Stoneface APA (Stone Face Brewing Company)

Style: American Pale Ale

5.6% ABV

From: Newington, NH

Brewer’s Notes: [Not available… They don’t even have a beer section on their website? I know there are lots of important beer making things you guys are doing, but you should throw that up there so people can read lovely descriptions of your beer]

The beer pours a pale orange with yellow and green hints. A nice head of soapy white bubbles forms above the beer, with a healthy retention, and leaves an excellent smattered wall of splotchy lacing as it fades. On the nose, the beer smells of dank resin, grapefruit, mango, subtle herbal garlic, orange rind, and a spicy earthiness that adds an excellent twist to the end of the sniff. The beer has a properly pungent and hoppy nose that has me pleased. On the tongue, the beer tastes briefly sweet, with a quick drying twist towards bitterness, and a middle boost of what seems like isopropyl alcohol…? The finish is bitter, with a mild citric acidity, a touch of bready sweetness, and even a hint of earthiness. As I drink more of it, the isopropyl alcohol note in the middle dies off, though I still sense a ghost of it in the finish. In flavor, the beer begins as soft bread malts which transitions into beautiful grapefruit pith, and resinous pine. Slight mango comes on towards the close of the sip, along with a nice breadiness, which gives the beer a touch of balance that is more traditional in the style (though these newfangled APA’s have really been ignoring that…which I kind of like). The finish is of more pith, lemon zest, and pine, with an aftertaste of citric resin and an earthy breadiness that I really enjoy, and actually pulls the beer more towards that classic APA feel while retaining that awesome hop character. In the mouth, the beer is lighter in body, with a smooth, crisp mouthfeel, mild and fluffy carbonation, and a very high drinkability. When the beer leaves, the mouth is left feeling dry, yet slightly gushing in the cheeks. The roof of the mouth feels sticky and resinous, which is what I like from my hoppy beers. Overall, this is a supremely easy drinking, gorgeously hoppy example of restraint in brewing. The isopropyl alcohol flavor was a bit off-putting at the beginning, but I did not taste it by the end, and I have had this beer before on tap and not experienced that flavor. That’s really my only complaint with this easy sipper, though. New Hampshire does not have enough easy sipping beers with stellar flavor, but Stoneface is quickly filling in that gap with this beer. This brewery has been exciting me lately, and I can’t wait to see what else they concoct (I hear a RIS is in the making…).

 

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