The year was 1993. I was in San Diego for a radio Program Directors conference and joined a large group of fellow Program Directors for dinner at a restaurant overlooking the Pacific Ocean. At that time, restaurants didn’t routinely feature beers on their menus, so when our server came to the table, I asked if they had any beer from microbreweries. As I talked about last week in this Craft Beer on the Bay feature, in the 90’s “microbrewery” was the industry term for what we now call “craft” beer. When our server started off by saying that they had a beer from a California microbrewery on draft and it was Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, I jumped in and said “Perfect”. And when the beer arrived at the table, it was just that; perfect. 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 enchanting liquid. My first ever Sierra Nevada Pale Ale on draft!
Since that time, I have gone on to enjoy a lot of Sierra Nevada beers, and every one, without exception, has been stellar. Pale Ale, Hazy Little Thing, Torpedo, Celebration, Big Foot, Hoptimum, Summerfest, Hop Bullet…the list goes on. With each beer–each with its own distinct style–Sierra Nevada hits it out of the park.
Now, Sierra Nevada has released something very special. With the year 202o upon us, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company has released a beer celebrating their 40-year anniversary! That’s right: Sierra Nevada was established in 1980! And the beer is so good! Hoppy Anniversary Ale is a classic West Coast IPA. Brewed with Cluster, Centennial and Cascade hops, this 6.0% ABV beer is absolutely spectacular. It has just the right amount of bitterness, with 65 IBUs–International Bittering Units, a measurement of a beer’s bitterness–and citrus and pine in both the beer’s aroma and its flavor. I drank this beer for the first time last night and it is delicious. And I have some cold Hoppy Anniversary Ale at home right now for when I finish work!
So join me this weekend..and all this year until Hoppy Anniversary Ale is gone..and toast Sierra Nevada’s wonderful success and drink a world-class beer at the same time!
The Craft Beer Guy