Rock music and beer have a long association. Who out there doesn’t have a memory of playing “count the mullet” while standing in a long line of sweaty concert goers all for the pathetic payoff of a plastic cup of watered-down macrobrew? That scenario aside, there are plenty of beer and rock associations that have a happy ending, and Kyle Hollingsworth/Keri Kelli/Stone Collective Distortion IPA is the latest.
The most recent in Stone’s series of collaboration brews, Collective Distortion is a joint venture between musicians from opposite sides of the rock spectrum who also happen to be avid homebrewers. After brewing a successful small-batch saison with Stone Brewmaster Mitch Steele, keyboardist Kyle Hollingsworth (The String Cheese Incident) called in hard rock guitarist Keri Kelli (Alice Cooper) and Stone Brewmaster Mitch Steele to help create a large-scale beer. The fruit of their labor is a big imperial IPA with coriander, elderberry and a new Australian hop varietal called Vic Secret.
Collective Distortion pours a rich gold with an earthy aroma with faint tropical notes. A distinct coriander flavor gives way to the signature Stone hop profile with plenty of citrus and fruit flavors. A hefty malt profile provides enough sweetness to balance out the hoppy bitterness.
There’s a lot going on in this beer, but it’s perfectly representative of the brewing personnel. The bitter hop punch represents the frantic edge of a hard rock guitarist. In contrast, the earthy elderberry notes evoke the down to earth, folksy spirit of the hippie jam band keyboardist. When you bring it all together, Collective Distortion is a beer as unique as a hard rock jam band.
Brewery: Stone Brewing with Kyle Hollingsworth and Keri Kelli?
City: Escondido, CA
Style: Imperial IPA?
Availability: Limited 22-oz. bombers and draft