#286 Sierra Nevada – Big Foot

Name: Big Foot
Brewery: Sierra Nevada (Chico, CA, USA)
Style: Barley Wine
ABV: 9.6%
Source: Galbraith’s Ales

Question: What do you get when you mix forgetfulness and impatience?
Answer: Frozen beer.

Yes, it’s often the case that  two of my less-than-desirable qualities  team up to produce beer popsicles, impatience putting the beer in the freezer in the first place, forgetfulness ensuring it turns solid.

Usually when this happens I just declare it a loss, throw the beer out and put something else in the freezer (this time setting an alarm on my phone), but with this one I had two reasons not to do that. For one, it wasn’t frozen solid – It was at that slushy stage where you can actually pour it – and two, it was a motherflippin’ Sierra Nevada Barley Wine!

By the time I drank the beer it had melted, but it was still really cold – about the temperature that most bars serve their lager. Now, usually I like my beer at a toasty 10 degrees so that I can actually taste it – but I gotta say, there was something really nice about having this big sweet beer so chilled. I wouldn’t usually describe a Barley Wine as refreshing, but boy, was I refreshed!

Also, this is probably a great beer at every temperature. It had masses of classic Sierra Nevada hop aromas – bitter grapefruit pith and pine, as well as something a little sweet and juicy. In the mouth it was thick, chewy (and of course, slightly icy) with lots of toffee caramel malt cushioning the hops and booze.

On a side note, why are there not more alcoholic popsicles in my life? These all look delicious, and an I’m sure an iced Barley Wine would fit right in…

Published in: on June 1, 2012 at 5:11 pm  Comments (4)  

#102 Sierra Nevada – Torpedo

Sierra Nevada Torpedo Name: Torpedo
Brewery: Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. (California, USA)
Style: American IPA
ABV: 7.2%
Source: Little Beer Quarter (Wellinton)

Apologies for the worse-than-usual photo. I was in a darkish bar and it was the best I could do.

The darkish bar was Little Beer Quarter in Wellinton, which I’d been hearing the beer geeks rave about for months but hadn’t actually been to before Friday.

Now I can see what they were on about. It has an awesome selection of beer both in bottles and on tap, a cheery, bustling atmosphere and a comfortable living-room vibe about it.

I had this Sierra Nevada Torpedo, which was a bloody stupid way to start the evening, but I didn’t realise it was 9.2% until I looked it up just now (though I did have an inkling once my hangover kicked in.)*

I didn’t make any notes as I was too busy shouting with my friend (it really was loud in there), but I remember it had a strong, pine resin and citrus hop flavour with a toffee malt backing. The finish was prickly and bitter, which made it quite refreshing despite it’s high ABV.

After that I went on to drink a Tuatara APA, two Epic Barrel-Aged IPAs (at a party, not LBQ), and a Little Creatures Pale Ale. I didn’t have any dinner, and needless to say I was on the blinder side of drunk at the end of it. This was obviously very stupid and I will never, ever do it again, but it wasn’t completely terrible at the time.

*UPDATE: It has been pointed out that Torpedo is in fact, only 7.2%. In which case, I blame Epic for the hangover.

Published in: on November 20, 2011 at 10:55 am  Comments (2)  

#68 Sierra Nevada – Pale Ale

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale Name: Pale Ale
Brewery: Sierra Nevada (Chico, California, USA)
Style: American Pale Ale
ABV: 5.6%
Source:  Galbraith’s Alehouse

It’s been a very sloppy weekend of belated blog posts and missing photos (my phone ran out of battery so I couldn’t take one of this beer), but rest assured I DID keep up with the drinking requirements – exceeded them beautifully, in fact.

Saturday’s beer (one of them) had been on my mind all day.

In the morning I visited my first ever brew shop (the wonderful Brewers Coop in Penrose, Auckland) to shop for ingredients for my first ever homebrew – which will (hopefully) be a slightly hoppier clone of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.

It may be a bit ambitious trying to clone such an excellent beer for my first ever attempt, but I figured that if I just have enough Cascade hops (delicious fruity/grapefruit hops that are used in SNPA) in my brew, then surely I can’t go too wrong. Right?

I caught the train back from Penrose with the delicious smell of hops was wafting from my bag (and for the dodgy looks I was getting I’m pretty sure people thought it  was something else), which bought on a uncontrollable urge to drink an SNPA. And later that evening at Galbraith’s (which has become my favourite place to watch Rugby), I did.

It poured a bright, clear gold with a finger of white head, and smelled of those lovely Cascade hops – citrusy (especially grapefruit) and flowers. On the palate there was a hint of caramel sweetness, a hint of hoppy bitterness – but it was altogether really clean, bright, and well balanced. It’s so quaffable (especially after the IPA I’d had before it) and if it were a bit cheaper then I’d happily drink it all night.

Luckily I’m going to have 20L of my own exact replica to get through soon – which will work out at around $4.50 per litre once I factor in the ingredients. Why oh why didn’t I think of doing this sooner!?!

Published in: on October 17, 2011 at 9:57 am  Comments (8)