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

very good
465 Reviews
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

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Reviews: 465 | Ratings: 1,396
Photo of Furlinator
4.12/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The pine, tropical fruit and green tea aromas of this are world class. The flavors follow suit and are just a notch behind. The more 'standard' IPAs I try, the more I realize how overrated the Plinys, Headys, etc. of the world really are. This is bomb and widely distributed.

 275 characters

Photo of johnnnniee
3.6/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle from Ayottes
Slightly hazy orange/amber color with a white head. Spicy earthy herbal aromas. The tea strikes me as a harsh bitter, decent brew but not one of my favorites.

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Photo of hreb
3.97/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle capped with Stone's fancy new logo cap. This is the 2015 edition, though it's a new beer to me either way. Beer pours pale, even yellowish, with a moderate, pillowy white head. Aroma is sweet and tropical/citrus: orange peel, papaya. This is my first (known) experience with Helga hops, and so far so good. Smells really good actually, though there's no hint of sencha so far.

Of course, that sencha flavor is obvious the first sip. I would have guessed green tea was being used to add bitterness and astringency to the IPA, in place of the natural bitterness of hops (think using cocoa powder to bitter a stout). Quite the contrary, the tea here gives it an herby, distinct flavor. Yet, this is still quite hoppy. If you're going to showcase the delicate flavors of Japanese green tea, I'd think you'd want to start with a low gravity, low IBU solution to do that. But this beer tips this scales at over 10% ABV and, apparently 75 IBUs (I would have guessed no less than 80).

Some, but not all, of the aromas promised by the hops are delivered in the flavor. There's a little bit of a tangy/fruity note in there, and the whole thing is quite juicy. Also worth mentioning is that this beer doesn't taste a bit of 10%. Yes, it's heady, but there's no other hint of the alcohol content. Still not my favorite, but I'm definitely coming down on the side of this beer being a raging success.

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Photo of Beer-Revelry
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Dogfish Head IPA glass.

A - 3.5 - Poured a very murky and hazy orange tinged gold. Formed about a finger of quickly dissipating, ivory white head. Medium head potential, low head retention. Decent whispy lacing.
S - 3.5 - Pineapple, hops, grapefruit citrus and green tea.
T - 4.75 - Really impressed at how well this works. Upfront there is a light citrus sweetness which immediately fades into a green / black tea leaf flavor. This flavor is very distinct and present and on the bitter side of things.Finally, the tea fades back into IPA territory, finishing on a hoppy bitter note. Really tasty, but be warned, this is a bitter biased IPA, not much sweetness going on with this brew.
F - 4.5 - Good mouthfeel. What one would expect from an IPA, not water thin, but not thick either. medium/light bodied.
O - 4.25 - I think this is one of the best experimental brews I have had in a long time. I wont lie, I thought this was a little gimmicky at first purchase, but I was proven wrong at how harmoniously the tea leaf flavors blend with the hop bitterness and the citrus sweetness. Really impressive IPA and an adventurous change of pace off the beat path for seasoned IPA drinkers. Highly recommended experience!

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Photo of HardTarget
4.38/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Mild haze in a golden blond glass. Starts with a finger of white foam that drops to a thin cover that leaves a bit of lacing.

Smell: What it says on the tin; west coast hops with a green tea finish. The hops are citric, grapefruit with a sugary malt base.

Taste: An intense almost grassy green tea flavor, strong brew, condensed, with the slightly burning bitter hop oils and alcohol giving it an almost medicinal herb woody greenery aspect. Some tannins in the tea linger in the finish giving a slow puckering dryness that encourages the next adventurous sip.

Feel: Dry, hot, medium light body, heavy oily sap that slowly burns away.

Overall: Arigatō. A bit of a tonic, instead of being aged in a whiskey barrel this has been aged in an ancient tea pot used for centuries to brew locally grown green tea. Not for long, the hops are bright and fresh, but long enough to have a wonderful patina of silent contemplation. I'll get more, I hope they make more.

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Photo of rockernino
2.81/5  rDev -27%
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 TreyIsWilson
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a hazy golden orange with a one-finger foamy white head. Heavy amount of sticky lacing.

S - Aroma is green tea, orange, and grapefruit.

T - The flavor starts with a huge amount of green tea. The green tea fades and there is a good amount of earthy hops, citrus, and malty sweetness. The finish and some herbal notes and a light hop bitterness.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbnation. Very crisp mouthfeel with a smooth finish.

O - Definetly an interesting beer. The flavors are bright and lively. Definetly worth checking out.

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Photo of gotweid
4.13/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very light golden in color. Small, thin head & lacing down the glass. Aroma is straight forward tea & citrus. Taste is that of tea, with a medium hop, citrus taste. Mouthfeel is very smooth & refreshing. I actually really like this beer. The alcohol isn't noticeable until well after finishing. Seems like a good one for the warm months.

