24 December 2015

Polka Dot Awards 2015 #8 - Sierra Nevada Pale Ale

Better than expected is always good.
One of the things I looked for in my countdown of my Best Beers of 2015 was not only the unique, seasonal offerings; I also wanted to reflect on what I drank just to relax and enjoy a beer.
California brewery Sierra Nevada came into my sights in the summer and really hasn't left it since. As I got more into reading about craft beers, these guys kept coming up , but I hadn't found any here in Canada yet.  I finally saw a sixer of their Pale Ale in the LCBO one day and thought I'd give it a try. At worst I could pawn them off on my friends if it wasn't my style. Boy was I wrong. It soon came to replace Curmudgeon as my everyday treat as it became harder to acquire my early season go to beer in the liquor store.
It pours a clear deep gold colour with a thin white head. Smelling the hops and malt. It has a full body that combines the malted barley so well with the bitterness of the cascade hops. I found that I really was digging the bitterness more than I thought and this was probably the beginning of the end for Macro Lagers in my beer fridge. Why waste good money on shitty beer when you could drink this and really enjoy it. It also caused me to think maybe I should revisit some of the other pale ales I had written off as "too Hoppy".
The American West Coast pale ale isn't for everyone, but with their sweet, biscuity malt backbone, they are definitely worth a try for that new craft beer drinker. It tempers the piney flavours associated with hops into something quite sessionable. The fear of the face pucker is something you needn't worry about with this fine brew.
I know this is a easily available, year round beer. It isn't new in 2015, nor is it especially unique. The reason I include it in my Top Ten is that I know it was brews like this that helped deliver me from Quantity beers. Without this beer and others like it, I never would have stopped to consider what I was drinking as opposed to how many I could drink.
I have no doubt that next year will bring me more new beers that will challenge my perceptions, but Sierra Nevada Pale ale will remain a beer that I keep chilling for when you stop by for a visit.
The Polkies continue tomorrow with another fine brew, but for now, I am going to get myself a Pale Ale from the fridge and put my feet up for a spell.
Congratulations to Sierra Nevada and their very fine beer for their Polkie win!

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