Beer #108 - W/C 20 March 2017
BREWERY // It all started when founders Steve Wagner & Greg Koch discussed their mutual obsession for beer after meeting at a weekend college course named "A Sensory Evaluation of Beer". In 1996 they opened their brewery in San Marcos, California with their first customer being Pizza Port Solana Beach. The 20 years that followed saw huge growth with the brewery being the 9th largest in the USA and Stone being named "All Time Top Brewery on Planet Earth" twice by BeerAdvocate magazine. Stone now employs over 1100 people and has recently opened breweries in Berlin and Richmond, Virginia. You beer tourists should definitely be adding 'Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens' in California, Berlin and (soon to open) Virginia to your list.
BEER // Witbiers became popular in Belgium over 400 years ago. At that time Belgium was part of the Netherlands whose colonisation of the Spice Islands supplied local brewers with a variety of interesting flavours which their Reinheitsgebot-abiding German counterparts could not access. Historically Witbiers were made with ground coriander and bitter curaçao orange peel making for a fragrant, soft and very refreshing beer. It's not a style that one would immediately associate with Stone who are known for their aggressively hopped IPAs and their intense stouts. We couldn't imagine them making a by-the-book Wit and they haven't done so here. The hop bitterness has been scaled up with the addition of new German hop variety - Mandarina Bavaria. The name gives away that it has a mandarin flavour which the brewer compliments with the addition of tangerine peel and kaffir lime leaf. Citrus flavours have always worked well in Wits (you may have experienced a Hoegaarden with a slice of lemon) and the unusual citrus addition works well here to compliment the spice flavours. Dry, refreshing and perfect for a sunny afternoon.
BREWERY // Stone
BEER // Citrusy Wit
STYLE // Wit
ORIGIN // Escondido, California
ABV // 5.3%
HOPS // Magnum, Centennial, Amarillo & Mandarina Bavaria
OTHER // Tangerine Peel, Kaffir Lime Leaf, Coriander
TEMPERATURE // Cold - 9-10C
FOOD MATCH // Dim sum. Fish Tacos. Lemon Chicken. Beetroot & Goat Cheese Salad. Pineapple Sorbet.
GLASS // Tulip. IPA Glass