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A Stone Affair

Recently my brother went the L.A. for business and after equipping him with a comprehensive list of beers to bring back for my enjoyment, blog and book (1,001 beers to try before you die) 

At the top of the list was Russian River’s ‘Pliny The Elder’ and Stone’s ‘Arrogant Bastard’

One came back and another did not. 

What came back was spectacular! 

On the counter when I came to visit this brother of mine sat not only a bottle of the Arrogant Bastard but also Ruination IPA.

 Stone Brewing Company has a huge reputation as a brewery which does things their own way.

They run movie nights and are deliberately inflammatory as seen on the label of our first beer, Arrogant Bastard.

I really enjoyed this beer but to be honest I don’t think that the marketing department bullying people into confessing a life long love of this beer is something that should be encouraged. Lines such as “is is an aggressive ale. 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.” Trap people who enjoy craft beer into liking this beer or being branded a less then discerning beer drinker and I think that is just a cheap trick without much class. 

This beer comes in at 7.2% and comes bottle out of a 700 ml with plenty to share. It smells great, with plenty to get your nose into with some citrus and pine notes. The balance between hops and malt is very settled. 

The first taste you get is one of well rounded hop bitterness which lingers and develops on your tongue and it flows nicely and has a wonderful mouth feel but the 7.2% can be felt for sure. 

You should, if you ever have the privilege of seeing this beer pick it up.

The Ruination IPA is advertised as having 100 + IBU and you can taste it. This is not the most bitter beer I have ever tasted but it is enjoyable. 

This was quite a crisp sort of IPA. One of the problems I had with this beer was that the hops were quite harsh. I don’t know if this is left in to help with the ruinous hop effect that Stone are promoting or just the way it went with the hops they are using. 

This is a good IPA but to call it ruinous on your palate is a little bit of a stretch, if that is what you are looking for go with Greenflash.


Okay that’s it for a Sunday evening. If you ever get the opportunity to try a Stone’s beer do it! Do it right now!




One comment on “A Stone Affair

  1. Context son, context. When I wrote the Arrogant Bastard Ale label in 1997, it was a very different time. Arrogant Bastard Ale was on the far outside edge of what was being brewed in the beer (craft or otherwise) industry.

    You wrote: “I really enjoyed this beer but to be honest I don’t think that the marketing department bullying people into confessing a life long love of this beer is something that should be encouraged.”

    Easy there. When I wrote the bottle label, there was no “marketing department” at Stone, there was just me writing the labels (a local graphic artist had drawn the gargoyle for us), and I was struggling with my biz partner Steve and our small team just to keep our fledgling brewery afloat. Further, there’s no bullying on the bottle, nor is their encouragement for anyone to confess “a life long love” of Arrogant Bastard Ale.

    All of that is your own reading into it.

    That’s fine of course. You’re welcome to read into it all you like. You should know however that they are your words, not the Arrogant Bastard Ale’s. It’s simply being the conduit or catalyst. How one reads, and interprets, the Arrogant Bastard Ale label…and the beer itself…is more of a reflection of the individual, than it is of the beer or what’s written on the bottle.

    As far as the Stone Ruination IPA label goes, well it too was written at a very different time in the world of beer. When it was release just over ten years ago in June 2002, it ended up being the very first full-time brewed & bottled double IPA. On. The. Planet. At that time, few people had ever had the opportunity to taste a beer of its intensity level.

    To celebrate the tenth anniversary of the beer, we just released the (cleverly named) Stone Ruination Tenth Anniversary IPA

    Glad you enjoyed the beers. Clearly you have excellent taste my friend!

    It’s been almost ten years since I last visited Australia. The nascent craft beer industry was on the move, but I understand that it has made great strides since then (well, except those that have sold out, or insist on attempting to position their fizzy yellow beers as ‘craft’) and I look forward to returning and enjoying more of the fantastic craft beers Australia now has to offer!

    Again, stoked you enjoyed the beers. Thanks for the write-up. Keep promoting craft brewing. It’s important work you do!


    Greg Koch, CEO & co-founder
    Stone Brewing Co.


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