Editorial Dept.'s picture

The Partner Ships Series: Stone Brewing Co – Heavy Seas Beer – 97 Rating

BC: Who came up with this beer’s recipe?
Peter Wiens, Stone's East Coast Director of Brewing Operations and I went back and forth a bit on this collaboration.  We quickly agreed that an Imperial Brown Ale would be an interesting take on both breweries' strengths while being a somewhat adventurous challenge.

BC: What’s your favorite aspect of this beer (flavor, aroma, etc.)?
Oh, the balance on this beer is unreal.  There are so many flavors and aromas dancing around with each other, especially with the introduction of the blackstrap molasses.  The molasses' subtle flavor influence enhanced the beer better than Peter or I had imagined it would.  Also, molasses has a high calcium content.  Adding it to the boil it affected the fermentation in a manner that softened the perceived bitterness (90 IBU's).

BC: Where does this beer’s name come from?
Partnerships seemed like the perfect moniker for the series of beers we've been fortunate enough to produce with breweries whom we respect.  I know I learn something new each time we do one of these and love the camaraderie it fosters.

BC: Is this your “desert island beer?”
Perhaps.  It's not exactly a great sunny-day beer, but it is dry and balanced enough, 9% ABV aside, to consume more than one pint.

BC: Can you describe this beer in 10 words or less?
A harmonious symphony of disparate beer ingredients.

BC: Do you know a story – or have a personal story – that revolves around this beer?
When designing the beer, we decided we wanted a twist of some sort.  We thought a non-traditional fermentable would be interesting.  Peter and I had both used some molasses in the (distant) past in beers.  When I discovered some of the finest blackstrap molasses being produced in Virginia, not far from Stone's new Richmond operations, it seemed like a congruous fit on several levels.  We were fortunate also to have some extra time in the fermenter prior to packaging.  So, after several tastings, we concluded that a second round of dry-hopping with Citra would give the beer an added dimension.  

BC: What's a good food pairing for this beer?
A salty cheese like Stilton or something well aged like Prima Donna.  Grilled meats and fowl.