Nearly 19 years ago, beer geek entrepreneurs Greg Koch and Steve Wagner launched Stone Brewing Co., selling the very first keg of Stone Pale Ale to San Diego County brewpub Pizza Port. Since that inaugural offering (a creation developed by original Stone Brewmaster Steve Wagner), Stone has earned a reputation for making a wide variety of bold, flavorful and often hop-centric beers. Starting today, a bold new version of Stone Pale Ale—artfully dubbed Stone Pale Ale 2.0—will begin arriving in 12-ounce six-packs and on draft.
More than a year ago, Stone Brewmaster Mitch Steele was presented with the challenge of reimagining this iconic recipe. Before deciding on the final formulation for Stone Pale Ale 2.0, Greg, Steve, Mitch and the brewing team evaluated a number of prototypes. It was ultimately decided that the new year-round release should feature a distinctive new hop variety known as Mandarina Bavaria and a radically different grain bill.
“Revamping this recipe was a really big project for us, especially since our loyal fans, myself included, have an emotional attachment to Stone Pale Ale,” explains Wagner. “Mitch and the brewing team really stepped up to the challenge and created something we believe will satisfy people’s changing palates and growing desire for more unique hop varieties.”
Mandarina Bavaria, a relatively new hop varietal developed in Germany’s famed Bavaria region, offers a blend of earthy, citrusy, fruity aromatics. Magnum and Herkules hops provide bitterness that’s substantial, allowing for a unique pale ale that’s more hop-forward than its predecessor, without being overbearing. A touch of rye in the grain bill delivers hints of biscuity character and subtle spice on the palate, adding depth to this nicely balanced, eminently drinkable ale.
Stone Pale Ale 2.0 Quick Facts
Name: Stone Pale Ale 2.0
Stats: 6% ABV, 55 IBUs
Availability: 12-ounce bottles in six-packs and on draft, beginning April 27
Hops Bill: Magnum, Herkules and Mandarina Bavaria
National Distribution: AK, AL, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, HI, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MT, NC, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OR, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, VT, WA and Puerto Rico
International Distribution (coming soon): Australia; Alberta and British Columbia, Canada; Japan; Singapore; Sweden; and United Kingdom
Find Beer: find.stonebrewing.com
Tasting notes, provided by Stone Brewmaster Mitch Steele
Appearance: Beer pours a deep golden/light amber with a cream-colored head.
Aroma: A fruity hop blend comprising citrus and stone fruit aromas, along with a nice, spicy “continental” malt character.
Taste: The hop character stands out with spicy, fruity flavors. There’s a bit of herbaceous hop flavor, followed by substantial orange and peach fruit flavors. The malt character that follows has hints of biscuit with some spiciness from the rye malt.
Palate: The beer has a medium body and a substantial yet balanced bitter finish.
Overall: This is a unique and interesting take on the pale ale style. By using European malts and hops, the flavor profile is akin to several continental European styles yet has the bitter and hoppy elements of a classic craft-brewed pale ale. The hop character is focused on the Mandarina Bavaria hop, a new varietal from Germany that, while also having a nice European spice character, brings out huge fruit notes similar to orange and peach.
Suggested pairings, provided by Stone Craft Beer Ambassador “Dr.” Bill Sysak
Appetizers: Hummus, cashews, fried calamari, chips and salsa
Salads: Antipasto, Greek salad, Thai salad, Caesar salad
Entrees: Hamburgers, tandoori chicken, crab cakes, quinoa-stuffed butternut squash, fish tacos, tofu yakisoba
Cheeses: Shelburne Farmhouse Cheddar, Derby, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Fiscalini Bandage Wrapped Cheddar
Desserts: Bananas Foster, almond sandies, peach cobbler, pumpkin pie
Cigars: Avo No. 1, Arturo Fuente 8-5-8, Davidoff Colorado Claro
About Stone Brewing Co.
Founded by Greg Koch and Steve Wagner in 1996, San Diego-based Stone Brewing Co.is the 9th largest craft brewer in the United States. Stone has been listed on the Inc. 500 | 5000 Fastest Growing Private Companies list 10 times, and has been called the “All-time Top Brewery on Planet Earth” by BeerAdvocate magazine twice. The multifaceted company will be the first American craft brewer to own and operate its own brewery in Europe, and is also building a production brewery and destination restaurant in Richmond, Virginia. Brewing at both locations is anticipated to begin late 2015. Known for its bold, flavorful and largely hop-centric beers, Stone has earned a reputation for brewing outstanding, unique beers while maintaining an unwavering commitment to sustainability, business ethics, philanthropy and the art of brewing. For more information on Stone Brewing Co., please visit stonebrewing.com or the company’s social media sites:Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and The Stone Blog.