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Food & Drink

3 Writers Pick their Desert Island Beer, Cocktail and Wine

Photo: Jeremiah Teutsch, License: N/A

Jeremiah Teutsch

Might as well have an alcoholic companion


We’ve all run a dozen or more desert island scenarios through our minds. What book would we want to take with us? Which celebrity would we want to make out with? What snacks could we not live without? Some of us have even debated what beer we’d want to have if we were stranded in the middle of the deep, blue sea.

I remember having this exact conversation several years ago with a group of friends: Jimmie would take West Coast IPA from Green Flash, Tracy wanted to have Sierra Nevada’s Pale Ale with her and Mark would pack Bear Republic’s Hop Rod Rye. For me, on that day and today, it is Stone Brewing Co.’s Ruination IPA.

What started as Stone IPA (Stone’s first anniversary brew), quickly morphed into hoppier, maltier second, third and fourth anniversary renditions. When they brewed their fifth anniversary IPA they hit the proverbial jackpot. With fans clamoring for more, Stone made the decision to make this one available year round. With a slight recipe tweak, this malty hop bomb was released in 2002 as Ruination IPA.

Although not the first double IPA on the market (that honor goes to Russian River’s Blind Pig, Ruination was the third), Ruination did become the first bottled IPA available. Ruination owes its popularity and beauty to the great balance that it produces between the malt profile and the hops. Whereas many other double IPAs are almost too hop-forward, Ruination’s crystal malt melds perfectly with the combination of citrus and floral Chinook, Magnum and Centennial hops to create an unforgettable brew.

I remember the first day I tried Ruination. It was on my very first visit to Stone Brewing Co. in Escondido, Calif. After a tour of the brewery with my sister, we were treated to multiple samples of various beers they had available at the time. A couple of our options were the regular Ruination and a triple dry-hopped version of this liquid ambrosia. It was the latter that I tried first, and I can’t tell you what it was, but I was instantly in love.

In 2012, Ruination rebooted with a special 10th Anniversary edition that was literally double the hops and malt. It was so successful that Stone later released the variation as a seasonal with a new name: Ruin Ten. Ruination and Ruin Ten are both examples that Stone got this one right. Go on, people, pick some up. Packs of four are usually priced around $9-$11 and available at area Spec’s, Gabriel’s and select H-E-Bs. –Jeremy Banas


I have to admit, it’s a bit perplexing for me to have to choose a cocktail for a desert island in the middle of this miserably cold winter. I cannot fathom hot sand, palm trees blowing in the warm ocean breeze and subsisting on coconuts and roasted pigs (I assume the island has pigs). Maybe if I poured sand all over my kitchen floor, opened up the oven and cranked up the heat, had a light shining in my face, put one of those CDs (remember those?) of ocean sounds on, closed my eyes and used my imagination real hard, I might be able to trick myself. But I doubt it.

Drink 2013
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