Every year, Stone Brewing Company holds a nation wide challenge to see who is the most arrogant bar in America. The challenge is simple, drink the most Bastard beers in one week. Help out Aces & Ales with this epic challenge by not only imbibing in great beer specials, but more importantly, great beer!
These are some of my favorite beers, and if you haven’t had any of them yet, then do yourself a favor and get a few pitchers this weekend!
I’m a sucker for chili beers. If you are a fan of spicy foods, you would love it too.
Pair with something light for a contrasting flavor, like fish, salads, ceviche etc. Or pair chili beers with spicy foods if you want to really punish yourself.
A vast and expansive book, The Craft of Stone Brewing Company succeeds in so many levels for its varied topics and sections. You need not only be a Stone fan, or even a beer fan, to enjoy this book as it also includes various food recipes as well. Even better, the entire book is written in the same arrogant sarcasm that Stone is known for. After all, the subtitle is Liquid Lore, Epic Recipes and Unabashed Arrogance!
While the book does include other topics, the main point of the book is on the company. The history of how Greg Koch and Steve Wagner met along with how the company grew is detailed. The book is filled with side bars from each other giving different perspectives on how each felt at different stages. Also included is stories of other people involved in the history, like the illustrator for the now recognizable gargoyle motifs.
The real highlight in this section is the history of their beers. Every official beer they’ve made is listed along with a brief history or flavor profile and primary hops used. Also included are each year of their anniversary beers, each year of their Vertical Epic series and their collaborations. The only beers not listed here, are the ones released after this past spring and their beer variations (bourbon aged, double dry-hopped, chipotle pepper etc).
The other section of the book that deserves a mention is the recipes. Recipes included are from Stone’s World Bistro and Gardens restaurant as well as a few extras. Many of the recipes can be used as a starting point for your own dishes such as Arrogant Bastard batter, hop vinegarette, or barbecue sauce.
The second part of this section is the homebrewing recipes. A brief overview of how to brew beer is provided for those new to brewing. Despite the short overview, it is a very thorough guide that can definitely be used as your only source for beginning to homebrew. Recipes include a few of Stone’s year-round beers as well as some of their anniversary and collaboration beers. This chapter really highlights Stone’s open honesty, and even arrogance, in that they are giving you recipes for their beers. They even give you the water profile for their brewery so you can match their water chemistry. A few obvious beers are omitted, like Arrogant Bastard, but nonetheless, they are willing to share their secrets. It’s almost as though they are daring you to attempt to recreate their beers.
As I mentioned in the beginning, this is a very thorough, entertaining book, well worth the read for any food or beer aficionado.
Best to disregard this press release. It’s unlikely that you possess the sophistication to fathom the overwhelming gravitas of the potation it discusses. Thus, stop reading now. Hit delete and retire outside with your fizzy yellow beer. But if, by some infinitesimally minute chance, you are one of the Worthy craft beer cognoscenti and you’ve somehow surmised that you’re prepared for today’s release of Double Bastard Ale, then do proceed. With caution.
Link to full press release on Double Bastard: http://tinyurl.com/6hys9zw
Last night, Greg Koch posted the above photo along with the caption “I predict a Crime will happen this week. I also expect Punishment. #crimeandpunishment”
Let me use this as an opportunity to talk about some of my favorite beers: In 1997, Stone released Arrogant Bastard, an aggressively bitter, malty beer. To celebrate the one year anniversary release of Arrogant Bastard, Stone released Double Bastard, an angrier version of Arrogant Bastard. Stone later released OAKED Arrogant Bastard in 2004, a version of Arrogant Bastard with oak chips added to smooth out some of the harshness. Finally, in 2010, Stone released Lukcy Basartd as a celebration of the 13th anniversary of Arrogant Bastard. Lukcy Basartd is a mix of all 3 of the Bastard beers.
Not content with the aggressiveness of these beers, Stone created two more beers earlier this year using these beers as a base: Crime and Punishment. Crime: Double dry-hopped Lukcy Basartd, meaning even more hops are added after fermentation, aged in an oak barrel with chili peppers added. Punishment: Double Bastard aged in an oak barrel with chili peppers added. Punishment is obviously the spicier/angrier version of the two. Double Bastard is a far bitterer beer than the rest and adding peppers only makes it burn more.
As awesome as these beers are, they are hard to find. When they were last brewed, the kegs were available at various special events and festivals held by Stone. Crime was in Las Vegas earlier this year at Aces and Ales so I had a chance to try it there. It’s likely that these new batches will be used again for special events or as part of Stone’s specialty bottled line: Quingenti Millilitre, which are currently difficult to get a hold of as well.
Few people can handle drinking any of the Bastard beers, and even fewer can handle Crime and Punishment, but if you ever get the opportunity, I highly recommend at least trying these out, just for the experience!
As I mentioned in my last post, Stone is one of my favorite breweries. The beers that they make are very distinct in flavor and are easily recognizable. Arrogant Bastard Ale is a regular favorite of mine. While I was San Diego a few weeks ago, I stopped by the brewery to take a tour. It was incredible to see how efficient a professional level brewery is. The entire space is primarily filled with giant fermenter tanks and a single station with a grain mill and brew tank where all 100,000+ barrels (1 barrel = 31 gallons) were brewed last year. Pipes line the ceiling connecting the brew pots to each other and to all the fermenters. If ever in the San Diego area (North County specifically) stop by the brewery. They have several free tours daily that each end in free samples of some of their beers!