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Stone Go To IPA - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Stone Go To IPAStone Go To IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

387 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 387
Hads: 3,160
Avg: 3.95
pDev: 11.39%
Wants: 102
Gots: 872 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  4.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: dwagner003 on 02-03-2014

It's no secret we helped create and popularize West Coast style IPAs (since 1997), Double IPAs (since 2000) & Triple IPAs (since 2006). In fact, IPAs of every ilk imaginable are our bread and (hop) butter at Stone Brewing Co., but we'll be the first to admit that a night of subsisting solely on big IPAs can be a short one. Enter Stone Go To IPA, our session IPA, boasting all the gloriously bitter, citrusy, piney flavor of our bigger / industrial-strength IPAs, but with a significantly lower alcohol-by-volume (4.5%) allowing IPA fans like us to enjoy more of this amazingly, hoppy beer over a longer session, without giving up any of that gloriously crave-able botanically-driven dankness. Well, OK, when you compare to our bigger IPAs you find that you give up some, as that's what happens when you dramatically lower the abv. And while we work hard to bend the time/space/abv intensity continuum, we've admittedly not yet learned to break it. This comes damn close though.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 387 | Hads: 3,160
Photo of fx20736
1.85/5  rDev -53.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

Bought a single bottle from AJs Beer Warehouse, July 2015. Served at fridge temp in a Duvel Tulip.

L: Hazy apricot, thin white head, barely any lacing.

S: Simcoe Hops- cat pee
T: strong herbal bitterness, Vick's Vapo-rub
F: solid
O: Can't stand this beer

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Photo of od_sf
1.85/5  rDev -53.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

I've been on a sessionable IPA kick lately, and greatly enjoy Daytime IPA from Lagunitas, a beer that is low in ABV, hoppy, balanced, and very drinkable. I was looking forward to trying Stone's entry into the sessionable IPA arena. What a disappointment! This beer (or at least the batch I got) suffers from a serious case of isovaleric acid off flavor. Isovaleric acid compounds are usually due to using stale or poorly stored hops, and result in off flavors best described as "cheesy". Sadly this is the dominant flavor and aroma on offer here - nasty, stale cheese. Not pleasant in the least, and definitely not what I expected. Drain pour I'm afraid.

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Photo of Givemebeer
1.98/5  rDev -49.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

A: Clear straw golden nice carbonation and head. pretty.

S: Citrusy and a bit tropical

T: WOW straight garlic onions. I thought i put 10 raw onions in my mouth. Just nasty. I've never understood people saying they taste onion in beer now I do. Just disgusting.

M: Light bodied as expected.

O: A uniquely horrible experience.

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Photo of SFACRKnight
2.31/5  rDev -41.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from 12oz bottle to odell tulip
pours deep gold, thin white head retrrats to 1/8 in persistant tight white head.
Nose has a touch of citrus, and a ton of onion.
flavor follows. No malt to speak of, big onion presence.

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Photo of dave39
2.4/5  rDev -39.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Attention beer companies: I am not going to consume your product if you don't have clear dates as to when they should be enjoyed by.

This is relevant because of another bottle date mishap today. I exchanged for this after returning my Lagunitas Hop Stoopid bomber which had a metallic taste to it. I had to call Lagunitas itself. Oh, so the bottle is dark, and there is dark etching somewhere at the neck, and the numbers mean what? "Can I put you on hold? Uh, no." The grocery store wasn't much help, either. No, Miss Cashier, the bottling expiration date was April 5th, and today is June 16th, so it isn't still good, despite the original concept behind the IPA.

So, I exchanged the Lagunitas for this. This is not Stone's best offering. It is very unbalanced, because they hop burst to keep the piney grapefruit notes, but there is very little backbone to balance it out by keeping the ABV down. The result is an unbalanced bottle of bitter grapefruit juice. I actually would not have hop bursted at the end with this, since it really throws things off.

While I applaud the concept of trying to make low ABV to accompany the big flavor you find in higher Stone ABV brews, it simply isn't well executed in the Go To IPA.

