Tea Beer? Where Have You Been All My Life?
by JT Herself
I realize that life moves at a rapid pace, but how in the hell did I miss Tea Beer? I love tea and I love beer! When combined it's like Batman and Robin. Or Sonny and Cher. Or Britney and K-Fed! Maybe I should rethink this list...
Stone Brewery, which happens to be located in my childhood hometown of San Diego (Escondido, really), produces some of the finest micro-brews on the planet. I can attest! This is the same company that has a Stone Cherry Chocolate Stout and the Arrogant Bastard line. It should come as no surprise then that they are pushing the envelope and bringing hops and leaves together! And for a great cause too!
Toshi Ishii—former Stone Brewing intern cum brewer ('98-'01) and now owner of Ishii Brewing Co. in Guam—got in touch with Stone Brewmaster Mitch Steele shortly after the Japanese earthquake and tsunami disaster with a proposal to make a beer that could help with recovery efforts. Bryan Baird of Baird Brewing Company in Numazu, Japan was brought on board and ideas were soon flying."We wanted the beer to have a Japanese spirit, so we decided early on that we would be using green tea in the recipe," explains Baird. "We decided to brew an IPA (India Pale Ale) to accentuate the tea’s herbal character," adds Steele. "But this won't be the typical, citrusy West Coast IPA flavor. We're using Sorachi Ace, a variety of hops originally developed in Japan, as well as Pacifica, Crystal, Warrior, and Aramis, a brand new cultivar from the Alsace region of France." All proceeds (minimum $50,000) will be donated to the Japanese Red Cross Society. "We hope that Japan and its people will bounce back from the tsunami tragedy stronger than ever!" exclaims Ishii. "A collaboration beer like this is a great way to demonstrate to Japan that they’re not alone," Baird asserts. "They have friends, supporters, and empathizers all around the world." Now, per the Stone Brewery website, this brew was never available in Nevada. Huge bummer! And, I have searched far and wide online to find it and have yet to locate it. However, when searching, I did come across a number of other options and I am fired up to try them this weekend. What better way to celebrate Labor Day than with a Tea Beer? So, the question of the day is...Have you tried a Tea Beer? Brand? Thoughts?