We’ve all become pretty jaded to green tea’s infiltration into everything, even those rare things we don’t put in our mouths. There’s green tea soda, ice cream, soap, gum, candles, diet pills, and linen spray crowding the shelves these days as the ingredient continues to chart a path for fellow trendy, reported anti-oxidants like kombucha and goji berries to follow. Now green tea has made its way into your IPA, courtesy of Stone Brewing Co. in a collaboration with fellow brewers in Guam and Japan.
The San Diego-based company tells us via press release that their brew-master, Mitch Steele, joined forces with a former intern-cum- brewer of Stone’s named Toshi Ishii, who now owns Ishii Brewing Co. in Guam, along with Bryan Baird of Baird Brewing Company in Japan, in order to create a beer that would benefit the Japanese Red Cross Society following the country’s recent earthquake and tsunami disasters.
Seeking to endow the beer with a Japanese character, the trio based Baird/Ishii/Stone Japanese Green Tea IPA around the flavors of the tea, employing Sencha whole leaf green tea from Japan, new bitter-leaning Aramis hops from Alsace in the dry-hopping stage, and embracing the late infusion of Japan-originated Soraci Ace hops, among other hop varietals, to create a 9.2% abv, 70 IBU India pale ale with a green tea flavor noticeably forward. Steele promises that it “won’t be the typical, citrusy West Coast IPA flavor,” but something with a spicier, grassier, and more herbal profile.
2,966 cases of the Green Tea IPA have been produced for sale and all proceeds are headed for the Japanese Red Cross Society, with a goal of raising a minimum of $50,000. Like a lot of Stone specials, it may be as tricky to find than ingredients from the Noma cookbook, but the company assures us it’s out there on shelves now across the U.S. Stone is not the first company to put green tea into a beer. We see that Wisconsin’s BlueCreek Brewing carries a green tea IPA of their own and that Great Lakes Brewing in Ohio has done it. However, given its track-record, Stone just might be the first to make green tea popular with hop-heads nationwide.