Derek Warren

HOW TO PAIR BEER WITH EVERYTHING: Points Unknown IPA by Stone Brewing Co.

HOW TO PAIR BEER WITH EVERYTHING: Points Unknown IPA by Stone Brewing Co.
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Beer: Points Unknown IPA

Brewers: Stone Brewing Co. with Ecliptic Brewing and Wicked Weed Brewing

Style: American Imperial/Double IPA

ABV: 9.50%

Collaboration: While it has been bottled and distributed by Stone Brewing Co., this was actually a collaboration beer between Ecliptic Brewing from Portland, Oregon; Wicked Weed Brewing from Asheville, North Carolina; and Stone Brewing Co. from Escondido, California. Points Unknown IPA is far more than a standard IPA – it’s a blend of two different beers. The first was a traditional Belgian-style tripel aged four months in oak barrels that originally housed red wine, then tequila. It was then blended at a one-fourth to three-fourths ratio with a freshly brewed West Coast double IPA. The result is a variety of diverse flavors unique to this beer.

Description: Points Unknown IPA pours a clear deep golden amber hue with a foamy off-white head that leaves behind a hefty lacing on the glass. The aroma of wonderful fruits is dominated by fresh peaches with a backing of sweet malts and a touch of oakiness. The taste follows the nose but really unleashes the fruit punch with peaches, oranges, and hints of blueberries balanced with bananas and, again, very slight hints of oak and some vanilla.

The full body and moderate carbonation give this beer a very creamy mouthfeel, but it still manages to have a dry finish. To say a beer is unique is not always a compliment, but in this case, it most definitely is, and not only is this beer unique, but it is absolutely delicious and highly recommended to all who can get their hands on it.

Ideal setting: Points Unknown is a phenomenal and complex IPA that has a lot of subtle nuances to enjoy. However, it is also a very lively and bright IPA that will invigorate. This combination makes it the perfect beer to enjoy while at your favorite craft beer bar with close friends.

Ideal music: The combination of strong hops and smooth tripel make a beer that is relaxing yet enlivening. It also makes a great pairing with music in the chillwave and shoegaze genres, as they offer deeper complexities yet are extremely relaxing.

Some great albums to enjoy with Points Unknown IPA are:

  • Bonobo – “Days to Come”
  • My Bloody Valentine – “Loveless”
  • Ride – “Nowhere”
  • Slowdive – “Souvlaki”
  • Youth Lagoon – “The Year of Hibernation”

Ideal movie: The bright hop characteristic paired with the wonderful fruit notes will instantly make the drinker feel like being outdoors on the open road with the wind blowing through their hair. Sure, that may sound a bit cheesy, but that feeling of freedom is most definitely present in a beer such as Points Unknown, and a film that captures that freedom is best suited for a beer of this caliber.

Some great movies to watch with Points Unknown IPA are:

  • “The Motorcycle Diaries”
  • “In July”
  • “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”
  • “Two-Lane Blacktop”
  • “Down by Law”

Ideal book: The off-kilter and not immediately imagined combination of an American double IPA and a barrel-aged Belgian tripel may sound strange to the uninitiated, but upon investigation becomes a natural marriage of two distinct flavors. This odd but amazing combination seems only fitting to be paired best with the musings of the incomparable Hunter S. Thompson.

Some great books from Hunter S. Thompson to read with Points Unknown IPA are:

  • “Hell’s Angels: The Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs”
  • “The Great Shark Hunt”
  • “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream”
  • “The Rum Diary”

The perfect experience: Settling in for a night at home curled up with a fantastic book and relaxing music on the stereo with this world-class beer by your side will create a remarkable evening. Just be sure to pace yourself, as the 9.5 percent ABV will catch up to you quickly and can make a short night out of your evening plans!

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.