Stone Brewing's beers just
showed up in Thailand, but they've been brewing them quite
successfully since 1996 in southern California. Stone
must have experienced much of their massive success after
2005 when I left California because I'd never heard of these
guys in the 7 1/2 years I lived there.
Now Stone has evolved into
America's 9th largest craft brewery and the fourteenth
largest overall based on sales volume. There are plans
to build a $20m brewery in Germany and another in the works
to produce beer on America's east coast, in Virginia,
starting in 2016. Plenty of Stone fans became pissed
off when Stone went on to Kickstarter to seek $1m to help
fund the German brewery build out.
Stone deserves some credit.
They were brewing extra strong bitter beers long before most
of today's craft breweries were a glint in anyone's eye.
Co-founder Greg Koch got a $500k investment from his dad and
the brewery continued to lose money to tune of about $30k
per month. Things turned around two years into the
Arrogant Bastard is a line of
strong beers from Stone with a colorful bastardly devil
drinking a beer on the bottle's front. There a
number of Arrogant Bastard brews, with strength and
'insulting' copy on the bottles being the one thing in
common across them all.
This beer is classified as an
American strong ale. That's basically what it is.
An ale above 8%, strong enough that my wife wouldn't go near
it, aged in bourbon barrels. The faint taste of bourbon
gives the beer more of a hybrid alochol taste.
Personally, I am not very
fond of beers of this strength, and the trend nowadays seems
to be to add alcohol on the one end while limiting it for a
session range on the other. You can definitely taste
the alcohol in this one.
But it's not offputting and
after a few sips, you actually start to appreciate this brew
in the same vein as a Belgian beer aping a port wine.
I wouldn't rush to re-order it but I wouldn't turn it away
if offered again.