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Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic AleStone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

694 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 694
Reviews: 472
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 10.55%
Wants: 42
Gots: 173 | FT: 13
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian IPA |  8.60% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

The Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale is a Strong Golden Belgian style ale highly hopped with American hops (Ahtanum, Amarillo and Simcoe). The beer pours pale golden with a thick and creamy white head of foam. The aroma is full of depth: nuances of pepper, clove, and banana from the Belgian yeast strain, and the resiny citrus notes from the American hops blend together nicely to provide a complex aromatic character. The taste is spicy, hoppy and fruity, with a very dry and a pleasant bitter end. The bitterness lingers nicely, and provides a refreshing finish that leads you to want to drink more and more of this beer!

(Beer added by: froghop on 08-04-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 694 | Reviews: 472 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ism
3.55/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A pretty apricot color, topped with a dense, off-white head. The most noticable thing is the hop aroma, clean and crisp, citrus with pink bubblegum, tropical fruits, and a slight clove spice. The phenols give off a slight medicinal aroma, due to the yeast and the higher fermentation temperature.

Medium body, clean on the tongue, and a gentle carbonation is not too exciting. Citrus balances the sweetness, with a bit of grassiness thrown in, and that sublime clove spice rounding it out. Finishes crisp, with a wonderful blend of citrus and grassiness, and as it warms, an increasing phenolic character that contributes clove as much as band-aids.

This is a lot cleaner and hoppier than the style I'm used to, but distinctly Stone-like. I fully appreciate it as a hophead but am unsure if the phenols truly belong in here in this manner; they are just a little too distracting. Holistically, it's a good brew, and I hate having to deconstruct it this way.

ism, Aug 14, 2008
Photo of Gueuzedude
3.53/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled August 2008
Pours into my 25cl tulip glass with a frothy, initially three-finger thick, pale, off-white colored head. The beer is a brilliantly clear, copper hue as it sits in my glass but shows a brilliant, bright gold color when held up to the light. The aroma has an expressively fruity, sort of children's aspirin like aroma to it that is magnified by a substantial sweetness. Weird is all I can really say, and not necessarily bad. Other aromas of juicy fruit gum, grassy grain, clean tropical fruit, ripe peach, just a hint of an herbal note, some phenolic clove. I think it is that there is a slight medicinal note in the aroma along with the clove phenolics and these, combined with how incredibly clean the hop character is (is it filtering that made the fruity hop aromas so clean?) is what gives this a children' aspirin aroma.

Tastes like bubble gum with the juicy, fruity hop notes and a clean, almost cotton candy like sweetness. This is actually surprisingly sweet tasting given the terminal gravity; I think that the fruity hop flavors tend to accentuate what sweetness is here and the fact that the fermentation profile is so clean means that the noticed alcohol note also seems to contribute to the perceived sweetness. Some phenolics and a spiciness contribute a touch of spiciness towards the finish that seems a bit turpene like and definitely has an expressive clove flavor to it. The hops contribute flavors of tropical fruit, lychee, ripe peach, and when combined with the perceived sweetness, some notes of honey-suckle are evident. While the hop character is quite dominant, there is, especially as this beer warms, a significant phenolic character to this beer, especially in the finish.

Despite being perceived as sweet this does have a nice, light body for a beer of this strength; I wouldn't call it a quaffing brew, but it does have a nice drinkability to it. It could use a bit more carbonation as I typically like my strong Golden Belgian'ish beers to be lively, though the lightish carbonation here really doesn't detract too much.

This is somehow incredibly clean, despite the noticeable fermentation character and hop notes; the malt seems almost naked somehow as it is lacking that chewy, grain note that I like to find in a good, pale, Belgian ale. This is still a good beer, it just seems to be a bit too filtered (even if it wasn't caused by the actual filtering process). I do like how this beer works as a whole, the entire experience is a bit more than a sum of its parts.

Purchased: Plaza Liquors, Tucson AZ

Gueuzedude, Aug 14, 2008
Photo of TonyT
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

From a 22oz into a Belgian Glass...V:08.08.08

Just picked up a case, to split with two other fiends.

(If the Stone Army, from the State of California Invaded Belgium and hostily took over the country of Belgium...This would be the kind of beer that Belgium would brew...)

The first thing that hit me was the hop smell, they did boast it on the bottle, but very hoppy for a Belgian (in my amateur Belgian opinion). Since I'm a hop head, this was a plus. Also there were other smells that tickled the nose.

