Levitation Ale | Stone Brewing

very good
1,202 Reviews
Levitation AleLevitation Ale

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by xlperro on 09-27-2002

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,202 | Ratings: 3,886
Photo of drabmuh
4.34/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a snifter. Beer is amber to brown and clear. Forms a thin white head of small bubbles that breaks up into a diffused head that fails to cover the top of the beer. Carbonation is moderate to low and the head leaves lacing on the glass.

Aroma is strongly hoppy. Good citrus hop aroma and a slight sweetness. Smells really really good.

Beer is medium bodied and has a good hop character to it. There is a lot of bitterness at the back end. I love session beers, I truly and seriously do. This is one of the best session beers available. Its cheap and wonderful. Second taste, some sweetness up front, mouthfeel and drinkability are good.

 663 characters

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a Stone gargoyle pint. Pours a medium coppery amber with a fine two finger light khaki head with good retention and heavy lacing. Aroma of caramel male, citrus and piney hops. Flavor is piney, lightly resinous hops with light citrus, mildly caramel malt with some biscuit; finishes with pine resin, citrus rind and black pepper. Light to medium bodied with good carbonation. A quite hop forward amber ale, but the resinous hops are well supported by the malt and the peppery finish is great. Sessionable ambers are not one of my go to styles, but this is quite nice and I'd have it again if it wasn't being discontinued. Glad I got to try it while it still is around, it is very flavorful and hoppy for its ABV.

 724 characters

Photo of stevoj
3.87/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Another Stone masterpiece. Clear, medium amber with short, silky head. Pure malt in the nose, nut hops come on full bore in the taste. Lingering bitter finish. Wonderful!

 170 characters

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased at AJ's in Henrietta, NY.

Pours a deep, almost opaque amber, with a small half inch head, and a lot of lacing.

Smells like a big pine tree, with some caramel, toffee, and toasted bread.

The taste is similar. There is a pretty big lingering bitterness, a big hallmark of Stone. It's not quite as bitter as some of their other stuff, though. The bitterness is mainly piney, with a hint of citrus hop flavor as well, on top of a big toasted malt backbone, very bready.

It's medium bodied, with a crisp, bready mouthfeel, and a higher level of carbonation.

One of the better amber ales out there, it's crazy how much flavor is in just 4.4% ABV for this one.

 675 characters

Photo of Gavage
4.11/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: copper / orange in color with a nice two finger head that lasts. Some nice lace paitns the glass during the session.

Aroma: caramel and some bread-like tones are soft but pleasant.

Taste: fresh baked bread, caramel, plums, red grapes, and a moderate bitterness makes up a nicely flavored ale.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied but is noticably thinner than other Stone beers. Lightly crisp throughout.

Drinkability: serious session ale here that anyone can drink all night. A nice example of a lower alcohol beer with some flavor and depth.

 549 characters

Photo of Gobzilla
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured a nice syrup brown with good retention and a finger head that had decent sticky lacing.

S: the first whiff was a spicy hoppy aroma with malt character and a little citrus fruit presence too.

T: spice, oak, and bitter hops hit first with good malt balance and a nice spicy bitter finish.

M: medium body with little carbonation and a pleasent spicey bitter finish.

D: Very intresting interpretation of an amber ale with a spicey twist. Drank well an was really enjoying this offering from stone.

 508 characters

Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice deep clear amber color, nice carbonation, small tan head, and some lacing afterwards. Scents of hops, malts, caramel, and citrus. Nice taste for an amber ale, very exact to the style, sweet and slight hop taste, nice little bitter bite at the end. Medium body. Very drinkable at the ABV, would make a nice session brew.

 332 characters

Photo of tempest
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Farmhouse

Appears amber red in my pint glass with a 1 inch head and lacing. The aroma and flavor are both predominately hoppy with citrus juice, a bit of pine, and a slight earthy undertone. The malt barely comes out, but I get a subtle light roast and bread crust flavor. The hops feel fairly crisp while, there's still a sweet malt component to balance it out. I find the body here to be a bit thick for the strength of this beer.

This reminds me a bit of American bitters, like Surly's Bitter Brewer, but this lacks subtle complexity. Instead, and this isn't a bad thing, it provides an impressive, hoppy punch for a relatively low-alcohol beer that can stand up to most pale ales.

UPDATE: Bottle - 6/28/11
Wow, I forgot how interesting this beer is. There are some really odd, but pleasant herbal garden hops notes with the citrus that remind me of Surly's Bitter Brewer (again). Of course, the malt is a significantly darker here, adding a light roasty finish in with the juicy hops. Heck of a beer.

 1,021 characters

Photo of tone77
3.45/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle. Has an amber color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of hops, some notes of citrus. Taste is very hoppy, considerable bitterness, I am not tasting any of the citrus in the smell, or anything else for that matter. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a decent beer.

