In my previous spotlight review, I hope I made it clear that I love Stone Brewing Company, even though I never liked any of their beers. Note the past tense “liked” because now I do like one, and need to recheck them all! It all happened one evening last month after a lovely (as always) visit to Hess Brewing. I had expected it to be Tri-tip Thursday, where they serve up free bbq, but it wasn’t so after we closed the tasting room down we were starving! Mike S. suggested Bangin’ Burgers, which is nearby on Miramar and has a great selection of burgers and local beers on tap. They have a food truck too that sometimes shows up at Green Flash. Anyway, Reed ordered a Stone Arrogant Bastard to go with our burgers and tots. I had a sip. I liked it! Both Reed and I were confused. I wrote it off as a one-time thing, I had already been drinking so perhaps my taste-buds were dulled enough to not be overwhelmed. That was the end of it, or so I thought.
I have been holding off on mentioning it here since I really do believe in jinxing things – but Reed now works at Stone as an assistant brewer! It’s safe to say that this is the job he’s been aspiring to ever since he started his job search 2 years ago. It all came about just the way I thought it would in the end – after a day of drinking beer, talking to people, and making the right connection. He did have to quit his part-time serving job at Green Flash and can no longer brew at Hess – but hopefully it will all be worth it. The schedule will take some getting used to since Stone brews 24/7, but it seems downright normal compared to mine sometimes (I leave tonight and won’t be home again until December 19). Anyway, Reed brought home a growler of Arrogant Bastard last week, with this tag attached
|Ready made business card.
I had a small glass while cooking Thanksgiving dinner (I celebrated the holiday early since I’ll be in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean for the real one) and was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Perhaps, just as I’d given up on having a more mature palate it just happened. The other beer I drank during the weekend was Hess’ Vienna Cream Ale, which I’ve always enjoyed. I think it may have been the gateway beer. There’s something almost sweet to it, like a mix of a dark beer and cream soda. A friend took a sip from my glass and exclaimed “Wow, that actually tastes like beer!” I concede that it’s a reasonable enough assumption that anything I’m drinking is more likely to taste like oranges or herbs than “real beer.”
It feels like fate that Reed beginning work at Stone coincides with the discovery that I like Arrogant Bastard Ale; both are life-changing. Next up I’ll have to go back and try as many types of Stone beer as possible. Like I said, I leave tonight and won’t be back in San Diego for 2 months, and 6 weeks of that is spent on a dry research boat…but I have a new quest – even if it will have to delayed somewhat. You can be sure that I’ll write about it here.