A trend that has been happening in brewing for the last few years is collaboration of multiple breweries to make one brew. I first started to notice this between American brewers, but more and more we are beginning to see brewers from different countries collaborate to create truly unique beers. This month’s BOTM is one of these beers. I ran into it by chance while at my local Binny’s and I knew I had to give it a try just because of who was involved in the brewing. This month’s BOTM is Green Tea IPA, a collaboration between Stone, Baird and Ishii.
This beer is going to be a little different compared to what Stone usually puts out. In my mind, they make some really aggressive IPAs, but this one is much more restrained. It pours a hazy orange and even had some goopy yeast chunks in it even though I poured very carefully. I got a very small, white head from it as well.
The aroma is of tangerines and alcohol with very faint green tea in the back. I also got a bit of vanilla and blackberry. When I tasted it, there was a very unique flavor that I couldn’t quite put my finger on.
Upon doing some research, this unique IPA seems to be made with a bunch of hops that most are not exposed to. There is Warrior for the bittering, but they also used Crystal hops out of Oregon, Pacifica from New Zealand and Aramis, a brand new hop variety, from France. After their initial dry hop with Crystal and Pacifica (again), they add whole leaf green tea to add just a touch of herbal flavor along with Sorachi Ace whole lead hops.
If I had to file a complaint about this beer, it would have to be that the mouthfeel was a bit too much. It seemed more like an Imperial IPA than an American IPA. Perhaps that might be because of the 9.2% abv, a number that was meant to correspond to the magnitude of the Japanese earthquake. That said, this is still a darn good beer.
Stone’s Japanese Green Tea IPA can be found on shelves right now at about $3 a bottle and proceeds go toward Japanese relief efforts post-earthquake and tsunami. How can you not drink to that!