Friday, March 8, 2013


I’m down with OCD. Yeah, you know me!

Stone Brewing Company Logo

Beer Reviewed: Cali-Belgique IPA
Style: Ale
Brewery: Stone Brewing Company

Stone Brewing Company Cali-Belgique IPA


The discovery of this beer is pretty uneventful, and certainly obvious if you’ve been following along with my recent posts. I grabbed an Oaked IPA from Stone Brewing Company, enjoyed it and wanted to try some others. I picked this one because of my recent and somewhat ongoing love affair with Belgian style ales.

Because the story doesn’t really go much farther with that, I thought a discussion about love affairs would be in order here. Unfortunately for our intrepid readers, I’m not talking about an illicit affair with a Kate Upton look-alike, but rather a love affair with inanimate objects. Ok, that sounds odd. I’m referring to obsessions, compulsions and commitments that gives you a smile when your head hits the pillow.

Kate Upton

Obviously, for months now I’ve been obsessing about my love for beer, but there isn’t a point in diving too deeply there, since that’s what the blog is about. I’m also obsessed with, and get great enjoyment out of cooking and eating new and interesting foods. Last month I spent the entire four weeks making Dashi and Dashi related noodle dishes. The lovely Asian market not near my house was helpful in feeding the love of cuisine and I appreciate them for that.

Another recent obsession is podcasts. I’ve been cycling through a number of them recently, and keep coming back to my favorite on, The Adam Carolla Show. I also listen to others on the Ace Broadcast Network. I’ve been listening every weekday, and weekends, and enjoying almost every episode. The upside is that because of my hour long commute, I have enough time to enjoy it, but the downside is I’ve been skipping the live radio that I’ve enjoyed. I think this may be an issue, but I’ll let it play out for a few more months and see what breaks.

I also really love, and have been having an affair for years, with what’s new professionally. Much of my career has been spent bringing about change in an IT environment, and I get tremendous satisfaction out of changing important parts of a business infrastructure, improving them, and sitting back to watch them grow. There are a lot of challenges with this, and while I get frustrated, it usually with people who have no vested interest with the vision I’m promoting and implementing.

I think my point of this diatribe it is encourage you to pursue your passions, your love affairs and your obsessions with a realization that this is what makes life worth living. Now on to the beer….

The Beer

Beer characteristics

Quantitative parameters of beer character

  1. The brewery provided IBU rating for this beer is a very high 79. As I’ve discussed previously, I think it’s based on flavors, and not just straight hoppy bitterness. According to The Hitchens Taste Scale, I would put this at about a +4, but it really isn’t that bitter. It has a strong flavor that skews the IBU, but works out well with The Hitchens Taste Scale.
  2. This Californian/Belgian IPA has high end of typical 6.9% alc/vol.
  3. The color is a golden honey with some cloudiness. Using SRM, I would put this at 6 on the Lovibond scale.

Qualitative parameters of beer character

  1. The aroma is very citrusy. I’d probably put it more in the neighborhood of burnt orange and grapefruit.
  2. The flavor is actually a little shocking. There is a strong fruity taste with a bit of hoppy goodness.
  3. The aftertaste is a lingering citrus that stays on the tongue for quite a while. It also moves around to the sides of the tongue.
  4. The mouthfeel is bright and effervescent.
  5. The carbonation was pretty steady in the glass as bubbles long after the pour, but the initially present head disappeared very quickly.
  6. The temperature should be kept very cold. I think it adds to the brightness, but it also dulls the alcohol flavor and I think this may be too boozey at a warmer temperature.


This beer reinforces my love of Belgian beers. I think this is a great offering from Stone and it shows their range. Give it a try if you want to move away from their more traditional bold IPAs. That said, if you do like the fruitiness, you should also consider Ommegang.

- Enthusiast

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