Stony Face Red Ale | Hoppy Brewing Co.

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Stony Face Red AleStony Face Red Ale
Stony Face Red AleStony Face Red Ale

Brewed by:
Hoppy Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 29 | Ratings: 57
Photo of mmessner
2.87/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Honestly, I think this bottle was probably stale. The problem with this is that I bought it at the brewery, kept it chilled and only had it for two weeks. Skunky, metallic and very disappointing. What I had tasted on tap there was actually good. I would have this again at the brew pub, but I'll think twice before picking up a bottle. Their bottles do not have a bottling date on them.

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Photo of Drinkerofales
3.43/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours clear amber, with golden highlights. A light khaki head leaves tons of lacing from the ring that forms around the glass.

Smells tang, malty, a bit roasty.

Taste is similar to smell, a bit of roasted malts, and tangy hop. Nothing that sticks out, but not horrible.

Texture has a bit of bite, not as smooth as a red should be, imo. Feels a tad thin, but is easy to drink.

I have been curious about this company, but this beer doesn't inspire me...


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Photo of scruffwhor
3.28/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Lots of tan head and residual foam. You have to be REAL careful how you pour this beer so teh foam doesn't overflow. Semi-sloudy copper and bronze amber color. Can't make out any bubbling.

Nice toasty malts combine with spritzy, astringent hops for a clean and malty aroma.

Flat and thin palate from start to finish. Good toasted malts and earty, astringent, almost lemony at times, hopping. Pretty simple overall. Finish is bitter and slow on the fade with some heavily toasted malts.

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Photo of TMoney2591
2.86/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Served in a Chicago Bears shaker pint glass.

Two-thirds of the way through my area's offerings from this brewery now. This one pours a clear deep garnet topped by a finger of dusty off-white foam. The nose comprises moss, soil, light cocoa, dark toffee, dank grass, and light vague flowers. The taste holds notes of dark greens, grass, cocoa, burnt toffee, flowers, and light balsa. There may or may not be some light leek flavors in there as well, but I'm still not entirely sure. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a dry, chalky finish. Overall, a pretty sad red all around. Not a fan.

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Photo of tone77
3.56/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 22 oz. bottle. Has a pretty amber color with a 1 inch head. Smell is of caramel malts. The smell was decieving, hops are up front in the taste. Some malts are evident at the finish, well balanced. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is an enjoyable beer.

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Photo of cjgator3
2.87/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz bottle

A- Pours a nice reddish amber color with an off-white head with decent lacing and retention.

S- The aroma is pretty typical for a red ale. Faint bready malt, a hint of caramel and not much in the hop department. Not a lot going on in the aroma.

T- The taste like the aroma starts out with some malt and caramel flavors with a mild hop bitterness in the finish. Decent, but nothing special.

M- The mouthfeel is light bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

D- Overall, I didn't dislike this beer, but didn't like it enough to buy again. It is pretty much run of the mill to me.

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Photo of theboozecruise
2.36/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into an imperial pint glass.

It's a bubbly deep copper color, no haze, with a creamy head. Not a big head, but good retention and lacing.

The smell is malty, a little metallic, not much hop presence. Not a lot going on here.

The taste is even more metallic to me... malt dominates but it's a little rough. The balance is way off to me... just not very good.

Unfortunately I don't have another one of these on hand to see if this was just a bad bottle... I do have a few more from Hoppy Brewing so I guess I'll see if I like them any better.

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Photo of Fieldzy27
2.69/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a blue point pint glass from a 22oz bomber

A-Pours a darker shade of reddish brown with an off white head that is fairly thick sticky and solid. As the head recedes it leaves sheets of actual lace-like lace. This actually looks pretty impressive.

S-Im getting a little caramel and some faint hops... I feel this is worse just because the looks got my hopes up.

T- Same as the nose. Hops are prevailing all in all but they are very light and the rest of the beer is even lighter. Some caramel comes in at the end somewhere but no match for the small amount off bitterness that is dominating. As it warms some more caramel comes in and combats the bitterness a little bit which earns it the next higher score. I still dont think this qualifies as average for a red ale.

M-Mouthfeel saves it a little bit. The carbonation is on and there is a slight amount of creaminess to it that keeps the beer very full feeling and actually mildly distracts you from the extreme lack of flavor.

D-This beer has me a little confused in all honesty. It looks good, has almost no smell and no taste..but the mouthfeel is on. It could use some work I guess because it has potential to be good beer but right now its just not.

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Photo of beersensei305
2.48/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

From Notes:

A- Cloudy with a reddish tone- creamy foamy head. nice retention.

S- no a stong smell but there are sweet caramel malts and bread notes

T- neutral taste- nothing really stands out or is remarkable.. u have sweet malts and some hops but no real depth

M- A bit chewy

D- Did not care for this at all. Poor example of a red ale.

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Photo of Seanibus
2.59/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours reddish amber with a big fluffy head. The aroma is slight and a bit soapy. The flavor is weak, overly roasted, and disappointing lacking in hop character. The flavor is woody, with some dark cherry, but the mouthfeel is overcarbonated, like a badly bottled conditioned brew. This is like a medicore homebrew. A big avoid. No freshness date so it is impossible to tell if it is fresh.

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Photo of yesyouam
4.35/5  rDev +27.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Stony Face Red Ale is a pretty clear red ale with a dense, splotchy, oily off-white head that has great retention and lacing. It has a bright, floral, spicy, wooden aroma. In the mouth, it's smooth, creamy medium bodied beer with a crisp, dry finish. The flavor has really nice balance. The hops taste fresh and the malt tastes caramelly. It's bold and simple. Good show.

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Photo of Philabeerphia
4.11/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz pour into the XL tulip, and this XL beer belongs here. It is shades deeper than I would have guessed - well into the ruby, rusted red oxide, cooling but still molten lava and chocolate brown territory. You know what I'm talking about. Dense, almost opaque. Much more of a beast than I would have guessed. Nice khaki colored 1 finger head, starts with plenty of action then calms and sits thickly on top of this puppy, leaving its mark with some viscous lacing throughout the drink.

Delicious smelling dark malts bombard me wee unassuming nostrils. Bread, Tobacco and plums show up right behind, then this nose eases away with some grain and hints of bitter earthy hopiness. Straightforward but still very impressive. I feel like I am in a brewhouse with the intensity of the roasted malts I'm sniffing.

Starts out surprisingly subtle (and a bit disappointing), light on the lips and the front of the tongue. Opens up with some bright roasted malt, with a hint of earthen hop on its back and then really starts to shine towards the back of the palate, notes of caramel and cocoa shine on the top of my mouth and in my throat. Now we're cooking. At the very end there is enough of earthy hop to leave a strong mark - it does battle on my tonsils with roasted malts, leaving a bit of a show on the way out. The malt inevitably conquers and I am left with pools of semi sweet cocoa in the back of my throat that are supremely enjoyable and redeem the weak start. Not complex per se, but damn solid.
A standout in the mouthfeel dept - medium body, creamy enough but with an abundance of carbonation that keeps this show clean. wowzers.
Drinkable, certainly. enjoyable in almost all respects - but enough of a bruiser that I am shying away from anything past this bomber.

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Photo of JDV
3.06/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Cloudy, maroon pour with a light beige creamy head. Smell was musty malt, light hops, and some chocolate. Taste was musty, chocolately and malty again, with a slight bit of hops. Drinkable, and darker in color and flavor than your standard amber, but nothing too special I thought. Just average.

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Photo of russpowell
4.38/5  rDev +28.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an effervescent reddish caramel with 2 fingers of tan fluffy head. Superior head retention, 2 inches stacked at the bottom as the liquid beer runs out, impressive; plus good lacing

S: Big-time breadyness & toffee

T: Big time cakeyness with some grainyness & touch of dryness up front. Some herbal hops, fruittyness, caramel & some tannic type hoppyness as this warms. finishes dry, with a bit of vanilla, leafy hops, & a touch of baker's chocolate

MF: Very chewy for the ABV with low carbonation & great balance

Drinks very easy if you like an amber that skews malty & I sometimes do, give this a try. I thought this was pretty good amber, will check out other beers from this brewery

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.8/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a three finger thick, amber-tinged, tan colored head. The beer is a brilliantly clear, concentrated, ruby red color. Aromatic notes of sweet fruit (berries), caramel malts, toasted biscuits and herbal, almost pine-like hops are noticeable in the aroma. After trying to dissect the aroma for a bit a mix of malt and hop character makes me think of sharply tart grapefruit and lightly roasted coffee (or perhaps burnt tea leaves), the combination of which leaves me slightly confused because I swear I get a hint of cinnamon. An interesting aroma, that has a good mix of aromatic components.

A light carbonation cannot hide a smooth, almost creamy mouth feel that just coats the mouth. Sweet caramelized malt notes are quite noticeable, but are not quite as dominant as a biting hop character the is definitely bitter, but also adds touches of citrus and a definite mix of pine notes that leans towards menthol in a long finish. I would not call this beer a malt or hop focused brew (at least by today's standards), but that does not mean that this beer does not have a lot of flavor, as both the malt and hop character play a prominent role here. This is almost like a precursor to Arrogant Bastard, or perhaps better put, like a little brother. As the beer warms a bit a hint of roast coffee flavors start to peak through.