It's actually also pretty bad for the Stone IPA that this is actually a better beer, for all it's balance issues. My experience with Stone Brewery has been quite enigmatic. They either screw the prom queen, or screw the pooch, and there really isn't much in between.

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Photo of SteveB24
2.48/5  rDev -37.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.25

appearance; light straw, decent amount of white head. lots of bubbles

smell; citrus, some light herbs as well

taste; hints of herb and citrus, and an overwhelming bitter flavor.

mouthfeel; very dry, light body.

overall; way too bitter, and almost nothing else.

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Photo of JLaw55
2.5/5  rDev -36.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I don't really get the high rating on this one, it is like every other session ipa i have tried; watered down, weak, and lacking any flavor other than a one noted bitterness. Take Stone off the bottle and put to a blind taste test and i would put money on this one getting a lower rating.

Don't get me wrong I have greatly enjoyed other Stone beers, but unwarranted inflation of a beers scores based on brand is annoying.

Would not seek out or purchase again.

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Photo of Maryobeerian
2.55/5  rDev -35.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

I love Stone Brewing Co,. so perhaps I am being a bit harsh in my assessment which is unimpressed. Poured into a pint glass, no head whatsoever. The color is a light honey, diluted caramel. Not much for the nose expect some distant pine. Front of mouth is fairly tasteless with a little fizz and the finish is tarry pine on the roof of my mouth. Not much else going on. Seems to me the marketing department said they should do a session beer and this is what we got -- certainly not a labor of love and I won't be buying again.

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Photo of Every1sgrudge
2.56/5  rDev -35.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Serving: Poured into a tulip from the bottle because I wasn't wasting my chalice on this beer.

Appearance: Best attribute of this beer, orange-gold-yellowish hues, half inch head with great retention (I hate a lot of foam) with nice resilient lacing.

Smell: Hoppy, piney, citral, and floral. How some of these people can detect all sorts of malts is beyond me.

Taste: Just like it smells, hoppy, bitter, piney, citral, and floral. It tastes like a bitter grapefruit juice. I don't detect any malts in my mouth either.

Mouthfeel: Mild carbonation, drinks easy like a light beer, but has strong flavors.

Overall: Whereas I like Stone and have come to find their signature taste pleasing I do not like this beer and wouldn't purchase it again. I think some people develop loyal followings and rate high because of that. I can't see how this beer deserves such high marks. It's way more citral, floral, bitter, and hoppy than a beer with this low ABV should be. Think Ruination but with an off-putting pledge after taste.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.56/5  rDev -35.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 3.25

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with over-elaborate label description and branded black pry-off pressure cap acquired at Whichcraft in Austin, TX and served at low altitude into a pilsner glass. Best before: 10/24/14. Cost was $1.50. Reviewed as a session IPA per the label.

4.50% ABV confirmed. Expectations are subpar given the brewery. Served at fridge temp and side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

No bubble show.

HEAD: Three fingers wide. White colour. Foamy, nicely frothy. Average creaminess and thickness. Retention is good - about 10 minutes - though the ABV is quite low. No lacing sticks to the sides of the glass as the head recedes.

BODY: Clear lightly cloudy lemon yellow of average vibrance. Translucent. Transparent. Clean-looking; no yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible.

Overall, it looks more like a witbier-meets-pale ale than a session IPA. Average overall; far from unique or special.

AROMA: Wheat, grassy hop notes, lemongrass, generic floral hop notes, lemon zest, clean barley, pale malts, and grapefruit, replete with pith and a kiss of rind. The grapefruit dominates, but I wouldn't call it pungent. Nice pine. It's got a weak malt backbone and not much in terms of interesting hop character - no nectary, juicily citrusy, or oily hop notes.

It's a pleasant aroma of average strength, and I'm looking forward to trying it.

No yeast character, alcohol, off-notes, or spices are detectable.

TASTE: Soapy and off-putting. Loaded with detergent-esque reminders that this definitely spent too long in primary. Lemon zest. Some lemongrass. Malt backbone is insufficient. Has a bland floral hop character. Pith. Grassy notes. Overly bitter in classic Stone fashion.

