|Greg Koch of Stone @ The Republic|
I am an unabashed fan boy of Stone Brewing. When I saw that Greg Koch was visiting Minnesota, I had to stop in at the Republic for the night. Turned out that I was woefully ill prepared for the evening. I saw someone else have Greg sign the recent Stone book The Craft of Stone Brewing Co.--same one I bought in December when I visited the brewery--but didn't think to bring it along.
As it turns out, I shook hands with Greg and briefly chatted with him in a group. He was around all night talking with other patrons, but I became distracted talking to friends and the good conversation helped balance the drafts of special Stone beers that came along with Greg.
Started with the Double Dry Hopped Sublimely Self Righteous: dark black with a clinging brown head, clean taste with a heavy earthy hop in the nose from the dry hop. The draft was very smooth and the hops lingered off the back. I'm in love with the regular version of this beer and the dry hopped version lived up to expectations. Not sure of the hops for the dry hopping, but seemed reminiscent of the double dry hopped growler I purchased last December when at Stone.
Black beer that's brown around the edges. Full, rocky tan head with a clear roast porter in the nose. Chipotle pepper is very apparent in the nose--which scares me a little. On to the taste: smooth as silk porter and....there's the pepper bite that's clean and lingers on the tongue, but is pleasant. Spice blends extremely well and works in the beer like the high hops of most Stone beers. Drinking the pint, the pepper lingers analogous to a good double IPA: present always and pleasant.
Ended the evening with a 2012 Stone Old Guardian Barleywine. I buy at least six bottles of each year of this favorite barleywine, but don't often get it on tap. Nice treat to end a fun evening.
Because Town Hall is across the street, I easily get distracted and don't often get to the Republic. However, I will definitely come around more often if they continue to host cool events.