Mango Maya Milkshake IPA is a mouthful, literally and figuratively, and the craft beer made its debut Friday at Stone Brewing — on both sides of the country.
The man behind the beer is Richmond resident Rusty Burrell, who won the Stone Homebrew Competition and American Homebrewers Association Rally in November. California-based Stone Brewing has been holding the competition on the West Coast for a decade, but November was the first time it was held in Richmond. Stone Brewing opened its Richmond location, at 4300 Williamsburg Ave., in 2016.
Twenty homebrewers participated, and Burrell’s IPA — partly named after his daughter, Maya — brought home top honors. Winning meant that Burrell was given a trip to California in July, where he brewed his beer in large batches at Stone’s Liberty Station brewery in San Diego. Burrell and Stone brewed 20 barrels in total. Mango Maya Milkshake IPA is on tap only in Richmond and California.
There are hints of mango puree, coconut and vanilla, plus lactose, a sugar found in milk, and they give the beer its milkshake mouthfeel. With that complexity, Burrell’s beer “really stood apart from the others,” said Jeremy Moynier, Stone Brewing’s senior manager of brewing and innovation. Its ABV is 8.5%.
“It was intense and pretty awesome,” Moynier said.
Burrell, a software engineer who has been a homebrewer for seven years, said he initially made the beer to serve at his daughter’s first birthday party nearly two years ago.
“It was a big hit” back then with family and friends, he said. “That keg went really fast.”
He continued: “I normally don’t enter a lot of contests, but once I saw the stakes, I thought I better give it a shot at least.” When considering what to enter, “I thought what’s the craziest beer I’ve made — that was the Mango Maya.”
In California, Burrell was paired with Kris Ketcham, Stone Brewing’s senior manager of brewing and innovation at the Liberty Station location.
“He showed me the ropes,” Burrell said. The biggest challenge was learning how to convert his small-batch recipe to something much larger.
“He was asking me questions, but I brew in plastic buckets in my garage. I don’t know how any of this stuff works,” Burrell joked. “But it was cool to bounce ideas off him.”
“They really showed me around well out there,” Burrell said. “I’m definitely grateful to Stone.”