Beer of the Week – Sierra Nevada Celebration Fresh Hop Ale

It’s beginning to look a lot like … well … like Christmas in July.

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Oy, vey … it’s HOT!

Two weeks ’til Christmas and it’s in the 70’s and i’m mowing my grass. Welcome to Louisiana in the “Winter.” The recent rains have given new life to my lawn, and this new – albeit, late – growth necessitated a round on the lawn tractor. Dusty, muggy, HOT. A post-mow cool down necessitated a cold brew, so I reached into the trusty fridge and fished out a Sierra Nevada Celebration Fresh Hop Ale.

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One thing that Sierra Nevada is known for is their use of hops, and this brew doesn’t disappoint. An American IPA, it poured a cloudy, rich amber (with an orange hue) with a generous head that left copious amounts of lacing … just like a good IPA should. The nose is piney and hoppy with citrus undertones (and malt?). The taste was hoppy, grapefruit with a balancing sweet, malty note under it all. The 6.8% ABV is well balanced with the complexity of the hoppy, crisp dry flavor. Be forewarned … if you are NOT a hophead, do not try this brew – the crisp, chewy hop finish will grate a palate that doesn’t welcome a hopppy brew. The mouthfeel is crisp, light and tingly … tastes like a crisp winter day (unlike the weather on the day I sampled it). I found myself imagining the yard full of fluffy white snow as i sipped on this great winter brew … but as I mopped the sweat from my brow, I came crashing back to reality.

Joel is a local beer enthusiast, home brewer, member of the American Homebrewers Association®, The Louisiana Craft Brewers Guild and is a Cicerone® Program Certified Beer Server

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