14 March 2006

Glory Glory Glory

I stopped by the QFC store this evening after Karate looking for some Gatorade, as I was a bit dehydrated. What did I find in the Beverage aisle but a six-pack (just one on the shelf) of Sierra Nevada India Pale Ale. For those of you not so into beer, know that Sierra Nevada is a truly first-rate large brewery that makes several of my favorite beers (celebration ale, and the best large-brew porter around) and the IPA is my favorite style of beer. I didn't even know that Sierra Nevada made an IPA. Oh joy.

For the record, I found it excellent, creamy and smooth, malty and a little fruity, well-hopped but not overpoweringly so. My perception on this may be skewed since I am used to some local IPAs which are so hoppy that they will sear your palate clean off.

I also picked up a regular favorite of mine, the Smoked Porter out of Stone Brewing in San Diego (pictured). Really full-bodied and robust -- very rich, almost like a stout. Hints of chocolate and coffee, smoky but not heavily so. I could drink this all night.

"Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." Benjamin Franklin


  1. Sounds marvelous!

    I had a few nice beers and whiskeys this weekend as well, so it's in the air. Sierra Nevada is indeed a great brewery.

    Lately I've been enjoying the products of the Anchor Distillery, which is an off-shoot of the Anchor Brewing Company (of Anchor Steam fame). They are dedicated to old Amrican-style whiskeys and have done a great job. Their gin is also very nice.

  2. Is the IPA different than the pale ale with green label? Or are you talking about the same thing?

  3. So I went to a liquor store with Matt this past weekend and we spent more time browsing whiskey than beer. Odd difference from the last time I was out buying liquor with Matt (probably Josh's wedding). My interest in beer is picking back up though. I'm happy about that. Matt has a nice porter he brewed on tap. It was very good. I picked up FUller's London Porter and was very disappointed although I thought I remember liking it. I always preferred Anchor's porter to Sierra Nevada's, but I think the two breweries are clearly in different size categories with SN being much larger. The last good new porter I ran across was a Vanilla porter Matt and I had at the GABF several years ago. I love porter. I love vanilla. Together they were great. I'll look for the one you note in this post.

  4. Yes, an IPA is different from a regular Pale Ale. It is made with a higher alcohol and hop content. It tends to have more body, often much more body, and the hops add both a floral and bitter character to the beer, with a much stronge aftertaste (which is a good thing). Many american IPAs are very intense; the Sierra Nevada is more like an English IPA, which is more understated.

    If you live in DC, Kate, there are a number of good local IPA's. I recommend the Dominion Bremery, though there are dozens of good labels.

    IMHO, the IPA is the highest expression of the brewer's art, but that may just be because I am a complete and utter hop-head.

    And Matt, I like the Anchor Brewery so much I just may try some of their distillery, though I am generally indifferent to liquor.

  5. so there really is a SN IPA. I must have this. I lived in CA for four years SN pale ale is my favorite beer. i wonder if I can get the IPA in my current locale, Kansas City.

    I'm moving to DC in about a month, so I'll keep an eye out for dominion brewery.

  6. Kate. You won't have to look hard, especially if you are going to be in Northern Virginia. Dominion is awesome. I'm a hophead. Go for Tupper's Hoppocket Ale. Their lager (Dominion Lager) is an absolutely fabulous beer and my favorite in terms of versatility. It is flavorful and full-bodied. It is one of the best examples of an easy to drink yet very good and flavorful beer I have ever come across. I miss Dominion. They do great seasonals too.

  7. Old Dominion Lager is indeed my very favorite beer. It's not in my favorite style, but it's the greatest beer brewed. Tuppers is contract brewed at Dominion and is fabulous, fabulous, fabulous.

    They also brew a fine root beer.

    Also, take the brewery tour, it will be fun.

  8. It has been probably 8 or 9 years since I visited their "brewpub" at Ashburn. I would guess it has changed a lot. At the time it was a charming little space with plastic red and white checkered tablecloths serving sandwiches and great beer. I'm not sure one could ask for more.

  9. I recently found my Dead Guy Ale Rogue again! *sigh* pure bliss...

    And a local bar has Anchor Steam on tap! It is truly one of my favorite beers! damn, now I want a beer...


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