Hop-Bursting with Stone’s Go-To IPA

stone go-to ipa

stone go-to ipa Stone Brewing Company released a new beer using its “hop-bursting” technique it acquired from a previous small-batch beer created in collaboration with Kelsey McNair, a San Diego homebrewer, after he won an homebrewing award at Stone.

According to Mitch Steele, the brewmaster for Stone Brewing Co., Go-To IPA, the 4.5 percent ABV beer, was inspired by McNair and a session IPA he used to win the contest at Stone in 2010 or 2011.

“It was really fantastic,” said Steele about McNair’s beer. “I really enjoyed brewing it and enjoyed drinking it. Ever since then … I’ve been like, ‘we need to have one of these,’ these styles of beers. And, the beer that we ended up brewing is a lot different than that one, but it has some of the same elements in it.”

The Go-To IPA has a fairly low malt character and a dry finish, but with an intense amount of hopping. It’s an IPA that, according to Steele, you can enjoy more than one. “We had a lot of fun … putting it together,” said Steele. “We did a few pilot batches at our 10-barrel brewhouse which came out pretty good, but we worked with the recipe all the way through until we finally decided to go with it.”

Steele explained that Stone brewers used nine or 10 different hop varieties in Go-To IPA’s creation. However, the dry hop they used was Mosaic, “which is a new hop variety that has been out for a couple of years,” said Steele. “This year is the first year its really been out in quantities large enough for use in anything significant.”

Stone also used Citra in the dry hop, which, according to Steele, was the wild card. “Kris Ketcham, who’s the headbrewer down at Liberty Station, did a cask of the session IPA with Citra in the dry hop, so it was dry hopped with Mosaic and Citra, and we tasted it and said, ‘Wow, that’s the winning ticket right there.’

“The one thing about this beer is we’re using a full-blown hop-bursting technique, meaning that we’re not adding any bittering hops, and all the bitterness is coming from the late kettle editions and the whirlpool editions. Which enhances the hop flavor in the beer quite a bit, but also makes the bitterness pretty smooth, so this beer’s running about 65 IBUs, but it doesn’t taste that high.”

Go-To IPA was released to the public on Monday March 3, 2014 and should be available very soon anywhere Stone is sold.


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