Baird / Ishii / Stone Japanese Green Tea IPA | Stone Brewing

Baird / Ishii / Stone Japanese Green Tea IPABaird / Ishii / Stone Japanese Green Tea IPA
Liked This Beer
3.93 w/ 1,395 ratings
Baird / Ishii / Stone Japanese Green Tea IPABaird / Ishii / Stone Japanese Green Tea IPA

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.10%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our style of brewing has always been about taking chances. It’s an extension of our “what-if” mentality, wherein we ask ourselves what would happen if we did things differently in the brewhouse, such as fermenting with a different strain of yeast or, in the case of this beer, incorporating whole-leaf green tea imported from Japan. The answer, embodied in this IPA when we first released it in 2011, was something truly magnificent, delicious and, as proven by the reissued edition you hold in your hand in 2015, worth brewing again. But what if we changed it? Yes, it’s riskier to change something most people thought to be liquid perfection, including our two-time collaborators Bryan Baird of Japan’s Baird Brewing Company and Toshi Ishii, a former Stone brewer and the founder of Guam’s Ishii Brewing Co., but we’ve found that, when approached with cautious curiosity and logic-driven creativity, reward often follows such risk. So, in bringing this IPA back to life, we followed the same recipe developed four years ago, but exchanged Pacifica hops from New Zealand, a hop-growing region that was becoming popular in 2011, for Helga hops from Australia, an area with a burgeoning botanical scene right now. The result is an IPA that’s as bright, herbaceous and bitingly hoppy as the one that’s had our fans requesting its return ever since its depletion from store shelves, but with a modern, hop-driven twist that makes this second draft unique and tasty in its own right.

2011 version is 9.2%
2015 version is 10.1%

2011 used NZ pacifica hops
2015 used AU helga hops

Added by HopHead84 on 07-10-2011

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,395 |  Reviews: 464
Photo of Zraly
2.66/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2.5

Smells lovely, like fresh brewed tea with citrus peel.But it tastes like soap and sweetened green tea. Very astringent and the green tea is overpowering. It's almost as if something was done to enhance the herbal, minty flavors of the tea without balancing it in relation to the the hops and malts.

I think I might like something like this (i.e., tea and beer combination) if it were on the lighter side (not trying to be a huge IPA). In Amsterdam, I had a pale ale blended with tea and it was refreshing.

This is just not my cup of tea.

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Photo of TheCraftBrewReview
2.71/5  rDev -31%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Stone’s 2015 Japanese Green Tea IPA is a collaboration that was originally brewed in 2011 with Baird Brewing Company (Japan) and Ishii Brewing Company (Guam). It was dry-hopped twice, first with Aramis, Crystal and Helga. The second dry hop consisted of Sorachi Ace hops and the addition of Japanese green tea. Back in 2011, Toshi Ishii, owner of Ishii Brewing, contacted Greg Koch of Stone Brewing to propose a collaboration ale that would raise funds for the relief efforts of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami. In all, over $64,000 was donated to the Japanese Red Cross Society.

Appearance – 80: The 22 ounce bomber was poured into a Spigelau IPA glass. It immediately produced an impressive 1 1/2 inch of foam with bubbly white froth that stuck to the inside. Light orange in color that resembled a tangerine. When held to the light I noticed it was very cloudy, with chunks of tiny resin floating around in the glass.

Aroma – 70: The first whiffs of the aroma provided floral notes combined with a touch of citrus fruit. This quickly tapered off, which was unexpected and disappointing, as I was hoping the scent from the hops and tea leaves would linger longer.

Body & Texture – 85: Well carbonated, provided a nice “bite”. Very light and refreshing, like a cold, iced tea on a summer’s day.

Taste – 40: The first sip provided a brief punch of tropical fruit, and earthy, herbal notes. Then, it was all downhill. There was an overwhelming taste of green tea, like a Lipton, and for a brief moment I forgot I was drinking a beer. Although the hop profiles try to shine through, they are immediately kicked to the curb by the minty, herbal tea flavors.

Overall – 68 (Fair): This is easily one of the worst tasting craft beers I have consumed in quite some time. After my third gulp, I poured the glass and rest of the bottle down the drain. Lesson learned: do not mix beer and tea, as they should be enjoyed separately. This does not change my outlook on Stone because they make an arsenal of quality ales, from the Enjoy By IPA to their Double Bastard Ale.

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Photo of charlzm
2.72/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Consumed while camping on August 2nd, 2011 from a bottle labelled May, 2011.

A significant amount of sediment lived in the bottom of this bottle. I was not entirely successful in a gentle pour and so got to drink a lot of it. Looked like it should, more or less: medium yellow/copper color with a thin white head.

