Q: I just don't get it.

A: Maybe a visual will help:


Did that help?


Q: Okay, so where's the 01.01.01?

A: Ugh. If only we had a bottle of 02.02.02 for every time we heard that question. There are two reasons for its non-existence: (1) We didn't want to participate in the whole overhyped media nonsense of "Millennium this" and "Millennium that," and (2) we didn't think of the Stone Vertical Epic Ale idea until the fall of 2001 (which is already too late for a 01.01.01 version.) Sure we could wait until the year 3001 to start this series, but we were afraid that with all that time between now and next millennium, we might forget. Besides, that millennium will probably be overhyped as much as the last one.


Q: I'd really like to get a few bottles of the Stone Vertical Epic Ale. Can I buy it directly from the brewery and have you ship it to me?

A: Sadly, no. We don't ship direct from the brewery. Our special releases are generally only sold through retailers. Typically, Stone Vertical Epic Ale sells out within days—and in most cases hours (or less)—at each retail location that gets an allocation. As far as we know, there are not any retailers that still have previous years' releases in stock.


Q: It's already sold out? How come I never even heard of it until after the fact?

A: We announce the coming of the Stone Vertical Epic Ale well in advance via the Stone Email Newsletter. Just prior to the release date, we also announce "where & when" information for many of the retail locations that get an allocation. In the past, subscribers to the Stone Email Newsletter used this advance warning and went and snapped it all up.


Q: Hey, I missed a year. How do I get my hands on the one I missed?

A: Good question. If you can figure it out, let us know, 'cause there are a number Stone employees that want a bottle too.


Q: You'll give me a bottle of 02.02.02 out of your fridge, right?

A: Yeah. Right. And next we'll brew a pale lager with 3.3% ABV and mostly rice and corn instead of malts. Of the Stone employees that got 02.02.02, they only got two bottles. If you think you can pry a bottle from their white-knuckled grip, go ahead and try it.


Q: Do I take it that you're trying to get me to sign up for the Stone Email Newsletter?

A: If you'd like advance information of Stone Special Releases and other Stone news, the answer is a certain "Yes!"


Q: Why did you guys only brew up a limited number of cases? You did this just to create a buzz and a false demand, didn't you?

A: C'mon, we've got more respect for the people that love our beers than that! Here's what the deal is… We got the idea to do the Stone Vertical Epic series in the fall of 2001. Since the dates for the releases are immovable (Feb. 2nd, 2002, March 3rd, 2003, etc.) and since we have such a short window between the brewing of our regular line up and our specialty brews, we only have the ability to brew a small amount of the Stone Vertical Epic Ale. We figure it's better to brew a little than brew none.

The 02.02.02 release was only 300 cases, but since we now know a year in advance that we've got to make necessary plans to fit the Stone Vertical Epic Ale into the brewing schedule, we plan ahead and adjust the schedule to accommodate much larger releases of subsequent editions.


Q: Do I really need to wait until after 12.12.12 to open my Stone Vertical Epic Ale?

A: Nope. Open it when you like. It is meant to age quite nicely, but it's really up to you. If you open it soon, you will be rewarded with a very delicious and unique beer. If you open it years from now, you will be rewarded with a very delicious and unique beer that will have matured and developed over the years. This is a great example of a "win win" situation!


Q: So how do I really know that my bottles of Stone Vertical Epic Ale will make it all the way to 12.12.12? I don't want to hang on to them all that time only to find out that they aged way past their prime!

A: Yep. We're with you. Since we don't KNOW that they will age flawlessly for the next eleven plus years or so, we've come up with a plan. We've squirreled away cases of every edition of the Stone Vertical Epic Ale in our archives (under lock and key with video surveillance, so don't get any ideas!). Every six months we open a bottle of each edition and analyze them (i.e. drink them!). If, by chance, in the coming years we feel any of them have reached their peak earlier than 12.12.12 we'll release a "Drink the Stone xx.xx.xx Vertical Epic Ale now" announcement via our website and Stone Email Newsletter. That way, you can let them age in your cellar/fridge without worry that they'll end up a lost cause in the years to come.


Q: Speaking of cellaring the Stone Vertical Epic Ales, what's the best way to store them?

A: First choice is to keep them at a constant 50-55 degrees. Second choice (and not a bad choice by any means) is to store them in your fridge. Either way, store them standing up as they will age best if the beer is not in contact with the cap. Darkness is also best, so wrap them in brown paper or keep in a box. This will also help to prevent you from having to bury the body of one of your friends in your back yard after you discover that they helped themselves the 02.02.02 they found in the back of your fridge…

Click to view "Greg's vBlog" entry on this subject.


Q: I noticed that you posted a homebrew recipe for the past editions of the Stone Vertical Epic Ale. Are you going to do that every year?

A: Yes. That is the plan. One month and one day (we're trying to be consistent with the theme...) after each year's release we will release a detailed homebrew recipe along with tasting notes and other information. True to that form, the Stone 05.05.05 Vertical Epic Ale homebrew recipe and other info was posted on the Stone website on June 6th, 2005. This is vital information for people wanting to participate in the Stone Vertical Epic Challenge (see below).

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