In presenting the world with a session IPA, it was of the utmost importance to us that fans benefit from the superior drinkability of a 4.8% ABV beer as well as a vibrant hop bomb character that they (AND US) adore. As such, Stone Go To IPA brings all the resinous, citrusy oomph hopheads rightfully crave…just in a lower alcohol package. Simple, right? No, actually. It wasn’t easy and it took us a while to dial it in, but in the end we were able to bring it in the lupulin department thanks to the use of a cutting edge brewing technique called “hop bursting,” wherein a, frankly, unreasonable amount of hops are added at the end of the boil and whirlpool stages so that the finished beer takes on a mellow bitterness and massive hop aromas.
“The first and only consideration was that the beer had to deliver on flavor. It had to represent what we do at Stone, and at 4.8% ABV, that’s a challenge,” says brewmaster Mitch Steele. “Alcohol actually adds quite a bit to the flavor and perception of flavors in beers. It’s a real test to brew a beer at a lower alcohol level and have it deliver on the flavor like a beer at 7 or 8% ABV does. Many lower alcohol beers can taste thin and watered down, and that’s not the case with Stone Go To IPA. I’m quite pleased with how this came out. The hop intensity is incredible.”