For Immediate Release
Greg Koch / Stone Brewing Co.
San Marcos, San Diego County, CA --- Following a tradition that began February 2nd, 2002, each year when the day, month, and year are all the same number something special happens for fans of Stone Brewing: they celebrate the new release of a very special beer. "What started as a unique concept, has now turned into a beer enthusiast's own holiday," says Stone Brewing CEO Greg Koch.
Stone Brewing will release the fourth in a series of eleven different beers on May 5th, the Stone 05.05.05. Vertical Epic Ale. Each of the eleven ales are released one year, one month and one day apart. In other words, this year's version happens to come out on May 5th, 2005, next year's edition will be released June 6th, 2006, followed by July 7th, 2007, all the way to December 12th, 2012.
The first edition in the series, the Stone 02.02.02 Vertical Epic Ale, is long sold out. "That beer is impossibly hard to find. According to the Wall Street Journal, it's one of the rarest craft beers in America," said Koch.
To aid these beer enthusiasts, Stone Brewing lists the areas of the country that are slated to get an allocation of the Stone 05.05.05 Vertical Epic Ale. For some of the 18 states, in which their beers are distributed, the company's website goes even further to provide a list of retailers.
The grand premise of the series is that each edition is to be brewed in a different style from the previous year, and since the beers are bottle conditioned (naturally carbonated in the bottle) they will mature when cellared, providing the beer enthusiast with a Stone Vertical Epic Ale tasting to look forward to sometime after 12.12.12 when the last edition is released.
"Think Belgian-style gone mad" begins Stone Head Brewer Lee Chase, "I wanted to highlight a couple of things with this brew, with particular attention being paid to the future flavor development of the beer," continues Chase. "You know, keeping it fairly simple, but making it relatively high-alcohol and full of flavor."
Additionally, as with all of the Stone Vertical Epic Ales, Stone Brewing is posting detailed tasting notes on their website. Since the idea of the Stone Vertical Epic Ale series is to age them for years to come, the brewery thought that beer enthusiasts would like to know how the beer is progressing. To that end, Stone conducts "tasting panels" at the approximate six-month mark for each of the editions of the beers.
"Hey, we're brilliant here at Stone," said Koch modestly, "but we don't claim to be infallible! We acknowledge that one of the Epic series might peak in perfection before 12.12.12 rolls around. The only way that someone would know is if we are keeping them aware of the various beers' progress on an on-going basis."
As with previous editions of the Stone Vertical Epic Ale series, Stone is again posting a detailed homebrewing recipe complete with hints, anecdotes and words of wisdom courtesy of recipe creator Lee Chase. Additionally, Stone is challenging homebrewers to brew their favorite Stone Vertical Epic Ale and submit it the brewery for a competitive judging. The recipes and competition guidelines can be found here.
Founded in 1996, the Stone Brewing Co. is currently open for tours and tastings every Friday from 3-6pm and Saturday from 11-3pm, at [OLD ADDRESS REMOVED].