Beer Blog: Getting Stoned in Virginia

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Stone Brewing Co. has been eyeballing Virginia for the home of its new East Coast brewery since Spring.

The California-based brewery, known for its wild IPAs and inventive collaboration brews, has narrowed the site of their expansion down to Richmond or Norfolk, but Columbus, Ohio, is also in the running. Stone has yet to pull the trigger. One thing Virginia has going in its favor, is no ABV limit. Stone wouldn’t be allowed to brew any of their high gravity beers under Ohio’s 12% abv cap. Also, Ohio is nowhere near the mountains or beach. Who would want to open a business so far from skiing or surfing?

Anyway, Stone is sure to announce the “winning” city soon, and construction of the $60 million brewery/restaurant/garden will begin. I think it’s best to stay optimistic and assume Stone will find a new home in Virginia. In that vein, we should all make the effort to get to know our new neighbors.

Like I said, Stone is known for its IPAs, and actually has a series of fresh IPAs that are meant to be enjoyed within days of being brewed. They’re tough to find on this side of the country, because of the short shelf life, they’re pulled from stores after the Enjoy By date passes. In fact, that series of beers is called “Enjoy By.” They’re awesome: Juicy, dank, hoppy—exactly what a fresh IPA is supposed to be. The current Enjoy By IPA is set to expire on Sept. 20. Get one if you can.

If you can’t find Enjoy By, find an Arrogant Bastard. This is Stone’s flagship beer, a strong ale that lives up to its name. It’s aggressively hoppy, with a zesty bite that lingers after the sip, but you’ll also find a sugary sweetness that keeps it all in balance. Arrogant Bastard has a respectable 7.2% abv, but be careful—it comes in 22-ounce bombers, and that abv adds up by the end of the bottle. I’m working on a big bomber right now, and I see my afternoon productivity slipping away from me with every sip.

But it’s too good to put down. Arrogant bastard.

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