Stone Brewing is know for IPAs. In fact, five of Stone’s six year-round releases are of the IPA style. Delicious IPA is one of those year-round releases, and maybe the least well-known.
Delicious IPA was born from several chance circumstances lining up in most fortunate way. The origin story almost makes you believe in some kind of craft beer fate.
“Greg (Koch) requested a gluten-reduced beer for the local market,” said Steve Gonzales senior manager of small batch brewing and innovation at Stone Brewing, “we were already messing with this one [IPA] with El Dorado hops and decided to combine the two ideas.”
The result is a citrusy IPA unlike anything else on the market. Delicious IPA uses a combination of El Dorado and Lemondrop hops, both of which have distinct lemony flavors. Lemondrop hops provide a true lemon flavor and dry hopping with 100% El Dorado hops gives the beer a huge aroma full of candy-like mango and pear.
Delicious IPA has an unforgivingly bitter finish that many have come to expect from Stone Brewing. In fact, you could call the beer Stone IPA’s more citrusy cousin and you would have a pretty clear idea of how this beer goes down. It’s a classic West Coast IPA through and through.
The surprising hop combo, gluten-reduced brewing method and 7% alcohol IPA was more than popular in the Southern California market.
“[Delicious IPA] went over so well when we released it, that it became national,” said Gonzales.
Other markets swept the lemony brew off the shelves just like California. This led to Delicious IPA becoming one of six year-round nationally distributed beers from the San Diego based brewery.
Doublicious is “Delicious IPA with double of everything.””
Gonzales feels it’s a mix of the eye-catching packaging, the price point and the unique flavor the brough Delicious IPA to its nation-wide success. It also doesn’t hurt that it’s gluten-reduced aspect is part of the mix.
“I’m really surprised no one has done a gluten-reduced IPA on a large scale like us. I don’t think they can compete with Delicious – that’s just my opinion,” said Gonzalez with a laugh.
The gluten-reduced characteristic is just a nice feature of a great beer instead of a selling point. Gonzalez said sales leads with the unique flavor and drinkability of the IPA.
For the many fans of Delicious IPA there is exciting news. In March 2017, Stone brewed “Doublicious Double IPA” for a special event in the local San Diego market.
According to Gonzales, Doublicious is “Delicious IPA with double of everything.”
He compared the relationship of Delicious and Doublicious to Stone’s popular Ruination IPA and the stronger version of that beer RuinTen IPA. When I asked if more markets would see Doublicious, Gonzales was unsure. He said the double version of the lemony IPA may be back next year, but it also may not.
For now, fans of a strikingly clear, decidedly hoppy IPA can find it in 47 states under the label Stone Delicious IPA.