Looking back on my previous beer selections from this season, I've noticed a gaping hole. I've been thinking outside the box, trying to vary my selections. Fair enough, in context. Now, however, the prospect of the USC game has left me disquieted. I can't face a projected 40+ point loss with beer I don't enjoy. I need comfort, I need familiar, I need... I need some damn hops.
There's a few breweries I trust to utilize Humulus lupulus the way God intended. Odell? Sure. Russian River, Alpine, Bear Republic, Firestone, and Green Flash? Absolutely, our West Coast brothers use the hop most righteously. But in the end, I run home to momma. I run home to the brewery that has long been my favorite on the planet; the brewery that taught me to love hops, IPA's, and all things bitter. I run home to Stone.
Those mad geniuses in Escondito, CA can always be trusted to use copious amounts of the Lord's favorite flowering vine, and they've got a new brew out in CO that lives up to that trust. I'm naming that beer, Stone's Enjoy By 11.09.12 IPA, as my gameday-beer-o-the-week.
OK, the name sucks. It's a marketing ploy to reinforce the fact that this fresh-hop double IPA is sure to spoil if left on a shelf. The name is it's own "brewed-on" date, which is fine in theory, but makes the beer damn hard to order. "Hey, can I get an Enjoy-By-11.09.12-IPA, please!" A little pedantic, don't you think?
Regardless, this is an overly hopped double IPA. It's extremely aromatic, with strong notes of floral and sweet hops, with some citrus in the back. Taste is along the lines of what the kids are calling "dank" these days. Resinous and bitter, with plenty of hop flavor all over the place. Surprisingly, however, it's not overpowering. You get a little malt sweetness in support, but not much. This is a beer about the hop, for hop lovers. Wusses and hop blasphemers need not apply.
This round of the "Enjoy By" series is quickly coming to a close, so if you want some, you'd better hurry. Due to its popularity, I wouldn't be surprised if it has another run through Colorado, however.
Happy Friday! Go Buffs, beat USC!