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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale

What options does the Marriott Anaheim lobby bar offer for the discerning beer drinker? "Bud, Bud Light, Coors, Coors Light, Corona, and, uh... Sierra Nevada Pale Ale."

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale was on of the first beers I cut my teeth on, and was the "fancy beer" I drank when I could afford to drink high-class in college. I attended a music festival in the early 2000s where a couple of guys in the Sierra Nevada booth were serving the Pale Ale with a slice of orange... few things have tasted that amazing after a day of concerts out in the open in the blazing July heat.

It has likely been years since I have had a pint of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, and the other hotel offerings made this the clear choice for day twelve.

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale poured orange with a tint of red with the classic sticky Sierra Nevada head and plenty of bubbles (likely from the bottle conditioning The malt comes through the nose more than I remembered, giving off a piney sourdough scent with hints of sweet citrus.

On the tongue, the hops were more subdued but had bite and created a distinct taste of orange as the Ale doughy malts came on. The Pale Ale was a little sticky in the mouth, with all the flavors lingering long after the last swallow.

All in all, a classic Sierra Nevada brew... from the "bigger than most" flavors to their signature sticky hops it is a great session beer. The hoppy bitterness could turn off someone who doesn't drink beer, but in the world of big flavored beers it is on the lighter side. It could be my memory playing tricks on me, but, I remember the Pale Ale being more hop forward. I'm unsure if some of the decreased hop flavor is in my head, due to being older or mis-stored, or because of bottle conditioning versus on tap. Either way, it stands head and shoulders above the Marriott "competition."

ABV 5.6
IBU 37
OG 1.013
TG 1.004

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