Stone Brewing - Thoughts Nowadays?

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Cass
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Stone Brewing - Thoughts Nowadays?

Postby Cass » Mon Jun 12, 2017 10:13 am

So today Greg Koch is in town, for a Stone event at Pogue Mahone on Bay St. Seems like an odd place for a Stone event - but maybe that's an indication of where the beer scene is nowadays, where Greg comes to town and is at Pogue Mahone, and it seems like nobody is talking about it.

I wanted to ask - what does everyone think about Stone nowadays? Excited when new beers are released here? Still buy the ones that we regularly have? Drink it on draught at bars?

Curious to see what some of the gang thinks as I'm going to record a podcast with him tonight and would love a pulse of how everyone feels about Stone today.
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Re: Stone Brewing - Thoughts Nowadays?

Postby MatttthewGeorge » Mon Jun 12, 2017 10:40 am

Generally I'll buy anything that doesn't need to be fresh. If it does I usually pass due to the LCBO more than Stone. That said, I don't re-buy much Stone at all, as the price point isn't as good and we have equivalent beers here at the same or better price points.

My overall feeling is they still make great beer and are still relevant, but great beer seems pretty easy to come buy nowadays, and beer events are expensive and everywhere. Glad they're here and I'd certainly welcome more of it, but I'm not racing to get it.
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Re: Stone Brewing - Thoughts Nowadays?

Postby Craig » Mon Jun 12, 2017 11:46 am

I haven't had a Stone beer in Ontario that I thought there wasn't a better, cheaper local option. They're a brewery that I'll try on tap if I'm out and there's something I haven't had before. I'm not rushing out to the LCBO to pick up their stuff like I might for say, Crooked Stave.

If I were in a good bar in the US, it's pretty unlikely that I would bother with anything Stone.
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Re: Stone Brewing - Thoughts Nowadays?

Postby DeMarco » Mon Jun 12, 2017 12:41 pm

I think they are still on my radar, but I have a feeling it might be the beer reps that are out of touch. I've never heard of that bar and if it wasn't for this post, I would've had no idea he was in town. Our laws and the current dollar keep me from buying more stone than local stuff.
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Re: Stone Brewing - Thoughts Nowadays?

Postby darmokandjalad » Mon Jun 12, 2017 3:50 pm

DeMarco wrote:...the current dollar keep me from buying more stone than local stuff.


Seconded. I like their Go To IPA but I'm not going to pay close to 4 bucks/tallboy for a light beer that the LCBO probably sat on for too long. Arrogant Bastard's price is a bit easier to swallow given its strength/style, but it still costs 30-50% more than the local options. The crappy exchange rate isn't doing Stone (or Sierra Nevada, etc.) any favours in this market.
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Re: Stone Brewing - Thoughts Nowadays?

Postby Bobsy » Mon Jun 12, 2017 8:37 pm

While I echo some of the comments so far, Xocoveza and the RIS are pretty epic.
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Re: Stone Brewing - Thoughts Nowadays?

Postby JerCraigs » Mon Jun 12, 2017 8:56 pm

Craig wrote:I haven't had a Stone beer in Ontario that I thought there wasn't a better, cheaper local option. They're a brewery that I'll try on tap if I'm out and there's something I haven't had before.


That's about my take on it as well. Possible exception of the RIS. There are Ontario breweries putting out world class examples (or close to it) of almost every style now. I think the big dubbels quads of Belgium being one possible exception. The catch being that some of them are still only limited releases or seasonals.
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Re: Stone Brewing - Thoughts Nowadays?

Postby Craig » Mon Jun 12, 2017 9:12 pm

Bobsy wrote:While I echo some of the comments so far, Xocoveza and the RIS are pretty epic.


Xocoveza was here and I think I got a single bottle. It's a polarizing beer, so I concede that other people see it differently, but even if it were general list and always available I doubt I'd ever get it again.

The stout is good and I've always liked Old Guardian, but I'm not busting down the door to get either. Maybe the barleywine, just because that style is still relatively rare here.
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Re: Stone Brewing - Thoughts Nowadays?

Postby Cass » Tue Jun 13, 2017 8:02 am

It's crazy how times have changed, as there was barely anyone there for the Stone tasting, but I really don't think many people knew about it either.

Greg was in attendance and was definitely chatty - I recorded a 45 podcast with him and Jason from Indie. It was a fun conversation and we covered a lot of topics so watch for that soon.

