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Posted by julieinmc (+515) 11 years ago
Just got back from their awesome facility. We were way too early for the 6pm tour, so plan to go back on Sunday or early next week. As soon as I rolled down the window to ask a young man in the parking lot if we were in the right place, the aroma made my mouth start watering. The place was a little hard to find (and I am a native, but I've been living in MT for over 16 years) but the building was huge. Left with a really cool t-shirt and a six pack of Ruination IPA and couldn't wait to get home to my Dad's. He didn't like it. Awesome, more for me. Drank one and then found out I have to drive to LA to pick up family at the airport. Yikes! Just a tiny buzz going. Can't wait to take the tour and taste more of their excellent procucts!
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3710) 11 years ago
Ruination is my favorite IPA. I don't know if you can get it outside California. IPA's aren't for everyone and Ruination is a double IPA so it's not surprising that your Dad didn't like it. I always thought that despite the bombastic description on the bottle, it had really good flavor instead of just being "look how much hops we put in this" like some IPA's. All of Stone's beers have hilarious stuff written on the bottle.

If you are ever going to be in San Francisco, the tour of Anchor Brewing is real fun. You have to make reservations a couple months in advance however, and you won't want to be driving afterward because if you want to, they will give you enough free beer at the end to make walking a challenge. Their idea of a "tasting" is a full glass of each of their 8 or so beers and they'll give you refills if you want hehe. Both the tour and tasting are free, hence the need for the long reservation. They only do 2 tours a day of 12 or so people.

[This message has been edited by Levi Forman (7/16/2009)]
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+14871) 11 years ago
Stone indeed is one of the finest breweries in the country. I agree with Levi on the Ruination....it doesn't get much better than that (well, with the exception of Russian River's Pliny the Elder, but that's another topic).

I visited the Stone Brewery in 2003....but I understand they have since moved into a bigger, newer facility. When I was there, it was weird.....looked just like any other California industrial/business park, only with steam venting through the warehouse roof. Still, drinking their beers at the source was an amazing experience.

In 2006 and 2008, I had the good fortune to go salmon fishing in Sitka, Alaska. One of the things I like about Sitka is that one of the two bars in downtown has Arrogant Bastard on tap.

Another advantage of living in Helena compared to Miles City....I have not one but TWO stores where I can pick up 22 oz. bottles of Stone beer.
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3710) 11 years ago
Pliny the Elder is great too. The First Street Ale House in my former home town of Livermore, CA always had it on tap and even though it was more expensive than all their other beers, it was very often worth it.
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Posted by Brandy Leischner (+163) 11 years ago
It just so happens that I have a keg of lovely IPA almost ready to go. Another day of dry hopped Simcoe, and a few more hours at 40psi CO2 and she will be ready. I would welcome anyone to come over and give it a taste. A quick rundown on ingredients: 9 or so lbs of Great Western pale malt, some caramel, munich, wheat and caravienne malt. 55 IBU's of Chinook, Cascade, Centennial in 5 additions and of course the Simcoe in the keg. Here in a few months, once my hops are ready, I'll brew a fresh hop IPA, I would love for others to try it too. It doesn't last long. As for the Stone beers, I've never had the chance to try it, but I think the lables are cool. Cheers! Aaron.
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Posted by julieinmc (+515) 11 years ago
We finally got to take the tour on Wednesday. We got there frizzy haired and sandy. Straight from camping at the beach, but no one seemed to care. Our guide, Matt, was delightful. We got some history of brewing in general, and then he passed around a shaker of roasted barley for us to taste, and then a cup of hops for us to smell. We wandered around all the equipment, which was built for them by a company in Germany. Each one of their big vats holds enough beer for a person to drink two six packs a day for something like 62 years. Every person who works there gets two liters a day to take home with them, plus one keg a month. He said all of the new employees try to consume their allowance, but no one can do it. They were bottling the day we were there, so we got to watch that for a while.
Matt told us that after the new brewery was finished, and all of the construction crew was gone, they discovered they needed to build a little wall between the sidewalk and the stream that runs through the beautiful garden entrance. It seems people kept falling in the stream after the beer tasting at the end of the tour. They put out an ad stating they would provide the materials and beer for the volunteers to help build the wall and more than enough people showed up.
They have their own distribution company, which started out with one broken down old van, and now is one of the largest refrigerated fleets in California, all because they couldn't get anyone to distribute their beers for them. They have a huge warehouse type cooler that was full of all kinds of micro-brews from all over, that they also distribute.
The tasting at the end was a lot of fun. It was the first time I have ever tasted a smoked stout, and it was really quite good. Also, my friend isn't really a beer drinker, so I got most of hers. I think the Ruination is still my favorite. I'm going to order a case of it online for my son's wedding in October.
When Matt was asked why the company doesn't have their name on the outside of the building he said "We don't need to."




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Posted by julieinmc (+515) 10 years ago
Just got a facebook message from Jacob Nikos at Stone Brewing. They have just this week got the contracts finished and signed with their new distributors in Montana and their products should be available here by the end of the year. Happy New Year!
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Posted by David Schott (+15325) 10 years ago
A six-pack of Stone IPA goes for $10.99 at my local grocery store (Redmond, WA). I was in Anaheim, CA, earlier this month and it was $9.99 a six. I wonder what a six-pack will cost in Montana and how many, "I could have an 18-pack of Bud Light for that price.", Miles Citians will buy it.
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