This month is sentimental for both Stone Brewing Co’s co-founder Greg Koch and Ohio, as February brings the national debut of the brewery’s Pataskala Red X IPA. Koch grew up in Pataskala, just east of Columbus. Now he calls San Diego home, but he still has a soft spot for the Buckeye state, thanks to the time he spent here in his younger days.
It was the mid-80s when Koch returned to the state where he was born, Califorina, to study music. Things changed a lot over the following decade, and in 1996, Koch opened Stone Brewing Company along with his business partner Steve Wagner. Stone Brewing later become the ninth largest craft brewery in the United States.
Last year, Koch received a letter from a freshman at his alma mater—Watkins Memorial High School in Pataskala— asking for help with a levy, which if not passed, would cut the marching band. Koch, who also played in the marching band his freshman year, was not only moved by the letter but donated $1,000 and promised to brew a special beer for the occasion. All proceeds would go to Watkins Memorial’s band, theater and arts programs.
Needless to say, the brew was a hit when it was unleashed in a limited run in Columbus bars last September. As luck would have it, the brew has now become the brewery’s latest seasonal release nationwide.
Brewed with a new special German malt variety called Red X, the beer is then dry-hopped with Mosaic, Cascade and Amarillo hops, creating an expected citrusy goodness, but at the same time a perfect balance of malty biscuit notes.
Stone Pataskala Red X IPA can be found in $10.99 six packs at select Acme, Fishers Foods and Giant Eagle locations, as well as your finer craft beer stops such as Mustard Seed, World Market, Lizardville and 101 Bottles of Beer on the Wall.
/ Writer Aaron Fowler is a sales representative at Cavalier Distributing.