They were pouring bottled samples of what's been at the LCBO (Double Bastard, Enjoy After, Imperial Stout, Go to IPA, Xocoveza, Vertical Epic) and had IPA and Delicious IPA on tap.

Greg was doing a little trip to this part of the world, as today is an event at Colter Bay in Buffalo with something like 27 lines turned over to Stone. If Greg doesn't see the stark contrast of how things work between Ontario and NY on this trip he never will :)
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Re: Stone Brewing - Thoughts Nowadays?

Postby admviolin » Tue Jun 13, 2017 10:08 am

I blame poor promotion and marketing. I enjoy stone still but I didn't hear of this event until 8pm last night.
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Re: Stone Brewing - Thoughts Nowadays?

Postby cratez » Tue Jun 13, 2017 1:40 pm

They still excel at IPAs, strong ales, and stouts IMHO, and every once in a while they crank out an innovative beer like Xocoveza. Like others have noted, the challenge with enjoying some of their hoppy styles is finding fresh bottles/kegs, which can be very difficult here. That said, I can only assume that Ontarians are happy to see more and more Stone beers on the shelves, as their products seem to move well at the LCBOs that I frequent. With respect to the event, a lack of marketing/awareness likely played a role in the low turnout, but I also think Toronto's beer scene has matured to the point where you would need to do an event similar to the one being held at Colter Bay in order to get people really excited (beer geeks especially). But as Cass alluded to, our onerous rules for keg imports don't allow for that.
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Re: Stone Brewing - Thoughts Nowadays?

Postby AugustusRex » Tue Jun 13, 2017 11:02 pm

I just finished an Arrogant Bastard can. It was almost 3 months old, which in the States is the hardline best before date. Here, Greg has extended the shelf life to one year. Because of Greg's arrogance about beer, and my personal beef with him (he attacked me online because I criticized some Stone beers) I do not think very highly of Stone. I wanted to try their RIS for years, but after having the 2016 recently from the LCBO, I believe it is outclassed by Ten FIDY.

Arrogant Bastard and Stone IPA will always have a place in the history of beer styles, so Stone isn't all that bad.
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Re: Stone Brewing - Thoughts Nowadays?

Postby El Pinguino » Wed Jun 14, 2017 10:19 am

Sounds like it was a good, low key event to know about....but like others, I didn't know about it.
Funny, because I pretty much get all the media releases from Stone....so I'm guessing someone just did a junk job spreading the word.

I like Stone beers and pick up any new ones that appear here. I do feel there are TOO MANY odd variations and tweaked Stone beers kicking around now....compared to years back. Tangerine this, whatever that...since we don't get many of them here, I just pass on all those when I'm in the US and might grab something I know I like.
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Postby Belgian » Wed Jun 14, 2017 3:26 pm

Still much respect for the beers but drinking them less. I am somewhat indifferent to meeting brewers, although some like Nickel Brook and the folks I saw at Godspeed the other night seem very decent and cool.

I recall when Stone bombers in NY State were such an amazing deal, they were maybe 2/3 the cost of Rogue equivalent beers. I think highly of the quality. Stone IPA for 3.00-3.50 bucks a bomber was a deal, others were similarly great deals.

Stone Imperial Stout here for eleven bucks a bomber is worth every cent as well. It's a benchmark RIS. There's a different Stone pricing strategy here perhaps, but Rogue's dark malty big beers impress me to no end. The Anniversary Bitter Chocolate was revelatory. I'd still take their fresh session beers like the amazing new gluten reduced IPA.

I might have dropped by this event if I'd heard about it. Doesn't seem like foreign breweries are trying that hard to compete over the noise of endlless new competition here, that requires investment and its enough effort they hurdle the red tape to even import to Ontario at all.
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Re: Stone Brewing - Thoughts Nowadays?

Postby Belgian » Wed Jun 14, 2017 4:00 pm

El Pinguino wrote:I like Stone beers and pick up any new ones that appear here. I do feel there are TOO MANY odd variations and tweaked Stone beers kicking around now....compared to years back. Tangerine this, whatever that...since we don't get many of them here, I just pass on all those when I'm in the US and might grab something I know I like.

It does seem like our expectations are changing. We want really solid AND innovative beers. A variant like Cali Belgique IPA is nowhere near Bellwoods Milkshark or a Burdock Noom, that's impossible to scale up. Being innovative and still solid might be tough ground to cover in any operation let alone a bigger one.
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