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On Tap at The Telescope: A hoppy, heavy-hitter from Stone

Stone Brewing Company's Indian Pale Ale. Photo: Stone Brewing Co.
Stone Brewing Company’s Indian Pale Ale. Photo: Stone Brewing Co.

While nowhere near an entry-level India Pale Ale, Stone IPA sets the bar for what I expect my taste buds to be titillated by when sipping on an IPA.

Originating from North County San Diego, Stone India Pale Ale made its way from humble beginnings as a San Marcos local brew to a household name among beer snobs and casual beer drinkers alike.

The initial bitterness may be enough to turn some off. But if you stick around, what awaits on the back end of your taste buds is pure hoppy bliss.

Bitterness and hops aren’t the only flavors that will be bestowed upon you. The IPA has a multilayered complexity that I have experienced from few other India Pale Ales. Once the initial hoppy tongue bite has passed, a bouquet of florals sits in the back of your mouth that slowly induces a faint tingle in the back of your throat.

As far as “sessionability” goes (the act drinking multiple beers in a row), Stone IPA can be looked in one of two ways.

On the one hand, if you’re a seasoned IPA aficionado Stone can be taken in multiple slow sipping rounds with the potential to catch a light buzz, due to its relatively high ABV of 6.9 percent.

On the other, if you’re a less experienced beer drinker and looking for something to take you down the rabbit hope of pale ales go for something a little lighter, such as a Sierra Nevada or Ballast Point pale ale.

My personal recommendation for pairing is a lemon pepper-seasoned grilled chicken breast sandwich, topped with Roma tomatoes, only the freshest spinach, and avocado spread on a toasted sourdough bun. Also, a side glass of Knob Creek or Buffalo Trace Bourbon never hurt.

Disclaimer: you must be 21 and over to drink alcohol. Please drink responsibly. Do not drink and drive.

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