With the steady opening of more and more breweries and the creation of so many different brew recipes, it’s easy to go for the new beer and miss the chance to go back to a legendary craft beer, or even a new release from an established brewery.
When I started my craft beer journey years ago, there were less than 100 breweries in
America. Imports were fairly common then, but for the most part, beer from craft
breweries was really hard to find. Distribution was almost exclusively regional, meaning if the beer was brewed on the West coast it would be difficult, if not impossible, to find the beer here in the East. Now with over 6000 breweries and sophisticated distribution
systems, we can find beers here in Maryland that are brewed in any one of the 50 states!
I remember a trip to San Diego in the early 90’s, just as craft breweries were starting to
develop a significant fan base. I had dinner at a restaurant overlooking the Pacific Ocean and asked about their beer selection. I was happy to learn that they had a beer I had read about but had never been able to enjoy because that beer was just starting national distribution. When the beer arrived at the table, I held the glass to the light and marveled at its rich, amber color and crystal clarity. I took in the aroma as I lifted the glass for my first drink, and then was amazed by this delicious liquid. The craft beer? Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is a world-class Pale Ale and is something I pick up on a regular basis because it is so easy, and so enjoyable, to drink.
When I got back to the East coast from that trip, I started looking for Sierra Nevada Pale Ale with a passion. And with hard work and national distribution just hitting the East, I found it and immediately bought a case! Then that Christmas, I “discovered” Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale, an incredible IPA! And that is now a regular part of every Christmas for me.
Sierra Nevada continues to innovate and create some of the best beer in the world. But for me, it all started with Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Time for a cold one, now.
The Craft Beer Guy