Monday, January 30, 2012

Stone, The Alchemist, Ninkasi Beer Collaboration

Alchemist Ninkasi Stone More Brown

Back in November two of my favorite breweries got together with a Brewery that I have yet to try. (They haven't ventured to New England yet, although I am eagerly awaiting them to expand). Stone Brewery in Escondido, CA makes a number of beers that I love including Ruination, Oaked Aged Arrogant Bastard, and of course their IPA, just to name a few. The Alchemist is from Waterbury, Vermont and has the most incredible beer ever; they are by far and away the best beer in New England, The East Coast and The entire United States. Some of their beers that I love are Heady Topper, El Jefe, Rapture, Holy Cow and Donovan's Red. The third brewery that joined them for the Collaboration was Ninkasi Brewery in Eugene, Oregon. Truthfully, they are not available in Massachusetts or Vermont and I have never any of their beer, though I would really like to (Hey Ninkasi, I would love to review your beer, so if you could mail some way get your  IPA to me, that would be fantastic...Just saying).

So these three brewers got together in California after John Kimmich, head brewer of the Alchemist, was looking for a little vacation after a lot of the clean up from Hurricane Irene. You see Waterbury was one of the towns that were really hit hard by the weather. Here are a few pictures of the brewery/brew pub

Elm Street The Day After
All these pictures are from The Alchemist website. So there are a lot of reasons to get away. One of the great things about the Microbrew Community is that every rally around each other, there is healthy competition and a true kinship amongst each brewer. 

When Mitch Steele, one of the brewers for Stone heard about what happened sent an email asking if there is anything he could do and with that Collaboration was born. Mitch gave the brewer at Ninkasi a call and asked if he wanted to join them.  You can watch the video below and check out the whole story.

The best part of all of this is that 100% of the profits from this nationally distributed beer will be going to The Waterbury Good Neighbor Fund.

Onto my review of the beer:

I love IPA's and this one is no different. More Brown than Black IPA is a beer that pours out looking like a Porter but has the hop presence is strong. As soon as you crack open the bottle you smell that glorious smell. The hops that they used were Super Galena hop extract for bittering, Nelson Sauvin and Delta for flavor, dry-hopped with a blend of Citra and Galaxy. This is another reason why I like the beer, some of my favorite hops, Citra and Nelson Sauvin. The Citra will be in my next brew, which I will be doing soon with my Father-in-Law. Before I drank it I did the obligatory smell of the glass. My eyes and nose were confused, it was dark but it smelled like hops. Once I went for it, it was heaven in my mouth. I kid you not I just went into full relax, beer euphoria. The beer was smooth, the malt was not over powering (I am not a fan of porters or stouts, they are not a regular beer for me) and the hops exploded into my mouth. While being a limited edition beer, I wish I could drink it all the time. So here are the facts on the beer, run to your favorite place to buy great beer and see if there is any left. Last I checked Table and Vine in West Springfield had about 15 on the shelf, I bought 4 myself

Stats: 7.4% abv, 80 IBUs
Availability: Limited 12oz bottles & draft, beginning December 19th
Distribution: AZ, CA, CO, FL, IL, MA, NC, NM, NY, OH, OR, PA, SC, TX, VA, VT, WA

Malts: Maris Otter Pale, Light Munich, Carafa III Special Dark, and CaraHelles
Hops: Super Galena hop extract for bittering, Nelson Sauvin and Delta for flavor,  dry-hopped with a blend of Citra and Galaxy.

All pictures from the Alchemist and Video from The Stone Blog 

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