Thursday, September 24, 2015


I'm nervous. When I think of some of the most memorable beers I've ever had, Stone Brewing's Vertical Epic 08.08.08 is near the top.  Along with Brasserie Dupont's Avec Les Bon Voeux, Ballast Point's Sculpin, and Stone's Tenth Anniversary beer, 08.08.08 not only revealed the wonder of beer but the creative possibilities of craft brewers, with its hopped interpretation of a Belgian golden strong ale.  Vertical Epic 08.08.08 helped with my Belgian-style beer education and made me more appreciative of golden style strong ales and tripels. 

Subsequent Avec Les Bon Voeuxs, while still great, have never matched the magic of the first bottle.   Sculpin, initially an occasional Ballast Point release (the scarcity enhanced its legend) is now sold everywhere and remains brilliant.  Stone's Tenth Anniversary beer, one of the first extreme-hopped, high alcohol IPAs, faded so fast that the groundbreaking summer release was undrinkable by Christmas.  Will the new 08.08.08 match the beer of my memory, or will it prove the tricky reality of remembrance?

Starting this past Sunday, September 20th, Stone began pouring its newly brewed version of 08.08.08 in its tasting rooms and it released 22 oz bottles on September 21st.  I am looking forward to this beer, no matter what it brings, and I still have several bottles of 08.08.08 squirreled away in a closet that I plan to compare to the new batch.