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A Domestic Treasure- Sierra Nevada

sierra nevada pale ale 1 150x150 A Domestic Treasure  Sierra Nevada

By Tim Rodgers

In a domestic beer landscape of vortex neck bottles, cold window boxes, cold activation cans, triple hops guarantees, and flavor seal taste protector caps, the surface of the American beer industry looks and tastes pretty grim.  I was disappointed to learn that when my tasteless beer flavored water spins real fast at the end of my bottle; it still tastes like beer flavored water with a metallic finish when hit finally reached my mouth.  Although, when Miller Lite recently introduced its triple hops guarantee, at least I could be comforted with the notion that at least three actual hops were used when brewing each batch.  And, since I merely have a liberal arts education and not one in science or physics, it is reassuring to know that when the mountains turn blue on my can or bottle, I know that my beer is cold rather than the archaic method of putting my beer in the refrigerator for an hour or feeling the bottle for its temperature like our ancestors did.

 The Macro-American Beer industry ironically reflects much about American society in general.  Bloated advertising budgets, humorous commercials on television, and most important of all; self-image and sex.  Calorie counting has become an American pastime just as much as a day at a baseball game or apple pie.  Perhaps that is why the “light beer” phenomenon dominates the American beer industry.  To put it simply, American beer drinkers and companies favor style over substance, much like today’s popular culture in general.  However thankfully, what America also has to offer traditionally, is its great beautiful lands, its illustriative resources, innovation, entrepaneurship, and craftsmanship.  The beer that represents these elements of American society well is Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.

 Of course there is always going to be your local micro-brew that brings varieties and flavors that will be your favorite, but it reassuring to know that you can always count on Sierra Nevada Pale Ale to be consistently crisp, refreshing, clean, aromatic, and delicately balanced hoppiness in each sip.  Headquarted in Chico, California and originally a micro-brew, it now produces 700,000 barrels of beer a year.  And for your calorie counters, a 12-ounce bottle has 175 calories per serving.  If that troubles you, lose the mayo or butter or put in an extra ½ hour at the gym because any serious beer drinker would never compromise taste for quality.  I don’t ever recall seeing a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale commercial, so I know that that more of a percentage of their operating costs and budgets go into improving their product rather than the pockets of the NFL at halftime of the Super Bowl.

  The other well-known craft macro brewery in the United States is the Boston Brewing Company that brews Sam Adams.  But instead of going off of the map in so many directions that Sam Adams has a tendency to do, Sierra Nevada in its specialty and seasonal brews stays close to its original formula.  In the late fall, the Anniversary Ale is one of the best beers ever produced in America hands down.  When my beer taste buds were less mature, beers that were hoppy in nature like your Pale Ales were not as appealing, but unlike most Pale Ales, Sierra Nevada doesn’t try to impress other brewers by putting 113 counts of hops into each batch so you feel like your drinking a Christmas Tree, but rather the hoppiness of the Sierra Nevada variety is merely one component of its complexity.  Just like a piece of a puzzle of a masterpiece.  The carbonation and head when poured into a pint glass is perfect.  Most importantly in these troubled economic times, I bought a 12 pack of bottles in Wilmington, Delaware for $10.99.  I think Bud Light Lime was $14.99.

So when you’re in favorite bar or restaurant you no longer have to skip right past the domestic beer selection and go for the pricy imports.  If you are looking to support American entrepreneurship, American jobs, and most importantly, if you are looking for simply a great beer, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is one of the best choices out there.  And although there is no plans in the works for a “Vented Wide Mouth Can” to allow drinkers to swig more easily or a house made entirely of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale bottles (including the shower) I still think that if they served and sold Sierra Nevada Pale Ale in a dog dish, it would still be a better beer than most domestically speaking.

