Fresh and hoppy
First Posted: 6/16/2014
Brewer: Stone Brewing Company
Beer: Enjoy By 07.04.14 IPA
Style: American Double/Imperial IPA
Background: Stone is widely known for its aggressively hopped beers, whether it is Stone IPA, Ruination, or Arrogant Bastard. Stone decided to push things a bit forward with its obsession with hops and began producing the Enjoy By series of Imperial IPAs. The point behind the series is to get the freshest beer possible into the hands of the consumer. The problem with many craft beer stores is that the wide variety of beers means that many can and will sit on the shelf for a long period of time and, therefore, not be as fresh. The very visible ENJOY BY date stamped on the front of the bottle avoids these problems, and you can be ensured that it is a very fresh product. Stone also ensures the freshness by releasing these beers to limited markets each time a new Enjoy By is brewed and packaged.
Description: Enjoy By 07.04.14 pours a golden amber color with creamy white head that settles, leaving a heavy lacing on the glass. The aroma is dominated by hops of the freshest variety, a slight hint of dankness and resin backed with strong citrus and tropical fruits – peaches and grapefruit come to mind – all wrapping around a sweet grain bill in the background. The taste is absolutely wonderful, but also surprising. The first assault on the palate is not hops at all, but instead a sweet and soft malt profile before the hops come in on the attack. The hops are on full display here with ripe peaches, grapefruits, orange, mango, nectarines, pine, and grass all hitting the palate at once, a stimulating experience before finishing long and dry. The mouth feel tends towards the medium to full side of the spectrum, but this is expected for a beer to handle the heftiness of this many hops. Speaking of the hops, while this may seem to be a one-sided affair as far as balance, the more you sip the beer the more you find that it is actually quite balanced. Enjoy By IPA is certainly a world-class IPA!
Food pairing: Food pairing for an aggressively hopped beer such as this one can be challenging; any light dishes will easily get overpowered. I cannot recommend strongly enough to enjoy this beer on its own to pick up all the subtle nuances. If you do want to pair it with food, however, one of the best types of dishes to put it with is Mexican. Another great dinner pairing is with a venison steak topped with a tart cherry sauce, as the caramelized meat would be great with the malt bill and the tart cherry sauce will meld seamlessly with the wonderful fruit flavors emanating from the hop bill. If you are feeling more in the mood for something a lighter and simpler, try pairing with pork chops and apple sauce. The beer runs the show with most dishes it’s paired with it, so look for pairings that will benefit from this highly hopped beer.
The final word: Stone Brewing Co. is certainly not afraid of aggressively hopping any of its beers, as evident by the vast portfolio of hoppy beers (see Ruination, RuinTen, or Stone IPA). However, the brewery has made a bold statement with Enjoy By, brewing one the hoppiest and best DIPAs available. The unbelievable freshness from the hops is on full display in this beer. The bitterness can be overwhelming for the uninitiated, but it is certainly not too much for all the hopheads out there in the world. Once you taste it, you will want more, so grab a few bottles while you still can get them!
Rating: W W W W W
Where can I get it? Currently available in 22-ounce bottles at Cooper’s Seafood, Scranton; Exit 190 Beer Deli, Dickson City; Backyard Ale House, Scranton, and Krugel’s Georgetown Deli & Beer, Wilkes-Barre. Currently available on draft at Sabatini’s Pizza, Exeter; Exit 190 Beer Deli; and Krugel’s Georgetown Deli & Beer.
Remember, enjoy responsibly! Cheers!
-Derek Warren is a beer expert, avid homebrewer, and beer historian. Follow Derek’s beer blog at idtapthat.org.