There I was at the growler shop, you know the one, they sell bottled beer too? Anyway, I picked up a bomber of Stochasticity Project Grapefruit Slam IPA, a beer I had heard about but didn’t completely understand. You see, Stochastity Project is a sham! A fraud! A scam! OK, it’s not really those things, it’s actually Stone founders Greg Koch and Steve Wagner having some fun with us. The beer is sold as “brewed and bottled by Koochenvagner’s Brewing Company, and if that name isn’t enough of a clue, the familiar Stone-style painted label bottle and San Diego location should tell you this is a Stone venture.
Anyway, I didn’t know it was a Stone beer until I bought it and put the pieces together. I did know it was a grapefruit beer and, you know, I really love grapefruit. Now, many American hop varieties are known to add grapefruit flavors to beer, but when you add real grapefruit, well, you’re cooking with gas as my grandfather used to say.
Stochasticity Project Grapefruit Slam IPA does just that. At least, it uses grapefruit peel in the mix, and the results are quite delicious. Stone explains on the bottle:
India pale ales harness the inherent flavor characteristics of hops to bring forward familiar flavors of pine, resin, spice, and citrus. In some cases, those botanicals are so potent, they exactly mirror specific edibles. Such is the case with Centennial hops, which hail from the Great Northwest and come across on the palate like a mouthful of citrus fruit. That sensation is amplified with this, the first beer introduced via the Stochasticity Project–a double IPA brewed with Centennial, Chinook and Magnum hops as well as an immense dosing of fresh grapefruit peel. The result is over-the-top bittersweet grapefruit intensity that is at once refreshing and bracing in its citrusy bitterness.
Apparently this is not to be the only release in the Stochasticity Project series, although the mystique of Koochenvagner is now errr, out of the bottle. Varna Necropolois, a Belgian Golden Strong aged in bourbon barrels is the second beer in the line.
Ingredients from the bottle:
Malt Varieties: North American Pale, Light Crystal
Hop Varieties: Centennial, Chinook & Magnum, dry-hopped with Centennial
Specialty Ingredients: Grapefruit Peel
Stochasticity Project Grapefruit Slam IPA is really a double/imperial IPA at 8.2% by volume. At the very least, it straddled that line. The beer packs an impressive 95 IBUs, and I paid $6.99 for the bomber bottle, not a bad price as beers go these days.
Stochasticity Project Grapefruit Slam IPA pours to a bright orange color with a medium sized head formation and a soft malty, grassy hop nose. Taking a sip, the beer has a fair amount of malt up front, slightly chewy with caramel even before the hops hit. I do get the citrusy grapefruitness from those hops (Centennials especially) as the beer progresses, and I get the grapefruit rind additions (and flavors of bitter grapefruit seeds as well, though they are not added of course, just rinds). A big long dry bitterness rounds everything out perfectly. Yes indeed, this is very good beer folks, a grapefruit lovers treat for sure. As it warms, the bitter grapefruit rind flavors only intensify.
But….it’s not quite as grapefruity as Widmer Shaddock IPA, probably my favorite IPA with grapefruit added. I think that’s because that was a smaller beer at 6.2% alcohol by volume. Still, Stochasticity Project Grapefruit Slam IPA is a wonderful beer, and absolutely one that I would buy again.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.