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Stone gets hard

Canned margaritas, focus on the tequila

Stone's latest surprise is a line of canned margaritas.
Stone's latest surprise is a line of canned margaritas.

Stone has thrown its longtime fans a few curveballs over the past couple of years, from its release of hard seltzers to its $165 million buyout by Sapporo USA in early September. Clearly, they are not done with surprises: Stone has now entered the canned cocktails field with its Buenafiesta Margaritas.

Place

Stone Brewing Co.

1999 Citracado Parkway, Escondido

The margaritas join Stone’s “Buena” line, which includes the Buenavida Hard Seltzers and Buenaveza Salt & Lime Lager, but at 12.5% ABV, they are considerably more heavy hitting than the previous entries. According to Steve Gonzalez, Stone’s Brewing Senior Manager of Brewing and Innovation, that became part of the plan after sampling other canned margaritas. “We were disappointed in the lack of tequila taste — or real tequila for that matter — in so many of them, so making a tequila-forward margarita was a priority.”

Sponsored
Sponsored

Unsurprisingly, the search for the right tequila took Stone south of the border. “Our tequila supplier makes a wide variety of tequilas,” explains Lizzie Younkin, Stone’s Director of Communications. “They are based in the town of Tequila in the State of Jalisco, Mexico. Of the suppliers we sampled, this one had the most character. A little bit of sweetness, some complex resin-y character, and that agave flavor came through in a really special way. Some subtler notes of olive and an herbaceous quality are there as well.” The supplier, who remains unnamed, has been in the tequila business for more than 150 years and owns over 1000 hectares of blue agave farmland. Its tequilas come in between 52 and 55% ABV.

Stone brings you Old Town in a can.

Nearly two years of development has yielded four flavors of Buenafiesta Margaritas. Two flavors will be familiar to anyone who’s been to local Mexican restaurants: Classic Lime and Strawberry. Classic Lime has the feel and look of a standard margarita, with lemon, lime, and salt, and even a hint of orange liqueur. Strawberry is also similar to what you’d find down in Old Town, but refreshingly less sweet, thanks to aloe vera juice, which offers a bit of bitterness to cut through the strawberry.

The most interesting Buenafiesta options, however, are Passion Fruit and Pineapple Habanero. Passion Fruit is sweet like the strawberry margarita but offers a tropical taste and aroma. Additionally, the character of the passion fruit helps to bring out more of the tequila flavor than the other varieties. Pineapple Habanero is certainly the most complex of the four. Its 19 different ingredients include habanero, jalapeño, pineapple, lime and chili; the flavor was inspired by dishes such as the salmon tacos served in Mexico City and al pastor tacos found more locally, both of which feature pineapple chunks. Pineapple Habanero boasts a nice kick without being overly spicy, despite the habanero and jalapeño, and finishes smoothly without lingering heat.

Stone Buenafiesta Margaritas are canned and available in four-packs. It remains to be seen if Buenafiesta’s popularity will come close to matching that of Buenaveza Salt & Lime Lager, which Stone’s top-selling beer on draft. But at least the margaritas will be available year-round.

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Stone's latest surprise is a line of canned margaritas.
Stone's latest surprise is a line of canned margaritas.

Stone has thrown its longtime fans a few curveballs over the past couple of years, from its release of hard seltzers to its $165 million buyout by Sapporo USA in early September. Clearly, they are not done with surprises: Stone has now entered the canned cocktails field with its Buenafiesta Margaritas.

Place

Stone Brewing Co.

1999 Citracado Parkway, Escondido

The margaritas join Stone’s “Buena” line, which includes the Buenavida Hard Seltzers and Buenaveza Salt & Lime Lager, but at 12.5% ABV, they are considerably more heavy hitting than the previous entries. According to Steve Gonzalez, Stone’s Brewing Senior Manager of Brewing and Innovation, that became part of the plan after sampling other canned margaritas. “We were disappointed in the lack of tequila taste — or real tequila for that matter — in so many of them, so making a tequila-forward margarita was a priority.”

Sponsored
Sponsored

Unsurprisingly, the search for the right tequila took Stone south of the border. “Our tequila supplier makes a wide variety of tequilas,” explains Lizzie Younkin, Stone’s Director of Communications. “They are based in the town of Tequila in the State of Jalisco, Mexico. Of the suppliers we sampled, this one had the most character. A little bit of sweetness, some complex resin-y character, and that agave flavor came through in a really special way. Some subtler notes of olive and an herbaceous quality are there as well.” The supplier, who remains unnamed, has been in the tequila business for more than 150 years and owns over 1000 hectares of blue agave farmland. Its tequilas come in between 52 and 55% ABV.

Stone brings you Old Town in a can.

Nearly two years of development has yielded four flavors of Buenafiesta Margaritas. Two flavors will be familiar to anyone who’s been to local Mexican restaurants: Classic Lime and Strawberry. Classic Lime has the feel and look of a standard margarita, with lemon, lime, and salt, and even a hint of orange liqueur. Strawberry is also similar to what you’d find down in Old Town, but refreshingly less sweet, thanks to aloe vera juice, which offers a bit of bitterness to cut through the strawberry.

The most interesting Buenafiesta options, however, are Passion Fruit and Pineapple Habanero. Passion Fruit is sweet like the strawberry margarita but offers a tropical taste and aroma. Additionally, the character of the passion fruit helps to bring out more of the tequila flavor than the other varieties. Pineapple Habanero is certainly the most complex of the four. Its 19 different ingredients include habanero, jalapeño, pineapple, lime and chili; the flavor was inspired by dishes such as the salmon tacos served in Mexico City and al pastor tacos found more locally, both of which feature pineapple chunks. Pineapple Habanero boasts a nice kick without being overly spicy, despite the habanero and jalapeño, and finishes smoothly without lingering heat.

Stone Buenafiesta Margaritas are canned and available in four-packs. It remains to be seen if Buenafiesta’s popularity will come close to matching that of Buenaveza Salt & Lime Lager, which Stone’s top-selling beer on draft. But at least the margaritas will be available year-round.

Sponsored
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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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