The head was apparent, but dissipated (I did not slam it into the glass, the first try). This beer will be great with a good dinner. This is a beer that sits well and you do not feel it in your gut.

There is alot of front end, but does not hit you in the back, which is good...nice and crisp. There is a sort of woody taste and smell.

The more I drink it, the crisper it becomes.

Stone Rocks...This is not a Belgian style that boasts alot of "fruity taste", but definitely breeds the perfect hybrid of a Belgian beer with the USA West Coast feel, which Stone does so well.

TonyT, Aug 14, 2008
Photo of shroompod
4.22/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear pale yellow in color. Smallish head , some lacing.

Slight apple fruitiness in nose. Caramel sweetness.

Again , some more apples in the taste. Hop bitterness is apparent, but toned down.

Medium body finishes dry. Decent carbonation.

Overall a very nice beer, I'm not sure about agability though.

shroompod, Aug 14, 2008
Photo of quasimoto
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It poured a nice deep gold or light amber hue into my glass and was topped off by a nice white head. The aromas of spicy hops are strongly intertwined with a the spice of the Belgian yeast. spicy vanilla, orange, vinous characters, and some alcohol make up this nose. The flavors of the above aromas turn into a well blended mouth tantalizing treat in flavor and mouthfeel as it warms and makes it very drinkable. I enjoyed this beer. Nothing over the top, and not mediocre. Very enjoyable.

quasimoto, Aug 14, 2008
Photo of SMADMS
3.78/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from 22oz bottle into a pint glass

A- pour a clear golden yellow no head ultra fine carbonation left slight lacing on glass
S- Sweet and fruity. spicy (cloves) Nice belgium yeasts
T-- hoppy, the sweets follow the nose and very clean nice dry finish
M-- very lite on palete, smooth and very well balanced
D-- shocked by the 8.4 wouldn't guess it that high and that could be an issue This is good for 2-3 bombers at a time..

Nice Belgian Ale cant wait to see how it ages...hopefully I can wait

SMADMS, Aug 13, 2008
Photo of chileman13
4.13/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured from bomber into stone pint glass.
a- golden color with 1" white head.
a- floral hops, fruit and a twist of belguim yeast smell.
t- hoppy, fruity, dry, belguim yeast. Though I'm not a real big fan of Belguim Beers. I am a fan of Stone & have liked the Vertical Epic series. I really like this beer.
M- medium light well carbonated. Like a "butter" smooth.
D- This is the best "Belguim" I have ever had. I'm wondering why I didn't buy 2...

chileman13, Aug 13, 2008
Photo of PatronWizard
4.55/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

So I'm fairly new to true craft beers. Went with a buddy to BevMo on August 8, 2008 to find this little nugget waiting for me. Grabbed a few bombers...

It's now August 12, 2008. I've been patiently aging this puppy for 4 days and it's time.

Pours a pure gold. 24 karat baby. Frothy white head that hung out for a second, not too much lacing. First impression of appearance was good but not stellar.

Then I took a whiff. Smells like hops and dank ass green bud. And pine cones. Maybe a very slight fruity smell. Bananas? Maybe some cloves as well. Extremely pleasing! In my limited ultra-beer experiences, this is one of the best smelling beers I've had.

Then I took a sip. Tastes like hops and dank ass green bud. Truly tasty, me likey. That ever so slight bit of banana and clove may be present...or it may not. Trippin.

Extremely drinkable. I say that now, almost halfway through. Can't even tell that it's a monster 8.5%. I may be singing a different tune by the end. Next time I'll set out two of these because, hey, I'd be lying if I said I didn't appreciate a good buzz.

I think this beer is an awesome representation. Half the bomber and I'm feeling downright jolly! Call me an uncultured, ill-mannered lout, but this is one of the best beers I have ever had. Love it! And to think I have so many more treats waiting in my cupboard alone. CAN'T WAIT to hit all of the BA top 100.

OK, finished typing the above from my notes while continuing to enjoy this remarkable beast. Got about 3 or 4 ounces left and I feel like a champ. Opinion has only strengthened: this is good shit! And it still smells like dank ass green bud!

PatronWizard, Aug 13, 2008
Photo of bobhits
3.58/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A. pale and fairly thin. The head comes up and goes away pretty quickly. Fizzy yellow beer?

