Over the last year or so, its been one excellent beer event after another in Boise. Special kegs. Tap takeovers. Firestone Walker and Heretic beers finally showing up in town. Idaho beer week.
Well, get ready for the coolest beer event of all. On Sept. 14 and 15 (thats a Friday and Saturday for the calender challenged) the legendary and trend-setting Stone Brewing Co. is taking over the taps at Bittercreek Alehouse and Bier:Thirty in Bown Crossing.
There will also be a book signing by Stone CEO and co-founder Greg Koch (autographing copies of the Craft of Stone Brewing book, a combination history of Stone/homebrew/cookbook) and beer tasting at the Boise Co-op on the afternoon of Sept. 15.
Taking into account all three events, there will be about 50 different Stone beers to sample! A super secret truck full of rare brews will soon be on its way to Boise from SoCal. Its a Stoneapalooza!
On the evening of Sep. 14, Bittercreek will have 36 different Stone beers to sample. The event starts at 7 p.m.
Ive put out a complete list of the brews on Idahostatesman.com, but highlights include classic vintages of Old Guardian Barleywine (2004-2006), the Stone 15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA with espresso beans, Stone IPA infused with blueberries and boysenberries, and a double dry-hopped version of the Sublimely Self Righteous Ale.
Youll also get to taste collaboration brews like the Stone/Troegs Cherry Chocolate Stout, the Baird/Ishii/Stone Green Tea IPA (Ive had a version of this beer before, and it is delicious), and the Dogfish Head/Victory/Stone Sasion du Buff.
In addition to drinking these amazing brews, the folks at Bittercreek will get to meet Koch, who is somewhat of a star in the craft brewing world, as he wields his bully pulpit all over the Internet and in person to extol the virtues of craft beer.
The Bier:Thirty event starts at 6 p.m. Sept. 15. There will be 20 brews to sample at Chris Oates excellent Bown taphouse, including some Stone Cali-Belgique IPA aged in red wine barrels, Stone Smoked Porter with vanilla beans, and the biggest coup of all the Enjoy by 9.21.12 IPA. This beer, a devastatingly fresh double IPA bottled on Aug. 17, is meant to be consumed by Sept. 21 to make sure imbibers get the best and brightest fresh hop flavor. This beer is from a very small batch and incredibly hard to get outside of the San Diego area.
My oldest brother Chris had some during the Stone 16th Birthday celebration last month and described it in one word tremendous. Koch will also make an appearance before the night is done.
Both Bittercreek and Bier:Thirty are already selling advance tickets for the Stone tap takeover. For $20, you get a ticket for 12 3-ounce pours. You can also buy additional beers if you still want to drink, but only if they have enough left over. The supply of the rare beers is limited.
The Co-op event will be held on the lot across 9th Street. There will be tents set up and beer samples poured. A cool twist for the Co-op is they are getting some rare bottles to sell, like the Stone/Fatheads/Bear Republic Texas Brown Ale, Stone Smoked Porter with Chipotle peppers, and vintage bottles of the 2007 Double Bastard ale.
We can all thank Bittercreek owner Dave Krick for setting this Stoneapalooza up and current Stone regional rep Erin Kemplin for recognizing what a vibrant craft beer scene Boise has.
Four or five years ago, they did a tap takeover in New York City, and I immediately thought, How do I get that in Boise? Krick said. I kept asking, but it always seems like we are last on the list for stuff like that. Its hard for Boise to compete with the (East or West) coasts.
I had kind of given up on it, but when Erin came to town, she took us seriously, Krick said. Once we got it, it didnt feel right to just keep it at Bittercreek. It was too big not to share. I thought of Chris (Oates). He does such a great job at Bier:Thirty and Stone is what got him into craft beer. That just felt right.
Krick also said it made sense to get the Co-op involved, as it is Boises most tenured craft beer store.
This is going to be a super-cool event. Stone is just one of the most consistently innovative craft brewing operations around. People can argue all day about who is first, but for me, Stone is pretty much responsible for so many current trends. The Arrogant Bastard was one of the first widely circulated big beers. They pretty much pushed imperial and black IPA styles to prominence. Their marketing is first rate. Right now, Id say Stone is one of about 10 second-generation craft brewers who are flagbearers for the exploding craft beer market. Having them do such a cool event in Boise feels like a tribute to our growing presence.