1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Levitation Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Levitation AleLevitation Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

3,354 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,354
Reviews: 1,173
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 11.63%
Wants: 117
Gots: 186 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  4.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: xlperro on 09-27-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Levitation Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,354 | Reviews: 1,173 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bcm119
bcm119

California

4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Deep reddish amber with some sticky white lace. Green, piney hops dominate the nose, with barely a trace of sweetness. Hops dominate the flavor as well, with bright, lemon/pine bitterness. The malt body is delicate with hints of bread and dough, which soften as the beer warms. The mouthfeel is light and thin, but not watery. Finishes very clean with lasting hop bitterness. Similar to an English bitter, but with American hop flare. Delicious session beer. One of the best sub-5% abv beers out there, but must be consumed fresh... I imagine the bright hops would dull quickly in this.

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2009 03:54:19 | More by bcm119
Photo of Yesac
Yesac

Georgia

3.53/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Dark amber, small off-white head.

S- Hops. Fairly hoppy for an 'amber'. Some caramel.

T- Yeasty, malty and slightly hoppy with a small bit of bitterness. Very simple tasting and has balance.

M- Medium bodied. Good mouthfeel, slightly sticky.

D- Malty overall and dull hop bitterness. Makes for an ok sessional, nothing special here.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2009 19:21:55 | More by Yesac
Photo of LarryV
LarryV

Massachusetts

2.53/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured a chestnut hued amber with a rapidly disappearing head. Aroma is mostly hops, a bit raw like this beer could have used a bit more aging. Taste comes across initially as bitter hoppiness followed by the slight sweetness of the malt. This is quickly followed by an earthy flavor that I couldn't place, almost like smoked peat. Overall, it's a strange tasting brew and after having one I really wasn't interested in having another. Not one of Stone's best offerings imho.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2009 10:17:17 | More by LarryV
Photo of Stunner97
Stunner97

New Jersey

4.53/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance- a nice copper to dark brown color with light to moderate carbonation and bubbles in the glass, clear body when held to the light with a decently thick though fast fading white head

Smell- Very nice hop nose with citrus hops and slight hint of malts but a very nice strong smell jumping out at you of whats in store

Taste- A very tasty beer that was going down easy one after the other, very nice long lingering hop finish that can be tasted long after it was finished, really the finish leaves you looking forward to the next sip, very well balanced though as there is definitely still a bit of a malt presence which just enough balances out the full hop flavor,

Mouthfeel- light crisp and refreshing very soft and smooth

Drinkability- I have to say i was surprised when I found out the alcohol on this beer because not many stone beers are gonna be under a 5 alcohol level but this is a fantastic session beer, had it on tap in nyc and it was just so enjoyable first on its own and then with a nice burger, had such rich full finish, probably the best beer I have ever had with under a 4.5 alcohol thats for sure and even better on tap then when I had it later out of the bottle, a well done beer again by stone

Serving type: on-tap

05-17-2009 03:00:01 | More by Stunner97
Photo of plaid75
plaid75

New York

4.33/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at The Downtown, Brooklyn, NYC.

Poured a dark copper hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a sweet citrusy hop and a doughy malt.

The taste consisted of a sweet orange hop, a soft sweet malt and a secondary spicy hop.

The mouthfeel was typical of the style.

Overall a very tasty hop forward amber.

Serving type: on-tap

05-15-2009 16:32:23 | More by plaid75
Photo of LTS
LTS

New York

3.68/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Levitation caught me off guard as I tend to be used to a beer with a hoppy nose having a stronger alcohol content and a maltier taste profile.

The hops are a different blend and the Amarillo pulls through in each sip. The malt flavor was subdued in comparison and being a lower gravity beer the pull of the alcohol was not there. Given that it was off the path of my normal drinking it took a few sips before I could fully appreciate the balance of hops, malt, and lower alcohol.

It paired real well with the order of hot chicken wings that showed up just as I ordered my second. At that point the taste buds were dulled and the hop bitterness still managed to appear through the burning taste buds. I was pleasantly surprised with Levitation and it makes a nice session beer with plenty of character and still guaranteeing that I am not calling a cab that night.

Serving type: on-tap

05-15-2009 14:46:35 | More by LTS
Photo of yesyouam
yesyouam

New York

4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Stone Levitation Ale is a very clear amber with a thin, yellowed, off-white head that leaves good lacing. It has a resinous citrus aroma that's loud and fresh. It's medium-light bodied, sudsy and smooth with a clean, crisp finish. It's quite bitter. There's a touch of caramel in the flavor, but it's mostly resiny pine and citrus. It's a strong, clean flavor. It's top-heavy, but it's great.

