Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Sometime I Just Want a Beer

With the variety of beer I try and the method in which I try them, sometimes all I want to do it drink a beer. Don’t get me wrong, I love analyzing a Bourbon barrel-aged Imperial Stout, or fanciful Belgian Strong Dark Ales, but sometimes I just want to drink a beer.

Over the Patriot’s Day weekend I had my refrigerator stocked with a couple beers I was intent on reviewing, but I also picked up a classic that has just recently been released in cans.

I once had a conversation about what beer I would choose to represent America. I naturally chose a beer that I felt embodied the truest character of flavorful American beer: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. I chose this beer because it defines the style “American” Pale Ale. In the early 80s many brewers were trying to replicate classic English style beers with ingredients from the United States. The results were beers with pronounced citrus-like hoppiness from American ingredients such as Cascade hops—a variety Sierra Nevada employs adeptly.

As I popped open the first can and poured it into my tumbler pint, I couldn’t help but think how well this beer stands up. It pours a crisp, golden-orange with a fluffy just slightly off white head. The hops are citrusy, slightly herbal with hints of grain and light caramel malt. The finish is moderately bitter with just a lick of malt for balance. Each time I drink this beer it never ceases to impress.

Sierra Nevada is currently in the planning phase to construct a new brewery in Asheville, North Carolina with the aim to remove some of the fuel from each beer it brews. The cans contribute to this reduction as well since they are lighter to transport and take up less space than bottles. These environmentally conscious efforts as well as the incredible beer they produce is why I’ll keep buying beer from Sierra Nevada, well done indeed.

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