Aroma is hoppy: pine and grapefruit. There is a slight hint of an herbal, grassy note that MIGHT be green tea... Otherwise, dead average for a double IPA.

Flavor is a mess; while the expected DIPA flavors are there, they are all out of balance. Caramel malt rears its head for a moment before drowning in a sea of bitter ruby grapefruit and pine tar. Mainly, though, there's a disagreeably medicinal, minty, herbal flavor on top of it all that I assume must be the green tea.

Mouthfeel was unremarkable. Slightly dry with medium body.

At least my money went to a good cause (Japanese tsunami relief) with the purchase of this beer. It was only made once so I think there's little danger I will have this beer again. Maybe it was better right out of the fermenter?

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Photo of mendvicdog
2.73/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

stale green tea and other cringeworthy spices

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Photo of LancetherealLeader
2.76/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This just doesn't do it for me. Not being a green tea drinker, I guess I didn't know what to expect.

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Photo of Burt
2.78/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Looked good, smelled ok but tasted a little off.

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Photo of hopfacebrew
2.78/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Recovered review from my hacked account. jmkratt:

2.75/5 rDev -37.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Picked up a bottle while the Stone rep was still at the store so it's as fresh as I will be able to get. Sounded interesting! The beer pours a crystal clear golden honey color with a decent 1 finger white bubbly head. Some retention and lacing. There is a fair amount of fine sediment as well. The aroma is...odd. I am picking up a chemical-type character like plastic? Also a lot of citrus hop character. Not sure what's going on here. Starts off with a citrus hop character but is immediately overwhelmed by a strong tea flavor, which I believe was what I was picking up on the nose. Doesn't seem to balance well and is difficult to swallow. The plastic character is really detrimental. I don't think the tea works at all. I can't say I've ever had a Tea Beer and honestly doubt I ever will try another after this beer.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 07-23-2011 01:53:19

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Photo of Kappakoosh
2.79/5  rDev -29%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

I must have been expecting something else, because Green Tea and Beer do not belong with on another. It was so overwhelming with the Green Tea flavor that I forgot I was drinking beer. It was more like a lightly carbonated Lipton, with a splash of hops. It smelled okay, but man the taste I just couldn't handle.

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Photo of LeeMoore
2.8/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

Good effort by Stone but there is a reason green tea and beer arent normally thought of together.

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Photo of MrBoh
2.81/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

It's a hazy amber. Decent head and retention.

Smell of green tea and musk. Not good.

Taste of musk, old hops. Little citrus rind, and old green tea leaves. A tad spice.

Too thick. Little feel from the carbonation.

I was forced to review due to it being an outlier. I dont see how this has such a high rating. I love IPAs and green tea, but this has very few good qualities from either. It doesn't taste fresh, but it says 2015...

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Photo of rockernino
2.81/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Don't know if I got a bad bottle or something, but the this beer was just too astringent for me. I don't know if that came from the tea or something else. Maybe I'll give it another try. But in the meantime, I can't get that astringent tea flavor out of my mind.

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Photo of nbree00
2.82/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Decent carbonation, honey colored with some coppery undertones.

S: Probably the best feature of this beer. Aromas of green tea, florals, pine, and some citrus.

T: As it washes over the palate notes of tea, pine, earth, pepper and grass. Really kind of falls apart for me here. Not well balanced and just plain astringent.

M/O: Pretty thin body here and really a mediocre at best beer. Not that impressed.

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Photo of ShogoKawada
2.85/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

$3 or so @ Yankee's, poured into ceramic lowenbrau mug.

A- Pale pale beer with a TON of sediment in it.

S- Nose is odd.. lots of hops but something else, guessing the tea.

T- Zippy, fruity hops awash with lemon/lime/orange. Tea is pretty strong too and comes across as strong green veggies. Weird. Very spritzy on the tongue. Scrubbing bubbles wash away the flavors, minty aftertaste.

M- Lots of alcohol present.. I guess it's expected @ 9.2, a bit much though. Good carbonation and moderate body.

O- Interesting, I'd like to try and pair this with something to see if I interpret it differently. Points for originality, but a bit of a head-scratcher.

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Photo of mcallister
2.86/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours hazy golden with protein particulates galore. A pillowy off white head holds long retention and sticky lace. If not for the chunks in suspension this would have scored higher.

Apparent green tea in the aroma. Earthy and piney, resiny hop aromas. Fussel alcohols and some sweet malty aromas in the background.

