Thursday, June 12, 2008

Sierra Nevada Southern Hemisphere Harvest

With dinner tonight (Paired with turkeyburgers, baked potato, & salad). I had a new Sierra Nevada Southern Hemisphere Harvest Ale. This is a new addition to their series of beers that they brew with fresh hops. I'm a big fan of the Chico Estate Harvest. While their other two Harvest beers are brewed with wet hops, the hops in this beer are picked in New Zealand, immediately dried, then flown to the brewery in less than a week. Hops used are fresh Pacific Hallertau, New Zealand Motueka and New Zealand Southern Cross hops.

Upon pouring the beer you are greeted with a pleasant citrus aroma, though not to strong. Thick yellowish foam, and a very nice caramel color. A real clear, colorful looking beer. At first taste you definitely taste sweet malt and can really taste the hops. Mouthfeel seemed a bit thin however, and the aftertaste I would say may be a bit astringent if not too bitter. Not too sure I like the hops used in this beer

All things considered, I think I'm maybe a bit disappointed with this one. Maybe I just got spoiled with the wet hops in the Chico Estate Harvest Ale which I'd say is one of my favorite beers. This one just really didn't seem to compare. I'm wondering if it should really be considered a fresh hop beer if the hops are dried and then flown around the world? Perhaps it's a function of the hop shortage? Find hops wherever you can - then use it as a marketing tool? Good idea probably - it got me to buy a couple bottles.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Dogfish Head is Finally Here

Since trying some Dogfish Head a couple years ago back east I've always kept my eye out for it out here on the west coast. And finally last week while at my local brewshop I finally found some. I picked up a 4-pack of their 90-minute Imperial IPA. A 90 minute means that hops are added throughout the 90 minute boil. It's a 9% beer, so it's big and they recommend drinking from a snifter. The beer has a somewhat fruity malt character that complements the hops very nicely and adds complexity so you don't just get smacked with the high alcohol content.

The website says the beer pairs well with pork chops, beef, fish, escargot. Since I wasn't about to go pick snails from the backyard, I figured a homemade pizza would be good instead. This is a great beer, and if 9% is too much for you, they also have a 60 -minute IPA and other varieties as well. Pick some up if you can - you won't be disappointed!!