Ken Leighton 2 p.m., Feb. 22
Stone Turns "Tea"-totaler to Aid Japanese Tsunami Relief
Stone Brewing Company has put out a great many collaboration beers of late. One of the latest to hit the scene is the Baird / Ishii / Stone Japanese Green Tea IPA. The beer was conceptualized and forged into reality with the assistance of Toshi Ishii, the owner of Guam's Ishii Brewing Company and a Stone alumnus, and Bryan Baird of Japan's Baird Brewing Company. That duo teamed with Stone brewmaster Mitch Steele to develop the recipe for the beer, the main purpose of which is to raise money to benefit victims of Japan's recent tsunami tragedy. All proceeds from sales of the Green Tea IPA, which hit shelves earlier this month, will be funneled to the Japanese Red Cross Society.
The beer pours a low-ember orange, bringing forth a sharp initial burst that's all hop, but not exactly piney. The varieties used for the brew are Aramis, Crystal, Pacifica, Warrior and Sorachi Ace, a variety originally developed in Japan. Oddly, the nose disappears seconds later, but by then, it's all about the drinkin' and the almighty question - how does it taste? A little bit of tea-ish earthiness hits on the mid-palate, but is partially masked by bright citrus fullness from the hops, which keeps the beer from taking on an iced tea flavor profile (something I experienced with a tea beer that was brewed as part of The Lost Abbey's experimental Veritas series).
For all its Asian influence, this brew is all California in taste, scent and alcohol content. 9.2% ABV to be exact. So, while it's great to support a charity by buying plenty of bottles, be sure to consume with a conscious as well. In other words, watch your Ps and Qs...and Ts.