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2009 02:53:30 | More by yesyouam
Photo of Cakanator
Cakanator

Massachusetts

4.6/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle #3 of the night. Second time in as many days I've had one, just keeps getting better. This beer has got to be the hoppiest 4.4% I've ever had! It's on the nose and palate and goes down so easy as it should. The hops make you believe you should be getting messed up, but the finish is light and refreshing. If stone weren't so expensive, this would be my everyday summer beer. Exceptional!

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2009 12:52:04 | More by Cakanator
Photo of wl0307
wl0307

United Kingdom (England)

4.43/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This 12 Fl. Oz. small bottle was purchased online from the Beers of Europe, a friendly and efficient beer shop in the UK. No freshness info. is found on the bottle, served cool (not as suggested by the bottle, "refrigerated") in a straight pint glass. NOTE: Given my limited experience with American craft beers, this is by far the second lightest (in terms of abv.) I've tried, only next to Anchor's "Small Beer".

A: pours an elegant bright copper hue as of moderately-infused roasted tea, coming with restrained but constant input of tiny fizziness and a beige fluffy head with pretty decent retention, leaving uneven sheets of lacing as it retreats.
S: the richly lychee-ish+elderflowery+grapefruity hop aroma is backed by an equally rich malt backbone of burned sugar, syrupy longan-fruits, dried berries, some oily-textured cream, and sweetened cold black tea... Very very pleasant indeed and pretty complex as well, while a swirl gives rise to an utterly attractive edge of really fat and fresh overripe lychees to underline the whole aroma. It ticks all the boxes for an ultra-delicious hoppy ale, at just 4.4%abv.!
T: lightly tangy and tea-stem-like sour-bitterness (from the hops) and a bitter tea-ish flavour of roast-/crystal-malts manifest themselves from the first second onwards, laced by a clean and fine sour-spicy-piney edge as of yeasts+hops or something beyond my imagination. The hop flavour is well balanced by the caramely & lightly buttery-nutty malts in the background, so it's not as hugely flowery or lychee-ish as on the nose, but the level of hop bitterness deepens extremely well, rendering a long, semi-dry and satisfyingly chewy finish, where more hop legacy - in the form of old dried grapefruit peels and Chinese roast tea-leaves - earmarks the lingering aroma at the rear and wings of the tongue.
M&D: quite soothing on the carbonation, though a tad fizzy for my preference, while the body remains medium to echo the balanced flavour profile. This low-gravity ale (by the US standard, of course) packs loads of hops with a surprising balance, a factor that greatly appeals to me in person. Be it "American Amber Ale" or "English Premium Bitter with a US twist", this proves to be one of the most quaffable and lovely hoppy beers that I've had recently. I'm really happy to have tried it, but I uphold my opinion: "Better serve it cool"! The bottle also bears the mark "2007 Gold Medal Winner - The Great American Beer Festival" - a well-deserved award, I think.

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2009 20:11:52 | More by wl0307
Photo of TommyW
TommyW

Massachusetts

4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A- Dark Amber body with golden hues when held up to a light. White head is very sticky and has a decent retention.

S- Hop aroma is the most prominent giving off notes of citrus and pine. Some sweet malt notes are also there but well hidden.

T- There is a very fine mix that occurs between some caramel flavors from the malts and the citrus flavors from the hop. They harmonize well. Some pine notes from the hops jump in sporadically as well.

M- Medium and smooth body with a soft carbonation.

D- Really a terrific session beer. One of Stone's only sessions, but a damn good one.

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2009 01:25:20 | More by TommyW
Photo of Magpie14
Magpie14

Michigan

4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: copper reddish body with a looming crimson glow to it. The top has a fuzzy foamed appeal and has hints of tan within. Lacing was well above par and handed out splatters, chunks, and streaks in random order

S: bursting with handfuls of hops! mostly of spiced piney variety. I can not pick out much else, maybe some faint caramel toasted malts

T: not as bursting on the palate as in the nose but great variety of flavors. Malt base is solid and supplies some caramel with gooey toffee notes. Malt base is nice with the push of pined floral and citrusy hops. What a knockout for a session beer!

M: body is light and easy to finish. A great package and highly drinkable

D: this is a great beer from Stone. One of the more timid brews by the Stone crew but has some big muscles! Nicely balanced and tasty brew. Could use a bit more juice...but I imagine they had drinkability in mind...they got it!

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2009 01:14:39 | More by Magpie14
Photo of madtappers
madtappers

Washington

4.58/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bought a single bottle at a local bottle shop...had a GAB award paitned on the bottle so I thought what the hell...it is Stone and a GAB winner!

Poured a dark orangish brown, great balance of citrus hops and a roasted malt. Got to say for a Stone beer this is very drinklable.

Would buy more when I am looking to session a great craft beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2009 17:56:27 | More by madtappers
Photo of jwc215
jwc215

Wisconsin

3.63/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to PhxHorn for this!

