Saturday, December 5, 2009

Stone Cali-Belgique

Beer: Cali-Belgique IPA
Brewer: Stone Brewing Co., Escondido, CA (USA)
Bottle: 1 Pt. 6 fl. oz. Bomber
ABV: 6.9%
IBU: 77
Served in: Tulip glass
Place of Purchase: Beverages and More, Sherman Oaks, CA
Price: $5.49

We briefly considered shelving this review for a few more weeks so as not to have too many reviews of the same style of beer, but the Cali-Belgique IPA is a Stone Brewing Co. Limited Release for the year, and we'd hate for beer lovers to miss out on this one!

The Cali-Belgique IPA is a fresh approach to combining different IPA styles, American - or, Californian, to be more specific - and Belgian. Its unique flavor comes from the combination of Californian hops and Belgian yeast.

In an effort to pay tribute to both the French and Dutch influences in Belgium, Stone has labeled 50% of the bottles "Cali-Belgique" ("Belgique" being the French word for Belgium) and the other 50% "Cali-België" ("België" being the Dutch name for Belgium)!

In every proper review, the Beeraucrats will examine the Appearance, Aroma, Taste, Mouth-Feel, Drinkability and Overall Rating of the Beer and arrive at a Total Score from 1 to 10.

Cali-Belgique IPA


Mugsy: Golden-red color. Definitely looks like an IPA. Thin but creamy head that leaves lacing on glass when swirled. Can see fair bit of carbonation present.
Jugsy: Golden, copper in color with a thin head which dissipates quickly. Amber when held up to the light; visible carbonation.


Mugsy: Interesting blend of IPA-like hoppiness, mixed with slight fruitiness (grapefruit) and a little bit of yeasty funk. This is exciting.
Jugsy: Aromatic hops, not flowery per se, but sweet nonetheless. Orange and vanilla scents, possibly pineapple, too. Fresh woodsy aroma of crisp Autumn air. Barley and yeast are background scents. Smells like beer candy!


Mugsy: Immediate taste is hops, though not the over-the-top hops that Stone IPA lovers (like myself) have come to know and love. This is slightly more subtle. Secondary taste is grapefruit. Aftertaste is grapefruit also, but this is where the yeast comes into play, leaving just a hint of the barnyard so commonly associated with Belgian Saison Ales. Grapefruit lingers on the tongue well after swallowed and becomes more prominent as beer warms, as does the funkiness.
Jugsy: Sophisticated bitter hops flavor bursts in your mouth. The aroma almost makes you think it's sweet. Definite pine flavoring with orange peel and hops aftertaste. Flavors play out like a well-orchestrated symphony.


Mugsy: Lots of bite on the tongue from the hops. Crisp and clean, yet to contradict here, leaves just a little bit of warm coating on the tongue and mouth, much like a Belgian Ale.
Jugsy: Creamy and rich without feeling heavy. Adequate carbonation and pleasant, hoppy tongue coating.


Mugsy: Can feel the slight beginning of what a 6.9% ABV can do, but still light enough to be a "semi-session" beer. Easy going down. Crisp and fresh.
Jugsy: At a 6.9% ABV, you might not want to drink too many of these in a row, but that aside, you will love every minute of having the Cali-Belgique in your mouth. I know I did!


Mugsy: Nice and very well balanced beer. Fairly complex. Would go quite well with spicy food like Indian or Latin. Leave it to the wonderful folks at Stone to come up with yet another complex (and quite experimental) Ale that is tasty and easy to drink. Stone continues to set the benchmark for so many other breweries and makes this beer lover happy to live in a world where Stone is readily available.
Jugsy: The minute I smelled the aroma of this brew, I wanted to dive in head-first! It felt like Christmas! And not in the sense that I was about to drink a Winter brew (which this is not) but in the sense that I felt like a kid on Christmas morning, who just knows that Santa got his letter and his dream toy is under the wrapping before him! I don't know if I can do this beer justice. Just do yourself a favor and allow X-mas to come a little early this year -- try a bottle of Stone's Cali-Belgique IPA now, before it's no longer available!

Mugsy: 7.99

Jugsy: 8.75


  1. I really enjoyed this beer. We were lucky enough to pick up a 22 at the brewery. I have yet to see it anywhere else where we are from, Northern California.

  2. Lucky you! We have yet to visit Stone Brewing.... (We're waiting for Santa to bring us that new digital camcorder first!)

    Do you have a local BevMo store? Ours usually has quite a bit of Stone, although not always the Cali-Belgique.

    Thanks for reading and for sharing your thoughts with us!!

  3. We have Bevmos here. I usually don't go there to often but I will make an exception for Sierra Big Foot. They seem to stock it first over our local co-op or other local grocers. Otherwise our co-op has a great selection except of course the Cali-Belgique.