From the Beer Writer: Thanks in large part to commercials evoking the easy life and unplugging by way of chucking wireless communication devices into the ocean, long-neck bottles with lime wedges turtle-heading from their mouths are iconic. There was a time when those clear-glass-clad (hola, Pepé Le Pew) ads spoke to me. It was very early in my adult-beverage enjoyment when my parents would celebrate Cinco de Mayo, Fourth of July and most Sundays with a case of Corona (Light, no less) and a few green citrus fruits. Those tart macro creations became synonymous with relaxation for me, as they have for so many. Often we entrenched in the craft subculture forget that lazy-day refreshment is, for many, exactly what drinking beer is all about. Recently, Stone Brewing received a refresher course (pun intended) when one of its brewers produced a small batch of a lime- and salt-infused Mexican lager at its Liberty Station brewpub and sales were downright loco. Pleased with an unprecedented level of success at that venue, Team Stone gave that beer, Stone Buenaveza Salt & Lime Lager, a whirl on its full-scale system in Escondido and released it exclusively in California. The citrus presents itself more in the aroma than on the palate. That flavor is actually rather restrained, making this beer different from Bud Light Lime (thank God) or a lime-versus-skunk Corona. Here, the fruit is an accent. And if you’re salt-averse, fear not. That component is undetectable, providing balance if anything. Light, but even and a vastly superior alternative to the mega-beer that no doubt inspired it, this is a nice departure for the hop heads at Stone; a rare gateway offering that may well help Stone ingratiate itself to a new generation of craft drinkers.
From the Brewer: “I realize that some people view Stone Brewing as a brewery that makes bold, aggressive, in -your-face hoppy beers, but if you’ve ever visited Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens – Liberty Station, you may have come across a few delights that are outside the hoppy realm that Stone Brewing is known for. One particular beer we brewed earlier this year was a special creation called Libertad Loma Lager, which was so awesome that we scaled it into full production up at our main production facility in Escondido. It now goes by Stone Buenaveza Salt & Lime Lager. It comes from the brilliant recipe creation of Stone brewer Ben Sheehan. While spending some time working at Liberty Station, we gave Ben the opportunity to create and brew a recipe of his own. He did not hesitate, or reflect much on what he wanted to brew. He knew he wanted a Mexican-style lager and intended to save everyone the trouble of adding salt or lime to make the beer more drinkable. I told him, “Why don’t we just brew a kick-ass Mexican-style lager and just save everyone the trouble anyway?’ However, Ben was extremely confident in his decision, so we let him roll with it. Ben crafted his original mash recipe to use a mix of Pilsner, Vienna, six-row and flaked corn. Since he was brewing the beer at Liberty Station, we made sure to include Liberty hops in the kettle along with some sea salt. The lime was added post-fermentation and we immediately knew we had created something really special. So special, that when we put the beer on draft in the bistro, it outsold every beer on draft and broke a record for most kegs sold in a week.”—Kris Ketcham, Senior Manager of Brewing & Innovation – Liberty Station, Stone Brewing