Thursday, January 26th, 2017

Craft Beer Crosscut 1.26.16: A flight of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Ron Swarner

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Sierra Nevada Brewing Company was founded in 1980, and is credited with starting the craft beer movement. We present Craft Beer Crosscut 1.26.16: A flight of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., two days before the release of the Sierra Nevada Chicocabra Imperial Chocolate Stout.

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale

5.6% ABV, 38 IBUs

Sierra Nevada’s Pale Ale has been the beer drinker’s gateway craft brew for more than three decades. Peaks and Pints doesn’t know how many times we’ve heard someone tell us that, for some reason, they ordered a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale at a bar instead of a Bud or Coors. And that this seemingly insignificant decision in their life was transcendent. No longer would they settle for watered-down corporate beer. Sierra was their introduction to the world of craft. To the possibility of bitter hop flavors. It was a palate shocker. The proverbial beer awakening. BTW, generous quantities of premium Cascade hops give the Pale Ale its fragrant bouquet and spicy flavor.

Sierra Nevada Narwhal Imperial Stout

10.2% ABV, 60 IBUs

As black as midnight, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.’s Narwhal Imperial Stout is one of the driest imperial stouts you’ll come across. Roasty, too, but with an uncharacteristically wave of deep, dark fruitiness, ending in medium-high bitterness and substantial alcohol burn. The sweetness and hops are moderate and just enough to blend in with the dark fruit, chocolate and coffee flavors and aromas, to keep a balance. A slight touch of extra bitterness at the end, and no alcohol aftertaste or hotness, help leave a clean finish.

Sierra Nevada Hop Hunter IPA

6.2% ABV, 60 IBUs

Sierra Nevada has always been on the cutting edge of brewing technology, and Hop Hunter is yet another result of the brewery being a leader in the craft industry. Hop Hunter, an IPA made with oil steam-distilled in the field moments after the hop harvest. The result is Hop Hunter, a bold, very fresh IPA with a vibrant hop aroma that is lively but very smooth to drink. Crystal, Simcoe, and a Sierra classic, Cascade, finish out the hop aromatics, creating a vivid though well-honed hop character.

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale

6.8% ABV, 65 IBUs

Now that it’s wintertime, where do all the hops go? They’re currently hibernating in this yearly seasonal from California’s Sierra Nevada Brewery. In the midst of the many big and malty winter ales, Celebration Ale provides a comfortable winter home for the season’s displaced hops. A little darker than the average American IPA, this ale has a citrusy, piney and resinous hop character and a medium body.

Sierra Nevada Trip Into The Woods: Barrel Aged Bigfoot with Ginger

11.4% ABV, 65 IBUs

Sierra Nevada Bigfoot barleywine was first brewed in 1983 and is considered to be one the best American barleywines being brewed today. Wildly hoppy and balanced by a fierce malt backbone, this Bigfoot was captured in barrels, covered with ginger and aged — much like your age old story behind that blurry photo you took that one time of something that could maybe probably be bigfoot. The resulting kick of ginger mellows Bigfoot’s ferocious hop bite and adds a new level of brightness and complexity. This beer features notes of burnt sugar, orange zest, vanilla and candied ginger.

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