Thanks to Dave over at The Drunken Polack, I recently found out about an awesome craft beer place on the West coast called South Bay Drugs and Liquor (and before you call asking for Mauwie Wauwie, they’re just a pharmacy, don’t get any ideas). They have tons of incredible beers that I’m unable to get around the Twin Cities, including Stone Brewing, located in Escondido, CA. And luckily for me, they ship. I placed an order for a handful of great beers, many of which will be reviewed over the coming months. But one beer in particular caught my eye…Stone Vertical Epic Ale 08.08.08, their annual special release. This year’s version is a Belgian Strong Golden Ale, and from reviews I’ve read so far it’s pretty solid. But the taste isn’t what got me thinking…it’s the fact that the brewers post their recipe online for all to use.

I’ve done these types of clone experiments before to varying degrees of success (Fat Tire, Corona (seriously), and Chimay Red), but never with an explicit recipe from the brewer guiding me along the way. So, in the coming weeks, I’m going to attempt to make my version of Stone 08.08.08, then compare it to the real deal. And I’ll be doing it blind, without the luxury of having smelled or tasted the ale. The moment I crack open my first StoneClone homebrewed beer is the same moment I’ll be opening up the Stone 08.08.08. The Pepsi Challenge, with alcohol. Should be fun. Only hurdle might be getting the right ingredients, as they call for Simcoe (tough to find right now). I’ll document the brew day, should be happening over the next couple weeks.