Ready for a challenge? This one isn’t going to be easy, we’ll let ya know that up front. I guess I should ask, how’s your patience?
Patience is going to be key with this week’s “Release of the Week” (Wait…we didn’t tell you this was going to be a thing? Oh, it’s gonna be a thing). You’re probably familiar with Stone’s “Enjoy By” series, which is an IPA that’s meant to be consumed as soon as you can get your hands on it. The date on those bottles is a directive, telling you to drink it before that date or they can’t be held responsible for the taste as the hops will fade away.
Bottles of “Enjoy After” also have a date, just with a much different (read: more difficult) set of directions. Stone doesn’t even want you thinking about opening this beer prior to that date. That’s because they use a wild yeast strain called Brettanomyces that needs time to do it’s thing. Over time the yeast will continue doing what yeast does, consume sugars and change the beer. Stone says it best:
This IPA is spiked at bottling with Brettanomyces, a wild yeast that, over time, brings about charmingly unpredictable complexities of spice, funk, acidity and more. The operative words in our beer-cellaring thesis are “over time.” For those of you who are impatient or like to experiment, the earliest we recommend sampling this beer is 07.04.15. The beer won’t be fully carbonated until that date. Ideally, you’ll want to cellar the beer up to—or beyond—the Enjoy After date to help it reach its full evolutionary potential. At that point, some facets of the Brett characteristics will have mellowed, while others will have become more profound; it all matures into a fascinating and delicious culmination. Individual results will vary…and that’s both the beauty and the intent behind this beer.
Stone also includes the tips for keeping the beer in ideal conditions (pictured below) so really all you need is a place to stash it and time (most likely, you’ll forget about it until you clean house in a couple years). Are you up to the challenge? Look for this one in NC shops this week.