I remember always trying Hoppy's brews at beer festivals in the mid 90s and I am pleasantly surprised so far by the beers as I go back and try them again. A solid, easily drinkable, yet full flavored brew.

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Photo of supercolter
3.7/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This was definately the most malty brew at the brewery. Very thick for the style which is a defianate plus. The beer smells and tastes like Christmas nuts that have been roasted, and it is better smelling than to taste. Drinkability is ok, a bit carbonated.

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Photo of rkuhnel
4.03/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 22 oz bottle this poured a color that was between amber and red. Beautiful tint. The head was off-white and huge and long lasting with big bubbles that settled very slowly leaving lots of lacing. Overall a very attractive pour. Nose was very rich roasted malts, with aromas of fruit and caramel, and some floral hops. Mouthfeel very clean, and flavor is a perfect balance between roasted malts and hops. Finish medium and slightly bitter and good to the very last drop. It is an excellent brew and I will purchase again the next time I get a chance.

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Photo of Jredner
4/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz from

The body is dark orange/red/amber and holds a fluffy off white head comprised of a legion of fine bubbles. It sort of collapses slowly rather than diminishing.

The aroma holds a lot of sweet malt with caramel, raisin, sweet breads and faint chocolate notes making a play and some very faint, but sharp, hop notes.

Fore is caramel, chocolate, dry fruit notes, some light riasin notes and a faint hint of tobacco. I started this a tad on the warm side, but I think it benitited from it if anything. It’s very lightly hopped for a West Coast Pale Ale and manages to be pretty damn refreshing. Definitely my kind of pale ale....the malt is the main player and it’s almost into christmas beer/brown ale territory in that regard. Nice.

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Photo of RoyalT
3.05/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance – This is a dark reddish-brown in color with a big head that went down rather quickly.

Smell – This cheap yeast bomb had the most basic of malty requirements but none of the offsetting hops. How the hell do they call themselves Hoppy Brewing?

Taste – The malts lack depth and are too sweet for the style and, again, although a balancing towards malt is OK and even expected, there has to be some hops in an ARE.

Mouthfeel – This was disappointing. The big body you look for in the style was nowhere to be found and the carbs were cheap and fizzy.

Drinkability – This ale wasn’t as bad as the review would make it seem. It was an OK beer to drink, but it certainly was no American Red Ale.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.56/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Flawless orange caramel with bright tangerine borders. The beer entered the glass with a luxurious creamy solidity and has created a head of the same description. A beautiful shade of pastel orange-tinted golden ecru, the cap looks for all the world like it belongs on an IPA (let's hope that has something to do with the hop load). Lightly shredded sheets of sticky lace complete what is one of the best red ale appearances that I've seen in quite some time.

The nose has two major faults. First is a lack of power. Second is a preponderance of caramel maltiness coupled with a lack of hoppiness. I guess that's actually three faults. The Nugget and Cascade hops might as well be absent and the beer might as well be a peatless Scottish ale; an abrupt turn of events that doesn't bode well for the flavor. Shouldn't Hoppy Brewing Company brew hoppy beer?

Better on the palate, yet still not earthshaking. A few hoppy tremors perhaps, nothing more. As in the nose, caramel malt is running this show. Actually, the website states that both dark caramel malt and chocolate malt are used in Stony Face. Why anyone would want to cover up the majesty of Cascade and Nugget hops with loads of sticky caramel malt is beyond me.

Actually, 'loads' is overstating the case. In spite of the sound and feel of the pour, this beer isn't bursting at the seams with malt. It is more than respectable for the style however. There's enough brown sugary grapefruit flavor and bitterness to keep the malt in check, but I'm still waiting for a resinousness that looks like it'll never arrive. I'm reminded of cold tea dregs on the finish and there's no ganja-like flavor that I can detect (never smoked it, only smelled it).

I'm on the fence with respect to the body/mouthfeel. It's firming up a little with warming, but doesn't quite hit enough of its marks to earn the higher score. Even though I don't often wish for more carbonation, a more lively mouthfeel would be beneficial in this case.

It's apparent from the bloodshot-eyed, dreadlocked, Rastafarian Smiley Face on the label what Stony Face Red Ale is in reference to. It's too bad that the quality of this ale isn't as 'high' as its mascot and it's too bad that the beer that I've had from Hoppy Brewing hasn't been all that hoppy.

I'm reluctant to pass judgement on this brewery after only sampling two of their wares, but if you have the option, buy the similarly styled beer from the Hoptown Brewing Company instead.

