look guys, I think we all know that the “salt” post was scarcastic, as well as humor. I love HUMOR. But with every joke, there is always a kernel of truth. I am NOT in favor of censorship of any kind. I agree that the “salt” post should not have been removed. And let me clarify, I have never stated that Stone should not be criticized. But with the right to criticize, also comes the right to support and defend, which is what I have chosen to do in these posts.

  29. admin says

    OK…I guess it’s time to jump in.

    Yes I deed delete the “salt” post. When I first read it, early in this string, it seemed irrelevant to the conversation. Keep in mind that the intention of ProBrewer is not a social gathering as much as it is an educational resource. That’s not to say that ProBrewetr can’t and shouldn’t be a place for the community to gather and share fun and off-topic conversations. It is and has been. But it is a balance. And I am the one who has to keep that balance.

    There are others who have contacted me privately and complained that this site has too much “social chatter.” One person who posted on this string here complaining about the salt post being deleted, just a month ago emailed me to complain that the site had too many “amateurs.”

    I rarely delete posts. But when I read the salt post, it was the only post in the string that was not taking a specific and meaningful approach to the topic. In my opinion, the post had no useful association or relevance. It was humor based. Since then, the string has digressed into a non-technical, opinion-oriented conversation, which again, at the beginning it was not. As far as censorship – yes, I occasionally delete posts for various reasons. I do so only in to maintain the integrity of this site which is ultimately in the best interests of all of you. I’m not here to try and serve the needs of every single user. I’m here to serve the needs and interests of the greater cause. That make some unhappy. Anyone in the craft beer business knows; you can’t please all the people all the time. Trying to please everyone on this forum would be a useless endeavor. So if I upset a few of the users occasionally, it means I’m doing my job well.

    I do listen closely to all of you. Any ideas or opinions you may have, please feel free to share them either by emailing directly, through a PM or in the Forum Feedback section.

    Cheers,
    Admin

  30. LokeBrewSF says

    So, I have been keeping up with this thread since the first post. I understand what admin is talking about (keeping a utilitarian website), even if I don’t necessarily agree. The ‘salt’ string was an analogy and should not have been deleted, and since then this thread has become an opinion forum of Stone and their marketing (the one trick pony). Love it or hate it, it has been successful. However, they should not be able to market their new anniversary ale as the ‘hoppiest ever’ because that is not true. An inaccurate marketing ploy like that should be bashed so that they can see that touting something it is not is offensive to other, smaller breweries who have been doing a similar thing for years.

    Honestly, they should brew a beer with a lot of wheat, because apparently

    WHEAT = FLAVOR!!!!

  31. irishsnake says

    LokeBrewSF wrote: So, I have been keeping up with this thread since the first post. I understand what admin is talking about (keeping a utilitarian website), even if I don’t necessarily agree. The ‘salt’ string was an analogy and should not have been deleted, and since then this thread has become an opinion forum of Stone and their marketing (the one trick pony). Love it or hate it, it has been successful. However, they should not be able to market their new anniversary ale as the ‘hoppiest ever’ because that is not true. An inaccurate marketing ploy like that should be bashed so that they can see that touting something it is not is offensive to other, smaller breweries who have been doing a similar thing for years.

    Honestly, they should brew a beer with a lot of wheat, because apparently

    WHEAT = FLAVOR!!!!

    I guess that they are technically saying that this is the Hoppiest (Stone) Beer Ever! – so I suppose they can make that assessment for themselves. Glad I went back and re-read that, as Double Daddy Imperial IPA is an even 5lb/barrel (mostly dry hops).

    As for the wheat, of course it equals flavor as we have been instructed by Bud Light Golden Wheat – and who can argue with Bud?

  32. Laughing Dog says

    LokeBrewSF I cannot agree with you more!! My post that went and maybe ignited or was the catalyst for this whole thing was about just that.

    I have been making brews like this since we opened and just kind of get tired of breweries with more money and clout claiming a first or biggest or best , I hammered another one for claiming to make the first ever Imperial Hefe when I had released one before they did as did about 10 other breweries ( I was not the first, dont claim to be ) I think just spend a little time researching before making any claims.

    I have many pet peeves this is one , so now I will get off my soap Box and get back to work .

    BTW anyone have some 60BBL fermeters and brites they are looking to get rid of? or even 30BBL tanks would do

    Laughing Dog 😮

  33. BubbaBeerBacon says

    I d’ont know if you want to meet me next week at the show.
    I Montreal.

    Call me at the office next week at 450-622-1600 ext 243

    Pascal

  34. admin says

    One clarification to make is that Stone is saying this is their hoppiest beer ever. Important distinction and my fault if that was not made clear in the headline and story.

  35. GlacierBrewing says

    admin wrote: One clarification to make is that Stone is saying this is their hoppiest beer ever. Important distinction and my fault if that was not made clear in the headline and story.

    Oh, NOW you point that out?!?!
    You could’ve saved us two-and-a-half pages….!!!!!!!