 301 characters

Photo of Mebuzzard
4.4/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this at an Old Chicago's in Denver. Poured into a cold mug. Medium amber color with a nice, uniform head about 1 1/2 fingers. Head did not stay full too long, but laced nicely 'til finish.
Medium aroma of malt and biscuit, more dominate are the citrus and hops.
Taste was smooth, sweet at first, then a good bite at the end leaving a crisp palate feeling. Little aftertaste, a bit filling. Definitely more of a pale ale in my opinion, nevertheless, it's very good.

 470 characters

Photo of WesWes
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a ruby red color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a solid pale and crystal, and bisquit malt scent along with a nice hop aroma that balances it out nicely. The taste is good as well. It's bitter up front with a bisquity finish. The hops really make this beer. It's a low alcohol brew with tons of flavor. It's easy drinking with a dry,hoppy finish. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a great session beer. It's complex, yet low enough in alcohol that you can drink a sixer and not be loaded.

 612 characters

Photo of DoubleJ
4.08/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From the Town and Country liquor store in Fullerton, on to the beer:

It pours dark red into a chalice. The head that froms sits on top of the beer the whoe way through. The smell is crisp and sweet, with caramel, hoppy, and vanilla flavors rising from it. In the taste, it's bready, mostly with a hoppy taste goes from start to finish. A hint of sugar cookies sneaks into play towards the end. Not much of an aftertaste. This beer goes down nice, easy, and creamy. This beer's a little deeper in flavor than what I expected from a 4.4 ABV beer.

 547 characters

Photo of Mora2000
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle provided by Exiled.

Beer pours dark orange-red with a white head. The aroma is certainly more hoppy than your standard red ale, but that is to be expected from Stone. The aroma is hoppy, with some pine and earthy hop notes. The flavor is definitely hoppy, with some piney hop flavor as well as some caramel malt. This beer is very drinkable and packs great flavor into a low alcohol package.

 399 characters

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Stone's Levitation Ale, poured ontap into a pint glass. Appearance is a dark brown with OK head retention and some lace.

Aroma is malty, with a hint of piney hops.

Well balanced flavors, Caramel malt and some juicy cascade hops. Pine, resin, grapefruit are all in the flavor profile. Though the predominant flavor is from the hop, a light maltyness is there and keeps the hops from becoming overpowering.

Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied. Low level of carbonation.

A nice hoppy Amber ale that is a delight to embibe. Well rounded flavors and a modest alcohol content makes this good for sessions.

 602 characters

Photo of dar482
4.04/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The color is of a deep, deep, almost brown, amber. A dense foamy head. It has a lot of lacing. The aroma is of sweet malt, almost like candy, but not very strong.

Tasting it, it has a good light malt flavor. It’s quite drinkable as that leaves quite quickly onto its finish.

It’s light ABV comes through with the finish that doesn’t last long, though there’s definitely a bitterness there. It does however leave an earthy and almost herbal like taste. A very strong resin presence. It does have a good mouthfeel and a great roundness in flavor.

I definitely enjoy this has an amber that has good balance. It isn’t a hop bomb, nor is it a sticky malt beer. The resiny stick at the end is interesting. It almost tricks you into having a much bigger ABV, like Sixpoint Resin, but it’s smooth and decently drinkable.

I wouldn’t go crazy chugging a bunch of these or return for many times, but it definitely is a good example of a resiny amber.

 958 characters

Photo of plaid75
4.32/5  rDev +11.3%
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.

 373 characters

Photo of Georgiabeer
3.97/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice to have another tasty low abv option. This one from Stone is just the ticket for an afternoon beer when you've still got something to do. Pours reddish dark amber with a slight head. Smells dry, light, and spicy with hops. Clean and pine scented with very little malt sweetness. Almost austere. The taste is similar. Quite light and clean and surprisingly bitter and dry. Lean and quenching with an herbal, piney finish. Nice.

 431 characters

Photo of BARFLYB
3.01/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Finally getting around to having this offering from stone. Had it on tap in a pint glass.

Levitation is a nice mix of amber with some slight red thrown in as well as slight orange. The head was nice and lasting but did not have any legs to stand on, no lacing. The smell was pretty bland with just a hint of malt and hops but alot of grain imo. The taste was not all that and really tame with some grain and sweet malt and even less hops to bring about any disernable flavors. Not to much going on here. The feel was light with alot of carbonation leaving a crispness. The alcohol is low making this very sessionable, but I had a hard time finishing my pint. I know this is a light styled brew coming from a company that likes to push the envelope, but i've had other low abv/simple style beers from other company's that have blown this out of the water. It just did not grab me, that's all.

 892 characters

Photo of flagmantho
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: nice deep amber color with a very thick foamy head.

Smell: a tiny malt aroma but mostly big, fresh hops ranging from earthy to spicy. Not what I was expecting but quite nice.

Taste: malt has a caramel character and is somewhat sweet, and does not have the toasty quality of which I'm not a fan in amber/red ales. Hops are pretty huge for something not called an IPA, but again they are earthy and spicy and really quite good.

