Believe me when I say that Stone Brewing Company is not paying me for this review. My glowing praise comes from a pure place, my tongue not my pocketbook. That said, on with the review.
Stone's San Diego Session Ale, only recently available, is a collaboration between the geniuses at Stone, Ballast Point Brewing Company, and Kelsey McNair, a homebrewer who won a brewing competition with Stone back in 2010. From this San Diego-based trinity comes the San Diego Session Ale. If you enjoy Stone's beer, their IPA especially, you should stop reading this review and go buy a six pack. For the uninitiated, allow me to convince you.
For a session, this ale is unusually hoppy. Sessions are supposed to hover somewhere between delicious and refreshing. Because you're supposed to be able to drink many over the course of the evening, they tend to not stand out as particularly flavorful beers. This isn't a criticism, more a connotative definition.
The San Diego Session Ale errs on the side of delicious. Assuming you're into hops. Stone's IPA does hops beautifully; for a widely-available American IPA, it gets no better. That same sensibility is at work with the San Diego Session. The bronze liquid contains just enough hops that there's no question Stone was involved in the production of this bright, handsomely bottled beverage.
The beer's ABV sits at a comfortable 4.2%, as all sessions should. The idea is that you drink many but maintain your composure. You drink another easily rather than pick a fight with a bouncer, or call your ex. The San Diego Session Ale should be your summer beer.
San Diego Session Ale
Ballast Point / Kelsey McNair / Stone
Available while supplies last