You never forget your first true love…
I usually try to recognize lesser known craft beers in my Beer of the Month club so as to help people broaden their horizons, but I thought I would get back to my roots and give some love to my trusty old favorite, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.
The Sierra Nevada Pale Ale was my gateway into hoppy beer. It was the first hoppy beer that I ever tried, and after some time, really liked. It had such a different flavor from the other beer I liked at the time, which included Newcastle, Bass, and John Courage (Which I just found out no longer exists. I seem to be slightly behind the times, but that also tells you the last time I ordered one. Part of me is saddened by this.).
Sierra Nevada is too popular now to be considered a microbrewery, but I still consider it craft beer. The Pale Ale is a “safe haven” for beer drinkers. It’s the one ale that you will find in nearly every self-respecting bar. If they don’t at least have Sierra Nevada, you’re probably in trouble.
But at the same time, don’t discount this beer because it is popular. It is genuinely good, despite its mass appeal. It features the signature Cascade hops which gives it that citrus aroma and slightly grapefruit-sour flavor. The success of the Sierra Nevada Pale Ale led to Cascade being the standard finishing hop of many American style pale ales.
Despite the distinct hop flavor, it is not overpowering. Weighing in at 5.7% ABV and 37 IBU, it has a medium body and just enough hops to let you know it’s there. It’s a great beer for those who haven’t become hop heads, but still want to experience a different side of beer than they might be used to. Even for the hop heads out there, this beer is a refuge in the world of light lagers.