Mouthfeel: medium-to-thin body with a little carbonation; not bad but not really my favorite.

Drinkability: for the style, I quite like this beer. I could definitely quaff a couple of these down the pub sometime, and the relatively low ABV would make this a good sessioner.

 760 characters

Photo of biegaman
3.87/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Lucid pomegranate with a fiery, lava-like flare when held into the light. Speaking of which, its head is also a little like magma - it rose to the surface, bubbled up and begun encrusting the sides of the glass. It has a nice shine and very appreciable clarity. If the depth of its colour is any indication this should be jammed packed with flavour.

The aroma is drenched in pungently piny hops just as bacon is drenched in grease; Stone always has a heavy hand when it comes to the hops. This is a budding bouquet, one boasting scorched caramel, rye bread, peaty smoked malts and a fragrantly green, herbal, ganja-like potpourri. It's a forest worth of resins coated in a light citrus spritz.

The flavour is definitely less aggressive, less ballsy, less brazen than the rest of the Stone lineup but it is equally less conventional, less timid and less lifeless than the vast majority of beers on the market. I'll gladly take this spongy toffee cake, pine resin drenched flavour over the bland (if not offensive) corn-saturated taste of mainstream beers.

Clearly the guys at Stone missed the memo saying "light" beers were supposed to be less characterful. This may fall short on the alcohol percentage but not on the IBUs - there is a peaty, pine-saturated fabric that vehemently sticks to the palate. The strangling, vinous aftertaste it imparts is appreciated. I'll gladly have another - or five.

Stone Levitation Ale is a great offering for those who - for whatever reason - choose or are limited to drinking lower alcohol beers. This doesn't really taste any lighter than standard offerings and is still at least doubly hoppy (read: flavourful) than most commercial beers. Levitation definitely raises the bar way up for lower strength, easily quaffable beers.

 1,773 characters

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.43/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A strong malty aroma wafts from the glass as I pour, caramel malt perhaps. Pours with a thick tan head, it is pretty clear and a dark amber color. The aroma of hops is dominant in the aroma but a solid malt presence is there as well. Definitely a bitter beer. Some sweetness is here but not really perceptible as the hops dominate the residual sweetness. A certain fullness in the mouth from this "light" beer from stone. Not enough hop flavor is in this beer for me, it would help to balance this beer out. This beer is super hoppy, but it needs more flavor hop contributions (or perhaps different ones). Pretty well balanced for a super hoppy low gravity ale. The malt notes really help to carry this beer. As it warms up, I realize that this beer may be a bit old, it tastes like it might have begun to oxidize (Stone where is the bottle date?).

 848 characters

Photo of puboflyons
3.73/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From the 12 fl. oz. screen printed bottle. Sampled on Feb. 14, 2014.

It is a very attractive looking beer with its deep amber pour and long lasting tan head. Great clarity. Great lacing.

The nose is alive with grass, pine, and citrus hops which is not what one would normally pick up in an amber ale. It has some punch! Vibrant. Biscuit malts are subdued.

Medium body.

Like the nose the taste has an exquisite pine, grass, and floral character that is a bit more forward than any biscuit malts but they still do not take everything over. Drinkable and fascinating.

 570 characters

Photo of Zorro
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear ruby brown brew.

Smell is malt and a perfume of hops. I have high hopes that this isn't over-hopped.

Taste is flavorful malt with a fair amount of hops in it. Taste has a pleasant flowery taste. The hop level makes this a little bitter but nicely so. Similar in taste to Anchor Steam Small Beer. There is a pecan nutty flavor to this too.

Mouthful is good.

A tasty brew, the mild alcohol and hop levels almost make it hard to believe Stone brewed it.

 476 characters

Photo of yourefragile
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a nonic. A sessionable Stone, that's novel.

Dark amber copper color, relatively clear, consistent carbonation. Moderate, frothy butter colored head that diminishes to a thin film with thick sticky rings of lacing. Aroma is...light? Not in a bad way, has a strong hop aroma and malty background, but nothing is overwhelming. Light body with heavy carbonation and a strong hop bite in the finish. Taste has backbone of caramel malt and a very dry hop bite that lingers forever. Entirely different hoppy amber than say Nugget Nectar, this is much thinner and lacking something in the body. Not even really so much an amber or a pale, just seems like a missing body with a hoppy kick. That isn't to say this isn't a nice session beer but it pales when compared to other Stone beers or others in the hoppy amber category.

 842 characters

Photo of Halcyondays
3.43/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle.

A: Copper-red/brown with white/tan head.

S: Piney hops basically, with some malt mixed in.

T: Piney hops, biscuit malts, really resiny, hops a bit too astringent for my tastes, but overall very nice.

M: Above average, medium-bodied.

D: Low in alcohol makes this a good session beer choice, but I found myself really not wanting more than one, a beer I'll have to revisit at some point though.

 412 characters

Levitation Ale from Stone Brewing
3.88 out of 5 based on 3,886 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.