Sunday, February 10, 2013

Stone Winter Storm

The stone winter storm is the stone fest of stone fests. It's their annual celebration of themselves featuring fans. They're committed to helping their fans get all of their great beers in one place. I was lucky enough to find this when I was thinking about a trip. I knew it needed to happen. The event is broken into two parts. A gourmet breakfast with samplers of beer and the rest of the week where anyone can wander in for amazing beers.

(Please read my summary and thoughts after the break.)

The Calm Before The Storm:
This was the best run beer event that I have ever been to; hands down. Stone seemed to have sold fewer tickets than chairs, provided live music at a reasonable volume, and offered food included in the price of admission. The Beers were served from taps in three locations within the world bistro, outside, inside and upstairs. Rare beers were evenly distributed throughout the event preventing congregations at any one point.

They were upfront with which beers were limited, and where they would be. Everything that they said would be on tap was. The event was spacious, low key, and fun.

The beers I sampled ranged from good, to frickin' amazing. I sampled vertical ales from 2002 to 2007 and various barrel aged, special adjunct, and extra hoppy versions of their normally great beers.

My Top Three Sampled Beers were:
StoneWall - Amazing. It had a caramel flavor that lingered like no other barleywine I've ever had. It still had grapefruit notes and was as smooth as the day is long.

03.03.03 - Fantastic. It was a large belgian that has been carefully preserved and given time for the flavor to blend seamlessly. Of all the Belgian style beers I had in cali, this was perhaps number one.

Sublimely Self Righteous on Espresso Beans - Superb. This seems like a no brainer but the coffee flavors that are part of the dark malts naturally included in an American Black Ale were amplified by the addition of coffee.

The Food:
This was a sample shot of my breakfast. The food included breakfast burritos, mac and cheese, mini bagels, and cinnamon muffins. The food was supplemented by both coffee and water. The food could have come out faster but overall in 2 hours I don't think there was anyone who went hungry. It was nice to have some carb heavy and bready foods to soak up the beer. It was also worth the price of admission not to have to deal with under prepared food trucks that slowly rolled out food. It was a sign to me of a well run event that they had multiple water stations, multiple food stations, and multiple tap stations.

Amazingly well run. Amazing Beer. A success.

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