Beer me! Stone Brewing Co’s Japanese Green Tea IPA (2015)

So it’s been a while…

I used to write a lot, now I mainly tweet. I believe time and a lackadaisical attitude to social media will do that to a person, but it’s been too long and I feel the need to do so once again.

I’m a passionate beer drinker, in fact I believe friends and colleagues alike would say i’m Mr. Enthusiasm, but my growing fascination with beer has developed into first geekery, and then a job. I’m pretty pleased with how it all worked out to be honest, and it’s opened my eyes to an ocean of possibility regarding beer and beer styles. I still recognise my knowledge of beer is low, but i’m hoping through doing this and beavering away studying for Certified Cicerone, it’ll work wonders!

My geekery of beer has certainly stepped up a gear recently, where I am now purchasing specialised glassware, purposefully designed to impart more aroma and experience to the pallet as possible – I grin every time I use it. It also has the added benefit of looking slightly rude. Hur hur hur.


I guess this will be my first proper attempt at getting down and dirty with discussing a beer – and I’ve brought something rather special to the opening party – the updated version of Stone Brewing Co‘s Japanese Green Tea IPA.GTIPA_1

This is a collaboration brew, not only with Baird Brewery’s Bryan Baird, but with Toshi Ishii, a former brewer at Stone, and now founder of Guam’s Ishii Brewing Co. Lovely to have the story written there on the back for you to see, I love that about the beer industry, the collaborative, and in some cases, weirdly incestual nature of where people work and work with.

Sooo, first impressions: Looks a little hazy. That’ll be all the sexy flavour in there.

GTIPA_2

Smells of musty hay, belgian yeast-like but with higher notes to it, obviously green tea, avocado? Avocado maki sushi rolls! Awesome. Really light aroma considering its 10.1% abv.

Tastes bright and herbaceous as the guff on the back states, but they’re absolutely right, more botanical/tropical bright hop vibes. It tastes like a visit to a Botanical garden – inhaling the warm air as you rove through the vibrant plants and rainbow-hued insects.

I know this sounds poncey. Sorry.

Long aftertaste where the bitterness really kicks in and you get green grass and pine – but not too dry which makes a change for this “style”.

It barely tastes 5% let alone 10. This is instantly quaffable, so i’m incredibly glad I bought two bottles, the second being saved for my next ADVENTURE IN BEER (read: getting sozzled) with a good friend.

Final word: Nom.


DISCLAIMER: I work for BrewDog and sell BrewDog, Mikkeller and Stone Brewing Co beers into the “North” of England.

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BrewDog AGM 2014

First Post! etc etc

A couple of weeks have now past since the AGM, and despite starting a new job, moving house, and driving to Aberdeen from Yorkshire, I seem relatively stable.

What a weekend though! Having just checked into the hotel, we immediately set forth to the BrewDog bar, and ordered some of this years #Mashtag 2014 – a wonderful democratically voted for beer through the website and through Twitter, and the BD website itself.

#Mashtag 2014

This Imperial red ale really storms you, wonderfully complex caramel and robust ruby malt tones give way to a blood orange punch and citrus kiss at the end – superb – and FAR better than last years Brown Ale.

Mixing it up in the bar was great, and meeting completely random strangers from around the globe – and then trying ever increasingly diverse beers – added a great community feel to the night. My thanks to Yani, especially, who was a great guy to hang out with throughout the weekend.

The bar was packed, and the crowd were rowdy and affable – a wonderful first day in Aberdeen.

 BrewDog Aberdeen     I Hardcore You

BrewDog Aberdeen

The Hop Cannon!

BrewDog Aberdeen     SAMSUNG CSC

BrewDog Aberdeen in full swing!

Onto the main event!

With over 4000 attendees, this was a major deal for BrewDog, and it could be seen that an event this size was difficult to manage. Zarah was all over the place; We jokingly mentioned she may have either found a way to time-travel to duplicate herself multiple times, or just standard cloning – either way she was a force to be reckoned with. Despite, at times, crazy bar queues, there were high spirits, smiling, and as per usual, beer enthusiasm.

Having been my first AGM experience, I’ve had nothing to compare it to, the business update was well presented to such an enormous crowd, the food was pretty decent, and the music was wonderful – particular highlights being MFC Chicken and of course, the acoustic set from Idlewild.

AGM just getting warmed up

More Business Time

The exceptionally long queues

Sort of working...

SAMSUNG CSC

Idlewild

MFC Chicken ripping it up!

Grafitti

Then things just got strange…

Beer tastings from the guest breweries, invited to show off their wares, were going down a treat throughout the day. Magic Rock, Cromarty, Brew By Numbers, and of course the fabulous Greg Koch from Stone Brewing – all seemed to get some amazing feedback across the board.

The BrewDog tasting event at 8pm started… well! Both Everyday Anarchy (imperial saison, aged in white wine casks) and Black Eyed King Imp (the original test for Cocoa Psycho) went down a treat…and then people started taking their clothes off. Something you had to be there to see and believe i’m afraid.

BrewDog's Deathstar tasting session

Stone's Greg Koch brings some order in

And then it got weird...

It’s all about the craft beer – and there was so much to have that day – the passion and enthusiasm felt and given by everyone was incredible. Even the occasional gripe on social media regarding queuing didn’t let the day down – you didn’t see many faces not smiling.

Roll on 2015!