Sunday, November 11, 2007

Today's Two Beers

Stone 11th Anniversary Ale
Based in Escondido, Calif., Stone Brewing Co. makes a number of delicious, high-alcohol big beers, including their infamous Arrogant Bastard Ale. In addition to their year-round brews, they do a handful of special releases. This 22-ounce anniversary IPA is 8.7% alcohol ... and pitch black. Yep, pitch black like a stout, which is something new to me. Color aside, this is very hoppy and has tasty malty hints; it's also surprisingly easy to drink, so non-hopheads would probably dig it as well. I have never had a Stone beer that I wouldn't recommend highly.

Great Divide Fresh Hop Pale Ale
Another brewery that has never disappointed me is Denver's Great Divide, and they also know a thing or two about big, hop-heavy beers. This seasonal 22-ounce pale ale is 6.1% alcohol and has an amazing hoppy complexity. They call this Fresh Hop because the hops that are added to the beer while it's being made are just-picked cones, as opposed to aged pellets. I don't know enough about the brewing process to explain the subtle difference this creates, but I sure like the way it tastes.

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