A very honorable IPA

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First Posted: 3/3/2015

Glassware: Japanese Green Tea IPA is full of wonderful aromatics and balanced malt characteristics. The addition of the green tea is very apparent in the aroma, so glassware that captures the aroma and helps the beer warm up slowly is the best choice. The Spiegelau IPA glass is a wonderful selection; so is a snifter or tulip glass.

Description: Japanese Green Tea IPA pours a deep golden hue with a creamy off white head that leaves a hefty lacing on the glass. The aroma presents front and center notes of green with backing fruit notes from the hops in the form of peaches and mangoes with subtle hints of sweet malts. The taste follows the nose with green tea being existent throughout with wonderful tropical fruit notes of pineapple, mango and peaches. The hops meld perfectly before the sweet malts take over and present a long, dry finish. The full mouthfeel and moderate carbonation produce a beer that is easily drinkable and complex. There is no hint of the 10.1 percent ABV, so take heed. This is a beer to be revered but also feared and respected. Stone Brewing Co. has a handle on hops in a way that many other breweries are still playing catch up to understand. Japanese Green Tea IPA is a unique and well-crafted beer that has something for everyone. Be warned, though, this beer is limited and going fast, so get one while you still can!

Food pairing: The green tea notes of course make this beer an exquisite pairing with any number of Asian dishes. Try pairing this beer with dishes such as: coconut shrimp, pot stickers, chicken teriyaki, and pad Thai. Another phenomenal pairing with this beer is with pork, namely pork chops, and if you are looking to kick this pairing up a notch try it with a side of Asian sweet chili sauce. This beer’s hints of sweetness makes for a great pairing with desserts as well. Carrot cake and spice cakes of any kind make for a great pairing to highlight the spice notes within the beer. The hefty malt bill is strong enough to cleanse the palate and leave a wonderful dry finish. There are wonderful arrays of green tea based desserts that make for excellent matches such as green tea mocha, green tea ice cream, green tea cupcakes and green tea pound cake. The flavor profile, hefty malt and dry finish make this beer great for an extensive assortment of dishes. Don’t be afraid to experiment.

The Final Word: Stone Brewing Co. has long been reigning champ in the IPA category without an abashed love for the hop. The brewery is on quite a streak with great collaboration beers and the re-release of the Green Tea IPA continues that winning streak. This beer was originally released in 2011 to great fanfare. When the brewery decided to brew it again, they changed some of the hops to make them even more complementary for the green tea, and the results are fantastic. The green tea is a very obvious component to the beer. The flavors mesh perfectly together to create an IPA that will not soon be forgotten and is an absolute must try for all hopheads.

Where can I get it?: Currently available in 22 oz. bottles at: Backyard Ale House, Scranton; Wegman’s, Wilkes Barre; Exit 190 Beer Deli, Dickson City; What’s Brewin’, Old Forge; and Krugel’s Georgetown Deli, Wilkes-Barre.

Remember, enjoy responsibly!