Dah du dah dah..Dah du dah dah dah. HERE IT IS!! The FINAL THREE. And yep. You better believe it, I'm thinking of the Europe song. You KNOW me by now!!!
BEER & BREWERY #100
Straight from The Lost Abbey with New Brew Thursday and the incredible Brewmaster Tomme Arthur, I bring you BEER #100!!
BEER & BREWERY #99
Sierra Nevada Estate Wet Hop Ale, 6.7% ABV: Mmm. Nice! Wonderfully fresh aromas. Like standing in a hop field. Citrus, freshly cut grass, pine, and herbs. The pine from the Simcoe hops intensifies as it sits. Oh yeah. But let me say this to hopheads out there. It is not a punch-you-in-the-face hop assault. Compared to some SoCal IPA's this one might seem subdued. So, take it on its own. And for its delicious quality and more delicate nature. For those of you outside of California, it will be plenty hoppy.
One of the pioneers of the Craft beer movement, Sierra Nevada began in 1979 by Ken Grossman. I think it's safe to say there isn't a Craft beer drinker who hasn't enjoyed the trademark Pale Ale at some point in their journey to good beer. And I would dare say, there aren't many non-Craft drinkers who haven't at least heard of Sierra Nevada, even IF their lips have never parted from their watery Coors Light. Winning more awards than you could shake a stick at, and distributed in even the smallest hick Southern towns (believe me, I know), Sierra Nevada has brought Craft beer to the masses.
My favorites include their Harvest Series, Estate, Celebration Ale, and Anniversary Series. That's where their magic is.
BEER & BREWERY #98
Alesmith Yulesmith Summer Double IPA, 9.5% ABV: I am already a big fan of the Winter version, so I had an inkling this one would be a hit. Wowza. What a BEAUTIFUL, fluffy head! It looks like I should be dolloping it on a dessert. Frothy, creamy white. Vibrant, yet balanced nose of citrus, pine, grass, sage honey, and malt. The palate is exactly as it should be. While there are tons of hops, it is not an assault, but is rounded by a malt backbone. This would be a great food pairing beer, and perhaps it's the fireworks on the bottle, but I want this food at my next grill-out.
Began in 1995, Alesmith has collected over 400, yes 400 awards!! With knock-your-socks-off beers like Speedway Stout and Horny Devil (my two personal favorites), it's no wonder. I consistently turn people onto either stouts or Belgians with these beers alone. And I always get the wide-eyed, grinning from ear to ear expression from my converts. Victory for Craft beer!
Add to that a delicious lineup including their Yulesmith Summer & Winter, and the incredible Decadence and Grand Cru, and you've got yourself a top-notch brewery. If you've never tried an Alesmith beer, get yourself to a pub or shop forthwith. While their lineup includes 12 more beers, start with these and work your way backwards. Go big or go home right?
And THAT my friends concludes my 100 American Breweries in 30 days!! I can't believe yet another one is wrapping to a close. It has been a whirlwind, incredible, insanely delicious journey, and I thank you for joining me.
So, WHO then are my favorite breweries of the 100? Well, my beer comrades, that shall be my next post. The Top 10 American breweries selected by yours truly. Be sure to tune in and once the list is posted, YOU shall vote for the NUMBER 1 brewery!! Excited yet? You should be.
Until next time,
Go out there & find your challenges. Conquer them, and love every second of your triumph! And as always, DRINK CRAFT BEER.