The Stone Brewing Co vs Moeder Lambic mini beer festival was held over the weekend on the 16th to the 18th of September 2011, in Brussels, Belgium. During this event, there were 30 Stone beers on tap, added to the 30 Belgian beers already available. This made the Moeder Lambic Fontainas, the bar with the most specialty crafted beers on tap in Europe. The list of beers were extensive, ranging from the normal offerings of Stone, in the US, to the more hard-to-find beers which were quite a treat! Accompanying his beers, Greg Koch, CEO of Stone Brewing Co (San Diego, California) gave two speeches at the event. The first one, on Friday, I was not prepared for and did not get to record, but by the second, I was ready and you can see the video below.
I was introduced to Stone in 2007. A colleague of mine, who was a beer snob/aficionado had a thing for Stone. On our way home from a job in San Diego, we made a detour to the new Stone Brewery. By this time I had already had a bunch of Stone beers and was versed in the Arrogant Bastard, Ruination, and several other of their beers. This was the first brewery that I visited. I was stunned at how beautiful it was. We ate there and were again dazzled by the great food that was of course accompanied with a good beer. I took a nice Growler of beer home and decided I would go back, given the chance. Living in Long Beach at the time, we drank Stone, available almost everywhere in the area. A few years later, I moved to Brussels and since moving have not had another Stone beer until this event.
Being a good nine months into my official beer education, I jumped into the deep end of the beer offerings of the weekend. Hoping to try most of the beers, but sticking more rare ones rather than the more accessible. Not quite a beer heavy weight, I enjoyed a good third of the beers and tasted a handful of others my friends where drinking. The gamut was large, from Double Dry Hopped IPA’s to Black Ales and spicy ones too. I got into some aged beers, some collaboration beers, and a “vertical tasting.” One of my favorites from the ales was the Stone 10.10.10 Vertical Epic Ale that I tried directly after the 09.09.09 Vertical Epic Ale Aged in Red Wine Barrels. I found of the 10.10.10 more to my liking. Later when I checked into the beer rating sites, I noticed my favorites where some of the lowest rated beers on the lists of rb and ba. The highly rated ones were of course good, but did not really stand out as much to me. My take on it is I guess I am more accustomed to the Belgian beers right now than those of the USA. This would affirm something I heard on a podcast a few months ago when someone said that each person has a different experience of the flavors of beer and that’s what makes it great.
The drinking was, as it should be, social and I made a few new friends, enjoyed the company of older friends and of course great beer flowed through it all. I had a chance to speak to Greg Koch for a little and he mentioned that Stone was looking at opening a European Stone Brewery. I hope that becomes a reality and he can spread more good beer around the world! Brussels was one stop on his European trip, going on to Beer Temple in the Netherlands and then Brewdog in the UK. “Come back soon Greg.” Many from Belgium and abroad were waiting some time for the Stone/Moeder event to happen. I would like to thank the wonderful people at Moeder Lambic and Stone Brewing Co for making this happen. What a great festival!
all photography and videography ©Andreas Lunde Photography