Hey, Mike, thanks for the Mocha IPA from Stone Brewing of San Diego.
Mike left two bottles of this particular beer in the office recently while I was out somewhere. Don’t think I know Mike, but, wow, what a nice gesture!
I used to have a great connection with Stone Brewing before you could find it on this side of the Mississippi.
Back when I was Beer Man for an unmentionable corporate media organization, I was asked to be a guest on the late-lamented Michael Feldman’s Whad’ya Know on public radio a few years back when Feldman brought his show to the Appleton Performing Arts Center in Appleton.
As a sidenote, they also asked me if I could recommend some local musicians to appear and I suggested they contact Andy’s Automatics. I also suggested to Andy Lubahn and his Automatics once they were selected that they should learn one of Feldman’s songs from the Semi-Twang repertoire to blow his mind live, but it never happened. If you don’t know about Milwaukee’s Semi-Twang, you should look them up. I have two vinyl copies of their marvelous Salty Tears.
I decided my schtick for the last 15 minutes of Feldman’s show would start with me wheeling a dolly full of exotic beers onto the stage. They had asked me to bring a six-pack, but I thought it would be funny to wheel in a dolly full of beer, as if we were going to consume that much stage at 11:45 am and live on the air. But apparently the union stagehands couldn’t allow that, so I walked out without my prop and it was wheeled in behind me by a stagehand. Ruined my entrance.
Well, once I found out I was to appear on the show as Beer Man, I contacted all the breweries I had been writing about and asked them to send their best for the radio show. So when Michael asked me to recommend something from the wide array I brought, I started with Stone’s Arrogant Bastard Ale, which Michael refused to say on the air. I forget what he called it instead.
But my fond memories of Stone Brewing go beyond that particular incident, not the least of which is that co-founder Steve Wagner played bass in one of my favorite ‘80s bands, The Balancing Act. Their debut, New Campfire Songs, remains a favorite. I still find myself singing the words to “Who Got the Pearls” or “TV Guide in the Olduvai Gorge” from that record tot his very day.
Stone Brewing kind of fell off my radar, but I’m a fan again after tasting Mocha IPA, which was released in the middle of last month. This is a double India pale ale brewed with cacao and coffee, which the brewery hopes you will think of as the best of both worlds between IPA and stout. I won’t disagree with my Stone friends. Think about what you drink.