Stone Fruit IPA
Brewed By Ground Breaker Brewing
Hey beer lovers! I finally got my hands on a can of the Stone Fruit IPA brewed by Ground Breaker Brewing in Portland Oregon. This beer is a seasonal release packaged in a 16 ounce can, and I would assume it’s typically sold in singles and 4-packs.
The can has an old world look and a matte finish. The front proudly states its creation in a dedicated gluten free facility, which I love. It lets customers know that they can rest easy knowing this beer is 100% safe for them, whether they are casually gluten free or the strictest of Celiacs.
Ground Breaker’s Stone Fruit IPA is brewed on a sorghum base, as well as their signature adjuncts, organic lentils and roasted chestnuts. But the really special ingredients in this IPA are the peaches, apricots, and cherries! I can’t wait to see what aromas and flavors they impart.
I was lucky enough to get to enjoy this beer with my beer judge/homebrewer friend Randy and his wife, so throughout the review I may share a few of their reactions as well. The sped up beer pour is available below. If you’d like to see the full real-time one (with sound), become a pint-size Patron over on the Best Gluten Free Beers Patreon.
The Taste Test
Stone Fruit IPA
The first thing we noticed upon pouring the Stone Fruit IPA was its beautiful color. It has a deep amber reddish-orange hue that poured with a modest, thirst-inducing head that bubbled away at a casual pace.
The aroma was wonderful, filled with fruit and gentle woody-spice notes. The fruit that stepped most into the spotlight was easily the apricot. We suspected that the hop varieties chosen for this beer (which happen to be Meridian and Santiam) support its stone fruit qualities.
The first taste of the Stone Fruit IPA revealed a very fruit-forward, medium bodied IPA that seemed to strike a beautiful balance between its hop and fruit character. There’s inviting notes of spice peppered throughout the tasting experience, likely originating from the hops. The pepper-like spice quality complimented the stone fruit flavors wonderfully.
This IPA was incredibly graceful in its fruit presentation. Not too overpowering or sweet, but strong enough to hold their ground and not be consumed by the hops. Randy’s wife pointed out that while IPAs are typically not her preference (as the bittering hops tend to dominate the tasting experience too much for her) this one was a welcome exception.
She found the hops soft and enjoyable. I would say that the bitterness was gentle–yet consistent from start to finish. It never builds, it just flows through the palate. Randy found the bitterness level perfect. This isn’t a low IBU beer, its marketed at 58 IBU. However, the blend of the earth-qualities from the lentils with the brighter characteristics that came from the fruit, created a truly delicious orchestra of flavors that were in no way overpowered by bitterness.
There was also a significant spice quality to the tasting experience, much like the aroma had. The Stone Fruit IPA’s carbonation level sits on the low end of the spectrum. A slight increase in carbonation might lead to a bit more brightness in the full presentation, but its current levels allowed a smooth and velvety texture to influence the body of the beer.
Despite the beer having a 6.9% ABV, Randy wasn’t picking up much alcohol in the taste. In other words, this beer hides its ABV well. Overall, this Stone Fruit IPA won over all three of us. This is a fantastic beer. Now I need to go get more of it before this summer seasonal disappears from store shelves!