Craft Goodness from Chico, California

It should come as little surprise that Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, known for their obsession with fresh hops, would produce for this year’s Anniversary Ale, an IPA brewed with what they describe as “sustainably grown Cascade hops”.
Over the 29 years the brewery has been in operation, Sierra Nevada has revealed time and again, to be one of the finest craft breweries in the United States. This 2009 Anniversary Ale not only showcases the magnificence of Cascade hops, but with the balance inherent in this recipe, serves as a gentle reminder of the other fine productions in their portfolio, from Torpedo to Pale Ale to Stout to Porter year round, to their holiday seasonal Celebration Ale to the deep winter Big Foot barley-wine style Ale. Not to forget the richly layered Hop Harvest Signature Series, a hemispheric tribute to wet hops, and soon it seems a production is coming from the Chico Estate, utilising hops grown by the brewery.
20 years ago things were quite different here in the Midwest. I remember the first time I tasted Celebration Ale 1989 and was nearly overwhelmed by tasting an IPA like recipe, presented as a holiday beer. Which was quite new in those days, and was made even more exotic by the fact, that Sierra Nevada beers had very limited availability. Things like Big Foot were unknown legends. But all that changed as we moved into the 21st century. Sierra Nevada beers are available nearly everywhere, and despite an increase in production size, they remain ales of the highest quality.
Of course the brewery’s personality is not for everyone. People who do not like pronounced hops should stay clear. But judging by the spectacular success of their year round Torpedo IPA, there are plenty of folks who like hop heavy beers.
It’s good when good things happen from a good brewery. Cheers and Thank You.
The Beer Doctor

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