Again green tea is there and matches well with the earthy, piney hops. Resiny but unfortunately gritty on the finish. And again fussel alcohol really comes out especially in the middle. Light cereal malts leave things a bit sweet on the finish, but dries out with a good amount of hop bitterness. Just something overall missing the mark on this one.

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Photo of jethrodium
2.86/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle. Pours a hazy golden amber with a small white head that has decent retention and leaves some light lacing on the glass. A bunch of floaties are visible as well. The aroma is lemon, grass, a bit of tea, and some alcohol. The taste is sweet with lemon and grass, some caramel malt, and a bit of cracker. There is a strong bitterness on the finish as well as some alcohol. Medium-full body. Relatively low carbonation. The flavors in this beer just didn't work together all that well. The bitterness was a bit too strong for the other flavors and the alcohol was pretty prominent.

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Photo of justintcoons
2.87/5  rDev -27%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours an cloudy, opaque golden-orange with a plethora of yeast sediment floating around. Look kind of like pulpy orange juice. Yields about 1/2 inch of soapy, white head that dissipates quickly. Sudsy lacing slides down the side of the glass.

N: This has a very unique nose. There's definite green tea and black tea aromas. There's also some caramel and notes of orange, lemon citrus and honey.

T: Lemon, herbal green tea and hints of candy sugar are upfront. This is followed by earthy black tea, caramel, orange citrus and lemon rind. The finish brings dried leather, tobacco and lemon zest.

M: Light-medium bodied, foamy, dry and a little sticky.

O: An interesting idea but falls short IMO. It turns a little too earthy and somewhat cloying toward the finish. Has a nice bitterness and the alcohol is hidden well. Perhaps it would have been pulled off a little better if it was a more balanced style of beer.

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Photo of terence
2.88/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

An interesting IPA, but the mouthfeel and aftertaste was a bit off. Very nice aroma, the green tea scent was very pleasant. The mouthfeel felt syrupy as the beer warmed up in the glass. The aftertaste was bitter, similar to a lower quality green teas.

An okay experience, a little disappointing one from Stone.

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Photo of MbpBugeye
2.91/5  rDev -26%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

While looking for some sort of freshness date, I noticed that this bottle had a TON of chunky sediment that was starting to get stirred up. I carefully poured and got a hazy pale honey colored beer with lots of suspended chunks. The haziness is odd looking. Its almost uneven and just doesn't look good. The head was short and there is no lacing.

This smell is nice, though. Some juicy citrus with a base of denser, fleshier hops and a big kick of spice and herb. The tea lays subtly underneath.

The green tea comes out in a big way in the flavor, dominating the aftertaste and finish. The actual IPA seems to be very rough around the edges. There is a lot of bitterness from very dense, piney hops. There are a few flashes of candied citrus. Alcohol is noticeable on the finish. As the beer warms the green tea comes out a little bit more. It tastes like vegetables and leaves.

This stuff is entirely too alcoholic and hot. It should be just a standard IPA. The carbonation is quite high and prickly and the beer is thick and resinous. These are all qualities that are the opposite of green tea.

This beer is too heavy handed for being an IPA that has green tea. I expected, and wanted, a lighter IPA with good drinkability; one that refreshes you. This one is just another brash, uncouth IIPA from Stone with some green tea that's mostly overpowered.

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Photo of DarthKostrizer
2.95/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Look: pours a orangish yellow color with a 1/4 inch bubbly head and no retention

Smell: Traces of green tea mixed with citrus and piney hops are prevalent and a little bit of lemon

Taste: Almost taste like some sort of cold tea you drink when you are sick. Hints of lemon are all over the place and that typical hoppy note that stone is famous for

Mouthfeel: Light body and high carbonation and a bit of a dry after taste

Overall: Not really my cup of tea BAAA ZINNNNGGG. It has a decent drinkability expecially in the summer time and I am sure alot of people will be a fan of this one but just not me

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Photo of snaotheus
2.95/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle poured into a small pilsner style glass.

Pour cloudy golden, small pale head, lots of suspended sediment, a little bit of active carbonation. Smell is very fruity, but I'm having a hard time identifying the fruit.

Taste is sort of muddled. There's some hoppy bitterness, and a sort of light orange flavor, some flavor of over-steeped green tea. I guess comparing it to other green tea double IPAs...well, I don't have any to compare it to. It's interesting, but not particularly appealing to me.

Mouthfeel is chalky. Overall, it's an interesting beer, but not particularly good.

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Photo of timmy2b
2.97/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

smells like awful green tea mixed with old hops. not a fan, but not the worst thing I have ever tried.

