Friday, January 25, 2008

I FOUND IT: SIERRA NEVADA’S CELEBRATION ALE ‘08

Sometimes an epiphany will arrive in the most unlikely place. Take for instance my trip to last night’s Golden State Warriors basketball game (a victory, of course – how strange it is to write those words). I reckoned I wasn’t going to drink anything once I arrived, let alone an $8 micro, but once I got there I took on the spirit of the arena & decided that one beer wouldn’t hurt anybody, let alone me. So I bellied up to the hot dog counter, and saw they were pulling SIERRA NEVADA CELEBRATION. Now, if you live in Northern California, you get a little jaded about Sierra Nevada beers. The flagship pale ale is everywhere, even in the worst sports or fern bar, and the others are fairly easy to come by (not BIGFOOT, but barleywine’s an acquired taste to be sure). Me, I’ve only had CELEBRATION once before, in 2006, and I liked it fine – so I said, “let’s do this”. What I didn’t know was that two glasses later I’d be calling this one of my favorite beers of the moment & certainly of the last couple years.

CELEBRATION ALE is everything I wish ANDERSON VALLEY BOONT AMBER still was. Crisp, hoppy, and smooth, with that ultra-fresh taste that I used to expect out of every Boont I drank (and I drank a lot of ‘em!) and that has unfortunately been lacking of late. CELEBRATION is Sierra Nevada’s winter ale, and you can certainly tell from the spices that are used to add zest to it. Some might be more tempted to call it an IPA, others a hopped-up amber. I’m good with all of those. It has just a wonderful mouthfeel, and although it’s trite to say it, “I could drink these all night”. I thought about how I could have improved it by wishing upon a star, and realized that I could not, in fact, improve it. That good. What a beer! 10/10.

2 comments:

justinsloe said...

It really is a fine beer. It's high hop profile makes it best at its freshest. Every year, I'm always excited to see shops stocking it even as early as before Halloween.

Damien said...

It is an excellent beer. When I first arrived in the US a few years ago it was the first Christmas seasonal I tried.

I'm not convinced that it is spiced though. It seems at least to my mind, that the flavours and aromas in this beer could all have been created from its generous hop profile.