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Photo of gillagorilla
4.45/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22 oz. bomber poured into a Burley Oak snifter (From notes when I had it on 2/18/15, bottled on 1/2/15 and enjoy by 4/915)

A: Golden copper color that is a gorgeous hue. Nice collar.
S: Crazy earthy with this intenseness to it. Some tannins in there, but mostly just really hoppy with a tinge of fruit to it.
T: Deliciously hoppy. Not a lot of green tea though. The green tea probably just smooths it all out and adds a bit of earthines. Just really damn good. Lingers like a green tea on the back of the throat.
M: Smooth and just a bit frothy.
O: So gosh darn good, but expensive at $8.99. I was really surprised that they brought this back out of nowhere with no warning. They had brewed this before I got into beer and this was one that I was sad to have missed.

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Photo of McStagger
4.21/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a hazy orange with a finger of white head. Looks to be unfiltered, which I don't recall stone doing very often.

S: First thing is that you do get the green tea in this. It is very prevalent. Malt sweetness in there, along with some residual tropical notes.

T: Green tea up front. Huge notes of it. The sweetness of the malt works with the tea, almost like sugar in one's personal tea. Hops take over just as the green tea fades, giving an herbal leafy component tinged with citrus and still spiked with the malt sweetness. Tea carries through into the finish, where it continues to intermingle with the hops, making it difficult to determine who is contributing more flavor. The malt sweetness also carries through into the finish, adding that touch of sweetness to the tea.

M: It's a big IPA. The malts stretch out more as it warms up, giving it a fuller bodied mouthfeel. This

O: Check this one out. The maltiness does become more pronounced as this one warms, but it only adds dimensions to the green tea within the beer. One of Stone's best collaborations (and beers).

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Photo of russpowell
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours an effervescent honey color with 3+ fingers of cream colored head. Outstanding head retention & lacing...

S: Grassyness, cattiness

T: Follows the nose, a little leafy hops, a little green tea. Much herbalness & cattiness as this warms, a little dryness & grapefruit pith as well, a little bit of clove as well. Finishes with woody & herbal hops, a little grapefruit pith

MF: Medium bodied, lively carbonation, pretty good balance

This is pretty good, but I've a had a least one of this that was better ( Mother's version)

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Photo of drdiesel9483
3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Look - slightly hazy orangish color with a great white head.
Smell - green tea and citrus hops
Taste - much like the smell, green tea spliced with a citrus ipa. Slightly bitter after taste.
Feel - light body with a fizzy carbonation that tingles afterwards.
Overall - interesting beer but could use more body.

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Photo of larryi86
3.92/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle poured into a tulip

A- A clear golden color with a three finger white head.

S- Unsweetened green tea, hints of wet grass, hints of citrus hopes, and a touch of alcohol.

T- Still a lot of green tea, but in a good way, bitter tea finish, some citrus hops and hint of alcohol.

M- Smooth, medium body, nice carbonation.

O- A really cool idea and pretty well done. Easiest way to describe this would be alcohol unsweetened tea with carbonation and some citrus hops.

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Photo of AFDerek
4.74/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Super crisp, refreshing. Absolutely loved it...a delightful deviation from Stone's already excellent offerings. Would love to enjoy this with some ahi tuna or good sushi. Can't wait to try again.

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Photo of RickS95
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It's a beauty while the head is tall and full. Extremely cloudy pour, resembling a hazy wit beer. Milky golden is the best way to describe it. Not a dark beer, but very opaque despite the 'pale' color. The head is typical bright white and does have some peaks, but it doesn't retain well and that's what keep the beer from being a 5 in the appearance.

Smells very Pacific Northwestern with a combination of grapefruit and pineapple scents dominating the nose. In the background, you can pick up the herbal Japanese characteristic. Even some lemon hiding in there somewhere.

The taste follows the lead set by the nose with gobs of citrus fruits, backed up by an herbal note from the tea. There's no presence of the high ABV until the swallow where the heat builds gradually and combined with the tea, provides for a lingering warm bitterness.

It's certainly a manly beer. Very aggressive hopping, from midsip on. Full bodied mouthfeel leaves your palate dry, warm and puckered as you await the next sip. Very reminiscent of tea in that for me in particular, each sip makes me a bit thirstier than when I started.

Very Stone-like beer, and that's a good thing. Low on malt and high on hops, and though it is somewhat extreme, that's kind of the point. So, yes, this beer scores high praise. It's what an IIPA should be.

