Stone Brewing Co.

Jacob McKean
Social Media Coordinator
760-471-4999 x 1555

Mitch Steele
Head Brewer
760-471-4999 x1403

Stone 09.09.09 Vertical Epic Ale – A Belgian Porter with spices

Beginning with the first release in 02.02.02, our Stone Vertical Epic Ale series is an eleven-year endeavor with each new edition released one year, one month, and one day after the previous years, culminating in a truly Epic Vertical tasting on 12.12.12.
The eighth installment in our Belgian-inspired Vertical Epic Ale series, Stone 09.09.09 Vertical Epic Ale, is a Belgian porter brewed with dark candi sugar, chocolate malt, tangerine peel, vanilla beans, and aged on French oak.
The last few Stone Vertical Epic Ales have been golden in color, but this year’s ale is a dark Belgian Porter, and instead of using American hops like we did last year, we’re using two German hop varieties: Perle and Magnum.
Each Stone Vertical Epic Ale is brewed with unique ingredients that set it apart from previous editions. For example, we used coriander, alligator pepper, and dark roasted wheat in Stone 03.03.03 Vertical Epic Ale, and we used kaffir lime leaf and un-malted wheat in Stone 04.04.04 Vertical Epic Ale. Also, in Stone 07.07.07 Vertical Epic Ale, we included ginger, cardamom, grapefruit peel, orange peel, and a blend of Glacier and Crystal hops.

PDFs, Logos & Photos, Quotes, Mitch Steele's Tasting Notes, Links


Web Page

Details on all previous Stone Vertical Epic Ales, including homebrew recipes.


An in-depth story about the beer and the brewing process


Mitch Steele’s tasting notes


Stone Brewing Co. Logo

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Bottle Photo
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Front Label
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Back Label
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Specialty Glass Photo
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The Stone Brew Crew
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Greg Koch (CEO & Co-Founder):There's intentionally no direct unifying theme between the Stone Vertical Epic Ales. Stone 09.09.09 Vertical Epic Ale is openly and admittedly a different beer. It doesn't relate to the other Stone Vertical Epic Ales, other than it’s Belgian-themed and it's in the series. I found the flavor complex in a fairly unique way, but I also invite people to figure out the flavor profile for themselves.
Mitch Steele (Head Brewer): During the brewing process we added dark candi sugar, vanilla bean, and tangerine peel to complement the flavors of the porter. The vanilla bean addition is fascinating, as it actually enhances the chocolate character from the roasted malts, and the candi sugar adds a nice hint of molasses flavor to the finish. The tangerine actually turned out to be quite subtle on the finish, and combines nicely with the chocolate malt character. We aged this beer on French oak chips, which contributes a smooth and subtle woody undertone and even more vanilla flavors.


Abv: 8.6%
IBUs: 50
Starting Gravity:
20 degrees plato
-Perle (German)
-Magnum (German)

Grain Bill:
-Pale Malt
-Crystal Malt
-Belgian Aromatic Malt
-Chocolate Malt
-Black Malt
-De-Husked Black Malt

Additional Ingredients:
-Tangerine Peel
-Vanilla Bean
-Dark Candi Sugar


"[Stone] has no interest in going mainstream if that means watering down the product. Koch focuses on producing quality beers without the corn syrup or preservatives found elsewhere on the shelf."
- Inc. Magazine
"[Stone] prides itself on powerfully bitter brews that would send Bud Light drinkers running for the hills...Stone's growth is especially remarkable considering it does not advertise its products."
- Los Angeles Times
"Stone Brewing Company... [is] one of my favorite American brewers...In addition to outstanding India pale makes Arrogant Bastard, an aggressively hopped ale with perhaps the funniest bottle notes around."
- Eric Asimov, New York Times
"Stone Brewing Company from San Diego is arguably the most notorious player on America's exhilarating craft brewing scene..."
- The Publican, (United Kingdom)
"In the beer world...Stone's creations are famous. Although the company has never advertised, its fame has spread. Its beers have been ranked among the best in the country, and even the world."
- San Diego Union-Tribune
"[Stone's] award-winning Arrogant Bastard Ale is famous for its pronounced levels of bitterness, alcohol, fruit notes and floral aromas."
- USA Today
"Not for the faint of heart, [Stone's] bold brews have a strong and fast-growing fan base."
- Bon Appetit
"[Stone] is one of the best-known West Coast brewers with one of the most devoted cult followings this side of The Grateful Dead."
- Beverage World


This beer pours deep brown with a thick, frothy, creamy head of tan foam.
Many layers, starting off with chocolate and coffee from the chocolate malt, and vanilla notes from both the vanilla bean and French oak. A balanced oak flavor comes through in the mix. As the beer warms, the influence of the Belgian yeast is more evident, as tropical fruit and spice flavors become more pronounced.
Begins with chocolate roast malt character and vanilla. The vanilla accentuates the chocolate nicely. Layered in are banana esters, and hints of clove, and then the finish is a bit stronger on the oak with hints of molasses and citrus from the tangerine peel.
Medium body, very complex, and finishes very smooth. The 8.6% alcohol is not overly evident, and the flavors blend together nicely.
A delicious, complex beer. It should age nicely over the next three years, and the flavors should continue to meld together wonderfully.

Stone Vertical Epic Ale Website:
Blog – Stone 09.09.09 Vertical Epic Ale Revealed!:
Blog – Stone 09.09.09 Vertical Epic Ale: Mitch's Tasting Notes :
Flickr set - First Bottling Run:
Stone Media Art:
Stone Facts & Figures: