Review: Sierra Nevada's Estate Homegrown Ale
About the brewery:
It'd be hard to overstate the importance of Sierra Nevada, which revolutionized our nation's craft-beer industry and remains the standard-bearer in many suds-slinging categories. Since the first Sierra Nevada Pale Ale was released in 1980, a thousand American microbreweries have tried to mimic the magic that emerged from Chico, California.
Why drink it:
Reputation definitely precedes this limited-edition harvest offering, and it earns extra points for being produced with hops and grains grown in the brewery's own northern California fields. It's also certified organic - good news for eco-friendly drinkers.
But is this simply a plain beer hiding inside some fancy gimmicks?
Not at all. Organic, homegrown pedigree aside, the Estate is a solid ale that should satisfy the craft connoisseur's need for complexity. Using wet hops reduces some of the pungent bitterness of the pale ale, yet a familiar grassy tinge remains. Citrus notes come forward early, with a shy butterscotch flavor hiding in a corner.
When to drink it:
The rather high price tag makes this a beer for special occasions, but the engaging harvest flavor would pair well with food, especially pork or chicken dishes. Just grab a bottle before the limited-edition supply is swiped from local shelves.
Palmer's Beverage Center
3375 Indianola Ave., Clintonville
Brewery: Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer: Estate Homegrown Ale
Type: Harvest ale
ABV: 6.7 percent
Cost: $10 for 22 oz. bottle
Grade: Three stars out of four