Beer of the Week

Five things about … Stone’s Go To IPA

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1) I’m not even supposed to be drinking this beer. Last year I wrote several blog posts about Stone’s dubious crowdfunding effort. After that I decided to myself that I’d boycott their beers over my dislike at the way they totally fudged things to make it look like they’re weren’t doing what they actually SAID THEY WERE DOING. I got the idea from Phil Cook’s boycotting of Moa over this.

Sure, I did drink a Stone Enjoy By earlier this year but that was sent to me by Luke from Ale of a Time, so I justified it by the fact I didn’t buy it with my own money. Of course, a boycott is shit-easy to stick to when you can’t get their beers anyway. But now I can get their beers, and from a bottle shop in my home town (I may even have been the person who suggested the owners should stock it. Who am I kidding? Yeah, I totally was that person). So I wussed out at the first hurdle and bought a load of Stone beers. I’m so weak.

2) One of those beers was the Stone Go To IPA, which I tried before checking the alcohol content. Which I’m pleased I did because I was thoroughly shocked that it was just 4.5 per cent. With the level of bitterness and flavour going on here, it tastes much, much, much stronger than that.

3) I also bought two versions of the Arrogant Bastard Ale, and actually cringed when I did so. That was because I hate beer snobbery and the tag line ‘‘This is an aggressive beer. You probably won’t like it’’, is a huge piece of snobbery. Given that owner Greg Koch always denigrates what most people drink as ‘‘fizzy, yellow beer’’, I find it hard to dismiss the Arrogant Bastard image as just a joke.

4) Last year there was also some issue about whether Australian distributor Experience IT had the rights to bring Stone to Australia. The distributor made the announcement, genuinely believing they had the rights. But owner Greg Koch found out about it on Twitter and said there would be no Stone, citing an ‘‘internal miscommunication’’ at Stone’s end.

To this day I have never read or heard of a fuller explanation for what happened. What actually was the ‘‘internal miscommunication? Did someone at Stone okay this without Koch’s knowledge? If so, did they keep their job? Or was it mentioned to Koch and he wasn’t paying attention? And how does a decision to export something halfway around the world on a regular basis get made in error?

5) Just so you know, I still don’t like Stone for that crowdfunding dickery. But they can brew a decent beer.

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