Brew for Thought: Sierra Nevada’s Homegrown Estate Ale

I am a bad grocery shopper. I’ve gotten better, but I still tend to buy things out of season especially if the price is reasonable. Winter just drags on and on and each day I feel my meals get less and less colorful. We’ve reached the point where fresh vegetables are realistically out of the question, although tomatoes and peppers have long been an afterthought in my cooking regiment (and no, those peppers at the grocery store barely resemble peppers and I refuse to buy them). But at this point, I crave freshness. I need something fresh to break the monotony. I need the nutrients that come from a timely harvest. I need a Sierra Nevada Estate Ale.

I've never seen beer foam over like that. Maybe this batch of yeast doesn't understand volume?

I recently bought an Estate Ale for a friends birthday and he graciously shared it. The beer gives off the taste that it was bottled yesterday, imparting some California warmth into an otherwise dull and dreary winter. Sierra Nevada really spared no expense on this beer, and it comes through.

I don’t have too much experience with wet hops, but in this case they lend a fruitier, fresher hue to the whole thing. My Wisconsin-beer-trained pallet pined for a bigger body, but that’s not really the point of this beer. The balance is there, and it lets each ingredient saliently get across its point without overwhelming any other. Unfortunately, it goes down smooth and a little too fast. You could say the same thing about summer in the Midwest or a sunset over Lake Monona.

Best enjoyed: When you’re tired of eating pickled veggies and root vegetables.

Best paired with: Root vegetables.

Find it: Sierra Nevada has a wide distribution, so I imagine you could find it pretty much anywhere.

Fighting the winter doldrums? Us too. Complain on Twitter (@midwestbeer), Facebook or drop us a line at mwbeercollective@gmail.com.

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