Derek Warren

HOW TO PAIR BEER WITH EVERYTHING: Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale – Extra Hoppy by Stone Brewing Co.

HOW TO PAIR BEER WITH EVERYTHING: Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale – Extra Hoppy by Stone Brewing Co.
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Beer: Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale – Extra Hoppy

Brewer: Stone Brewing Co.

Style: American Barleywine

ABV: 11.00%

Description: Thankfully, it’s 2015, and that means Stone will be unveiling some more of their fantastic odd beer, odd year releases. The first released is Old Guardian Barley Wine, this time with the twist of being extra hoppy. Old Guardian pours a deep amber color with a creamy tan head that leaves behind little lacing on the glass. The aroma is very sweet with hints of candied fruit, vanilla, toffee, and caramel, with touches of pine and floral hops in the background. The taste follows the aroma closely with candied fruit hitting the palate first, followed by a decadently sweet malt bill before the bitter hops appear mid-palate and leave a semi-dry sweet finish.

The full mouthfeel and medium carbonation create a body that is extremely smooth and easy-drinking despite the high ABV. This is a phenomenal beer that deserves a lot of respect, as the ABV will most certainly knock you down fast if you do not take your time with it. It’s an absolute must-try beer for big beer fans and hops heads!

Ideal setting: The 11 percent ABV makes a very strong argument for this to be a beer that is best consumed at home, whether with a group of friends or simply sitting down for a relaxing night alone. Old Guardian Extra Hoppy will most certainly be a great beer to enjoy by the fire or one to drink in lieu of a fire to warm up on a cold night!

Ideal music: You will most certainly feel relaxed while drinking this incredible beer; however, something about it just seems to match perfectly with music that is a bit heavier, more chaotic. Old Guardian Extra Hoppy is a beer that demands respect, and loud abrasive music seems the most fitting, so grab some metal and strap in for this one!

Some great albums to enjoy with Old Guardian Extra Hoppy are:

Ideal movie: The heavy character and the rich complexities give this beer an edge above many other craft beers. While this beer should be examined deeply and may call for a film that questions the meaning of existence, it somehow cries out for something much different. This is a beer that is great with horror films, but not cheap slasher films. Instead, it matches wonderfully with some modern-day horror films that will soon be classics in the genre.

Some great films to watch while enjoying Old Guardian Extra Hoppy are:

Ideal book: A beer that reaches 11 percent ABV may not be the best pairing with a book. However, if this beer is cherished as it should be, then small sips will be in order, making this a perfect beer to enjoy while diving into a great book. While some may argue against drinking from a religious standpoint, some beers, such as this one, provide an eye-opening experience, so a book that dives into the deeper meaning of life or the one thereafter makes for a philosophical and enlightening evening.

Some great books to read with Old Guardian Extra Hoppy are:

The perfect experience: Old Guardian Extra Hoppy is best enjoyed while at home listening to some angst-ridden music and letting all of the built-up stress and anxiety of the world go. This is a beer that will most certainly help chase away all your cares in the most delicious way possible!

How to Pair Beer with Everything is a weekly column about stimulating all of the senses through beer. Look for it every Thursday on NEPA Scene.