    Seriously, ADMIN (is that the name your parents gave you?), thanks for keeping this forum educational/informationally oriented. Not always a clear line.

    Go have a beer, you deserve it.
    Prost!
    Dave

    p.s. I am a Probrewer.com whore!!!

  36. admin says

    Oops! Guess I should have said that sooner.

    I made that more clear in the sub-headline.

    Well….at least we had a good vibrant conversation here. And found out where to get a salty burger.

    Admin

  37. pete says

    Laughing Dog wrote: LokeBrewSF I cannot agree with you more!! My post that went and maybe ignited or was the catalyst for this whole thing was about just that.

    I have been making brews like this since we opened and just kind of get tired of breweries with more money and clout claiming a first or biggest or best , I hammered another one for claiming to make the first ever Imperial Hefe when I had released one before they did as did about 10 other breweries ( I was not the first, dont claim to be ) I think just spend a little time researching before making any claims.

    I have many pet peeves this is one , so now I will get off my soap Box and get back to work .

    BTW anyone have some 60BBL fermeters and brites they are looking to get rid of? or even 30BBL tanks would do

    Laughing Dog 😮

    Fred, we missed you at the distributor tasting in Sun Valley last week. You could have been sipping a Double Bastard with us!

  38. Jephro says

    admin wrote: Hoppy happy Stone Brewing releases their ‘hoppiest beer ever…’

    …more hops per barrel than any beer Stone has ever brewed

    I missed this whole thing, i was working (clears throat) :rolleyes: If people would actually take the time to read entire posts before hitting the reply button, and not jump right on the flaming bandwagon this stuff could be avoided. Besides a flaming bandwagon ride does not sound like fun to me:eek:

    Anywho, i have not met a Stone beer i did not get along with. 90+ IBU’s is a little overkill IMHO but hey that’s what people like these days and if anyone can pull it off i’m sure stone is on the short list. Besides this 3 page thread has been GREAT marketing for them – don’t ya think? Who here can honestly say they will not try this beer when they see it for sale?(thats retorical please don’t answer)

    – ADMIN-Thanks for keeping all us yahoos in line and for running a great, informative site!! You are doing the Craft Brewing Industry a great service!

  39. GarySped says

    Many of you brewers are missing a big point here. You can never be sure you are reaching or going beyond about 80 IBU’s if measured by the iso-octane extraction method. Even HPLC methods would have to be taken with a grain of salt. The fact is you are not measuring just iso-alpha acids with the isoctanes method and even then there are limits to measurements.

    The highest value I have measured that was stable was “150 IBU’s” in a new beer from the East coast that would make this the heaviest IBU beer made. The brewer asked can we quote you on that value? I said yes as long as you point out all the caveats. With the most important one being ” I am not sure what all we are measuring here”. For most beers at or about 80 IBU’s we need to dilute the sample for the assay and that dilution does not (always) give a linear response so we are always in doubt within a few IBU’s on even that scale of operations. It all depends upon so many factors that we will never resolve.

    You need a very modern and sensitive spectrophotometer to measure this level of “bitterness”. When at Siebel I used a needle instrument and on worts approaching readings of 100 IBU’s the needle was all over the place. On modern instruments you can go beyond 1.0 on the scale (something never possible with older instruments – the level of sensitivity best between 0.3 and 1.0 Optical density or Absorbance units). But I reiterate – you are not sure what you are measuring beyond iso-alphas. Even with HPLC measuring alphas there is the concept of organoleptic (taste) BU’s. What we taste (may) does not reflect the true iso-alphas in a beer.

    For more on this you need to read Tom Shellhammer’s (Editor) Symposium Volume on Hops and Bitterness from a conferemnce held in Oregon a few years back (I have my copy out on loan so I cannot give you the full details right now) but it is published recently by the ASBC.

    My warning is to please be very careful before making claims about the highest IBU beer ever made until we ALL understand what it is we are dealing with in terms of what is measured and tasted as an “IBU”.

    And please don’t even get me started on the kinetics and the maximum solubility issues and the expense in making these big IBU/hoppy beers. There is only so much you can physically get into solution (alphas not being very soluble at all in an aqueous environment). Also (and recently reported upon at the ASBC 2009 meeting) there is the perception of bitterness in the presence of different hop oils. Even the experts on this topic have a difficult time in quantifying this whole mess of hops in beer. Be careful what you claim!

    Also tell us how and by whom the measurements were made. Even though I recorded a stable “150 IBU’s” in a beer recently I still suggest anything reported above 80 IBU’s is suspect at best at being a claim for a hoppiest/bitter beer. I doubt we will ever know – are you marketer’s and hop-heads listening?

    [Side note I tasted a very bitter beer with a nice overall hop character recently and then tasted the unmistakable note of onions – quite rare to get this onion note – often you get ribes in these type of beers. So do your bitterest beers actually have a desirable and thirst quenching quality – prompting the customer to order another or are you selling just one off beers? It is always important to look at the big picture here folks. Again marketer’s are you listening?]