Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Sierra Nevada Wet Hop Harvest Ale

Brewery: Sierra Nevada, Chico, California

Style: American IPA

ABV: 6.7%

Rating: 3 stars

A wet hop, or fresh hop, beer, is one made with hops that are never dried. They go straight from the plant to the pot in their fresh form. It's like getting a fresh, never frozen burger from Wendy's. Or maybe, in Sierra Nevada's case, like getting one from an In-N-Out Burger. A Wendy's fresh beef burger might be more like a Budweiser wet hop ale.

Well, the fresh hops come through. This batch of Harvest Ale is Sierra Nevada's 12th run, and they know what they're doing. The hops are big and sticky up front, with a delightful pine-ness. However, the back end of the swallow wasn't quite as pleasant. The piney flavors turn a bit brown, and the heavy end isn't what I was expecting. So this is an IPA with a backbone, they say. With some substance. Well I guess I like it beter without the substance. Just give me the wet hops.

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