10 November 2007 - 23:19East meets West
I used to live in San Diego, not 3 miles from Stone Brewing’s headquarters. Funnily enough, they liked to ride bikes. Needless to say, back then, I was in a position to help them out, and they were in a position to help me out. I can recall a big BBQ blow out, that dispensed some of the owrst hangovers on record, and the feeble attempt by a friend of mine and I, when we tried to “finish” the keg of Arrogant Bastard Ale that we had tapped the night before.
Sadly we were beaten. How foolish we were…
In subsequent trips to SD, we would always make a pilgrimage to the brewery. We’d hang out in the brewery during happy hour, and bring some swag back to the east coast. Back then, It was cool to bring a case or two of 22oz beers on a plane. Not so anymore.
(Actually, I have a good story about this. Ask me about the 3rd worst plane ride of my life)
Up until just recently, beer this good was only available locally, at the brew pub where it was made. We didn’t have such beers available in 6 pack form in VT until just recently. Don’t get me wrong, we have plenty of good beer, but not many that can give you “bitter beer face”. I love IPAs. Full of hops and flavor, and completely undrinkable by many. An acquired taste for sure.
About a year ago, I found Smuttynose IPA, from our neighbors in New Hampshire. After a few years of de-tuning from Stone’s brews, I found the Smutty to be pretty strong, both in character and flavor. Could this be a replacement? Can I stop thinking that the only good bottled beer came from the west coast?
…Until one day a few weeks ago…
When I find a Stone Porter in the store across the street from my shop. Porter isn’t my thing, but there it was, a west coast beer in the cold case not 100 yards from my work stand.
Well, there is only one place I know I can go for good IPA, or any obscure malted beverage for that matter. And what do you know? There are all of my old friends. Ruination, Arrogant Bastard Ale, and Stone IPA 6 packs.
Well now what?
I guess it’s time for a shoot out.
East meets West.
Biggie meets Tupak.
I’m pretty sure I can find a way for both of them to get along…
In my belly!