Stony Face Red Ale | Hoppy Brewing Co.

57 Ratings
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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:
No notes at this time.

Added by Brent on 03-31-2003

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Ratings: 57 |  Reviews: 29
Photo of Calculat0r
4.75/5  rDev +37.7%

Photo of probabilityzero
4.5/5  rDev +30.4%

Photo of russpowell
4.38/5  rDev +27%
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 yesyouam
4.35/5  rDev +26.1%
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 Mitchster
4.3/5  rDev +24.6%
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 DogFood11
4.2/5  rDev +21.7%
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....

 1,038 characters

Photo of Philabeerphia
4.11/5  rDev +19.1%
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.

 1,773 characters

Photo of Zorro
4.05/5  rDev +17.4%
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.

 408 characters

Photo of rkuhnel
4.03/5  rDev +16.8%
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.

 556 characters

Photo of Jredner
4/5  rDev +15.9%
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.

 768 characters

Photo of Rocketman8911
4/5  rDev +15.9%

Photo of DrFunkenstein
4/5  rDev +15.9%

Photo of creez
4/5  rDev +15.9%

Photo of mzwolinski
3.89/5  rDev +12.8%
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.

 530 characters

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.8/5  rDev +10.1%
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.

 1,545 characters

Photo of supercolter
3.7/5  rDev +7.2%
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.

 257 characters

Photo of kiki3drt292
3.69/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of rkhaze
3.66/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark red/amber with a medium off white head. Leaves good lace. Sweet roasted malt and spicy hop aroma.
Tasted of rich grainy malt, caramel sweetness and a bit of chocolate. Nice balanced bitterness.
Rich, medium bodied mouthfeel with good carbonation.

 261 characters

Photo of joe_sf
3.58/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of tone77
3.56/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

 283 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.56/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

 2,479 characters

Photo of the_benskii
3.55/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of beerguy101
3.53/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reddish amber color. Large head. Aroma is sweet chocolate malts. A medium bodied American Pale Ale (red Ale) Malty and hoppy. Malts are slightly roasted, somewhat sweet and with a very definite chocolate flavor component. Hops are mildly grapefruity and kind of spicy. Very drinkable APA, but not as hoppy as most. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and crisp. Aftertaste is bitter

 391 characters

Photo of jdelenikos89
3.51/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of Jason
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%

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Stony Face Red Ale from Hoppy Brewing Co.
3.45 out of 5 based on 57 ratings.
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