Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is the number one selling craft beer in the United States (total sales at almost $50.5 million, just ahead of Sam Adams Seasonal). It is the most widely distributed and culturally recognized Pale Ale, therefore acting as a quasi poster child for American craft brewing. That means that to “everyone else” (i.e. the largely uneducated general drinking public), Sierra Nevada Pale Ale stands as one of craft beer’s most important representatives to those who think Adjunct Lagers are next to perfect in the fermented beverage category. Thankfully, Sierra Nevada, along with Sam Adams, are often found wherever Adjuncts are sold. You can get it at your local supermarket, or the nearest Chili’s. Or, you can find it in bottles or on tap at a brewpub. It’s popular and commercialized, and it’s a staple.
America loves beer, and there’s no question that there will be some craft brews/brands that hit mainstream success. Frankly, I am perfectly happy that the most popular one as of today is Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. This is a classic English Pale Ale that is made with integrity and purpose. It pours a brilliant, crisp, clear light copper color, with a great foamy white-ish head. Cascade hops, used in finishing, are easily detectable on the nose every single time. The ale is balanced with Two-row Pale and Caramel malts … but not 50/50 balanced. This is still a hoppy Pale Ale.
Sierra Nevada makes excellent beer, and their flagship is no exception. The hop profile – Perle, Magnum, and Cascade – satisfies with a wonderful spiciness all the way through, and the malt makes for an initial sweetness in the sip that tastes great. At 5.6% ABV, this Pale Ale is easily sessionable. Enjoyable on hot and humid afternoons, great with all kinds of foods and at all kinds of gatherings.
It’s hard to find negative things to say about this beer. Sure, hopheads will say it’s not hoppy enough, but hey … it’s simply a Pale Ale. 37 IBUs ain’t shabby for a drinkable, quenching craft brew. I know I’m not the only one who enjoys this recipe.