Leave it to Stone Brewing Co. to go where no brewery has gone before. Most beers are infused with carbon dioxide. Some are charged with nitrogen. In an industry first, Stone has launched a helium-infused beer. Cr(He)am Ale will be released in 16 oz. cans under Stone's new Stochasticity label.
For more details, take a look at the behind-the-scenes video posted below. This is a limited release, so be sure to check it out before it floats away...
Stone Brewing Co. Releases Next Beer in Stochasticity Project:
Stone Stochasticity Project Cr(He)am Ale with Helium
ESCONDIDO, CA (April 1, 2014) – This is what happens when a beer-obsessed scientist has free rein to create beers that push the boundaries of the craft beer industry and science alike—a beer infused with helium. Wait, what? Is that even possible? Yep. And not only did Stone Brewing Co. do it first, we did it with a cream ale and double dry-hopped it to add that extra tropical, bitter goodness one would expect of a lupulin-obsessed craft brewery. Mind blown! Starting today, Stone Stochasticity Project Cr(He)am Ale with Helium is available in 16-ounce cans at retailers, restaurants and bars in select markets nationwide.
The beer is the brainchild of Stone Quality Assurance Supervisor Rick Blankemeier. He came up with the idea for a helium-infused beer after playing around with nitro beers and thought, “What would happen if helium was added to a beer?” The idea was presented to Stone Brewmaster Mitch Steele, who at first assumed it couldn’t be done. After a brief science lesson from Rick, Mitch decided it was worth a try and the beer would be perfect for the Stone Stochasticity Project.
“I think Mitch thought I had been drinking too much of the beer when I went to him with my idea of a helium ale,” said Blankemeier. “I’m really pleased with this beer. The hop aroma punches you in the nose and there is a slight tingle in the back of the throat that is unique to this brew. The ale provides the drinker with a distinctive sensory experience.”
“This beer is tasty and very strange, but in a good way,” explains Steele. “I’ve never experienced the tingly feeling in the back of my throat that the helium addition provides. I think our fans are really going to like this, and we look forward to brewing other unique beers for the Stochasticity Project.”
Despite its unique and unexpected ingredient, Stone Stochasticity Project Cr(He)am Ale with Helium is an easy-drinking session beer with light notes of toast and an effervescent floral, spicy, and strong hop character from the addition of Helga hops. Helium is introduced to the beer via a widget that activates when the can is opened, streaming helium into the beer. The result is a very smooth mouth-feel and a tickle that produces a curious effect on the drinker, unlike any other beer.
Stone Stochasticity Project Cr(He)am Ale with Helium is a refreshing beer meant to be enjoyed fresh or within 90 days to maximize the robust hop flavors and aromas. While only available for a limited time, fans will find this beer to have an everlasting effect on their palates…and psyche.
Stone Stochasticity Project Cr(He)am Ale with Helium Quick Facts
Name: Stone Stochasticity Project Cr(He)am Ale with Helium
Stats: 4.1% ABV, 75 IBUs
Availability: Limited 16-ounce cans, beginning April 1
Hops Bill: Willamette and Fuggles, dry-hopped with Helga
Special addition: Helium
Distribution: AK, AL, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MT, NC, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OR, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, VT, and WA
Tasting notes, provided by Stone Brewmaster Mitch Steele
Appearance: Deep gold with a creamy white head. When poured, the beer cascades similarly to a nitrogen-infused beer.
Aroma: Huge hop presence, lots of tropical fruit goodness from the Helga hops.
Taste: Light notes of toast and effervescent floral, spicy hop character from the addition of Helga.
Palate: A creamy, coating mouth-feel is lightened by the infusion of helium that also adds a slight tickle to the finish.
Overall: This beer is tasty and very strange, but in a good way. I’ve never experienced the tingly feeling in the back of my throat that the helium addition provides. I didn’t think it would be possible to add helium into a beer, but after Rick explained the science behind it, I thought it was a very intriguing idea and something we might be able to do something really neat with. The Stochasiticity Project is an avenue for us to explore new techniques and ingredients that might not fit our normal approach to brewing, so the helium idea perfectly dovetailed into this concept. I think our fans are really going to like this ale, and we look forward to brewing other unique beers for the Stochasticity Project.
Suggested pairings, provided by Craft Beer Ambassador "Dr." Bill Sysak
Appetizers: Pickled herring, Funyuns®, deep-fried mozzarella sticks, Blooming Onion
Soups: Cheddar, Garlic & Stone Ruination IPA Soup, beef, chicken or pork bouillon
Entrees: Vegetarian lasagna, chimichangas, cuy
Cheeses: Humboldt Fog, Kraft singles, Cheez Whiz®
Desserts: Crème brulee, Niederfranks vanilla ice cream, aged Hostess Twinkies, Heath Bar
Cigars: Dutch Masters, Swisher Sweets, White Owl Peach, blunts