Brew Review: Finding the Sweet Spot with Salt and Lime — Stone Brewing

When Stone Brewing brewer Ben Sheehan brewed Buenaveza Salt and Lime Lager, he had no idea it would become as popular as it eventually did.

Born on the small-batch system at Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens – Liberty Station, Sheehan sought to brew a refreshing Lager perfect for springtime. When Sheehan was designing the recipe, he wanted to incorporate the simple ingredients found in most craft Mexican-style Lagers.

Kris Ketcham, Stone Senior Manager of Brewing & Innovation at Liberty Station said the team was familiar with using Liberty Hops and salt in beer, but there was another ingredient that was experimental.

“The sea salt was something that we’ve already found the sweet spot for from our years of trials, however the lime was something new to us,” Ketcham said. “The thought process was to make sure the lime was just enough in the beer to make a presence, but not overtake the entire beer. Overall everything balanced exactly to the flavor we wanted.”

Stone Distributing Company operates only in California where the brewery is headquartered (Escondido, California) so from time to time, the network is used to treat Californians to early releases of new and innovative beer. Buenaveza was first released by Stone California, giving local fans the first taste and giving Stone the chance to see how the beer would perform in the market before distributing nationwide with 12 oz. six-pack cans.

“Stone Buenaveza Salt & Lime Lager’s inspiration comes from Southern California, which is vibrantly influenced by our neighbors to the South,” Sheehan said. “It’s a thrillingly crisp, clean, refreshing Baja-inspired Lager that quenches thirsts, while gratifying taste buds via lime and sea salt.”

According to Ketcham, Buenavesa became the top-selling beer the first day it was released in the bistro. 

“It ran out so quickly, that we actually only brewed it one additional time at Stone Liberty Station, just to reel in Team Stone and let them know we had something special,” Ketcham said.

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