ESCONDIDO, CA — For many, California has been the epicenter of craft brewing innovation for the last few decades, especially where hop-centric beers are concerned. So in an effort that spans the state and is decades in the making, Stone Brewing Co. has joined forces with the iconic, Northern California-based Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., which together have a combined 50+ years of brewing experience. The result: Stone & Sierra Nevada NxS IPA (NxS = North by South). Beginning today, the latest Stone Collaboration beer—a barrel-aged IPA blended with a fresh, dry-hopped batch of the same IPA—will begin rolling out in 22-ounce bottles and on draft to select retailers in markets where Stone beer is sold.
“Since Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. has been an inspiration for Stone, and me personally, for our entire brewing careers, we were thrilled to be asked to brew a beer with one of the most admired craft brewers in the world,” explains Stone Brewmaster Mitch Steele. “When brainstorming this collaborative recipe, there was no doubt that we should brew a memorable IPA and we wanted to combine unique elements from each brewer. For Stone, that meant barrel-aging a portion of the beer at our barrel warehouse.”
To create this significant collaboration, batches of an IPA were brewed and bittered with Magnum hops before providing the backdrop for a three-way late-kettle addition involving Amarillo, Chinook and Cascade. Given that whole flower Cascade hops have been a mainstay in Sierra Nevada’s beer portfolio, the classic hop varietal was necessary for this creation. The first batch, created months earlier, was split down the middle, with 50 percent being aged in gin-infused bourbon barrels and the other half making its way into rye whiskey barrels. The aged portions were then blended with a new, fresh batch of IPA, which was generously dry-hopped to impart rich hop aromas to accompany the citrusy, piney, woody, spice flavors of this multilayered collaboration.
To experience the extra dose of hops blended with oak and spirit flavors, the beer should be enjoyed fresh. Over time, the hop qualities will subside, allowing for more prevalent spicy notes of spirits and oaky vanilla character to shine through. Stone & Sierra Nevada NxS IPA is a meaningful representation of two renowned breweries embracing craft beer camaraderie and showcasing their brewing prowess.
Quick Facts — Stone & Sierra Nevada NxS IPA
- Name: Stone & Sierra Nevada NxS IPA
- URL: stonebrewing.com/collab/nxs
- Alcohol/Volume: 8.2%, 70 IBUs
- Availability: Limited 22-ounce bottles and draft, beginning December 7
- Hops: Magnum, Amarillo, Cascade, Chinook, Centennial, Mosaic
- U.S. Distribution: AK, AL, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, HI, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MT, NC, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OR, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, VT and WA
- International Distribution: Australia, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Sweden, Thailand and United Kingdom
- Find Beer: stonebrewing.com/collab/nxs#extra
Tasting Notes (provided by Stone Brewmaster Mitch Steele)
- Appearance: Pours deep gold with amber hues.
- Aroma: Peach and citrus hop aromas followed immediately by the spicy, piney notes of gin and the vanilla aspects of oak.
- Taste: A really nice blend of fruity hops, oaky vanilla notes and finishes with a pleasant hint of spicy spirits and good hop bitterness.
- Palate: Medium body and bitter with a little bit of warmth.
- Overall: Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. has been an inspiration for us at Stone for many, many years, so we were thrilled to be able to collaboratively develop this beer. We wanted to combine elements of both breweries in the recipe, which is an IPA that includes partial barrel aging and classic hopping, including some of both breweries’ favorite hops: Cascade, Chinook, Centennial, Amarillo and Mosaic. We brewed some of this beer in early summer and then transferred it to our barrel warehouse, where it was aged in a combination of gin-infused bourbon barrels and rye whiskey barrels for about three months before we blended it with the beer we brewed in October. The result is a hoppy IPA with the added elements of wood and spirits. The blend is a beauty.
About Stone Brewing Co.
Founded by Greg Koch and Steve Wagner in 1996, San Diego-based Stone Brewing Co. is the 9th largest craft brewer in the United States. Stone has been listed on the Inc. 500 | 5000 Fastest Growing Private Companies list 11 times, and has been called the “All-time Top Brewery on Planet Earth” by BeerAdvocate magazine twice. The multifaceted company will be the first American craft brewer to own and operate its own brewery in Europe, and is also building a production brewery and destination restaurant in Richmond, Virginia. Brewing at both locations is anticipated to begin in spring 2016. 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. For more information on Stone Brewing Co., please visit stonebrewing.com or the company’s social media sites: Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and The Stone Blog.