Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Christmas came early for a select few at the Stone Brewing tasting in Darlo
Just before Christmas, the Darlo Taphouse and Australian Brews News (ABN) hosted Ben Lee (pictured above) from Stone Brewing in San Diego. Stone is easily one of the best craft breweries in the States and worth a visit if you're ever Stateside.
After ABN recently ignited a furore about grey importing in Australia which then erupted on various online forums and saw Greg Koch, Founder of Stone, passionately putting his point across, an opportunity arose to taste some fresh Stone beers given Ben was travelling with his wife to Sydney to spend Christmas with family.
We managed to steal some of Ben's precious holiday time while he managed to bring some Stone beers direct from the brewery in his hand luggage! Naturally, this meant there wasn't much to go around so only 10 lucky competition winners (including 5 Ale Star members) got to attend.
The lineup of beers were Lukcy Basartd Ale (mis-spelling intentional), 10−10−10 Vertical Epic, 2010 Imperial Russian Stout, Stone Smoked Porter, Ruination IPA and Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous. All were unbelievable but given I'd had Ruination before, I'm happy to declare my favourite was the SSSR followed by the 10-10-10 (any other attendees feel free to post your faves below).
Ben passionately told us his own story and the story of Stone (Ben's been there almost since the beginning). He also gave us fantastic insight into each of the beers before cleverly letting the beers speak for themselves. Ben also emphasised the importance of craft beer drinkers in Australia (everywhere for that matter) supporting local craft breweries to ensure the best can continually improve and thrive.
Thanks to Greg Koch, Ben and all at Stone Brewing Co for giving us this opportunity and Matt at Australian Brews News for helping to make it happen.