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Photo of DogFood11
4.2/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Edit: May 3rd 2006. Every time I have this brew I bump the points up a bit, hell in a few weeks this could be mid 4 range. Very complex and the hop profile strikes the right chord. Nice.

Poured into a pilsner glass it forms a nice off white head that dissapates quickly, leaves lacing with each pull. Has an amber reddish color to it. Rather malty in the nose, some bready aspects to it as well.

Hey now! this seems to considerably better once this hits the tongue. Hop profile is somewhat stinging in the end which really grabs my attention as it mixed nicely with the thick malts. Quite dry and lingering in the end, its one of those beers that will stick to your teeth and takes a while to eventually clean up.

Notes: I would say this is an interesting, unique brew. One of those beers where it would be difficult (although not impossible) to compare this to another offering, truly unique mix of the big ingredients and its subdleties, like a slight wood flavor that hits more in the aftertaste, are nicely placed. I'm in....

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Photo of Zorro
4.05/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a good-looking clear red brew.

Smell is sweetly malty and mildly hoppy, also has the scent of toasted bread and a mild sourdough scent.

Taste is fairly neutral what hits you first is a rye flavor and a mild edge of citrus from the hops. Definite grassy flavor and a mild sourness like sourdough bread.

Mouthfeel is quite good.

A good chewy beer, it is a great unchallenging satisfying brew.

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Photo of Mitchster
4.3/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bomber. No ingredients listed on the bottle or website.

Pours out to a cloudy dark caramel, forming a creamy light beige head with very good retention and awesome meringue lacing. Swirling the bottles deposits large chunks of sediment and looks quite nasty. Carbonation is mild to moderate. Aroma of strawberries, chocolate malt, some sweetly citric hops, some cool sour Belgian Funk, a wisp of alcohol...nice. Mouthfeel is velvet smooth, wet, and has a nice finish of cigar humidor. Taste begins with a nice hint of strawberry sourness, tobacco, leather, roasted barley, mild herbal bitterness...nice lightly astringent cedary finish with peppery alcohol, which is thankfully brief.

I really dig this brew. It's not amazing, but unique. I would purchase this again. Easy to drink.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.46/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: Funky looking Bomber, which along with 2 other beers from Hoppy Brewing immediately grabbed my attention from behind the glass doors of the Coolers at Morry’s of Long Beach. The second of which is the Stony Face Red Ale. Plain brass colored crown cap, and just one main obverse rather Psychedelic looking label with an attractive Californian Tie-Dye coloring, as per the BA Database picture. The label on my bottle has a strength of ‘Alc. 5.6% By Vol’ listed in the bottom right hand corner of the label, but no freshness date.

Appearance: Dark red mahogany body, with some cherrywood hints. Tanned head that is voluminous when first poured creates a roaming frothy head that collapses easily leaving an uneven crusty rock-pool surface. Decent carbonation levels. Looks pretty good in a tall straight-sided Pint Glass.

Nose: Malty nose with a metallic hints at times, some caramel and a light hint of clean hops. Some milk chocolate and Camp coffee in the back end.

Taste: A light spicy hop feel sits precariously balanced in a vast swathe of roasted malts, milk chocolate and sweetness. Some fruit in the middle, with an astringent caramel, chocolately finish that is surprisingly bitter. Long lingering dry bitter finish on this one.

Mouthfeel: Thick in the mouth at times, yet it retains a rather nice feel in the mouth overall, the soft bitterness helps to smooth out the predominant malts I feel.

Drinkability: The first beer to be cracked after I got back from work today, I don’t usually work Saturdays, but things have been busy and rather stressful of late - so this one was soon consumed to enable the maximum chill state to be achieved in a minimum time. Not bad, not quite a 4, but not far off.

Overall: Rather a pseudo-Red Ale, it tastes more like a malty bitter Pale Ale to me. Even so, this is still an above average offering that neither excites, nor depresses. Overall, it really didn’t do much for me to be honest. Cool Label though.

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Photo of mzwolinski
3.89/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark amber in color, with a medium-tan colored head, thin in size. The aroma is rather nice -- caramel malt with hints of chocolage. Quite sweet in the mouth, moreso than I expected. This actually goes down a bit more like a heavy Scottish Ale than a Red. Big, chewy mouthfeel, a bit buttery and nutty in its maltiness, with decent bittering and a moderate toastiness to the finish. Decent enough, though it struck me as a bit heavy tasting -- perhaps this is just because I was expecting something a bit different from the style.

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Stony Face Red Ale from Hoppy Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.4 out of 5 with 57 ratings