There are certain things in life that bring us joy, but we begin to take for granted. The first thing many of us might think of here is family, or possibly good health. These are two very important things indeed, and I’ve been fortunate enough in my life to have had good luck with both. Right now, I’m keeping my fingers crossed, hugging the kids a lot and working out like a maniac.
I’m also enjoying great craft beers, another wonderful thing that I’m passionate about. And while I’m grateful for the vast array of beers out there and the opportunity to exchange ideas with my fellow beer nerds, I realize that I’ve been taking a certain brewery for granted. And it makes me feel like an arrogant bastard…
Or a maybe a Sublimely Self Righteous Ale. Yes, the brewery I’m talking about is Stone Brewing, and I confess they’ve fallen off my radar for no good reason.
Stone is well distributed in these parts, and for many (including yours truly) they are one of first craft breweries folks get into. There are bombers of Arrogant Bastard and Stone IPA in most liquor stores in New Jersey, even the ones who don’t “get” craft beer, making the brewery an easy and popular way to start exploring what good beer can be.
But it seems there’s always something new around the corner with craft beer, another brew to try. In my thirst for beer knowledge, I moved on from Stone’s portfolio of wonderful beers and haven’t looked back of late.
Well, that’s until Saturday night, when I had their marvelous Imperial Russian Stout, a rich, intense and unique expression of the style (you need to get one, soon). As I savored every sip, it kicked me like a mule in the head – I’ve been ignoring these guys for too long, and my been-there-done-that attitude has lead to me missing some wonderful beer moments. I also realize that there’s plenty of Stone beers I’ve yet to try, an error I will be correcting soon.
So I guess this is an apology of sorts to Greg and the gang at Stone – sorry for taking your excellence for granted. It’s also a reminder that great beer needs to be celebrated and supported, 12 or 22 ounces at a time, and with friends whenever possible.
How about you? Is there a brewery you love that you’ve been ignoring lately, or do you always manage to work the classics into rotation?
I know my beer fridge will be seeing some Stone this summer.