S. Hops. No...Belgium yeast. No, some sweet malt and alcohol? Ok this beer is like a good pitcher, it keeps throwing me different signals.

T. I thought the smell was weird. Wow, first taste it's stone IPA, but with something a bit off in the back ground. Second taste, it's a Belgium triple (only not terrible like most Belgium beers). This beer honestly played with my mouth all night long. Flavors from banana, piny hops, to who knows what. This is one of the most complex and varied beers I've ever had. I still don't feel like I can make heads of tales of this.

M. Thin, but with some spices which as they warm seem to slow down the consumption of it. A good bite from the carbonation, but still overall a bit on the thin side.

D. See above. It's drinkable, not a sipper, but not a session. It's a beer that starts off and finishes differently.

I might edit my review 20 times if I drink this beer 20 times, but either way for those that don't like belgiums this is worth giving a shot. If you don't like IPA's give this a shot. If you don't like either...well just avoid it.

8/27/10 update

No change to the score. Just tasting notes a bit over 2 years in.

The stone IPA with belgium characteristics is gone. This a belgium with some american hop pretense. It's dry finishing as hell and dominated by the yeast flavors. I'll be interested to see how the hop flavors work in this in a few years once the final hop bite is completely gone and only the fruity flavors remain. It almost has a white grape flavor with a campaign like carbonation. Good? Well...I'm not loving this beer, but I'm fascinated by it.

bobhits, Aug 13, 2008
Photo of Dodo2step
3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

P- Grape and Gourmet at Va Beach!

22 oz bomber poured into a pint.

A- pours a crisp and cold dry grassy yellow color. Reminds me of a BMC beer. Lets hope it doesnt taste the same. Virtually no head hits the top. My fiance makes fun about the finger heads.

S- hints of peach and it also smells like white grape juice. Very enticing and i am looking forward to the taste. a very strong sour smell radiates out as well.

T- a dry and sour berry taste. Unripened would bethe best to describe it. a nice hop to it. It is sour at the start and then sweet in the afteraste.

M- a thick and dry feeling. It feels more like i am drinking a dry wine than a beer.

D- i think the sourness takes away from being able to put some of these down. However, to me this beer seems more of a relaxer and a beer you have with dinner. Overall, it is a good beer.

Dodo2step, Aug 13, 2008
Photo of Beerzebub
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In a big wine glass at 59 F/ 15 C.

Bright golden color with haze. Small white head and spotty lace.

Smells like peach, white grape, berries, fresh hops like orange rind and alpine herbs, biscuit, and mild bubblegum. There's also a yeasty note that's quite sharp at first but blows off after the first minute or two; some spicy yeastiness remains. Quite fresh and pleasant.

Tastes fruity and bittersweet. Nice balance between sweetness and bitterness. Hops are certainly noticeable and pleasant, but fairly restrained. Hop flavor is oily citrus rind, along with some fresh young pine and flowers. Finishes with lingering bitter citrus rind. Tasty.

Appears to be barely carbonated, but the tiny bubbles reveal themselves on the palate. Smooth, with some oiliness. Quite drinkable.

Beerzebub, Aug 12, 2008
Photo of Beaver13
2.3/5  rDev -42.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

22 oz bottle. Pours a clear yellow with a fizzy white head that quickly diminishes to a thin collar that leaves a little lacing.

The aroma is banana, musty yeast, some cloves with some spicy hops.

The flavor is a bit of a mish-mash - sweet bananas fight with peppery hops. There's also a little sweet bready malt and a little clove and alcohol. The mouthfeel is medium to full with some light but sharp carbonation.

Overall, I didn't really care for this. I don't like bananas in my beer and it was strong in this one. The blend of bananas and hops was strange as well.

Beaver13, Aug 12, 2008
Photo of ArrogantB
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

$7.29 for a 22oz bottle at my local favorite. First sniffs of teh open bottle got me excited as it is hoppy, belgian, yet different. The color is pale yellow with a thin film/ring of bubbles. Hoppy citrus smells blend into belgian yeast. Bubblegum flavor, pine and yeast, yeasty, yeast. Reminds me of Duvel, pretty good. This is definitely a hoppy belgian and probably the best VE I've had so far.

ArrogantB, Aug 12, 2008
Photo of jakon
4.13/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle purchased for 6.99 on 8-10-08 at Whole Foods Tanasbourne.

