Stone Brewing – Le Variation

Stone - Le VariationI am a sucker for a Stone Brewing. I have never been disappointed by any of their base beers and always enjoy the variety of their one offs. When I first heard about Le Variation, while writing my review of Mixtape Vol. 1, I was hoping some of it would make its way up to LA. Luckily for me, Surly Goat made my wish come true.

Le Variation is a riff on Stone’s hoppy amber ale, Levitation. The only information that I was able to find on this brew is that it is Levitation that was fermented with a strain of Belgian yeast. This one off batch will most likely never appear again, so if you are interested in trying it you should jump on the opportunity now. (They didn’t even make a logo for it, so enjoy my Photoshopery)

The pour is slightly cloudy reddish amber with a nice amount of pillowy off white head. This beer looks almost indistinguishable from Levitation. Pine and citrus hops dominate the aroma but there is a definite earthy yeastiness to it. The body is very light with a good amount of carbonation. The flavor starts out with a bitter hop that moves to a caramel malt and finishes with a piney hop with a slight citrus note. There is a constant earthiness to the whole flavor reminiscent of a Belgian farmhouse ale. It leaves you with a nice bitter hoppy aftertaste that doesn’t last for to long. As I was drinking it, the caramel notes became more pronounced towards the end. This is a very drinkable beer at 5.3% ABV (just a little stronger than Levitation).

I really enjoyed this beer, its got the hoppy flavors I love and just the right amount of Belgian pizzazz. I really wish this one doesn’t disappear forever, but what can you do (other than picket Greg Koch’s house). Currently this beer is on tap at Surly Goat, 38 Degrees, and Mohawk Bend, but probably won’t last to long. I also heard that they were doing some growler fills down at the brewery, but it’s CBC week so I wouldn’t expect it to last.

Name Le Variation
Brewery Stone Brewing Co.
Style Hoppy Amber with Belgian Yeast
ABV 5.3%
Availability Limited Draft Release
One Time Brewing
Rating 4 out of 5

Beer Guy LA

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