Stone Brewing Co.’s “Levitation Ale” (w/ Pensacon + Star Wars)

February 18, 2014

Pensacon weekend is upon us and Hopjacks Downtown is hosting the OFFICIAL AFTER PARTY for Star Wars. If you’re not yet aware of what Pensacon is, you’ve been living in the proverbial Mynock cave. Bear with me, people; many references coming at you from a galaxy far, far away in today’s column.

As we’re gearing up for the convention’s Star Wars after party, we’re really geeking out. Actual actors and collaborators from the series will be hanging out in our restaurant! Time to come up with some themed cocktails and decorate the place outlandishly. The real trick is to pick a beer that meshes with the Star Wars oeuvre.

If we had 3 Floyd’s Dark Lord, this would be an easy pick. We don’t, so I’m left with that feeling like whatever I pick to connect to the films will be reaching. What beer embodies the spirit of Star Wars?

Too bad I already wrote about Avery White Rascal a couple of months ago. I could have used that as a bridge to Han Solo.

Anything with “imperial” in the name – stout, India pale ale, red ale – would be a stretch to the Imperial Guards. Try again.

Fat Head’s Head Hunter IPA isn’t close enough to “bounty hunter,” as in Boba Fett, Bossk, or Cad Bane. Excellent beer, though!

“Find, you must, a beer for the theme to go excellent with, it will.” Yoda’s right, you know. Wait… Yoda.

As a kid, the scene that resonated with me the strongest was seeing tiny little Yoda show up Luke Skywalker by using the Force to lift the X-Wing out of the swamp. Irvin Kershner’s direction, Frank Oz’s puppeteering and John Williams’ stirring musical score all came together for an amazing scene. In the dark of the theater, this young kid actually believed a diminutive, green Jedi master just lifted tons of metal ship by only focusing his mind. And what better dialogue to sum up the point of imagination within that scene?

Luke: “I don’t believe it!”

Yoda: “That is why you failed.”

Fantastic. As Yoda found great strength in levitation, I’m finding big flavor in Stone Brewing Levitation Ale.

Much like Yoda, Levitation Ale is powerful in demeanor while presented in an unassuming package; in this case it’s the beer’s session strength of only 4.4% alcohol by volume. Reddish-orange color burns out of the glass like the twin suns of Tatooine while a foamy head piles up like a snow drift on Hoth. Piney scents up front here like walking through the forests of Endor with piles of grapefruit, pepper and a hint of malt. A beer this initially hoppy pulls a Jedi Mind Trick and delivers a firm, spicy rye malt presence on the palate before yielding to citrus, tea and floral flavors as big and strong as a Rancor beast. The body is as soft as a Bespin cloud with a finish as crisp as a Lando Calrissian smile.

Can you tell we’re excited? See you at the party!