08 February 2016
ESCONDIDO, CA (Feb. 8, 2016) – It’s that time of year when beer enthusiasts clamor for one of Stone Brewing’s highly anticipated annual releases. Since debuting in 1998, Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine has attracted fans who are passionate about the robust ale. Devotees and hopheads are in for a treat when they experience 2016 Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Dry-Hopped with Pekko Hops. Beginning this week, this year’s über-hopped-up iteration will start arriving in 22-ounce bottles and on draft to restaurants, bars and retailers in select markets where Stone beer is sold.
Brewmaster Mitch Steele and the brewing team wanted to showcase the attributes of Pekko hops, so copious amounts—keeping up with our love of hops, of course—were used to dry-hop this year’s edition of the recipe. Originally created by Stone President and co-founder Steve Wagner 18 years ago, the recipe changes only slightly from year to year, always featuring a brawny malt backbone that makes it suitable for aging.
“In the last year, we’ve been running the relatively new Pekko hop varietal through our hop evaluation program and we loved the intense stone fruit and tropical fruit attributes it provided to our classic barley wine style ale," said Steele. "Over the years, our fans have learned they can look forward to Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine often highlighting different varietals. Think of it as variations on a theme.”
The beer pours a deep amber color and carries strong citrus and tropical fruit aromas. Because of the hefty malt bill, its flavor is rich and malty, displaying hints of vanilla, caramel and brown sugar upfront. Nugget, Cascade, Chinook and Delta hops were added during the brewing process to balance out the prevalent barley character and contribute pineapple and peach notes in the finish.
To fully appreciate the generous addition of Pekko hops, 2016 Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine should be enjoyed fresh, as soon as fans please. Thanks to its strong malt backbone and elevated alcohol content, with time and proper cellaring temperatures (55°F or lower), the intense hop character will mellow out, allowing the beer to become smoother and more matured.
Name: 2016 Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Dry-Hopped with Pekko Hops
Stats: 11% ABV, 75 IBUs
Availability: Limited 22-ounce bottles and draft, beginning February 8
Hop Varieties: Cascade, Chinook, Delta, Nugget and Pekko
National Distribution: AK, AL, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, HI, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MT, NC, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OR, PA, SC, TN, TX, VA, VT, WA and Puerto Rico
International Distribution: Australia; Alberta and British Columbia, Canada; Germany; Hong Kong; Japan; Korea; Singapore; Sweden; Thailand; and United Kingdom
Find Beer: find.stonebrewing.com
provided by Stone Brewmaster Mitch Steele
Appearance: Pours a deep, rich amber with a tan head.
Aroma: Intense fruit, a cool blend of peach, pineapple and mango flavors, followed by hints of vanilla and a really nicely balanced caramel malt character.
Taste: Fruit flavors dominate the taste, with most of the tropical fruit coming from the dry hop, but a lot of the pineapple is derived from our proprietary yeast strain. It’s fruity, hoppy, malty and BIG. It finishes with a very strong hop presence.
Palate: Full bodied, moderately balanced sweetness, slight alcohol warmth with a bitter finish.
Overall: Pekko is a variety from the American Dwarf Hop Association that we ran through our hop evaluation program and really liked its attributes. Our brewing team enjoys the fruity flavors it provides in beers such as IPAs and now in this version of our annual barley wine. It has intense stone fruit and tropical fruit character, adding a great touch to our classic Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine recipe.