Stone Brewing announced yesterday its Tangerine Enjoy By IPA is back, and was released on June 18th. I loved the first version of this beer and wrote about it here. I have become a huge fan of citrus IPAs. Stone's Tangerine Enjoy By and Ballast Point's Grapefruit Sculpin IPA get plenty of deserved love, but they are not the only juiced beers in town. Mike Hess Brewing does the whole citrus fruit thing right. Its Grapefruit Solis IPA (pictured) and Tangerine Hopfruitus IPA are stellar, and pack as much if not more citrus intensity than the Ballast Point and Stone beers. Mike Hess varies its regular Solis IPA's recipe with every batch, and I think it's on Batch #56 or #57. I have not been that impressed with the versions of regular Solis I have tried. Grapefruit Solis is another story, and for it Mike Hess created a special, non-varying recipe made with hops that accentuate the grapefruit. If you like Grapefruit Sculpin, you will love this beer, which is available in 22 oz bottles.
Mike Hess's Hoptuitus IPA is a spring seasonal, and its regular version is a delicious IPA. The Tangerine Hopfruitus, like Grapefruit Solis, takes the original beer to a higher level. Tangerine Hopfruitus is so citrus concentrated that I believe I get a mouthful of fruit pulp with each drink. Tangerine is a sweeter fruit than grapefruit, and the sugars play off the hop bitterness. Craft beer is not immune to trends, and citrus IPAs are strong trend, but one I want to become permanent.
Wednesday, June 15, 2016
Stone Brewing's Brewmaster, Mitch Steele, is leaving Stone at the end of June. The West Coaster has details here. Steele's departure after ten years is amicable. Stone is not filling his position, which to me signifies the size and quality of Stone's current brewing talent, opting instead for an "innovation team." I don't think we, as outsiders, know the significance Steele has had on Stone over his tenure, which has coincided with Stone's rocket-trajectory growth. Stone has released multiple beers every year, reworked old recipes, and has opened and continues to open new satellite brewing facilities, with each new brewery having its own brewer. I believe Enjoy By IPA is Steele's creation, and if the last two versions are any indication, corporate duties have not diminished his brewing skills. According to the West Coaster and other publications, Steele was sought after by "industrial professionals," which implies some form of new brewing venture. Good luck to Mr. Steele!