Pale Ale (Sierra Nevada)

Wednesday night my wife and I decided to go to Old Chicago for their Octoberfest mini-tour kick-off party.  They had a beer there that was supposedly only found at the Paulaner tent in Munich.  Of course, that meant we had to have it. I know what you’re thinking.  Sierra Nevada Pale Ale has nothing to do with this.  It’s called a back story.

Once we got home I logged into the blog to see if there were any comments or anything.  There  was a huge spike in the number of views.  The first thing I thought was I had been spammed.  Turns out with WordPress I can see when people link to the blog and how many people visit from that link.  The first thing I saw was Twitter.  The second one I saw was way more specific  That’s right. Sierra Nevada Brewing Company linked to the Kellerweis review.  Woohoo! As a young blog, it was the highlight of the week.  So in honor of that (and maybe another boost to the blog) I decided to write about their Pale Ale.  Well actually the decision was made by Amber Damn straight. as her experiment with shandies and radlers continues.

This beer is a prime example of an American Pale Ale.  The history of the beer goes back to 1980 when Ken Grossman first produced it.  This beer was full of flavor and tasted nothing like any of its contemporaries at that time.  Today the beer is only outsold by Samuel Adams Boston Lager (in the craft beer industry). And now that I think about it, this is probably one of the first pale ales I had (right after Boston Lager most likely).  Sorry Sierra Nevada, but now I know better.  Other beers Sierra Nevada makes that are worth checking out include Torpedo Extra IPA, Porter, Celebration, Bigfoot (barleywine style), Northern and Southern Hemisphere Harvest Ales, and one of my favorites Estate Homegrown Ale.  They have also been known to work with other breweries and make fantastic beers.  The best known and most recent was their collaboration with Dogfish Head Craft Brewery Life and Limb, and Limb and Life.  Their most recent seasonal is called Tumbler Autumn Brown Ale.  Look for the upcoming review on that as I have a six pack in the fridge waiting to be opened.  Now on to the review of Sierra Nevada Brewing Company’s flagship Pale Ale.

The body is a hazy amber while the head is white.  The aroma is sweet (almost has a chocolate smell similar to the Goose Island IPA), and a hint of citrus.  The caramel malt and Cascade hops must interact in a way that gives my senses the chocolate smell (this isn’t bad at all, in fact this makes the beer quite pleasant).  The mouthfeel is light, crisp, and smooth (its naturally carbonated).  The taste is slightly citrusy and not super bitter.  In fact it’s really well balanced. Anybody not into hoppy beers might find this to be an excellent starting point.  To getting into hoppier beers, not necessarily to getting into beers in general. The beer is about 5.6% ABV and 37 IBUs.  I highly recommend this to anyone either looking to get into hoppy beers and to anyone that just wants a really well crafted beer.

Continuing the Pale Ale list here are a few others you might like as well:

Pale Ale – Stone Brewing Co.

Hazed and Infused – Boulder Beer (the Infused part is hemp)

Drifter Pale Ale – Widmer Brothers Brewing Co.

Scape Goat Pale Ale – Big Sky Brewing Co.

St. Lupulin – Odell Brewing Co.



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