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Photo of shehateme
2.97/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Dont know what to think about this beer ,but i know its not for me

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Photo of yemenmocha
2.97/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a rusty orange, cloudy, with floaties that don't sink or float- just suspended in middle of beer. Nose has some easily identifiable tea qualities with citrus. Palate offers more of the same, with the green tea being quite noticeable. Some razor sharp citrus in here too, maybe peach pit. Finishes long and bitter.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.99/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

BOTTLE: 1 pint 6 fl oz. Fantastic screen-print label. Branded black pry-off cap. Stone has the best marketing in the business, no doubt. Let's see if this time the beer is actually up to par...

10.1% ABV. 2015 vintage (i.e. "2nd Edition").

Served cold into a pilsner glass. Expectations are above average seeing as it's a collaboration Stone beer (Stone's collaborations tend to be better than their own offerings, which I think says a lot about Stone). Reviewed live as an IPA per the label.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: ~3 inches wide. Off-white colour. Creamy enough. Could be softer. Average thickness. Decent consistency and complexion. Leaves no lacing as it recedes.

Retention is superb for the high ABV - ~8 minutes.

BODY: Hazy murky yellow-copper with orange hues. Rather dull, lacking vibrance. Not the clean filtered appearance you'd expect of a good IPA.

Appears well-carbonated. It's decent looking for a beer in its style, but lacks any unique or special attributes. I worry it'll be astringent...

AROMA: Has an assertive hop profile with notes of overripe fruit (including melon, mango, and tangerine), honeyed yogurt (especially on the back-end), floral hops, and basil herb. Low in hop oils, not resinous at all, and by no means piney. The yogurty aspect of the hop profile is somewhat unique. The pale malt sweetness seems near ideal for an IPA, never coming off cloying yet still managing to quell any hop bitterness.

To be honest, I have trouble finding the green tea notes, and would be surprised if anyone could readily find them in a blind tasting of this beer. I count this as a blessing, as there're no indicators of tea-like astringency, and the green tea is subtle if anything, blending in with the basil. As it warms, the green tea does emerge a bit more, but fits in with the melon fruit from the hops. Maybe this isn't going to be the gimmick beer one may have expected...

TASTE: Boy, the hop profile featured in the taste is far less artfully executed and subtle than the aroma suggested. The overripe fruit (mostly melon, with some vague tropical notes) delivers some bold hop bitterness that goes largely unbalanced by the pale malt sweetness, fundamentally throwing off the key hop/malt balance. The interesting yogurty character of the Helga hops is nicely showcased, but just doesn't feel seamlessly integrated or well-executed here. Some tea-like astringency is noticeable, quashing any subtly the basil might have offered but bringing little to the table in terms of flavour; this has none of the good aspects of green tea but most of the bad. Minor supplemental floral hops fill it out a bit.

There's no fresh citrus, juicy fruit, resins, oils, pine, etc. All things considered, the hop profile is a bit of a let-down, and it doesn't harmonize well with the green tea at all.

It's not as aggressive or hop-forward as most of Stone's IPAs, but the hop profile is still off the mark. At least it's not too caramalt-heavy; I'm glad pale malts provide the bulk of the sweetness. Alcohol is decently disguised, but the 10.1% is still somewhat noticeable. Why skew that high in terms of alcohol?

Average depth, duration, intensity, and amplitude of flavour. It has an okay balance overall, and a loose cohesion. Not a gestalt beer, but it boasts enough complexity to keep things interesting. I applaud the experimentation, but this just doesn't come together quite like it should.

TEXTURE: Full-bodied, with assertive overcarbonation and far too much heft & weight on the palate, lending it a heavy overbearing presence on the palate that keeps it from feeling refreshing, mellow, or light. It's smooth and wet, but doesn't go down real easy on account of its booziness. The light astringency of the tea is fairly disguised by the hints of hop oil running throughout.

Not a scratchy, harsh, gushed, or rough beer.

This texture doesn't elevate the beer as a whole. There's no harmony of mouthfeel to taste here, but the former doesn't sabotage the latter.

OVERALL: Not the gimmicky beer it could be, but nevertheless problematic. This IPA suffers from an unnecessarily high ABV coupled with an underwhelming hop profile and a surprising absence of green tea flavour. I do like the yogurt note, but otherwise this is a forgettable beer in its style with a fundamental imbalance. I wouldn't buy it again, and it will fail to impress the discerning drinker, but Stone has done worse. Not the most drinkable IPA out there, but I'll finish it with some effort.

High C (2.99)

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Photo of brewmastercat
2.99/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

This is gross. I love green tea. I love IPAs.
Had high hopes

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Baird / Ishii / Stone Japanese Green Tea IPA from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 73.5% out of 100 with 1,395 ratings
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