Stone Brewing has a reputation for pushing beer to extremes. With craft beers high in booze, like the epic 14.9 percent alcohol by volume barleywine Guardian’s Slumber, or excessive in hops, like the 100-plus international bitterness units (IBU) Ruination Double IPA 2.0, you can count on Stone to provide a face punch in a glass.
As a result of that innovation, Stone Brewing’s anniversary beers have become hotly anticipated releases by its rabid fan base. Over the years, these special brews have included porters, chocolate oatmeal stouts, strong ales, and imperial red ales, but more often than not, Stone has stuck with its most popular style: the India pale ale, or IPA. This year marks Stone’s 22nd anniversary and the release of another IPA to its impressive stable: Anni-Matter. A double IPA, this beer is available now in 22-ounce large-format bottles, 12-ounce six-packs, and on draft. A dry-hopped variant of Anni-Matter also saw a limited draft release.
But it wouldn’t be a Stone beer without something new and Anni-Matter marks the first time that the winner of Stone’s Spotlight Series contest has been issued as the anniversary ale. The Spotlight Series sees teams of Stone brewers competing against each other, going from a pilot brewing system to full-scale production with a unique recipe and concept. Previous winners have included Imperial Mutt Brown, a bold brown ale, and Sprocketbier, a black rye Kölsch-style ale.
Anni-Matter innovates by bringing the bright, juicy citrus flavors of the hazy IPA trend to a clean-pouring beer that looks nothing like its Vermont-inspired counterparts. To achieve this, brewers Jose Flores and Jason Smith used a variety of hops, including Denali, Columbus, Galaxy, and Citra, along with Crisp Clear Choice Malt. The end result has the apricot, melon, and citrus hop fruit flavors that are all the rage while at the same time featuring a crisp, dry finish. The 9.1 percent ABV may sound tame, but that little bit of alcohol warmth provides an extra boost that pushes Anni-Matter over the top.
Stone Brewing is distributed in all 50 states, so tracking down a bottle or two of Anni-Matter should be fairly easy at your local bottle shop. To learn more, visit the StoneBrewing website.