Pours hazed copperish amber with a thin lasting head that leaves webs of lacing.

The smell has a "Stone" house character with flroral and citric notes.

The taste is of light caramel, the "Stone" house character (probably from the yeast strain) and a bitterish citric/herbal touch in the finish.

It is almost too aggressively carbonated, but has a nice, quaffable lightness to it and a pleasantly dry aftertaste stays on the palate.

A solid choice for a more modest brew.

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2009 01:13:02 | More by jwc215
Photo of gibby
gibby

Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Stumbled upon this beer while in Cape May NJ. Bought a six pack at Cholier's liquor store. I have never seen or tried this beer so I felt like I had to give it a whirl.
Poured a nice dark amber with thick soapy head. Smelled some citrus hops and toffee. I could taste light caramel, toffee, citrus hops. Kind of surprised of the flavor for a 4.4% ale. Even with that said it was not an excellent beer. It was very thin and did not have a big amount of flavor. Overall this beer could very easily be a session brew. Polishing off a six pack would be easy since its similar to a light beer. Overall I would probably not search this out again but I am glad I tried it. I love stone and I will stick with the ruination, arrogant bastard or RIS when I buy from them. Cheers.

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2009 00:09:05 | More by gibby
Photo of cooncat
cooncat

Ohio

4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served at fridge temp into my SA glass.

On the pour, you get a beautiful, and it *is* gorgeous, amber/copper colored brew, with a decent sized sand colored head. The head isn't long lived, but does leave very nice lacing on the glass.

The nose is easily as hop-forward as many IPAs, and that's a compliment. At 45 IBUs, this is a bit out of BJCP style guidelines, but, heck, I'm a self confessed hop head, and I love it. Columbus, Amarillo, Simcoe and Crystal hops make the nose citrusy and spicy at the same time. Amarillo dry hopping really makes this one to wake up to. Maltiness is subdued in the nose.

Taste closely follows the nose, with big hops up front, and a mild smooth caramel maltiness in the background. I would call this balanced, but no doubt your typical BMC drinker would find this a bit bitter. Mouthfeel is medium light. As the beer warms up, I'm getting a little more roasty malts, but the hops dominate clear to the finish.

At a mere 4.4% abv, with the huge flavor and aroma, this is definitely a great session brew. I could definitely drink this one all night long, and feel safe doing it. I've been waiting a long time to try this offering from Stone, a brewery which has never disappointed me with their craft brews. This is another fine example. By all means, if you've not experienced this one, seek it out. *Highly* recommended!

Na Zdravje!

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2009 17:28:43 | More by cooncat
Photo of RblWthACoz
RblWthACoz

Pennsylvania

4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber brown with a thick creme head. Nose is wood, sawdust, and citrus. Flavor is a tight citrus with wood. Thick malty tone, but bringing muted hop character. Interestingly subdued. Feel is thick enough on liquid. Carbonation is a bit boisterous. A nice ale. A bit tight, like mentioned before, but still worthy of going for.

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2009 07:27:28 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of BirdFlu
BirdFlu

New Jersey

4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

So.. going into this beer I'm really wondering what to expect, considering its got such a low ABV, but I can't imagine stone would put something out thats bland or typical.. for the low abv it certainly is impressive.. a floral, piney hop aroma (not as robust as Ruination or such, but present and nice).. Pours a deep auburn amber with foamy light-tan head. Looks like iced tea or such. Taste is, as you may expect, like a lighter verysion of their ipa.. its not thin by any means, just lighter with a touch of hops and a deep amber-type base. Mouth feels quite light.. The mouth and drinkability are like a light beer, sort of, but just with a decent hop character. I suppose the high price tage (for a beer at 4.5% abv no less) takes off from its "Drinkability" for some, but I'm not factoring that in.

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2009 03:05:59 | More by BirdFlu
Photo of BacklitAvenger
BacklitAvenger

Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance - Lovely dark amber color shaded towards ruby at the middle. Slightly off-white head of substantial build lasts quite some time, being reinforced with a bunch of bubbles each sip.

Smell - Citric hops dominate here with hints of grainy or bready malt.

Taste - This stuff is good! Toasty and bready malts compete with citric hops and piney hop bitterness each and every sip. The malts are substantial and tend towards biscuit or toasted bread. Not much towards caramel or similar flavors. The hops are very citric and medicinal, in a pleasant fashion for sure. Well balanced, the bitterness from the hops twins well with the malt backbone. Dry bitter finish lingers into the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Surprisingly full and thick-bodied for such a low alcohol beer, buoyed by medium carbonation.

Drinkability - The levitation's highest praise. This stuff is eminently drinkable. With only 4.4 percent alcohol this is the type of big flavored but still solidly sessionable beer I would like to see more of from stone.

