India Pale Ale
e walks through the spitting rain, hand held to his forehead so the water doesn’t get into his eyes. Chill wind rips through his clothes, icing his very bones. He shrugs his bag into a more comfortable spot on his back and plods on in his mud spattered boots. It’s been a long day. Miles traveled. Obstacles overcome. He walks through the heavy doors and is greeted with a blast of radiating warmth, the clinking of silverware, low conversation. He takes a comfortable seat at the bar. “I’ll have a Stone Arch IPA,” he tells the bartender. The low light dispels the shadows as comrades sit together, laugh together, eat together, drink together. The weight of the world slips off his shoulders as he takes a sip of his beer, savoring the sharp bite of the hops and the flowery notes as the flavor lingers smoothly on his tongue. He takes another sip, feels his body thaw in the warmth. Yes, it’s been a long day. And tomorrow is another one . . . So he picked up a sixer for the journey.
he snow was unexpected. The cold, the wind, the sweat and the grime they can deal with, but the snow whips into their faces as they pedal their bikes along the trail. The slush makes their tires slip and slide, makes brakes unreliable. The two men stop alongside the building and lock up their bikes. They step inside and find immediate relief in the shelter of the pub, the dim lights and low conversation. Snow melts off of them and puddles in small pools on the hardwood floor. They thaw in the warm embrace of the place. “Tough riding today, son,” says the older of the two as they sit at the bar. The bartender places two Stone Arch Scottish Ales in front of them. They each take a sip and contemplate the smoky-sweet balance and hints of caramel as their knotted muscles relax. They drink in quiet camaraderie, sitting shoulder to shoulder at the bar, enjoying their beers. They nestle into their bar stools, appreciating the cozy respite of the bar as they prepare to mount up and ride through the driving snow once more.
Six Grain Ale
he journey starts with a beer in a small English pub. The journey ends with a quintessential English ale. A man sat down and ordered a beer, warming himself by the fire as he listened to the rain patter outside. He took a drink of the beer and thought, “I’d like to make something like this.” A man spent time, probably too much time, researching the perfect flavor combinations for a light, crisp, drinkable beer. A man experimented, using different ingredients and different brewing techniques, a dash of this and a dash of that. A man researched, speaking with beer lovers everywhere, each with their own ideas and opinions regarding how to make a perfect English ale. A man took his knowledge, condensed it, and continued experimenting, until he thought the recipe was perfect. A man created Stone Arch Six Grain Ale – crisp, with slight hop bitterness and bready undertones, that goes down as smoothly on the last sip as the first. A man created his perfect English ale. Enjoy.
he tall man strides through the chill of the day, moving quickly, breath fogging in front of him. He stops in front of the heavy doors, appears to consider for a moment, then nods to himself and walks into the pub. Low lights, the clink of glasses, and contented conversation greet him as he makes his way to a stool. He sits, then loosens his bow tie and removes his top hat. “I’ll have a Stone Arch Vanilla Stout,” he tells the bartender as he looks into the depths of his hat with consternation. “You gonna pull a rabbit out of that thing, or what?” asks the bartender, setting the beer in front of him. The man smiles a tired smile, then sips his beer, savoring the sweetness, the way vanilla fades to caramel and chocolate, the perk of coffee a subtle undertone throughout. The bartender turns away. The man slowly finishes his beer in quiet bliss. His problems drift away in the peaceful atmosphere of the place. He drinks the last of the brew, then sets down his glass and raps his knuckles once on the bar. The bartender turns around, but the man is gone, leaving only his empty glass and a small white rabbit, curled up and sleeping, on the bar top.