Tag Archives: Dr.Bill Sysak

Stone Brewing Winter Storm 2010

Winter Storm 2010

Some of my favorite San Diego Beer Friends are present in this photo which was taken Sunday morning February 7th in the Stone World Bistro around 9 AM.  You might be asking yourself what would possess these folks to turn up at a brewery so early (8:30 am) in the morning on Super Bowl Sunday?  Well all you need to do is take a look at the beer list on the  Stone Brewing web site to get your answer.  Stone releases some fantastic kegs and bottles from their library collection for this week long event and those of us lucky enough to live near by made the pilgrimage to Stone to share our complete love and devotion to these amazing artisan beers.  Matt Dolman & I headed over to Stone to meet up with pals Kevin Hopkins (@cajonkev), Stephen Johnson(@datrhweef), John Holzer(@johnholzer) and Renee & Jordan Rounds.  We were greeted by good friend Dr. Bill Sysak (@BistroBeer), one of the most knowledgeable craft beer experts in the industry, who immediately gave us the scoop on what was a must try!  The twitter community was out in full force also. @IPABev and hubby @BrewMark were already at the door when we arrived.  Others like @mikedashg, @stonepurist and @nocturne1 were there also. Greg Koch, CEO & Founder of Stone Brewing Co showed up with a grin and a couple of rare bottles from his collection to share!

The first and most important beer of my day (and most of the others also) was Stone Wall! This 12.2% ABV Barley Wine was brewed in 2005 to honor participants in the Stone Wall Charity Fundraiser.  It is, I believe, one of the strongest, or perhaps the strongest beer brewed by Stone and getting to sample this beer is a true pleasure.  The aroma from this beer is so incredibly beautiful.  It drinks amazingly smooth with yummy carmel and ripe dark fruit with a malty finish.  In my humble opinion, the alcohol level is not noticeable at all.  This is one of those beers that I drink with my eyes closed so that I can tune out everything except the sheer pleasure my taste buds and nose are experiencing.  SOME people may have over-endulged on this beer!  #justsayin or #justquackin

Stone Wall

Stone Wall - After Sips!

The 2001 Imperial Russian Stout was probably my second favorite beer of the day.  I am consistently astonished by the complexity of this beer as it ages and the 2001 is no exception.  The collaboration beers are all aging nicely.  The Ken Schmidt, Maui Brewing Co., Stone Brewing Co., Kona Coffee, Macadamia, Coconut Porter was fantastic.   As a reward for my recent achievement passing the Cicerone Certified Beer Server test, Dr. Bill Sysak bought me a Juxtaposition Black Pilsner, the collaboration between BrewDog, Cambridge Brewing Co & Stone Brewing Co. that was released in July of 2009.  I fell in love with this beer when it was released but have to admit that age is making it even better.  Cheers to Dr. Bill for treating me like a Princess – gosh I love the attention 🙂

There were many other samples floating around and just an amazing group of people there sharing special beers.  I think it is the spirit of sharing and camaraderie that makes the craft beer world so fabulous.  Rarely will you meet more friendly and generous group of people than you do at events such as these.  Seeing and experiencing is believing so regardless of your geography, check out a future Craft Beer Event in your area and plan on attending.  I’ll bet a great beer on the fact that you’ll meet some amazing folks while enjoying a stellar Craft Beer!



Bison Brewing Organic IPA

I needed a little afternoon pick-me up after my visit to the Little Italy Mercato, my neighborhood Farmer’s Market.  My pick for a Saturday afternoon beer…Bison Brewing Organic IPA!  I am a big fan of Bison Brewing and of Daniel DelGrande, the owner/brewmaster.  Daniel is an exceptional person and he pours his heart into his beer.  He will be coming to San Diego in January so stay tuned for details on an opportunity to meet him!

The beer pours a beautiful, hazy amber with about a one inc fluffy white head. Light lacing on the glass as the head dissapates.  I chose an oversized wine glass because I am in a very girly kind of mood today.  I swear it’s from the freshly ironed sheets I slept under last night :0 Oh my…  I really like the way this beer looks in my glass.  The color is rich and for some reason it is exactly the way I think a Certified Organic Beer should look.  Call me silly, but that’s how I think about things.  I develop a picture in my mind of what something “should” look like.  In this case my perception was spot on.  I am a huge supporter of all things organic so this beer speaks to my soul…

I closed my eyes and put the glass to my nose to soak in the aroma of the beer.  It has a rich, earthy smell that made me sigh the way I sigh when I like something.  This beer uses Tomahawk, Cascade and Centennial hops and I swoon at first sniff!  I also get hints of citrus, perhaps grapefruit.

I follow  @StoneBrewCo Dr. Bill Sysak’s (@BistroBeer on Twitter) style for tasting my beer. For a great detailed description watch the New Brew Thursdayhttp://www.newbrewthursday.com/ –  Double Bastard Episode.  Dr. Bill is the guest and he gives great advice for tasting.  The first taste I swish vigorously in my mouth to cleanse my palate .  Next I take a small taste in the front of my mouth and pull in some air to open up the palate.  The 3rd taste is when you really get the taste of the beer.

The mouthfeel is clean and medium in body.  The carbonation light.  The hops are well balanced with malt and not overpowering.  I like the earthiness.  There are light citrus tones — again grapefruit for me.

This is not a big hoppy beer, which I do love,  but rather a pleasant, highly drinkable session beer that would pair well with a myriad of food choices.   I think I will be creating a special “Grilled Cheese” creation just for this beer.  It comes in at 6.8% ABV so I could definitely get used to drinking this beer more often.  If you get the opportunity to try any of the Bison beers.  Please do so.  I think you will be very pleased.