Baird / Ishii / Stone Japanese Green Tea IPA - 9.2% ABV
Once again we have stumbled across a beer that is a collaboration beer and is a true gem. With this one you can try a limited edition beer that is absolutely unique and a joy to drink AND do something that will help people in need, which helps your karma.
Bryan Baird, brewmaster & founder of Numazu, Japan’s Baird Brewing and Toshi Ishii, former Stone brewer & founder of Guam’s Ishii Brewing Co., joined Stone Head Brewer Mitch Steele in producing this truly superb beer with the proceedes going to the Japanese Red Cross relief fund for the Japanese tsunami victims. Outstanding.
I wish to start by telling you that this is one of the most complex beers that I have ever had, starting at the nose. At the first sniff, which I took while the beer was still in the bottle, the smell I registered was that of Arizona Green Tea. You know, that over sweet crappy tea flavored sugar water that is sold at your local quickie mart. "Oh no" I though, "This is gonna suck". So I poured my beer and sat for a moment contemplating whether or not I would even take a drink, and then decided to smell it again. I was amazed. It was like I was smelling a completely different beer. The tea scent was there sure enough, but in the background. Hops, resin, citrus and herbs made the top of the list. It has a hazy medium golden amber color with a thick head that persists for quite a while.
As that the Stone Brewery was involved you can bet your bottom dollar that the beer will be hoppy and you would have won your bet. But oh my goodness the hops that they used ... American Warrior hops (for the bittering), Crystal hops and New Zealand Pacifica hops (for the flavoring). THEN they dry hopped with "new hop variety from the Alsace region of France called Aramis". THEN they second dry hopped with the rare Sorachi Ace hop from Japan. All of these wonderful, flavorful hops and then with the underlying presence of the green tea makes for one uber complex brew. Mother Goose.