The Top 10 Breweries in the World: Founders, Bell’s, Ballast Point, Stone, Port/Lost Abbey

The Top 25 Beers in a Can: Oscar Blues, Sly Fox, Maui Brewing, Young’s Double Chocolate, Caldera, 21st Amendment

Pennsylvania Crushes Germany in the Top 10 Pilsners: Pilzilla, Prima Pils, Stoudt’s Pils, Pikeland Pils, Troegs Sunshine Pils

The Best Beer under $20 a Case: Yuengling Lager, Bitburger, Leinenkugels, Shiner Bock, Lionshead and more…

The Top 25 Stouts: Founders KBS, Breakfast Stout, Bell’s Kalamazoo, Rogue Shakespear Oatmeal, Goose Island Black Cat Bourbon, Deschutes the Abyss

The Top 10 Oktoberfest Beers: Ayinger, Beck’s, Hacker Pschorr, Flying Fish, Hofbrau, Stoudt’s, Lefthand, Magic Hat, Spaten

The Top Ten Belgian White Ales from a Taste Test: Blanche de Bruxelles, Hoegaarden, Ommengangs Witte, Victory Wirlwind, St. Brnardis Blanche, Allagash White, Blue Moon and more…

The Top 10 Mexican Beers: Bohemia, Negra Modela, Dos Equis, Corona, Carta Blanca, Tecate, Sol and more…

Top 50 Pound for Pound Beer List: Chimay, Dogfish Head, Sierra Nevada, Bells’, Victory, Founders, Hacker-Pschorr, Weyerbacher and more…

 

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13 comments to A Domestic Treasure- Sierra Nevada

  • Matt goldstein

    LMAO@ Space is a requirment.

    [Reply]

  • Matt Rodgers

    I 100% agree the macro beers suck. As for sam adams i am not a huge fan, especialy the Boston Lager. But i do like the summer ale. Red Stipe is still the best summer beer.

    [Reply]

    Tizzle Reply:

    I think Red Stripe is a quality “Light Lager.” I bought one the other day with my luch at Wegman’s. (One of the benefits of being unemployed). I wish I could pay the domestic Jamacian prices instead of the inflated imported markup!

    [Reply]

    Matt Goldstein Reply:

    You should try the price for a Red Stripe at Margaritaville in Jamaica. $10 for a draft. What a disgrace. They sell them on the street for a $1.

    [Reply]

  • Good article Tim. We will still drink our Miller Lite at the Tailgate. When you drink 15 to 20 beers before a game and eating some food, space is a requirement. Although, I have been lobbying for a second beer to be put on tap.
    Try the River Horse Lager. There summer beer is very good. One of my favorites in the summer. I will have to try that October Red Fox.

    [Reply]

    Tizzle Reply:

    And I will still bring my red Coleman cooler with a bottle opener and red cups!

    [Reply]

  • I have to argue FOR the Sam Adams seasonal varieties… they do go off formula often, and sometimes it doesn’t work. But I admire the variety. Particularly since the traditional Sam Adams Boston Lager is hands down the worst beer they make. Also, in England, the Fuller’s brewery (possibly my favorite in the whole wide world) brews a MONTHLY variety. Literally TWELVE seasonals a year, as opposed to Sam Adams measly four. Their October RED FOX is a thing of beer beauty (brew-ty? Anyone?) Anyway, Good article Tim. Dug it.

    [Reply]

    Tizzle Reply:

    Thanks Jon, I’ll give the Red Fox a whirl!

    [Reply]

    Matt Goldstein Reply:

    Hold on Elizabeth, I’m comin!

    [Reply]

    Jon Rosenberg Reply:

    Matt Goldstein, ladies and gentleman!

  • $10.99 for a 12 pack? And Bud Light Lime was more money? NFW!

    [Reply]

    Tizzle Reply:

    Total Wine in Wilmington on Naaman’s Road right off of I-95. They turned an
    old Acme into a Liquor store. No tax in Delaware either foolz. They got everything and then some, wine tastings, vendors sample their products, accessories. It’s the place to be!

    [Reply]

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