By Nick Walby
Stone Brewing Co. brewers have been doing some experimentation, lately (yes, much more than they already do). This time they have undertaken the challenge of shipping a Double IPA that is, in fact, brewed specifically for enjoyment as soon as possible.
They didn’t mess around with the name and just decided to call this particular brew, “Enjoy by IPA.” The unfortunate part of this story is that the beer has only been distributed to three areas across the nation: southern California (where Stone is located), Chicago, IL, and the state of New Jersey. These spots were chosen specifically to see if this experiment would actually
work by shipping to segmented parts of the country (effectively across the country), and to see if people actually followed the directions and made sure they drank up in time before the IPA began to lose its fresh aroma.
After the bottling day, for most styles of beer (especially IPAs), it is only a downhill slope from what the brewer had intended the beer to taste like (excluding Russian Imperial Stouts and similar styles, or bottle-conditioned brews that can be aged for years). The hops, especially, begin to lose their aroma and flavor and get more and more faint. According to Stone’s blog post, normal shelf life for a beer to keep the intended flavor is 90 days after the bottling date, if kept under good storage conditions (cool and dark). The Enjoy By IPA was brewed with only freshness in mind so the shelf life is much shorter, but the shipping time to retail stores is much quicker from the brewery after bottling day. The result is to give an intensely fresh taste and aroma that should be consumed within a month.
Judging by the website, the beer has been a huge success. So much so that Stone brewed batches for Colorado and Ohio that will be received around October 8th in those two states, to be consumed before November 9th.
Now, if you’re feeling a bit left out, you’re not alone. You’re also not a helpless bystander in this little experiment, either. If you go to the “Enjoy by IPA” website, you can now vote by ZIP code where Stone should distribute next. Now, I know you’ve no doubt been slammed by political ads with the presidential election looming just a couple months away, but I have a feeling that if you’re reading this article, you’re probably a pretty big beer fan.
That being said, can’t we all just get out and vote for a GREAT cause?