July 18, 2013 at 11:03 AM ET
I’ve long considered myself a bit of a geek, but the genesis of this Stone Farking Wheaton w00tstout is so geeky, it’s almost outstrips my ability to process its nerdiness.
The beer is a collaboration between Stone Brewing co-founder and beer geek supreme Greg Koch, child actor turned geek hero Wil Wheaton, and Drew Curtis, the web geek behind Fark.com, a news website fueled by cleverly rewritten headlines and Photoshop contests, like this recent one featuring a hairy couch.
The origins of Stone Farking Wheaton w00tstout can be traced back to 2005, when Stone Brewing went to congratulate the 10,000th person to sign up for their mailing list, to find that it was the one and only Wil Wheaton, star of the ‘80s coming of age story “Stand By Me” and “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” where he played young Wesley Crusher. A friendship between Wheaton and Koch followed, and the idea to brew together took root.
“I asked Wil to join us for a brew session,” Koch told TODAY.com. “He agreed, and since we do collaborations in threes, Wil suggested Drew Curtis.” Curtis and Wheaton have been friends for over a decade, and Koch has met Curtis on several occasions as well, making for what was probably the least awkward meeting of geeks in the history of nerdism.
The trio set to craft the beer in April at Stone’s brewing facility. Curtis was shocked to learn that he and Wheaton were actually expected to lend their labor to the effort.
“Don’t ask me why, but I had no idea when I agreed to do this that I’d actually wind up making the beer,” Curtis said. “I thought Greg and crew would have preferred to do it themselves, but apparently watching Wil and I fumble around with 50-pound bags of malted wheat and crushed pecans was plenty hilarious.”
The beer pours an inky black with a clingy tan head. A sip ignites a boozy dance of rich flavors, from licorice to chocolate to pecans to caramel -- it’s like drinking the contents of an old-fashioned candy store, if that candy store had been soaked in Bourbon, the underlying thread that holds all the sweet flavors together. For all the cute geekiness surrounding this beer, it’s a pretty amazing barrel aged stout.
The beer’s ingredients reflect its makers – wheat in honor of Wheaton, pecans in honor of Curtis, who hails from the South, and a whole lot of hops in honor of Koch, a well-documented hophead. There’s also a dash of rye added to the brew to give it an earthy character.
After fermentation, a portion of the batch was aged in whiskey barrels for two and a half months and then blended back into the beer.
The result is what might be the highest alcohol beer ever brewed by Stone, a 13 percent ABV imperial stout, which is proof that in their own way, geeks know how to party.
Stone Farking Wheaton w00tstout will be available on tap and also in three different bottles – a standard edition featuring hop vines and cones, and two limited editions, one featuring Koch, Wheaton and Curtis as superheroes (because geeks love superheroes), and one penned by comic artist Joel Watson of “HijiNKS Ensue” fame. All very nerdy and cool.
The beer officially debuted by Koch, Wheaton and Curtis on Wednesday at Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens — Liberty Station in San Diego, Calif. It should be available in limited amounts across Stone’s distribution network, so reach out to your local bottle shop and reserve yours ASAP.
Wheaton, who caught the homebrewing bug a few years back, reiterates how much he enjoyed collaborating on the beer. “Brewing at Stone was the culmination of many years of learning to love amazing craft beer, and then learning how to make it myself,” he said. “Having the opportunity to work with people I really like and respect and do it on a grand scale was great.”