Having recovered from SF Beer Week's ceaseless parade of Triple IPAs and Pliny the Younger lines that made dive bars look like natural disaster humanitarian aid stations, we can get back to enjoying more simple pleasures. This week's featured beer reminds us that the enjoyment of hops can be straightforward and sessionable.
See also: Our Guide To Beer Week
While Stone is known for their over-the-top love of hops and resinous, bitter brews, Go To IPA takes a different approach. While the beer still smacks of all the piney, fruity hop aromas and bitter bite of a typical Stone IPA, it does so against the backdrop of a light-bodied, 4.5 percent ABV session ale. To achieve that result, the brewery employs a method called hop bursting, whereby almost all of the bitterness in the brew comes from "irrational amounts" of hops added at the end of the boil or in the whirlpool. Traditionally, bittering hops are employed towards the beginning of the boil process.
The result is a whopping dose of hop aromatics redolent with citrus, peach, and summer melons. There's a firm bitterness throughout, but not so much to overwhelm the palate. The body is light, and the beer finishes very dry leaving you wanting another glass. Which, given the low alcohol content doesn't need to be an unhealthy idea.
Stone Go To IPA is trickling onto shelves throughout the state, Look for it in 6-packs at your favorite craft bottle shops.