Some beers attempt to stand out by using experimental hops. Others employ barrel aging, or exotic yeasts to coax out unique flavor profiles. But sometimes, if you want to take things to the next level, you have to be willing to add just a wee pinch of intergalactic nerdery. Thanks to Stone Brewing, that has come to fruition - in the biggest collision of inebriants and Internet since, well, Maxim.com, a collaboration between Wil Wheaton (Star Trek’s Wesley Crusher and architect of the nerd Renaissance), Drew Curtis (Fark.com patriarch and general rabble rouser), and Greg Koch (Stone Brewing CEO) has produced the Stone Farking Wheaton w00tstout, a massive 13% ABV imperial stout.
Beer collaborations are nothing new to the craft brew world - assuming all involved are breweries, that is. Reaching out to a couple of Patron Saints of the Internet is much more unusual. The offer was even a surprise to Wil, who told us, ”I was really excited and humbled and honored. I said, ‘Does anybody say no to that?’” Drew, meanwhile, admitted he's better recognized for his ability to decimate a homebrew stash than replenish it, and knew his involvement was a bit more of a wildcard. "I think the Dalai Lama wasn't available and I was plan B,” he laughed.
The geek-tastic beer’s final formulation emerged as a natural extension of the collaborators’ personalities: Drew was keen to pay homage to his home state of Kentucky by including pecans and bourbon as a representative for “derby pie” (which Drew assures us is an actual regional pie, not a colorful Kentuckian reference to horse crap). Wil took the slightly cheekier tack of ensuring the beer would pay homage to himself, with the addition of wheat(on) malt. Don’t worry if this recipe seems a bit wacky to you, because even an avid homebrewer like Wil wasn’t exactly sure how it would come together. “When you work with a brewmaster like Mitch Steele, and someone that isn’t afraid to take risks like Greg, you can bring crazy ideas and just sort of knock away the ones that are too crazy. You end up with something that’s still a little crazy, but it’s like one of those ‘80s cop movies where it’s so crazy it just might work.”
Of course, no geeky beer discussion is complete without pairing notes, and since this is arguably the geekiest beer birthed to date, it certainly deserves the same consideration. Drew was happy to suggest that, like the Internet itself, it would go very nicely with, "Cats, the ability to click a ‘like’ button to solve world problems, and fake outrage." Wil more earnestly suggested, "I think it would go well with really rich barbeque. It would probably pair very nicely with an extremely bitter dark chocolate." The Stone Farking Wheaton w00tstout is available now and distributed nationally.
You can follow Ian at @iancheesman or by waiting in the shadows of the beer aisle in your neighborhood market. He’ll no doubt be there soon.