Imbalanced, favoring the off-character above all else. I'm not finding much in terms of pine or grapefruit; the promises of the aroma are left unfulfilled. Wheat. Built simply and poorly, with little cohesion. Not a gestalt build.

It's not complex, subtly executed, intricate, or nuanced.

No yeast character, alcohol, or spices come through.

TEXTURE: Lightly coarse and dry - which leaves it unrefreshing. Lightly starchy (inexplicably - maybe because of some crackery malt or the flaked wheat?). Overcarbonated. Light-bodied. The thickness is right for a session IPA, but overall this texture does a poor job at complementing the taste.

Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, or harsh.

OVERALL: Downable, sure, but it's boring and unremarkable for a session IPA, and the dominant soapiness is ruinous. I definitely wouldn't buy this again, and though I got it on the discount rack for $1.50, I wish I'd spent that money on a better brew. More bottled disappointment from Stone, one of the only breweries I know which is able to make a session IPA imbalanced.

Low C-

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Photo of RLA51
2.66/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Not an IPA. I understand the marketing attraction of "session IPAs", but honestly, an IPA is a certain style of beer that has certain characteristics - high ABV and substantial mouthfeel being two important ones that this, and other so-called "session IPAs", do not possess. Why not just call it a heavily late-hopped Pale Ale? That would be more genuine than affixing the letters IPA to this brew, which is nothing close to an IPA.

Appearance: A beautiful hazy golden pour.

Aroma: Definitely strong hop aromas. Some citrus and fruit, but primarily (overwhelmingly) grassy/piney.

Flavor: Bitterness is good. A bit too heavy on the grass. No malt flavor at all, which can be acceptable in an IPA but this beer has no backbone at all, so the lack of any malt flavor doesn't help.

Mouthfeel: Light and fizzy (not good descriptors for an IPA). Should be more substantial and creamy. Lesser ABV beers (Uinta Baba Black Lager, Goose Island 312) have a better mouthfeel - so low ABV is not an acceptable reason.

Overall: An interesting and innovative brew. I applaud Stone for thinking outside the box. However, I think they should also think outside the box with their marketing - don't jump on the low ABV IPA bandwagon by trying to call this an IPA, because it just isn't. Be innovative in your marketing as well as your brewing. I would not buy this again - if I want an IPA, I want a real IPA...

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Photo of gnumber9
2.75/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

grapefruit! looks like citrus soda. perhaps for those that enjoy very hoppy, bitter, low abv on thirsty days. not my fave and not at this price point, no sir!

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Photo of vickersspitfire
2.82/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.75

Appearance: Clear with lots of carbonation as I pour but then it just runs still with only as occasional bubble headed upward. The head is thick, light and an off white color and it does stick around for several minutes. There’s very little lacing in this IPA.
Smell: Strong citrus aromas, especially grapefruit and lemon zest; summer grass, herbal and earthy notes also follow. The spiciness follows last and brings the overall aromas to a pleasant experience.
Taste: Spicy, floral and hoppy, but not as hoppy, especially coming from Stone Brewing.
Mouthfeel: Very light bodied for an IPA, smooth but not as much carbonation as I expected.
Overall: Not a bad beer, but this is still below expectations for Stone Brewing, I do recommend trying this IPA, but I can assure you I won’t be buying it again.

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Photo of ElGordo
2.9/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Fresh citrus on the nose--notes of candied orange slices and grapefruit. Body is bubbly and a bit thin on the finish. A more subtle hop profile on the palate, but it's kind of overwhelmed by the slightly harsh, husky bitterness of the malt. Not sure about the lofty reviews for this one; maybe I got a bad bottle?

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Photo of BeerDocT
2.97/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance 3.5: Poured out a hazy golden color. Completely opaque. OK 1/2" head faded into a slight swirly film. Lacing is poor.

Smell 2.75: Bouquet is just definitely off. Light malt scent with a huge hit of hops. However one of these hops smells like cat urine. Maybe it a is a blending of the hops that leads to this unpleasant smell. I don't know, but I do know I do not like it. Please notice that I have refrained from "slamming" them on this.