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Photo of MrBoh
2.81/5  rDev -27%
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 cjgiant
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Review from bottle:
Pours a hazy yellow, a little more cloudiness and it would almost look like a hefe. Foamy white head is about a finger and a half. Head remains atop the beer, lacing the glass.

Nose up front is tropical fruit combined with damp bog-like wet leaf notes. I do get some notes of tea when I get a good whiff and am looking for it, and it becomes a little more notice ale in a warmer beer.

A proper temperature I think may be important with this beer as not only dies the nose open up, but the tea grows in the taste as well. Early on the beer seemed a bit on the sweet and fruity side. I notice orange peel, grapefruit, green tea, a bit of lemongrass, and a light bit of spice. The end taste has little leather in it. Overall this is balanced by a light sugary fruit sweetness.

Body is surprisingly full, with the carbonation playing a role throughout as well. This beer isn't as dry or mouth wrecking as most Stone IPAs.

This is my second try if this beer. I thought it only ok first time, but am appreciating this pour pretty well. It is still a tad strange with the green tea and mildly biting feel, but also is quite interesting.

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Photo of brureview
4.24/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured a light copper red color in a Speigelgau glass with a 3F head which quickly resolved itself.

Aroma: floral bouquet and fruity.

MF- very carbonated, pungent.

Taste: floral, spicy, citrus.

I wasn't expecting this beer to be so singular in taste: not only is it hoppy, spicy, and fruity,
but the addition of Helga hops from Australia and the green tea give it a special herbal flowery aroma/taste. The best by date is in March, but the beer is still excellent.

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Photo of 57md
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Straw in color with a finger of head. Herbal green tea dominates the nose and flavor profile. Very refreshing and drinkable but hardly seems like a DIPA.

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Photo of PicoPapa
4.08/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2015 version. 22oz bottle pours a hazy straw color with a half inch of head. Good amount of lacing. The aroma is tons of sweet green tea with some light herbal hop notes. But make no mistake the nose is virtually all green tea. The taste is more of the same. Almost like drinking iced Green Tea with sugar. Some light herbal hops as well as a hint of some citrus hops as well. Finishes with more of the sweet Green Tea flavor. Slight alcohol presence with a light mouthfeel. I am shocked it clocks in at 10.1% though, as it drinks very well and isnt too boozey. Bottomline with this beer is if you like Green Tea you will like this beer and if you don't like Green Tea you won't. Overall, I like Green Tea so I like this beer a lot.

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Photo of TheCraftBrewReview
2.71/5  rDev -29.6%
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 BEERMILER12
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2015 Edition

A: Pours a golden orange-yellow color with 2+ fingers of head that fades down to a decent cap that leaves some nice lacing down the glass

S: Green tea and fruity hops up front, with some light citrus and tropical notes in the back. Hints of malt as well, but the hops and green tea rule

T: Follows the nose. Starts off with a mix of the green tea and fruity hops and then goes into more tropical and citrusy notes. Green tea lingers as the fruity notes fade, bringing bitterness and touches of balancing maltiness. Finishes with lingering tea and bitterness

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

O: Glad I got to try this one after bringing it back (even though they used different hops this time around and upped the abv a bit). A nice tea-forward DIPA with plenty of hops and surprising drinkability. Certainly worth trying

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Photo of Beerlover
4.73/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This is EXACTLY what it says it is! It doesnt smell like an ipa or even beer for that matter, just a giant glass of cold tea ! The flavor of tea in this monster is OVERWHELMING then you get a medium hop punch to the palate followed by some spiciness from the tea, awesome!

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Photo of i4ourgot
3.67/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Not at all what I was expecting this beer is strong, and not very forward on the hop or tea as far as flavor and aroma go. I think a lighter version might have showcased the tea a little more instead of drowning it out. The color is great it looks like a nice IPA in color the aroma is the same there is some citrus in there for the aroma. The flavor and mouthfeel are kinda where this beer went wrong. While it's not a bad tasting beer the label is a little misleading. the malt is more overpowering than the hops or tea and really detract from what I was hoping the beer would be like. I was expecting at least more of a Nelson Savogn style hop being showcased here at the very least, but the malt really over rides it, and the aroma I was getting was more typical of you Citra style hop. Still it is a good beer just don't read the label you wouldn't even know its 10% with how smooth this beer is.

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Photo of jp32
3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Nicely done IPA. I didnt notice much green tea in the flavor profile, however green tea is such a subtle taste anyway that I wasnt necessarily expecting it to. It did seem to soften the beer's touch a little. Still very hoppy and tasty, just a touch soft on the palate.

I never would've thought it was 10% without looking first either.

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Baird / Ishii / Stone Japanese Green Tea IPA from Stone Brewing
3.85 out of 5 based on 1,396 ratings.
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