Matt Steele If you fancy yourself a real bona fide beer geek, then you probably already know that 2009 Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine started hitting store shelves on Monday. As a bona fide beer geek who also happens to be a word geek (or maybe just a geek in general), I often find myself tirelessly scouring the label of every new beer I encounter in search of every last juicy bit of information--every last phrase, word, vowel, letter, and picture--desperately trying to extract as much meaning as I can about life, love, time, space, and existence. To my continued dismay, my efforts never prove quite as revelatory as I hope. Turns out I may need to search for the meaning of life somewhere other than in a beer label (though Greg may disagree). If you're anything like me, you may just stumble across an exciting little tidbit at the end of the bottle notes on the 2009 Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine label. While it doesn't reveal the meaning of life, it does reveal the meaning of leadership according to Greg Koch. As promised, here it is:

-Matt Steele



great label

and yes, beer pong is extremely unsanitary

people step in shit -> shit goes on ground -> balls fall to the ground -> balls go into the cups you drink out of

and if you think that dunking a ball in water will clean bacteria from shit... please retake biology

Wow. That vid with me is merciless...mercilessly long. My vid interviews are desperately in need of a video editor. The vid could be used to replace water less scary for the victim, but perhaps a tad less ethically challenged.

PLEASE. I urge you. Watch with extreme caution and identify all emergency exits before hitting "Play."


Hahaha great rant.

And cheers to the sentiment about beer pong. Too many of my college peers are addicted to that fun, but incredibly stupid drinking game.

Once again you have really out done yourselves with the your latest Barley Wine, a very efficient ale indeed, it taste great and you don't need much to feel good. It remains my favorite beer from my favorite brewer. I need to get out to San Diego and try some of that grass fed beef you write about hmmm yum. I always hold a high amount of respect for someone who does their job with excellence and you all do a great job.


Great Label Rant as usual Greg! Although...Ponder this thought on being vegetarian:

Cows produce vast amounts of Methane, That contributes to Global warming.

Plants produce vast amounts of Oxygen, That contributes to everyone LIVING.

Which one would you rather eat?

Don't get me wrong here, I eat both in a balanced diet and I am quite healthy...Just something to ponder while Tree'd.


Thanks for the good word. I know you're goading me here...and I'm taking the bait this time, dammit...but what do you think the cow eats before we eat it?

It's okay Greg...Just claim the 5th =)


I don't know if you were just trying to be funny or being slightly serious..

The only reason that the methane produced from cows contributes to global warming is because cows numbers are unnaturally high to supply our demand. Eating more cows will not reduce methane levels, but will only raise supply, creating more/bigger cattle ranches, and thus more methane.

By the way, the new Old Guardian is great... as is the label.

Hey, I thought it was a great glimpse into your company, and a college student myself, I really enjoyed your advice and views.

Oh yeah, Old Guardian was great as with all your beers.

Well done Greg, on the beer and on the label. This is my first encounter with a Barley Wine. I'm just into the first sip and, so far so good! This is also my first visit to the site. I look forward to reading more. Been to the brewery twice, once to tour and eat, and once to eat and consume! Just recently started drinking the Ruination, and like it warns on the label, I now find it difficult to palate other IPAs. Especially non-San Diego IPAs- not enough hops! Loved the tour, love the restaurant (though it might be nice to enjoy a cigar in the "yard"), and love your guys approach to brewing. Thanks man


Old Guardian is, hands down, the best American ale I have ever tasted. I found it at Whole Foods while reaching for a bottle of Ruination and I read the entire label before I opened it. This one seriously raises the bar and I am thankful I was sitting while I drank it.


I completely disagree about the hops, it stuck me as hop heavy, however I'm a 'La Fin Du Monde' kind of guy. Great beer though, I'll go buy more. The interview was pretty good but you should have asked for them to forward the questions before the arrived.

Cheers and keep up the good work

I never thought that a Brewing company could continually and successfully supersede the expectations of many, year after year. This must be the reason why Stone has grown in to the largest American-owned brewery in the southwestern U.S. I want the taste of Stone to be recognized all over the Continental U.S. and eventually the World! The first sip that I had of the Old Guardian was sublime and made me want to savor every sip there after. Please make this "limited release" a permanent part of an already amazing product line.

i agree beer pong is unsanitary. however, just put water in the cups and drink as needed. easy solution to your problem.

p.s. the beer is amazing, as most of your brews are. much love to stone. its delicous as we speek

Last night (Sunday) is usually steak night and the wife and I were outside hanging out together as I BBQ'ed. We had a very good time reading and discussing the commentary on the bottle of the Old Guardian. Thanks again as usual for another exciting beer. I cannot wait to get two bottles of V.E. this year. One to drink and one to put beside my 08.08.08 in the back of the fridge in a paper bag that says "Do Not Open til 2012"

O and yes, don't lick the ping pong balls.

Wow just had this beer for the first time last night. I don't know if it's still in stores throughout the country, maybe I just found a secret stash? BRAVO Stone Brewery another top notch craft beer. I use to wait all year until bigfoot barley wine came out just so I could get a couple cases and store them in the back of the garage for some aging. Time to adjust the 401K contributions.

if your in san diego will buy back your empty bottles by the case at triple crv, your drinking the best don’t waaste the bottle. yes we pick it up from you. stay Stone and let us have the glass.

If you come over here to England you should look up the Real Ale Society. There is always a place for sampling new beers and a great way to pass a sunny afternoon (when we get them).

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