Stone Brewing Co. was founded in 1996, and since then has been voted the “All-time Top Brewery on Planet Earth” and will soon become the first American brewery to have a European brewhouse location.
As part of the brand’s success and growth, they have the ability to do special edition beers on demand. In 2008, Stone released a new series of collaboration beers. The goal was to get three brewers from three different breweries to create a beer with no boundaries.
Along the same vein, we introduce their first collaborative project of 2012, with Bear Republic and Fat Head’s, a tribute to a lost style of brewing; TBA. The acronym alludes to a classic but little-known beer style called Texas Brown Ale, which, actually comes from California.
In the 80s, there was a homebrew recipe for a hoppy brown ale, made with Cascade hops, hopping (word play?) around northern California. Even as it gained some popularity, it didn’t do well in homebrew competitions since it didn’t fall under any recognized category. It was way too hoppy and bitter to be considered a traditional brown ale. But eventually it caught on, and a competition in Houston, TX decided to judge these entires in a ‘California Dark’ category. The American Homebrewers Association soon allowed these entires in their own competitions, and changed the category name to Texas Brown Ale.
This TBA is yet another interesting creation from the Stone team out of Escondido, CA. TBA pours a beautiful auburn brown with a light tan head. The initial smell is a bit piney, but becomes sweeter probably due to the molasses introduced by Richard Norgrove from Bear Republic. The taste begins with a strong blast of malt flavors, followed by some fruity flavors mixed with the brown sugar also introduced by Richard. And finally finishes with an intense hoppy bitterness, that lightly lingers in your mouth.
I had a chance to try this a few days back, it’s super easy to drink and incredibly refreshing. If you like brown ales or IPAs of any sort, you will absolutely love this beer.