Address: 1999 Citracado Parkway
Escondido, CA 92029
Phone: (760) 294-7899
Flagship Beers: Stone Pale Ale, Go To IPA, Ripper, Arrogant Bastard, Coffee Milk Stout, Delicious IPA, Sublimely Self-Righteous Black IPA
Seasonal Releases: Xocoveza, Anniversary Ale Series, RuinTen TIPA
Series Releases: Encore Series, Enjoy By
The Down Low: Founded in 1996 and now the ninth largest craft brewery in the United States, evidence of Stone Brewing Company in the beer world is everywhere. They got their start in San Marcos, CA, but are headquartered now in Escondido. And with other breweries scattered throughout California and as far away as Germany and Richmond, VA, Stone shows no signs of slowing down any time soon.
They’re a staple beer in what seems to be every craft beer store we’ve ever been in. Known well for their logo, which features the devil holding a mug of beer, their bottles are found anywhere that craft beer is sold. In fact, most of the time that we go looking for their beer, there seems to be a new one on the shelf. Constantly experimenting with new styles and collaborations, they’re constantly innovating new ways to keep the craft beer drinkers interested. Mocha IPA. Oaked Arrogant Bastard. Smoked Porters. Coffee Stouts. You name it, they’ve tried making it. And while the majority of their beers would be considered good by most and average by the most picky, you’ve gotta hand it them for always trying something new. In the craft brew industry, standing apart from the rest is critical–that’s something Stone has always done.
Our personal favorite from Stone has got to be the Enjoy By Series. Using “devestatingly fresh” hops, this series grabbed our attention a few years ago. The smell of hops attacks the olfactory senses as soon as the cap is popped, and the taste confirms what you’re hoping is going to match up. The dates on the bottle are front and center, encouraging a date to “enjoy by.” If you don’t, the fresh hop flavor drops off, becoming more malty and syrupy. This series used to be found only in 22 oz. bombers, but like many other beers as of late that they produce, 12 oz. bottles are now an option as well. In the last couple of years, cans are in full swing, coming in six and twelve packs depending on the style.
Breweries that do something well are here to stay. That being said, you can expect to see Stone for many more years to come. Just don’t expect to see the same old beers week after week, or anything that’s just run-of-the-mill for that matter…