Pete Drinks: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale

Name: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale

ABV: 5.6

Bottled/ Draft: Bottled, bottle conditioned

Price: £1.29 from Aldi

Colour: Amber, a little clouded from the yeast

Head: Fine, lingering head

Mouthfeel: Rich, full body and flavour

Taste: Strongly bitter, with the kind of “strong” flavour that I normally associate with very strong beers.

Comment: America is not a country I automatically associate with good beer; largely because it’s dominated by big, bland brands that don’t really taste of anything but bubbles (I blame Prohibition).

However, small producers have been brewing interesting, real ale for some years now and it’s getting increasingly easy to get hold of in the UK (thanks to the rather esoteric buying habits of Aldi!)

This is quite a classic, well conditioned Pale Ale – heavy on the hops but with a surprisingly rich, full flavour behind it. The yeast from the bottle conditioning lends a little cloudiness, as well as a faint yeasty smell, but these are never bad things in my book – yeast is such an important aspect of beer (it is, after all, what makes it beer!) that I don’t think the more obvious presence detracts in the slightest.

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11 Comments to "Pete Drinks: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale"

  1. Going With My Gut

    There are lots of cool small cider producers on the east coast especially. when I lived in the boston area I really loved Cide Jack – esp their cranberry brew.

    Wen

    Reply
  2. Pete Favelle

    @TheShed – I was impressed; now all I need to do is find it somewhere on draft!

    @GoingWithMyGut – is that proper cider, or apple juice? 🙂

    Reply
  3. David Strange

    This is a damned good Pale Ale, so lively with a piquant bitterness – I get some every time I shop with Waitrose. Those whole like this and can make it to South-East London should try out the Pale Ale at Zero Degrees microbrewery in Blackheath or the London Pale Ale at The Union boozer in Greenwich. If they have any of their IPA on tap snap it up in a picosecond.

    Reply
  4. Diane and Steve Woodard

    America is all now Micro-brewery mad, and producing some wonderful stuff. Steve likes Sierra Nevada PA, but Sweetwater 420 from Atlanta GA is excellent, Baltimore MD's Clipper City has a nice Pale Ale called Heavy Seas, Ranger from New Belgium (Ft Collins CO) is a tasty Pale Ale as well. (New Belgium Brewery in CO does some great brews.)

    NC has a lot of really up-and-coming regional breweries – between the “Triangle” (Durham, Chapel Hill, Raleigh) – and Asheville NC (in the mountains) you can't go wrong with any type – IPAs, PAs, Heffeweizens, Golden Ales, Porters (mmmm, Duck Rabbit Porter), or stouts on tap.

    I recently brought home that Ranger PA for Steve and super Weizen Bock for me from Victory Brewing Co in Downingtown, PA. We have a terrific package store near by (ah, the benefits of living in between two large universities) that stocks beer from all over the world.

    Reply
  5. Mark

    The most exciting beer in the world currently comes from the USA. I love SN Pale Ale, it's a modern day classic that's sooo easy to get hold of. Lots of fruity, floral hops like you mention, then a big biting bitterness to finish. A great beer for pairing with food or just chugging on a hot summers day!

    On the yeast front … anyone that doesn't like the yeast could just pour almost to the bottom of the bottle and leave the sediment begind. 🙂

    BeerBirraBier.

    Reply
  6. Pete Favelle

    Well I'm not sure I'd go that far, but there's certainly some great beers coming through.

    Call me strange (many do…) but I quite like the yeasty overtones you can get with a bottle conditioned beer, which is why I tend to ignore those “pour carefully and avoid disturbing the sediment” type instructions 🙂

    Reply

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