San Diego Brewed is sponsored by Bottlecraft.
Bottlecraft is a retail shop and tasting room in Little Italy showcasing local, domestic and international craft beers. They offer hundreds of beers for your enjoyment in their onsite tasting room or to-go, as well as daily beer flights, events, glassware, merchandise, and gifts. Open Noon-10pm seven days a week. 2161 India Street, San Diego, CA 92101.
I’ll admit that to me Stone Brewing Co.’s Ruination IPA sometimes gets lost in the mix of all the IPAs and Double IPAs available here in San Diego. I feel like I sometimes look it over because of how often I see it, Ruination can be found in many grocery stores as well as most bottle shops and liquor stores. There’s hardly a time or place that I don’t see a bottle of Ruination when I’m shopping for beer. This widespread availability can be both good and bad. I often look it over when shopping specifically for beer, opting for something that I may not see again soon. On the positive side if I find myself at the grocery store looking to pick up a beer at the last minute Ruination is often what I grab.
These days Ruination is on the lower end of the Double IPA spectrum at 7.7% ABV but back when it was first released in 2002 big hoppy Double IPA’s weren’t nearly as readily available as they are now. In fact, according to Greg Koch in the new book The Craft of Stone Brewing Co.: Liquid Lore, Epic Recipes, and Unabashed Arrogance Ruination was the first bottled Double IPA to be brewed year round.
As the label states, Ruination is named as such “because of the immediate ruinous effect on your palate.” The ruination of your palate happens thanks to the 100+ IBU bitterness of the beer. Hopped with Columbus and Centennial it has a bit grapefruit citrus bitterness with a bit of a floral bite.
It’s fairly light bodied, there is just a bit of malty sweetness to stand up against the hops, but this isn’t a balanced beer. With less malt it might taste more like hop tea than beer. The finish is long and dry with a lasting bitterness that doesn’t go away too quickly.
This is exactly how I like my Double IPAs, sort of low bodied and not too malty but extremely hoppy. “Balanced” isn’t a word I look for when picking up a beer like this.
If you’re anything like me you’ve probably had Ruination more times than you can count, but make sure to revisit it every once in a while as this was one of the beers that really put San Diego on the map in terms of hoppy beers.