So, technically, Stone Brewery has little to do with the cocktail world. But the appreciation of a quality brew over some tasteless, mass-marketed "beer" is analogous to what the mixology world desires. People should know that they have the option to drink something other than that slushy "margarita" made with 51% agave tequila and a treacherous product known as "sweet and sour mix" (and sometimes even "margarita/daiquiri mix").
But back to the brewery. I don't consider myself to be a beer expert, but I have tasted a few here and there. In fact, I'm quite proud of the fact that I have my own plaque on display at 99 Bottles of Beer, a fantastic restaurant/pub up in Santa Cruz, California. I'm on somewhat of a quest to sample as many brown ales as possible, so on this trip, I didn't actually order any Stone brews. Instead, I opted for the Rubicon Maggie Brown and the Bear Republic Pete Brown Tribute Ale. The Maggie Brown was a little bit aggressive for my palate, but the Tribute Ale was near perfection. I'll definitely have to sample another... and another... If you're a fan of Newcastle (or any other brown ale), you should absolutely check this one out. If you're interested in more brown ales which are quite delicious -- and highly available -- you should drink deeply of Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale and Nectar Ales' Humboldt Hemp Ale (the hemp is NOT just a marketing ploy). I thank you for indulging me in allowing this non-cocktail post. And as always, I pray that whatever you drink, you drink well.
A couple of the bourbon barrels used for Stone's semi-new Oaked Arrogant Bastard Ale. Above are some hops talked about on the tour.