Stone 16th Anniversary Imperial IPA

Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Even for American's, Greg Koch and the huge team at Stone Brewing Co. make seriously full on, uncompromising beers. It's what they're known for and something which they have valiantly held onto despite increased competition from around the US.

So with their 16th Anniversary beer you'd assume they'd go big, and on paper they did, producing a big American Double IPA at 10% abv and 85 IBU, but this Stone also has a lightness of touch that is rarely strived for and even less often achieved by a beer of this heft. There's just loads going on and not all of it is whacking you over the head as many Stone beers do, you actually have to look for it this time.

The aroma is big sweet hard candy barley wine, candy sugar and citrusy lemon balm (I later found out there is Lemon verbena in the brew).

The flavour is much cleaner and zestier than I expected. It's sweet, smooth and resinous with a fully bitter yet not punishing finish. Lots of pine resin, bitter orange, grapefruit jam, a touch of floral lychee and a peppery bitterness in the aftertaste.

I was expecting a sucker punch, as is the Stone mould, but this is much sneaker than that. You could easily drink a few halfs. I imagine as it warms that abv will make itself ever more known, but I can't leave the glass alone long enough to give it a chance and my half is gone in a matter of minutes. It also has to be said that serving this cold on keg is the only way to go, it'd be marmalade on cask and the bottles just don't seem to get over to us fast enough to be fresh.


A stunningly balanced beer, from Stone!?


Normal service resumed!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Thanks to my iPad being on the fritz I've not been able to blog at all for a week or so, but it looks to be back in working order now after a bit of faffing around (which I won't go into). Anyway, proper blog posts to come shortly on:

  • Thai shrimp fried rice and sticky pork
  • Stone's 16th anniversary beer
  • Art, Beer, Music (all in one place

Lambic, international beer bar - Port Louis, Mauritius

Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Owned and run by the same guys that set up the excellent Flying Dodo Brewing Company, Lambic is an international beer bar built inside a traditional Colonial style house, right in the centre of Mauritius' bustling capital city of Port Louis.

With a high perimeter wall (obviously an orginal feature of the building) and only a small chalkboard giving a hint as to what lays inside, you could easily miss Lambic. But step inside that exterior wall and you're rewarded for your bravery with the sight of a beautifully well maintained original Colonial house (Colette's great uncle remembers the rich family who used to live there).

The interior is wall to wall beer bottles, as this place is a beer shop as well as a bar. International beers bottles line the walls on shelves and four large fridges hold enough selection for any beer lover to sink their teeth into, and trust me, in Mauritius, you'll want your beer from the fridge.

I ordered the house draft beer (they also had a guest pump with London Pride on it, but what's the point of having that), the same delicious Marzen style Octoberfest beer I'd enjoyed over at the Dodo. It was as good as ever, biscuity, bittersweet, refreshing yet complex.

A stunning beer to drink in the sunshine, which was mercifully broken up by the large trees shading the outside beer garden.

Lambic is your best bet for good bottled beer in Mauritius, particularly for those staying in the capital as its easily in walking distance of the main waterside marina. If you're looking for a cracking draft selection then The Flying Dodo is your best port of call.

Either way, if your in Mauritius, you should really visit both.

Lambic - 4 Rue St Georges, Port Louise, Mauritius - Tel 212 6011 

Craft beer in Mauritius! Flying Dodo Brewing Company

Tuesday, October 09, 2012
I've written about Mauritian food before so I wont go into how good the gateaux piment, alouda, mine frit or boulette were (really very damn good), but what I will repeat is that if you get a chance to visit Mauritius then please get out of your bloody hotel and explore a little. The street food is delicious, unique, exciting, cheap and easy to find.

On the drinks side of things Mauritian Rum is fantastic (particularly the spiced or oak aged varieties from Green Island and New Grove) but up until recently I had resigned myself to the fact that it's a bit of a good beer desert. But all that has changed. Craft beer now has a foot hold in Mauritius, and it looks to be here to stay.

The Flying Dodo Brewing Company is a new venture by the owners of Port Louis' international beer bar "Lambic" (more on that in another post) located next to the newly built Mall of Mauritius (aka Bagatelle), near to the town of Moka. It's a great looking bar/restaurant with the feel of an American brewpub and a Modern Mauritian food menu to complement the on-site brewed beers.

I tried a few beers before Colette joined me for dinner (having that shopping centre next door is a stroke of genius). To my massive disappointment the 9% coffee infused imperial stout had run out, but there was still plenty more to go at, with the beers well chosen to suit the hot climate and all served by keg (but unfiltered and hazy as explained in the menu).

I started with a glass of Marzen which was a cracking little beer, very much to style and in fantastic condition. Lightly hoppy in the finish with a big cereal malt body and clean flavours throughout. A good start.

I then opted for a tasting tray of 3 beers.

The cascade blonde lager is very crisp and dry with a nice clean finish. Very drinkable and very refreshing, as a lager should be, but a big jump up from your average Mauritian lager thanks in no small part to the cascade dry hopping.

Next up was the weisse type 1, which is, as you would hope, dominated by banana and orange in the aroma. The flavour is peppery and orangey with a very subtle yeast tang. It's delicious yet not overly heavy and again very drinkable.

Finally the Oktoberfest beer, apparently brewed to the same recipe as the breweries in Munich use for the festival. This was the beer I was most looking forward to trying, and which turned out be my favourite.

This beer has a great biscuity flavour that is nicely balanced between bitter and sweet in the finish. Great balance and very clean. It had loads going on and wasn't easy drinking in the bland sense but moreish in the very best sense, I.e. this tastes so good I want to drink a lot of it.

It also went amazingly well with the Pistachio stuffed gateaux piment (a sort of deep fried lentil and chilli cake). With the food bringing out the nuttiness of the beer, which, in turn, cleansed the palate of the deeply savoury salty gateaux piment.

For a brewery as new as this, and in a climate like Mauritius has, three fault free, clean tasting beers is an accomplishment in itself, but these were also full of flavour, to style, and a pleasure to drink. As for the choice available (three pale beers) I think playing to the local market and climate is a good way to go when starting out.

That said, I'd love to see these guys really flex their brewing muscles and brew a big hoppy pale ale or IPA - oh and get that imperial stout back on!


We also ate a very, very good ribeye steak, some delicious octopus snack type things and the missus had a cracking glass of South African red. So the place has plenty more to offer than just beer.

First picture courtesy of