I’D TAP THAT: Your new go-to

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First Posted: 3/25/2014

Beer: Go To IPA

Brewer: Stone Brewing Co.

Style: American IPA

ABV: 4.50%

Description: Go To IPA pours a crystal clear golden yellow with fluffy white head that maintains some retention and leaves a trace of lacing behind. The aroma is dominated by hops with strong notes of grapefruit coming through up front, something many Stone IPA drinkers have grown accustomed to over the years. Behind this there are subtle notes of fresh oranges and pine, with very little malt coming through in the aroma. The taste is dominated by hops again with grapefruit attacking up front backed with other tropical fruits, finishing with a much understated sweet malt before coming to a perfectly dry finish. The moderate carbonation is perfect for the style and the body is a bit on the thinner side – just how it should be for a sessionable beer. Stone Brewing Co. has brewed yet another fantastic IPA, and this time it is lower in alcohol and perfect for a night out with friends, proof that less alcohol does not mean less flavor.

Food pairing: The lighter body of this beer makes it slightly different to pair with foods than one typically pairs with IPAs; the strong hop flavor and aroma definitely pack a punch. This beer pairs perfectly well with a large variety of dishes, ranging from appetizers to main courses, such as simple tortilla chips and salsa or Cajun shrimp for appetizers. As for the main course, try pairing it with jerk chicken, Thai noodles with spicy peanut sauce, or a Moroccan dish such as chicken tagine with pine nut couscous. The spices within these dishes will meld perfectly with the kick from the hops, and the beer still has enough malt backbone to soothe the palate between sips.

The final word: Stone Brewing Co. has built a reputation on aggressive beers with its over-the-top hopped-up Ruination or bold and aggressive Double Bastard; it makes no apologies for their aggressive takes on a variety of styles. However, Stone Brewing Co. has now made a beer that is both aggressive in taste, but a bit more reserved in ABV, something many craft beer lovers have been demanding for a number of years. The difficulty involved in brewing a beer with this much hop flavor but with only 4.5 percent ABV may be lost on the casual drinker, but those in the know are aware that this is no easy task. A beer this light can easily show off flavors or quickly become unbalanced, yet Stone Go To IPA is not only a fantastic American, but is also one of the best sessionable beers available in today’s market.

Rating: W W W W V

Where can I get it? Currently available in 12-ounce bottles at: J & H Beer, Plains Township; Exit 190 Beer Deli, Dickson City; Krugel’s Georgetown Deli & Beer, Wilkes-Barre; and Wegmans, Wilkes-Barre.

Remember, enjoy responsibly! Cheers!

-Derek Warren is a beer fanatic, avid homebrewer, and beer historian. Derek can be heard weekly on the Beer Geeks Radio Hour on 102.3 FM Saturdays at 10 a.m.