This beer pours a light amber/orange color with a small sized head.

The aroma brings grassy, tropical fruit tinged hops, belgian yeast, and a hint of alcohol.

The taste is very nice. Very powerful hop flavor, but with a subdued finishing bitterness. Tastes like a fresh hop beer mixed with a SD IPA and a Saison. Well, I'm not so sure that would taste this good, but it's what I keep thinking as I sip.

Mouthfeel is thick and low on carbonation.

Overall, this was a pleasant surprise. Better than expected. Yet another unique, outstanding offering from Stone.

jakon, Aug 11, 2008
Photo of athensbeermaster
3.98/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured this one in my Duvel glass the head was light and frothy and some small patches of lacing. The nose had that sour bubble gum smell with a hint of pine resin. The Belgian yeast gives this ale a slight sour taste that quickly shift gears into a hoppy citrus burst of flavor!
The mouthfeel is average for this style. The drinkabilty is nice not to strong on the abv.
This one will age well in time.

athensbeermaster, Aug 11, 2008
Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.98/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very light gold in color. No head forming on the pour, which struck me as odd, but anyway. Smell is all hops. Taste is more of the typical Stone hopping, which is nice and appreciated. I think this is still a bit too fresh because the hops are covering up all the belgian characteristics of the beer. Will give a bottle a chance to age and settle down a bit. Very good mouthfeel, just waiting for more of the belgian traits to show themselves.

FtownThrowDown, Aug 11, 2008
Photo of charlzm
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

ORIGINAL REVIEW WHEN FRESH (rating numbers reflect this):

Consumed 08/09/08 at Blue Palms, Hollywood, CA.

Clear, light golden pour in a tulip glass with a two finger white head. The head subsides soon into a little layer of foam that provides moderate lacing.

The aroma is hoppy; odd for a Belgian of this style but not surprising considering the source. Muted pine and citrus mingle with cloves in the nostrils.

Flavor is somewhat sweet, dominated by clove. Hoppy notes appear near end as pepper. Only slightly dry on the palate. I'd say it compares favorably with Duvel, but doesn't equal that benchmark.

Took me a while to finish my smallish glass; this beer is heavier than it seems at first.

Very good beer and worth having if you can get it.
___

Consumed on January 20th, 2013 at a private Vertical Epic tasting.

Beer pours a light burnished gold. Slightly cloudy, it exhibits no head and lazy, minimal carbonation.

Aroma is floral and estery: mildly sweet.

Flavor has a marked wheat component and a juicy, melanoidin character. Sweet. Finish is a dash of bitter lemon.

Mouthfeel is still, thin and slightly astringent.

Seems to have held up well, but not gained anything from the aging.

APP - 2.5
SM - 3
T - 2.75
MOUTH - 2.5
OVER - 2.75

charlzm, Aug 11, 2008
Photo of dirtylou
3.78/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle, $6.99 at riley's - had this on tap the other night at brasseri V

appearance: poured into a hopleaf tulip glass, very light golden body, quite clear with active carbonation bubbles. There is a thin layer of beige foam with full retention. This beer shines in the sunlight

smell: this one has a pretty nice belgian nose (for some reason i thought it was more of a DIPA on tap but then again, i was trashed). Corriander, white pepper, and other belgian spices are huge and well pronounced in the nose. Lemon zest, other citrus, and potent yeast round out this powerful nostril invasion

taste: the flavor falls a little flat compared to the nose...the flavor profile is full of spice - clove, corriander, white pepper. the belgian yeast is evident immediately but finishes a little flat. Interesting, but i expected more based off the nose

mouthfeel: heavily spicy, medium body

drinkability: ok

dirtylou, Aug 10, 2008
Photo of TurdFurgison
3.98/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the standard Stone bomber. This year's VE is golden colored, very clear, with a thin wispy head that disappears right after birth. The aroma is a hybrid (just as described on the bottle). Lots of American hops (maybe including Amarillo?) on top of Belgian yeasty esters. The taste makes me think this is a dry-hopped tripel. The flavors are nice but the after-taste has a bitter bite to it and there's a bit of ethanol apparent as well. Maybe with age the ethanol will tone down but then so will the hops I'm guessing. I'll probably age another bottle with my other VE's just to wait for 2012 but I imagine it won't improve the beer too much.