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2009 00:12:21 | More by BacklitAvenger
Photo of benmiliron
benmiliron

Ohio

2.7/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Paid 1.99 for a 12 oz bottle. Absolutely lovely pour. Mahogany red, crystal clear, big foamy thick head. Smell is heavy hops wafting out as soon as the cap is cracked.

Taste is stale, papery, overly bitter. I think it's a bad bottle? Malt sweetness is there but just dominated by the off flavors. Very unpleasant aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is kind of watery. Overall this was a disappointment after such a stellar opening.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2009 23:58:03 | More by benmiliron
Photo of aerozeppl
aerozeppl

New York

3.93/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

We can finally get this in NY.

A: A deep reddish copper color with a finger of white head.Some lacing.

S: By far the hoppiest smelling beer at this ABV level I have experienced. A touch of malt sweetness as well.

T: Nice amount of malt and some sweetness. The hops are in the finish but this beer is not nearly as hoppy as the nose would lead you to believe. Still a ton of flavor.

M: A little on the thin side but this is a real sessioner.

D: All day long. A great intro beer for macro drinkers. I was impressed by what Stone did with the style and the lack of ABV on this beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2009 22:29:27 | More by aerozeppl
Photo of natasharai
natasharai

Minnesota

3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Poured with a foamy, bubbly off white head that dissipated leaving a little lacing at the top of my glass. The beer is clear with an orangeish-brown color.

Smell: Pine hops, roasted malt, pretty basic.

Taste: Big piney hops, toasted malt, fresh cut grass, ending with a lightly sweet malt

Mouthfeel: Light body, medium-low carbonation, leaves a refreshed feel in the mouth.

Overall: Good drinkability, nice refreshing beer, not much going on but is a good beer to relax with. The bitterness plays well with the roasted malt and slight sweetness from the malts.

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2009 05:00:26 | More by natasharai
Photo of Gyle41386
Gyle41386

South Carolina

4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours an orange-copper color. Two fingers of foam dissipate quickly. Decent amount of lacing.

Big time hop nose for an amber. Loads of pine.

Taste follows the aroma. Very hoppy for your average amber. But, hey, a Stone amber isn't your average amber. The caramel malt backbone is firm, but it can't stand up to the hop assault. All in all, it's as balanced of a Stone as I've tasted.

Maybe the name Levitation Ale has something to do with the light body. Maybe not, but it sounds like it could work. Fairly dry finish with a lingering piney bitterness. Extremely drinkable. I found a sessionable Stone. Who knew? It may not appeal to "extreme" beer lovers, but I'm really enjoying it.

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2009 05:32:39 | More by Gyle41386
Photo of deanhead
deanhead

Vermont

3.68/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep Amber color with a nice head. Reduced to a lace that stays with the beer through the end.
Nice clean bitterness, slightly spicy, hint of citrus in the aroma, but mostly spicy.
Slight grainy overtone to the malt that matches the bitterness and spice quite well.
Medium bodied with a super dry finish.
Highly drinkable beer from Stone, ad at 4.4% I can actually drink more then two of these in one sitting.

It certainly is a tamed down offering from Stone, but is still a very fine beer. Something I can truly enjoy several of without getting totally rocked.

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2009 02:39:34 | More by deanhead
Photo of wiseguy142
wiseguy142

New York

3.78/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours the color of strong tea... good lacing but the head dies down a little too quick. Basically looks like Stone Pale Ale without the great head.

Aroma pretty strong of smokey grapefruit and pine. Actually pretty interesting. Nose is a little stuffed so I'm not getting it 100%, but from what I can tell it has a lot of character.

Taste follows the aroma in hop character. Reminds me of Bear Republic's Red Rocket, but a lot weaker. Assertive bitterness towards the end. I feel like this sort of hop character goes well with extreme beers or higher alcohol beers, and this is not one of them. Hard to have an intermediate character for this sort of hop flavor and have it come off right. Still very good though, just a little quirky. Mixture of a light brown ale and a west coast IPA.

Mouthfeel is quite good, just like with most of Stone's beers. Despite the slight strategic mishap with this beer, it's very quaffable.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2009 22:23:55 | More by wiseguy142
Photo of donteatpoop
donteatpoop

Ohio

3.93/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice dark amber/orange color with a nice cap of head resting atop it.

There's a definate hop aroma; which was something I expected because it was Stone, but did not expect because it is a red ale.

The taste is quite good, a nice play on the red ale. It's far from a traditional red ale with the impact of the hops, but they are a pleasant tweak to the style. The carmel malts balance the beer out nicely, the blend leaving a lingering earthy taste behind.

Very nice beer. Thanks to brandonbaer for this one.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2009 05:50:51 | More by donteatpoop
Levitation Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 3,354 ratings.