Stone 15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA

By Randy Clemens

Escondido, CA | August 15, 2011 — Stone Brewing Co. has released its newest beer, commemorating a decade and a half of brewing excellence with the Stone 15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA.

The name—besides being a mild-yet-necessary chore for dutiful writers, dedicated retailers and enthusiastic publicans to write out in its entirety—is Stone Brewing President & co-founder Steve Wagner’s chuckling jab at those looking to lay territorial claim to the Black IPA style.

“There’s this small faction of people that seems to think it can call Black IPAs ‘Cascadian Dark Ales,’ historical accuracy be damned,” Wagner explains. “So, we thought we’d lightheartedly lay claim to our own style, dubbing it ‘Escondidian,’ both as an homage to our hometown of Escondido, CA and as a gentle ribbing to those Black IPA fans worshipping a false Cascadian idol.

And while this point of contention may only be of import to 0.01% of craft beer fans, what is important is how the beer looks, smells, and ultimately tastes. “Stone 15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA pours thick and opaque, with a deep brown head of foam,” boasts Brewmaster Mitch Steele. “Intense herbal and piney hops are followed by roasted malt notes redolent of coffee, anise, and cocoa, all coming together to form one of the darkest, hoppiest and most colossal beers we’ve ever brewed.”

“To those confused few still sipping a Black IPA by any other name, I hear your argument… that Black India Pale Ale is a bit oxymoronic on the surface,” adds Wagner. “But as an English Major, I can firmly stand behind the term Black IPA. At its core, language is all about one thing: conveying meaning. And there’s no doubt what Black IPA means: an IPA that’s black. Elementary, my dear Watson!”

Stone 15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA

  • Availability: 22oz bottles, on draft, and a limited number of 3L bottles.
  • Vital stats: 10.8% abv, 100 IBUs
  • Malt bill: Pale Malt, Cara-Bohemian, Carafa III Special, and Chocolate Malt
  • Hops bill: Columbus (bittering), Citra (flavor/aroma). Dry-hopped with Nelson Sauvin and Pacific Jade.

The Stone Blog: Stone 15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA


Stone Brewing Co. was founded in 1996 by Steve Wagner and Greg Koch in North County San Diego, CA. It is the 14th largest craft brewery in the United States and has been named “All-Time Top Brewery on Planet Earth” by BeerAdvocate magazine – TWICE! A recently announced $26.6M expansion plan (that includes a hotel among other lofty ventures) is underway, as are developments to become the first American craft brewery to open a brewhouse in Europe. Visit for more information.

Suggested pairings, provided by “Dr.” Bill Sysak
  • Appetizer/Main course: BBQ ribs, raw oysters, seafood cocktail, nachos, French onion soup, chili, porterhouse steak, lamb/wild game, merguez sausage, Portobello burgers
  • Desserts: Tiramisu, plum tart, strong dark chocolate, Fig Newtons
  • Cheeses: Aged Gouda or English Cheddar, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Maytag Blue, Gorgonzola Dolce
  • Cigars: Oliva Serie V Maduro Especial, Juan Lopez Selección No. 2, CAO LX2 Toro, 601 Blue Box-Pressed Maduro Toro
  • Contact Info

    Company: Stone Brewing Co.
    Contact: Randy Clemens