Greg Koch, Stone ‘Odd Beers’ Experiment & Thou

on 22/12/10 at 4:31 pm


Last month, Stone Brewing announced they would play around with their 2011 Special Release Schedule by replacing Old Guardian and Imperial Russian Stout with BELGO versions, dubbing them Odd Beers for Odd years.

After the squeaky wheel squeaked enough, Stone responded with a funny video proclaiming BELGO styles will coincide with original recipe counterparts. Read on for Dan’s thoughts and the humorous video.

Odd Beers = BELGO Beers

Stone began making batches of Stone Old Guardian BELGO Barleywine and Stone Imperial Russian BELGO Stout (or whatevs) for consumption at their facility, and passed around a few kegs at the Stone Total Tap Tower Takeover 2010 this past fall.  Like most Stone fans, I’m always down to try a new beer from these guys.  As we got closer to the end of the year, there were rumors that became fact, that Stone would skip shipping Old Guardian and IRS and replace them with the BELGO versions. They would dub this venture as Odd Beers for Odd Years, and hope to carry this on in 2013 as well.

Stone has been fooling around with Belgian yeast strains for many years now. Vintages of Vertical Epic Ale made use of Belgian yeast, and some of those beers have been damn tasty. They made a version of their flagship IPA with Belgian yeast, and called it Stone Cali Belgique IPA, and I really didn’t care for that at all.  My generous neighbor Jorge brought me back a growler of Old Guardian BELGO Barleywine this past summer, and I really didn’t appreciate it. To be fair to Stone, I don’t like all Belgian beers that use certain Belgian yeast strains.  I have had a handful of Belgian-Style Golden and Tripels that I’ve not liked. Some like that earthy flavor, I find it to be like pencil shavings, and all and all not appealing.

Old Guardian Barleywine and Imperial Russian Stout = Craft Beer Institutions

Statistically, Stone Old Guardian Barleywine and Imperial Russian Stout are Stone’s best beers. Couple that with once a year releasing, and you have yourself a sought out treat.  The thought of not being able to get these beers for an entire year bugged people more than the fact the recipe was going to be tweaked. Take that fact, and add the SMALL group of online beer geeks who are burying Stone’s Belgian-style experiments, and you might have a small problem on your hands. As I’ve mentioned before around the Internets, Stone has built an empire on taking risks and going against the grain.

{Full post via the full pint}

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