Since Day One, we've been abundantly forthright and fully transparent about our lust for hops. It's led us to craft many an IPA, most of them imperial—some intense for their time and all timeless in their intensity. For Stone Go To IPA, we embrace our hop obsession in a new way, funneling an abundance of lupulin-borne bitterness into a session IPA that delivers all the fruity, piney character of a much bigger IPA. To accomplish this, we employ hop bursting, a technique wherein an irrational amount of hops is added during the final phase of the brewing process to bring out extreme flavors and aromas while also imparting a burst of desirably pleasant bitterness. The result is an alpha-acid-rich beer that fans can enjoy more of without missing out on the assertive hop character you, like us, crave. So, sit back and go two with your new everyday go-to IPA and bask along with us in the glory of the almighty hop.
The hop aromatics are mind blowing. Intense peach, citrus and melon flavors dominate the aroma in the best possible way.
Hop flavors continue to dominate, but are balanced by just enough malt to keep things reasonably in balance. But make no mistake, this beer is very, very hop-forward!
Dry and bitter. The finish makes you want to drink more!
This beer employed the hop-bursting technique, which in essence is a hopping method where all or most of the bitterness in the beer comes from late hop additions in the brewhouse, like at the end of boil and in the whirlpool, instead of the more traditional approach where most of the hop bitterness comes from earlier additions at the start of the kettle boil. The result is a beautifully aromatic beer with substantial but somewhat mellow bitterness. Hop bursting also enhances the flavor retention of the hops, and combined with the dry hop, creates a very intense and complex hop flavor.
Chips and salsa, ceviche, Cajun shrimp, oysters on the half shell, Buffalo-fried cauliflower
Cheddar cheese, tortilla, miso
Thai salad with peanut dressing, cucumber and mint
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.”
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