ESCONDIDO, Calif. — This week, Stone Brewing wraps up 2019 with not one but two seasonal beers to welcome the long dark nights ahead. Fan favorites, Stone Ghost Hammer IPA and Stone Xocoveza are now rolling out nationwide.
The Spirited Stone Ghost Hammer IPA
A fermenting beer never slumbers. Consequently, there is always scattered activity tending our precious beers throughout the dark hours. In these late nights and wee hours that hallowed responsibility falls to the shoulders of the overnight Brew Crew. These brewing soloists brave the long nights, often alone, to do what needs to be done. Most areas of the brewery are dark or in shadows. Throughout the night the cellars resonate with the occasional knocking of expanding and contracting pipes. It can be a bit spooky to hear the brewery creak and groan as if possessed by a spirit randomly knocking about with a mallet. This IPA honors our intrepid overnight team by naming it after their mischievous poltergeist companion – the Ghost Hammer.
Stone Ghost Hammer IPA is liberally hopped with Loral™. The hop’s name itself is telling of the beer’s unique flavors and aromas. It imparts strong lemony notes and an intense floral aroma. It’s crisp and clean with very balanced and subtle bitterness. Flavors of lemon sorbet, hard candy, spice and herbal undertones make for an extraordinary IPA. First released in 2017, Stone Ghost Hammer IPA emerges again, its transcendent presence materializing through the holiday season.
Name: Stone Host Hammer IPA
Stats: 6.7% ABV
Availability: Nationwide Special ReleasePackaging: 12oz six-pack can & draft
Find Beer: Find.stonebrewing.com
TASTING NOTES Appearance: Pours golden with some haze and a white head.
Aroma: An intense floral nose with candy, mango, lemon and pine.
Taste: Lemon sorbet, hard candy, spice, with herbal and noble-hop undertones.
Palate: Crisp and clean. Very balanced with subtle bitterness.
Overall: This new IPA takes the love for the Loral hop a step further by showcasing it in this unfiltered, moderate (by Stone Brewing standards) ABV beer. A simple malt bill lets Loral be the star here and by going unfiltered, this beer retains as much of the floral, citrus, and herbal qualities as possible. A truly unique and remarkable IPA!
The Imperial Stout Inspired by Mexican Hot Chocolate: Stone Xocoveza
Harmoniously balanced, this beer is brewed with all that’s good about winter and the holidays: chocolate, coffee, pasilla peppers, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and cheer. Stone Xocoveza is inspired by the warm, bold and distinctive flavors of Mexican hot chocolate.
Cocoa and cinnamon flavors rise upfront, followed by coffee, nutmeg and vanilla. The fruitiness and mild heat of the peppers warm on the finish with chocolate present throughout each sip. It’s the same divine recipe that fans have clamored for since 2014, annually signaling the embrace of shorter days and longer nights; the embrace of a world-class imperial mocha stout. Enjoy now, or well into the Spring as this one ages as beautifully as it begins.
“One of the first descriptors I ever used for Stone Xocoveza was that the beer reminded me of being at my Grandma’s house during the holidays, sipping hot chocolate by a roaring fire in the fireplace, and surrounded by the spices and aromas coming from the kitchen and throughout the rest of house,” said Jeremy Moynier, Stone Brewing senior manager of brewing & innovation. “We are always looking for great partners for ingredients in our beers and we found two excellent ones here in artisan chocolate from Belyzium Craft Chocolate in Germany and custom-roasted Coffee from Mostra Coffee in San Diego. The quality of these ingredients is amazing and paired with the high-quality spices, peppers, and vanilla, really elevate this beer to unparalleled heights.”
High quality ingredients are integral to the nuanced flavors of Stone Xocovea. Mostra Coffee is an award-winning roaster based just down the road from Stone’s headquarters in San Diego County. Their custom-roasted Brazil Oberon features notes of dark chocolate, caramel and dark fruit that perfectly complement the warming spices and decadent nuances that are prevalent in the beer. Belyzium Craft Chocolate is an artisan “bean to bar” chocolate producer located in Berlin Germany. Their dedication to organically grown, sustainably sourced cacao from Belize makes them the perfect partner to supply the incredible chocolate that helps make this beer so special.
Name: Stone Xocoveza
Release Web: StoneBrewing.com/Xocoveza
Stats: 8.1% ABV
Availability: Nationwide Special Release
Packaging: 12oz six-pack cans, 22oz bottles & draft
Find Beer: Find.stonebrewing.com
Appearance: Pours black with a thick brown head.
Aroma: Intense cinnamon, cocoa and coffee are followed by nutmeg and peppers. As the beer warms up, the flavor combinations evolve and the cocoa and vanilla notes really start to open up.
Taste: Cocoa and cinnamon are at the forefront. The coffee, nutmeg and vanilla follow, and the fruitiness and mild heat of the pasilla peppers come through nicely on the finish. Chocolate is present throughout.
Palate: Full bodied and very smooth with a light bitterness. The sweetness adds a lot to this beer without being syrupy.
Overall: When we first brewed this beer in 2014, everyone on the brewing team was blown away by its multiple layers of flavor. The inspiration came from Mexican hot chocolate combined with coffee. We loved how wonderfully this beer showcases the spices, cocoa and subtle coffee roast flavors, so much that we continue to bring it back as an annual Stone special holiday release.
ABOUT STONE BREWING
Founded by Greg Koch and Steve Wagner in 1996, the groundbreaking San Diego-based Stone Brewing is the 9th largest craft brewer in the United States. Recognized as an award-winning industry leader, Stone has been listed on the Inc. 500 | 5000 Fastest Growing Private Companies list 12 times and has been called the “All-time Top Brewery on Planet Earth” by BeerAdvocate magazine twice. The multifaceted company operates brewing facilities in Escondido, CA and Richmond, VA, in addition to tap room locations throughout the US, Germany and China. Known for its bold, flavorful and largely hop-centric beers, Stone has earned a reputation for brewing outstanding, unique beers while maintaining an unwavering commitment to sustainability, business ethics, philanthropy and the art of brewing… and pledging to never, ever, sell out to the man. For more information on Stone Brewing, please visit stonebrewing.com or the company’s social media sites: Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.