Stone taps into West Coast surfer culture to redefine what it means to “get ripped”–the tasty way, that is.
Like the rest of Southern California’s coastal communities, San Diego has its fair share of surfer culture so it makes sense for Stone to pay homage to that, right? Coronado has the Surf Rider Summer Ale, Strand Brewing has Beach House Ale, The Dude’s Brewery Surfrider, and so on and so forth. So it’s totally natural for them to whip this one up
Let’s see if it has “A Ripping Swell of Juicy Hops” like the tagline implies.
HOT: Has a bright, punchy and refreshing body, thanks to the Cascade and Galaxy hops.
NOT: Its hop-forward nature might be a little too intense for those not wary. In other words, bitter.
Stone Ripper Pale Ale First Splash
It’s fruity, its resinous, its juicy. The Cascade and Galaxy hops give the Ripper a nice refreshing grapefruit, lemon, melon and peach nose. Pours golden (nearly amber), and has a frothy tan head that also lingers and streaks. The first sip has a resinous prominence that lingers on the roof of your mouth, but the fruit aromas make it tolerable.
The Ripper gives you a reason to go out and catch some surf–its definitely refreshing on a warm day, and its punchy. Its not too boozy but also not too sweet. It’s juicy from the sip and has some caramel notes, but drys out some in the finish.
For a pale ale, it’s hoppy as hell. Granted, I’m aware that San Diego Pale Ales tend to be a little hoppier than a regular American Pale Ales, but the tagline at the top of the can is no joke. It’s SO hop forward that it makes you wonder why Stone didn’t just designate it for what it is, an India Pale Ale. I know pale ales and IPAs are close cousins, but this is a different story altogether.
With all the tropical goodness this beer exudes, it finishes with a bite reminiscent of a tiger shark.
Seafood. All day with this one. Probably pairs better with crab or fish the best, but this goes well with pretty much any seafood.
For a more serious assessment, try some coconut/lime shrimp, or something like a clambake.
Is the Ripper Pale Ale a Year-Round Drinker?
It may be a year-round release, but I certainly can’t see myself drinking this all year. It’s got the perfect summertime beach house bash vibe (and to a lesser degree, spring) but let’s not get ahead of ourselves with this one.
Hoptastic Rating: 3.9/5.0