(Escondido, CA) - In 2010, the masterminds behind Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Victory Brewing Co., and Stone Brewing Co. came together to formulate a most glorious collaboration beer, taking some serious culinary (and musical?) inspiration with their inclusion of parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme in the boil. Now, after a two-year hiatus, this beer at long last makes a glorious (albeit limited-time) return.
Dogfish Head / Victory / Stone Saison du BUFF was born out of an ad hoc group formed way back in 2003. Sam Calagione (Dogfish Head), Bill Covaleski (Victory), and Greg Koch (Stone) got together to drum up some press for the little guys in the craft brewing world.
“We called it BUFF, an acronym for Brewers United for Freedom of Flavor,” explains Koch. “We wanted to protest the flavorless, mass-produced, fizzy yellow lagers that dominated the marketplace, and we thought if these three brewers from different parts of the country banded together, we could really get the media to notice the incredible revolution that was going on in the craft beer world.”
While not a lot of media coverage arose from the formation of their group, the idea stayed alive and well in each of the brewers’ minds, ultimately becoming the impetus for this collaboration beer that was first brewed in 2010. “The reaction we got to it was amazing,” says Koch. “So much so, that as soon as I knew Bill and Sam were coming back to San Diego for the Craft Brewers Conference this year, we immediately made plans to rebrew it!”
And rebrew it they did. All three breweries recreated their own ever-so-slightly tweaked versions of the recipe, with Stone’s being the final version to be released. Using herbs organically grown around the brewery and from nearby Stone Farms, this refreshing, herbaceous, and peppery meeting of the minds is here just in time for the hot summer, but it won’t last very long.
Dogfish Head / Victory / Stone Saison du BUFF
Stats: 7.7% abv, 52 IBUs
Availability: Limited 12oz bottles & draft, beginning June 25th
Malt bill: Pale Malt, Pilsner Malt, Wheat Malt, Flaked Rye
Hops bill: Centennial & Citra
Distribution: AZ, CA, CO, DE, FL, IL, MA, NC, NM, NY, OH, OR, PA, SC, TX, VA, VT, WA
Tasting notes, provided by Brewmaster Mitch Steele
Appearance: This beer pours a beautiful pale gold with a white head of foam.
Aroma: Pronounced herbal characters, a wonderful blend of sage, lemon thyme, rosemary. It has some very pleasant citrusy notes, perhaps from the lemon thyme and the Citra dry-hop. And the Belgian yeast strain contributes low level banana esters and a hint of clove.
Taste: The taste starts with the herbal blend in the forefront, and then is backed by a clean malt balance and a very nice citrus and tropical fruit-influenced finish. The finish has a substantial, but balanced hop bitterness and hop flavor. It is a very dry beer, and has a nice refreshing quality that makes it wonderful for this time of year.
Overall: This is the second time that Greg, Sam, and Bill have brewed this beer here at Stone Brewing Co., and this time we were able to get all the herbs from Stone Farms! How cool is it to brew with ingredients from your own farm? Very, very cool.
Suggested pairings, provided by “Dr.” Bill Sysak
Appetizers: Crab cakes, grilled shrimp, curried cashews, hummus
Main Course: Pad Thai, roasted chicken, grilled salmon, Caesar salad, tikka masala
Dessert: Lemon bars, apple turnover, key lime pie
Cheeses: Bloomy-rind goat’s milk cheeses, such as Bucharondin or Humboldt Fog
Cigars: AVO 787 Piramides, Macanudo Gold Label Tudor, Arturo Fuente 858 Candela, Montecristo Montecristo #2
ABOUT STONE BREWING CO.
Stone Brewing Co. was founded in 1996 by Steve Wagner and Greg Koch in North County San Diego, CA. It is the 11th largest craft brewery in the United States and has been named “All-Time Top Brewery on Planet Earth” by BeerAdvocate magazine – TWICE! A recently announced $50M+ expansion plan (that includes a hotel among other lofty ventures) is underway, as are developments to become the first American craft brewery to open a brewhouse in Europe. Visit stonebrewing.com for more information.