Friday, August 27, 2010

OMFG - Beer Review Series - Stone Brewing - Arrogant Bastard Ale

Stone Brewing of California began distribution to Atlanta in November of 2008; I am finally getting around to trying their beers so… SHAME ON ME. This review is the first of six stone beers that I will taste over the next few weeks along with what is new in Atlanta so, stay tuned!

Stone is highly regarded in the beer community as an amazing grassroots brewery and has a wide variety of craft beers styles to choose from. I recently came across a press release from Stone that reads: “Stone Brewing Co. is extremely excited to announce that due to growing success and international demand, the company is officially considering opening a brewery in Europe.”

This is exciting news for American Craft brewers; we are the laughing stock of Europe when it comes to beer because of our huge “macro swill” breweries the produce beer that looks and tastes like cat piss. Don’t get me wrong, I like cat piss every once and a while; nevertheless, if you request a Miller/Bud/Coors in Europe you will be instantly labeled as a D-bag. Hopefully, Stone can open a brewery in the mother country and dominate the locals with some tasty suds. This is a quote from Greg Koch @ Stone We look forward to joining in the fight in Europe by doing our part to add to the growing trend towards unique, flavorful artisanal beers, as opposed to the mass-blandification efforts characterized by megabrand sameness!” Amen brother!! Dominate away!

I recently tasted the Arrogant Bastard by Stone. The label reads: "This is an aggressive beer. You probably won't like it. It is quite doubtful that you have the taste or sophistication to be able to appreciate an ale of this quality and depth. We would suggest that you stick to safer and more familiar territory - maybe something with a multi-million dollar ad campaign aimed at convincing you it's made in a little brewery, or one that implies that their tasteless fizzy yellow beer will give you more sex appeal. Perhaps you think multi-million dollar ad campaigns make a beer taste better. Perhaps you're mouthing your words as you read this.” Do I need to continue? I love this beer before I even pop the top.

Arrogant Bastard Ale is an American Strong ale with an ABV of 7.2%. I poured the dark mahogany brew with a beautiful one inch cappuccino colored head into my Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass. I did not detect much on the nose. Maybe a very faint pine and grapefruit due to the Chinook hops used. These hops are mainly a bittering flavor and not much for fragrance.

The ABUSE: Upon first taste I get some malty caramel, raison and fig notes. Beautiful mouth feel: This brew is of medium body and smooth creaminess followed by an abusive carbonation, hop and bitterness ass kicking on the swallow. Did this beer just punch me in the face? I feel like I’ve been verbally abused at my kid’s piano recital by some punk ass teenager, or even crop dusted in an elevator for not talking to the person to my left. Just plain rude! As the beer warms it becomes more complex and the notes of caramel swirl; the other flavors play nicely and the beer begins to make more logical sense. It’s a love hate relationship. A relationship I want to be a part of.

This beer is named perfectly; I highly recommend it for the complexity it embodies. If you look at other American Strong Ales you may not find names of beers that you recognize. The American Strong Ale is an alcohol heavy version of the Pale ale. As we all know, Anchor Steam - Liberty, Terrapin - Rye, Oscar Blue - Dales Pale Ale, and Sam Adams dominate the craft scene with offerings from this category. Let me tell you, Arrogant Bastard stomps a mud hole in all of these beers. Take this as a warning! You may not be ready to drink something this complex and aggressive but your palette will thank you when it’s all over.


  1. You didn't tell us where we could try them too!

  2. You can find Stone Brews at pretty much any craft beer store. I would try a Total Wine or Tower.