Stone Brewing Company is well known for its bold beers, especially IPAs, and its 19th anniversary IPA is no exception.
Thunderstruck (imperial IPA, 8.7 percent ABV, IBUs 95) was brewed in celebration of the brewery’s 19th anniversary.
As the country’s ninth largest craft brewery, Stone is in a state of unprecedented expansion, including an East Coast production facility in Richmond, Va.
With a long history of forwarding a number of craft beer styles that are now some of the most popular, Stone is on the verge of further differentiating itself by becoming the first American craft brewer to independently own and operate a brewery in Europe. Plans are in progress to open a Stone Brewing Company location in Berlin in 2016.
Appropriately, Stone is introducing its internationally inspired, celebratory 19th anniversary offering, Thunderstruck IPA, brewed entirely with Australian hops and malt.
Thunderstruck has made itself to Michiana shelves in 22 oz. bombers, and I picked one up today to drink a toast to Stone’s 19 years. This is one of those beers that oozes hop aroma out of the bottle as soon as it is uncapped. I tasted quite a bit of citrus and pine, but overall, it was dank, juicy, resinous and bitter with a strong malt backbone.
To be honest, I was pleasantly surprised. It is brewed exclusively with Australian hops – Ella, Vic Secret, Galaxy, Topaz – and usually I’m not a huge fan of these varietals, but this beer may have changed my mind. Stone brewers also used malted barley shipped from Australia specifically for this one-time release. If you are a hop head or a fan of IPAs, I suggest you get one before they are gone.
“We’re immensely proud of the many unique beers we’ve brewed over the past 19 years, and it’s our fans’ love of those beers and their support of Stone that has allowed us to do what we do over such a long span,” said Stone CEO and co-founder Greg Koch. “We’re excited to be closing in on two full decades of craft brewing and our anniversary beers always offer us a special way of saying thank you to our supporters.”
Over the past year, Stone has expanded international distribution of its decidedly bold beers into other countries, including Australia. When the time came to take Stone beers “down under,” brewmaster Mitch Steele and lead brewer Jeremy Moynier traveled across the Pacific to personally introduce their liquid wares.
While there, they brewed a collaboration rye-infused IPA with Australia’s Nomad Brewing Co. and sampled a bevy of the country’s exotic hop varietals, a number of which they were quite familiar with through hop trials and pilot brews back at home.
The duo was so inspired by the country’s wealth of top-notch ingredients that, upon return, they developed a recipe for an all-Australian beer…that interestingly is rather unlike anything currently being brewed there, or here.