Taste 3.0: Front is bone dry with a slight hint of hoppiness. Middle is stuck in the very top of the palate and is filled with piney hops. Very dry at this level, also. Almost distractingly so. Finish is almost non-existent. Aftertaste features a nice taste of piney hops, followed by a hit of citrus hops. This quickly fades away and...more dryness comes in.

Mouthfeel 3.0: Dry, dry, dry is the featured feel here and I -for one-- became sick of it.

Overall 3.0: Just an OK beer from Stone and certainly nothing special. This beer is obsessed with being dry and drinkable and fails miserably at every level. Stone is usually a dependable brewery, but I definitely would not recommend this one.

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Photo of HalfFull
3/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Single bottle picked up from Trader Joe's. Poured into a globe glass for tasting. Pours clean and bright and deep straw in color, sporting a half inch of near white foam.

Aroma is quite hop forward and with hop notes notable during the pour. Piney initially then sequeing to more citrus and then spicy/garlic aromas. Actually a bit soapy in the end but good in small doses.

Taste offers spicy hop notes and an expected light malt delivery. Light and subtle bitterness follows. Feel is thinner than expected after watching 'tasting notes' video from Stone and is closer to what I would expect from such a light ABV IPA. Nothing magical in the end in that regard. The smell is the high point in my view, the rest leaves more questions than it answers.

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Photo of johnjohnbeer
3/5  rDev -24.1%

Session IPA says it all. I have yet to find on with great hop flavor that isn't watery. This is no difference. Solid brew for people just getting into IPAs, but I prefer something that packs a punch.

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Photo of Goblinmunkey7
3/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Thanks to angrybabboon for the bottle so I didn't have to pay for it.

Appearance: Super clear hay-gold. Head is bright-white, creamy, with a loose bubble structure. Moderate head retention keeps a small cap and creamy collar for the duration. Specks and notches of lacing.

Smell: Punch of tropical fruit right off the bat. Mango, peach, pineapple, and tangerine. Some leafy herbal and earthy elements as well. Malts are light and slightly bready with some pale malt sweetness, but it's big on aromatics. A bit floral as well. Malts are so minimal it's rather amusing. A touch of onion in the back with a big hit of grapefruit. So much citrus and fruit. Not quite typical for Stone, but not so far off the mark it's distracting.

Taste: Grapefruit and green onion in abundance. Pushes a bitter, almost woody type of bitterness, aggressively. Pine and pith with some slight tropical and citrus pushes as well. Very light malt base with some pale malt sweetness and some toasted bready elements. Typically unbalanced, but the bitterness lingers a bit more. Flavor lacks depth. Pushes a bit at the start, but fades to bitter pithy peel almost immediately.

Mouthfeel: Light bordering on medium body with a moderate to lively carbonation. Clean outside of the bitterness. Easy to drink.

Overall: I'll go with the red label.

A bit of an overall miss for Stone. It's got a unique hop profile, but it lacks any kind of depth and just drinks like a bitter hop seltzer.

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Photo of Antg8989
3.03/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Pours a very hazy light gold with a two finger white head that dissipates quickly. Aromas of grass and lemon. Not a ton of flavor, almost tastes stale. Maybe I got a bad bottle? My least favorite from stone.

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Photo of argock
3.18/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.25

Served on-tap in a 20 oz imperial pint glass at Parish Cafe (Boston, MA).

A: Clear golden yellow with prodigious 1.5-finger white big-bubbled head with good retention and a lot of lacing creating stripes down the glass.

S: A really big hops nose with a lot of grassy, herbal hopping, moderate lemon and grapefruit citrus fruitiness, and finished with pine. Not a better score because minimal malt presence.

T: This beer is all window dressing (good appearance, very nice aroma) but the flavor is a hiuge let-down with minimal malt presence, nothing really which leads to an oily, thin and overly hopped, grassy and herbal flavor. The citrus character is lost in the grassiness of the hopping. Dank is not even the right word -- chlorophyll is more like it. Tannins and atringency abound.

