Not to be outdone in either IPAs or marketing, the new Stochasticity Project beers launched with a Grapefruit IPA as a new brand stealthily coming from Stone Brewing Co. The press release has no mention of Stone, but is full of hyperbolic Stone-speak (“a first-of-its-kind, broad-scale experiment exploring the limits of imagination and the concept of randomness through the craft of brewing.”) and a recognizable branding, as if the same designers wanted to take on The Matrix. It’s a curious way to launch a product, not dissimilar to Coors’ Blue Moon or Anheuser-Busch’s Shock Top, or, closer to home, the Craft Brew Alliance’s Omission. The perceived mystery around the launch could tragically obscure the quality of the first beer.
I actually tried the Stochasticity Project Grapefruit Slam IPA at the Great American Beer Festival last year when it was called Stone Ruination IPA with Grapefruit. Though no mention is made of its heritage, the Grapefruit Slam IPA is almost certainly the same beer, or it’s a huge coincidence that both beers are exactly 8.2% ABV and use the exact same hops: Magnum, Centennial, and Chinook. That’s not a bad thing, because this beer was pretty delicious.
I do see the appeal of launching a new beer or lineup of beers on their own merit, not burdened by preconceived notions of what it should be based on its parent company. But it makes me wonder what Stone is trying to get away from, especially since the launch of Stochasticity Project is ostensibly the same style as many of Stone’s other products. The level of hyperbole in the press release, though, may have reached new levels bombastic: “Stochasticity Project Grapefruit Slam IPA ushers in what, according to years of studies and supporting data, will be the next enthralling chapter in the history of American craft brewing.” Wow, the balls on these guys/gals! All they did was put grapefruit in their existing double IPA, for chrissakes.
Nevertheless, you can consider my interest piqued and I look forward to new releases from the brand and what they have in mind for it. Grapefruit Slam IPA should be arriving on store shelves nationwide this week.
Here is some more BS directly from the press release:
Wide-ranging information on Stochasticity Project Grapefruit Slam IPA and several beers which will be released in its wake can be found at www.stochasticity.com. Casual beer imbibers should be forewarned that this is not a forum for passive enthusiasts. What awaits at the Stochasticity Project’s official site is an exploration behind the science of beer, and cutting edge theories and ideas governing the direction of this ongoing program. A visit, no matter how brief, is certain to expand one’s knowledge and understanding of the brewing process, rendering it impossible to see beer the same way ever again. But that is one of the many, big-picture, big-reward ambitions of the Stochasticity Project. This ambitious undertaking starts today with the release of Grapefruit Slam IPA, descending on this nation like a lupulin-laced, banner-hoisting standard bearer for the new age of craft beer.
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About the Stochasticity Project: There is no happenstance or coincidence. Dumb luck is a fallacy and randomness a commonly accepted mistruth. Much of what seemingly falls into place and seems so natural is a result of Stochasticity, a concept embraced and exalted by this special and unpredictable series of beers, where exotic notions, ingredients and ideas coalesce at an interesting and often unexpected endpoint. To keep up with the latest developments in this unique and noble experiment, follow The Stochasticity Project on social media via Facebook (StochasticityProject), Twitter (@StchPrjct) and Instagram (@StochasticityProject).
Stochasticity Project Grapefruit Slam IPA Stats:
Original Gravity: 18°Plato/1.072 Specific Gravity
Terminal Gravity: 3°Plato/1.012 Specific Gravity
Alcohol: 8.2% v/v / 6.6% w/w
IBU: 95/ REALLY BITTER
Color: 9°L / 18 EBC
The essential oils and the monoterpenoids like geraniol and citronellol that are found in hops often provide aromatic components that are described in professional sensory panels as “citrusy” and are reminiscent of the flavors of grapefruit, lemon, or lime. For that reason, the potential synergy of specific hop varieties with citrus fruit is something that brewers who research unique ingredients, and who focus on combining the brewing art with brewing science have been experimenting with for a while. This particular beer combines the lemony and piney aspects of the Centennial hop, with the intensity provided by dry-grapefruit peel, added as a dry-hop along with the hops.
The brew is converted in the brewhouse using a temperature rest profile designed to accentuate dryness and fermentability. The resulting Real Degree of Fermentation is high, the attenuation limit is low, the residual dextrin content is low, and the dryness helps accentuate the hop flavors that emerge from the glass.
The end result is an intensely citrusy brew, aromatics at the first turn of Centennial hops, with subsequent evaluations resulting in an ever increasing grapefruit presence. The bitterness provided by the hops, well over 90 IBUs, or International Bitterness Units adds a large component of bitterness that blends exceptionally well with the light pithy character of the grapefruit. A remarkably refreshing beer.