Ruination DIPA 2.0 is the new and improved offering from Stone Brewing that replaces the original Ruination that debuted in 2002 as the hop heavy original, an IPA, that for its time was any hop lover’s dream. But enough about the new beer right now, lets talk about the history of Stone Brewing, a leader in the craft beer industry.
Stone Brewing Company was founded in 1996 in San Marcos, Calif. As of 2014, it was one of the top 20 breweries by volume and one of the top 10 craft breweries in the United States.
Stone Brewing was the brainchild of Steve Wagner and Greg Koch. They met in 1989 while both were in the music industry. They quickly discovered that they both had a love for beer and that their tastes in beer and ideals in brewing were very similar. Over the next several years, the guys kept in touch and kept up their conversations about beer and brewing. Eventually, they realized that they had to open their own brewery. With Steve’s knowledge and experience in brewing and Greg’s business savvy, they managed to convince some private investors to drop some money on new stainless steel brewing vessels, and so it began. After nine months of searching, they found a location in San Marcos and moved in Feb. 1, 1996. On July 26, 1996, the ribbon was cut and the first beer (Stone Pale Ale) was tapped in the Brewery’s tasting room, and at their first account, Vince Marsaglia of Pizza Port Fame. Their follow-up beer on Nov. 1, 1997 was Arrogant Bastard Ale.
In December 2005, Stone moved into their current facility in Escondido, Calif. Their current brewing facility is 55,000-square-feet and has two 120 barrel brewing systems. Their packaging hall encompasses 60,000-square-feet.
The story of the original Stone Ruination starts with their flagship beer, Stone IPA, which was originally crafted to serve as Stone’s first anniversary beer in 1997. As the second, third, fourth and fifth anniversaries rolled by, they kept doubling the amount of hops. After the fifth anniversary came and passed, Stone decided that the incredibly hoppy IPA should splinter off into its own special beer, and Stone Ruination was born in 2002.
Stone Ruination was the first full-time brewed and bottled West Coast IPA on the planet, according to their website. As craft beer evolved over the years, many techniques on developing and maximizing hop flavors also progressed. As quoted from Stone, “For the second incarnation of our ground breaking India pale ale, we employed dry hopping and hop bursting to squeeze every last drop of piney, citrusy, tropical essence from the hops to give this beer its incredible character… Hopheads remain eager to deliver self-inflicted ruination upon their tastebuds”
The Stone Ruination 2.0 pours a deep golden straw color, with a creamy, fluffy head that dissipates to an average, slightly fizzy head with decent, spotty lacing along the side of the glass. Aroma is strong of citrus, with the dominant notes being pineapple, fresh squeezed oranges, grapefruit rind and a light touch of stone fruit, especially peaches.
The taste is quite spectacular with a plethora of orange juice, citrus rind and pineapple tidbits, that balances quite well, with the now emerging sweetness of sweet malts and hop bitterness. Mouthfeel of this beer is quite balanced and yields to the sweet malts and citrus rind quite well. As this beer warms, the bitterness of the hops and the citrus rind become dominant along with the sweet maltiness. A pleasant, harmonious blend that sets this beer above the other ones that are qualified to linger in this category.