The First Pour: Stone IPA
Cicero’s understands that when it come to beer, most people’s favorite is the latest and greatest new beer. Very few beer lovers drink the same beer over and over again. Sure, you might go back to an old standard, but you always try the latest beer first. For that reason, and others, Cicero’s changes their menu every week. When kegs kick, we change them up, unless we decide to keep it tapped for a while longer because it kicked so fast. With that in mind, we strive to keep you, our customers informed on our weekly changes. The “First Pour” series of blog posts will highlight and review the newest beers we have on draft for you. We have a really great enthusiastic beer drinker and Beer School graduate, Mike Vecchio, writing these posts for us. If you see him around, make sure and thank him for his hard work.
By Mike Vecchio
Stone IPA (India Pale Ale)
Hops: Columbus, Chinook, & Centennial
Released: August 1997
I figured what better a way to start a blog post about Stone’s IPA than with their recent love letter to St. Louis. The following is what you’ll be able to find on the back of soon-to-be-released 750’s of Stone’s IPA hitting your neighborhood beer stores:
Hey St. Louis. It’s us. At Stone. What’s up? We’re here now. yes, self-evident of course, considering you’re holding this in your hand and that you’re here in St. Louis too. What might not be so self-evident (although it is to us) is that we’re stoked to be here! VERY stoked. It feels like it’s been a long time coming (as some of our STL fans have been gently, and sometimes not-quite-so-gently, reminding us for a while). Last year Greg (our CEO) was invited out by the St. Louis chapter of the Master Brewers Association of America to give a talk. His reputation might have preceded him a little however, as he got a number of phone calls and emails from folks in advance saying essentially “We should let you know that there’s some sensitivity around here… things aren’t like what they used to be, and it’s a tough time for some folks with all the changes.” No prob. Understood. While we’ve certainly poked some fun at the beer industry for time to time, we have no intention to make it personal. Well, as long as nobody tries to get us to drink anything other than a true craft beer… there’s no negotiation on that front. In fact, that’s how we approach our brewing art. No negotiation. It’s our way… or you’re free to choose something else if it’s not your thing. There’s more choice than ever before, and it’s a beautiful thing. Choice, variety & character. It’s what makes this country truly great, and no one knows that better than the great folks in St. Louis. We’re stoked to be among your choice in the wonderful state of MO. Where you are now, holding this bottle. We hope you enjoy our beers. We’re really happy to be here!
Well that gives you an idea of the fact that you (as a St. Louis craft beer drinker) are a highly respected and sought after demographic. Take a minute to savor that thought, it’s powerful. Bet the moment would be even sweeter if you had a Stone IPA in your hand. I assure you it would (I’m nursing a Stone while writing this). Well now that you’re feeling all self-indulgent, take a peak at what’s in store for you if you’ve never had Stone’s IPA before.True to the West Coast (American) India Pale Ale style, Stone’s IPA packs a notable hop, bitterness, and ABV punch. The beer pours out a clear yellow in color with a light head on top. The aroma off the beer is decadent, floral, and really showcases those traditional West Coast hop varieties. The dry hopping allows for more prominent tones of citrus, pine, and maybe some light woody characteristics as well. The taste of the beer is similar to that showcased in the aroma, it’s a homage to hops and easily overpowers the malt profile of the beer. Mostly the beer tastes of citrus and piney hops and swallows with a dry finish with lingering hop resin on the tongue. Overall the drink of this beer is great for those hop heads/IPA lovers who are more taken by the West Coast (compared to East Coast or English style) variety of the beer style. It has a low enough ABV to allow this beer to be enjoyed with a spicy dinner (I’m thinking of Cicero’s buffalo chicken strips) or your session beer for a night on the town. Either way, enjoy this beer off the tap and make sure to look for those St. Louis specific 750 bottles over the coming months.
About the Author – Mike moved to St Louis from Ohio in 2008 and got interested in craft beer thanks to local staples like Schlafly and O’Fallon. He credits Cicero’s Beer School for the evolution of his tastes from highly hopped IPAs to a range of stouts and traditional hefeweizens. When he’s not drinking a beer, Mike enjoys trying to teach his dog not to bark at everything that moves, reading about crime, and home brewing with his co-workers (whoops that involves drinking a beer).