M: Astringent and thin with light body and medium carbonation. Easy to drink but not thin and watery.

O: Really embarrassing from Stone -- so out of balance that it harms the drinkability in a lethal way. I will drink Levitation anytime over this -- although that also suffers for being overhopped to some extent. Not even in the top 50 of session IPAs. Really a poor effort and I doubt it will survive a year without a major overhaul.

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Photo of RichKent
3.25/5  rDev -17.7%

I had a 20oz glass of Stone Go To IPA on tap.

Smell is excellent. Lots of grapefruit and citrus.

Taste is great on the first sip, and then . . nothing. Go To tastes like a grapefruit-forward IPA that was mixed 50/50 with water. After the initial hint of grapefruit and citrus the flavor vanishes. There's not much malt, and what there is is very light - like crackers. It finishes very slightly bitter. After the first sip I can't taste bitterness at all.. Maybe I've been drinking too many real IPAs? Just because it's 4.5% doesn't mean it needs to taste watered down, does it?

Mouth is thin and a bit watery. Carbonation is decent.

This is probably a great intro-IPA for people that are used to light lagers. I'd definitely prefer it to a lager myself, and it's certainly easy to drink. That said, it's misleading to call this an IPA at all in my opinion.

Also, Stone insists that the lack of flavor is due to the low ABV. In my experience this isn't true. Hops have nothing to do with ABV. More hops in the boil, and a decent amount of dry hopping would improve this I'm sure.

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Photo of RyanTheLion76
3.27/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 1 | overall: 3.25

I'm a big fan of the session IPA style, and the majority of them satisfy my hop cravings when I need to take it easy on the ABVs. However, this isn't the case with Go To. Perhaps it's because I hold Stone to such a high standard. Maybe I expected something more aggressive from them. Whatever the reason, this beer was a bit of a letdown for me, personally. I'm gonna try and stay neutral with this review, though, since it has a taste that I know many have enjoyed.

Appearance: Clear yellow. Almost like a Pilsner.
Aroma: What you'd expect from a hop-bursted beer: you get slammed with hops in your nostrils. Lots of grass and pine.
Taste: THIS is where I get disappointed, personally. There's a hint of lemon in the taste, but to me, this beer tastes kind of watered down.
Feel: Loads of carbonation, but again, the thinness.
Overall: Don't get this beer if you like beer with loads of body. I feel like this beer was meant to be a lot more approachable and tame the intimidation that surrounds Stone. It's not bad. I'm just personally not a fan of it.

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Photo of PintOh1759
3.29/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 2.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Aroma- Lemon, pineapple, piney, 4 houses down cut grass. Citrus tropical smack. American light lager dank. Great aroma.

Apperance- Head is barely existent with medium agreesion pour. Urine color slight merkyness.

Flavor- Tingle in front of tounge that opens into suuper pine bitterness. Pure pine taste. Maybe some chewed up stems that open a semi dank flavor. Finishes dry.

Mouthfeel- tingly medium body for a small IPA. Exactly what I want in an IPA

Overall a good bitter session beer. In my opinion it's more bitter then Ruination just not as nearly balanced. Can see myself liking these on a cold fireplace IPA night.

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Photo of JRed
3.29/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Transparent orange in body with thin white head. Mild aroma of mint, evergreen, and citrus. Tastes of light lemon, strong citrus rind and grass, mint, and then bitterness and a sweet citrus spritz ends the drink. Light in body with light carbonation. Easy drinking but the flavor profile is too pronounced for the thin body.

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Photo of gmoneyproductions
3.3/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass
poured cloudy yellow gold to orange with a moderate white head
smell citrus, hops, pine, grapefruit yeast and slightly sour
taste of hops, fruity citrus grapefruit with a dry feel and bitter aftertaste
carbonated and light feel
of note: this bottle was past enjoy by date and the beer may have started to turn thus influencing my enjoyment and review not bad just not great. much prefer other stone beers

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Stone Go To IPA from Stone Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 387 ratings.