TurdFurgison, Aug 10, 2008
Photo of Overlord
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Certainly a more solid brew than the 7/7/07 incarnation, but still needs some aging/mellowing.

Pours a billowy amber gold with a white foam head. Smells of yeast and ... hops?

Taste is mostly citrus/yeast with a bit of a hoppy bitter twang. There's a lot going on with this beer, and you can focus on about five different flavors at once.

Overlord, Aug 10, 2008
Photo of Halcyondays
3.9/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle,

A: Pours orange-yellow, with a rather small white head even with an agressive pour, average head retention.

S: Strong peppery spice, definitely some ethanol that you can feel in your nose, light hops.

T: It is what it says it is, a strong Belgian pale with a brisk hop attack. Yellow apple with a big ethanol kick. Hops are there, not as overt as an IPA, but high for the style, very grassy, flavour of apricot and tangerine mix finishes the drink.

M: Light on the carbonation, phenolic, solventy, smooth.

D: A nice one from Stone, will be interesting to see how this ages, what happens with the hops and the flavours, I'll find out in 4 1/2 years. Good beer.

December 2012 Edit - Very cloudy, the head really came out here. Metallic on the nose, but blows off. Then it smells like a flower garden. The beer is very yeasty, lots of lemon and white pepper. The brisk hop attack of yesteryear is gone, but that is to be expected. Nice notes of orange, apricot, heavy spice. Still good stuff.

Halcyondays, Aug 10, 2008
Photo of Wetpaperbag
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- A very golden color with no head what so ever. There is a slight haze with this beer.

S- I smell hops, clove, anise (very faintly), and the sweet smell of BBQ pork strange?!?

T- There is a strong taste of grapefruit, clove, salmon berry suckles, and yes that BBQ pork taste. It has it complexities.

M- Feels good in the mouth, makes the mouth water for sure.

D- Easy to drink, goes down smooth.

I think Stone is way above the curve with this series. For those who have all the beers in this series they will have a treat for a side by side tasting. It is a great way to release a beer with the same style. I do wish they had a higher ABV so the beer itself could stand the test of time a bit longer. I wonder how long the 2.2.2 will stand in 2012. Another great beer by a great brewing company.

Wetpaperbag, Aug 10, 2008
Photo of Haybeerman
4.22/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Orange/amber color; very slight haze. Generous two inch head white held held to a quarter inch. Medium lacing all the way down the glass.

S: Herbal and piney hops. Light fruits.

T: Hoppiness really opens this up. Estery yeast provides a solid fruity footing. Mild spices carry to a dry finish. Complex and tasty.

M: Nice medium body - in a good way balancing tastes and carbonation.

D: At 8.4 ABV its dangerously drinkable. If its one or several; this is a great choice.

Haybeerman, Aug 10, 2008
Photo of Tdizzle
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Poured into a snifter, this beer pours a clear deep golden color with a tiny white head that rapidly dissipates. Each sip yields only a few spots of lacing.

S- Sweet aromas of pears, green apples, bananas, and clove are backed up by spicy Belgian yeast and piney hops. There is a very grassy and floral essence to the smell of this beer, and the alcohol becomes only slightly noticeable as the beer warms.

T- The initial taste is of sweet fruits and spicy yeast. The expected hop bitterness kicks in as the sweet and spicy flavors fade away, all of which yields a surprisingly not-so-dry finish and a lingering bitterness on the palate. There is a slight alcohol presence on the finish as well.

M- The mouthfeel is thick and syrupy, with very mild carbonation.

D- The 8.6% ABV is very well-integrated, and the moderate hop bitterness is pleasantly unobtrusive in the flavor profile of this beer.

Tdizzle, Aug 10, 2008
Photo of FLBeerGuy
4.5/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The latest edition of the Stone Vertical Epic series. This one is a departure from the others Epics. The bottle notes say its their variation of a Belgian triple, inspired by the brewmasters 2008 trip to Belgium.

Pours a golden haze with a white head and good carbonation.

Nose is fruity & sweet with banana and pear.

Taste is fruity, yeasty, sweet & spicy with a good touch of alcohol. It has a spicy & nice bitter finish, giving it an overall complex taste. Kind of like a Belgian with a West Coast finish.

This one is well worth it, very drinkable, watch out for the 8.6 ABV!

With 06-08 sampled, I'd say this is best of the Epic series in that range.

FLBeerGuy, Aug 10, 2008
Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 694 ratings.