Way back in the year 1996, two San Diegans had an idea. They decided that the beers that were being produced and sold at the time were just too wimpy. Lacking oomph. Not enough pizzazz. So this pair of palate pioneers – we’ll call them “Greg” and “Steve” – set out to create hop heavy, flavor forward, and tongue tweaking beers that forever changed how beers are “supposed” to be made. Their Stone Brewing Co. had some great early success with their Pale Ale and IPA (fun fact – Stone IPA was brewed as Stone’s first anniversary beer), and kept pushing the envelope with brews like Arrogant Bastard and Ruination Double IPA, which at the time were among the biggest and hoppiest beers that anyone in the world was making.
Each year, Stone Brewing Co. releases an anniversary ale which celebrates not only their history of brewing devastatingly delicious beers, but also gives an eye into the future of where Stone is headed with their forthcoming brews. Several of their past anniversary ales have been re-brewed and rebranded as year-round releases, like the 5th Anniversary ale which became Ruination IPA, and the 11th Anniversary Black IPA which became the late Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale.
This past year has seen Stone Brewing Co. go truly global. They are in the process of opening a new brewery in Berlin which will be the first American brewery built on European soil. They also expanded distribution into Australia, at which time Brewmaster Mitch Steele and Lead Brewer Jeremy Moynier traveled down under to create a collaboration rye-infused IPA with Australia’s Nomad Brewing Co. The experience of using the wealth of exotic ingredients available to them on this adventure gave them the inspiration to do an all-Aussie brew for the 2015 version of their anniversary ale.
Stone 19th Anniversary Thunderstruck IPA is brewed entirely with Australian hops and malt – specifically Ella, Vic Secret, Galaxy, and Topaz hops, with Fairview malt shipped from Australia specifically for this brew. According to Brewmaster Mitch Steele, this 8.7% ABV, 95 IBU creation is packed with “lots of fruity hop notes, ripe fruit, pleasantly malty and lasting intense bitterness.” It will be available in 22-ounce bottles and on draft beginning August 10th.
Stone 19th Anniversary Thunderstruck IPA is the cornerstone of their anniversary event on August 14th & 15th at CSU San Marcos – near their Escondido headquarters – which includes a two-day, three-part celebration that hopes to attract upwards of 7,500 guests, with 100 percent of proceeds going to four charity organizations: Surfrider Foundation, Boys & Girls Club of San Marcos, Palomar Family YMCA, and Fight ALD.
More info on the beer here, and buy tickets for the Stone 19th Anniversary Celebration & Invitational Beer Festival here.