Ah, Stone Brewing, a mecca for some of the tastiest brews this side of, well, anywhere. In preparation for our latest collaboration, Stone IPA Soap, we got the chance to take a closer look at the operations behind Stone Brewery in Escondido, California. Join your two favorite brewer guides (get it?), James and Mike, and let’s take a deep dive into how Stone makes their iconic West Coast-style IPA.
Stone Brewing Facts
First up, how about a few fun facts about this legendary brewery?
- Stone was Founded in 1996 in San Diego, CA.
- Stone brews over 25 different year-round, limited edition, and special release beers. Among them is their iconic West Coast-style IPA, a beer that inspired both an interest in IPAs nationwide and one that inspired our soap collaboration.
- Stone’s gargoyle mascot is known the world over and represents their brand philosophy: “helping us ward off cheap ingredients, pasteurization and chemical additives”.
- Speaking of worldwide, Stone is now the ninth-largest craft brewer in the U.S. and their beers can be found in all 50 states and 40+ countries around the globe.
Behind The Beer
While quality beer may be just a few simple ingredients, making it is no simple process. Crafting those bold flavor profiles and complex characteristics takes dedication, attention to detail, patience, and the finest ingredients available.
Step 1: Brewing
First, the beer’s basic ingredients (grains and hot water) are mixed to extract the fermentable sugar. The sugary liquid strained off from the spent grains (some of which we use in our Stone IPA soap) is called called the “wort”. The wort is then boiled and hops are added. Each beer’s recipe contains a different variety of ingredients based on the beer style and desired flavors.
Step 2: Fermentation
Now the real magic begins. The wort is combined with the yeast in Stone’s massive 12,000 gallon fermenters (that’s 120,000 beers in one fermenter!) and begins to ferment into beer as the yeast converts sugars into alcohol.
Step 3: Dry Hopping
After fermentation most IPAs undergo what’s known as “dry hopping”, where additional hops are added to the beer for flavor and aroma. The term dry hopping comes from the fact that the hops are placed dry into the fermented beer, and while they do get wet in the process, they are not boiled in the wort.
Step 4: Finishing and Packaging
After the fermentation process is complete the beer is chilled, filtered, and packaged into kegs, bottles and cans. It’s then shipped out for all of us to enjoy.
Making high-quality beer the right way isn’t fast or easy, but it does give you the best possible results when it’s made with care. As Stone mentions, “Each one of these beers is an expression of what we stand for as a company and value as brewers—honesty, integrity and craftsmanship in our ingredients and brewing techniques.” At Dr. Squatch, the dedication to producing high-quality natural products with the best ingredients available is at the core of our business too, and that’s why our collaboration with Stone makes so much sense. Now who’s ready to drink some beer?