Beer Review: Stone Brewing’s ‘Go To’ IPA

Stone Go To Session IPA
Stone’s ‘Go To’ Session IPA is a hoppy, highly drinkable beer. — image via Stone Brewing Company

Though the Fourth has passed, there’s still a damn good “go to” beer that would be perfect for any summer celebration: Go To IPA, brewed by the Stone Brewing Company of Escondido, Calif.

With an ABV of 4.5 percent, Go To IPA is considered a session IPA. What is a “session beer”? sums it up saying that a session can be “any beer that contains no higher than 5 percent ABV, featuring a balance between malt and hop characters (ingredients) and, typically, a clean finish—a combination of which creates a beer with high drinkability.” The idea is that multiple of these low-alcohol, milder beers can be consumed “within a reasonable time period or session, without overwhelming the senses or reaching inappropriate levels of intoxication.”

Though Go To IPA is definitely not balanced, it is highly drinkable and multiple pints can be consumed without “overwhelming the senses.”

Serving type: 12-ounce bottle.

Enjoy By: 9/11/14 is written on the bottle’s shoulder.

Appearance: Pour into a pint glass. The color is clean, clear medium gold. One finger width of eggshell-colored head leaves an even skim.

Aromas: A burst of citrus greets the nose when popping the cap. Up close, scents of pine, grapefruit, tangerine, mango, lemon zest and pineapple make the mouth water. Pale malts and a little caramel are also noticeable, though their efforts to balance the citrus and fruit fall short.

Taste: The first sip is citrusy and bitter, featuring astringent lemon that works the taste buds throughout the pint. Tropical fruit is not as prominent as pine, lemon, orange and tangerine, but a little mango does emerge as the pint progresses. It is quite a hop bomb for a session beer. The astringent lemon leaves the mouth coated in a lasting bitterness after each sip.

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