Does anyone else understand why people give half a shit about what Hollywood actors, writers, music stars, or sports figures have to say about important issues that affect us every day? I mean, really, Charlie Sheen to name just one bozo? WTF! These people live in a fantasy world and have zero connection with reality. When Paris Hilton or Britney Spears speak, I at least expect to see a nipple slip or crotch shot. When Sharon Stone opens her mouth, I am not really listening to what she's saying--I'm closing my eyes to try to remember that one famous scene. When these guys are elected to represent us, then, maybe, we listen. Like Fred Grandy, or Ronald Reagan or Arnold Schwarzeneggar or, God help everyone, Al Franken.
I just opened a big 22 of Stone Cali-België IPA brewed by Stone Brewing Company in Escondido, California. In usual fashion, Stone writes a book on the back of its bottle, and they wrote so much on this one, I'd be surprised if they offer this in a 12 ounce bottle. We are supposed to consider this the identical twin of Stone IPA, which I love, but this guy was raised in a Belgian culture. They went to a lot of trouble to basically say that this one has Belgian yeast which is the influence that makes the difference. One other cool thing they did is create two labels, one out of respect for the French-speaking Belgians (Cali-Belgique), the other for the Dutch-speaking Belgians (Cali-België). As you can see, I got the latter. The "Cali" part, by the way, means it's a California-style IPA.
Lovely citrus, grapefruit and hoppy aroma. The flavors start out with a big bitter grapefruit burst, astringent, good bite and a bit spicy. Lemony and fruity, this beer makes you think it's sweet, but it clearly is not. Hard to explain, but it is deliciously balanced. Orange peel, black pepper, and piney, too. After those initial flavors dissipate a little bit, that yeast they were bragging about does make itself known. Crisp and refreshing, with medium carbonation, nice and bubbly. The 6.9% alcohol never made an appearance, very well blended in with all those other great flavors. I really enjoyed this beer. Maybe next time I'll drink the French-name version, but regardless which version is sold in your area, definitely check this one out!
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