If you are like me, when you hear “green tea”  you think of something you are suppose to drink after a yoga class, or a Pilates session. It’s the kind of drink that is meant to increase your anti-oxidants, help you self-awareness, make you a better person. Not necessarily what I equate with beer.

Stone Baird Ishii Japanese Green bottle

So there was a bit of trepidation when I popped open this bomber, despite the bona fides of Stone Brewing,  and the unique collaboration with Baird Brewing of Japan, and Ishii Brewing of Guam. Yes, that is Guam Island, in Micronesia, located in the South Pacific, much closer to Australia than America.1

This collaboration was first brewed in 2011 and the three parties decided it was worth another try. But they decided to tweak it a bit – instead of using pacifica hops from New Zealand, they switched to helga hops from Australia, a burgeoning botanical scene that offered a fresh take for a brew that was definitely cutting edge, if not over the edge.

Stone Baird Ishii Japanese Green

When poured, this unique IPA yielded a wheat-colored head with fine lacing. The body of the beer had a faint green tint, but overall it glowed deep amber. There was something very familiar about the scent, something that took me back to my youth. It was the sweet aroma of apricots, reminiscent of the groves of ripening fruit I knew as a youngster in California. The first sip reaffirmed that distant memory, but there was a greater complexity. The taste of green tea floated on the back of the tongue, along with some bitterness, and a twinge of the high alcohol content, which in this version of the green tea collaboration tops 10 percent ABV.

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Stone/Baird/Ishii Japanese Green IPA (2015)
BREWERY: Stone Brewing Co.
LOCATION: San Diego, Calif.
STYLE: IPA
ABV: 10.1 percent
IBU: n/a
PRICE: $10.99
RELEASE DATE: Jan. 12, 2015
AVAILABLE IN: 750ml bottles
BEERS POURED: One
I was prepared to dislike this beer, to dismiss it as another high-concept that didn't pan out. Instead, I found it to be quite delicious, a successful beer that the three brewers who triangulate the Pacific ocean could be proud of reviving. I didn't have the chance to try the 2011 edition, but the brew that is available now is worth seeking out and trying—who knows, perhaps a few anti-oxidants in my beer isn't such a bad thing after all.
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