The Annual Return of an American Classic

Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Ale, the name itself invokes legendary status. “Bigfoot captures the imagination, and its character is as big as the name implies, ” so said the late great beer writer Michael Jackson, quoted on SNB’s own website.  This is a beer with stories even longer than the finish.
Take the one many years ago when one barleywine style enthusiast used his accumulated frequent flyer miles to make a special trip to Chico, California, in order to purchase a couple of cases. Back in those times, Bigfoot was mostly only heard about rather than consumed. Its unavailability only contributed to its legendary status.
There was also the business about its alcohol strength. At 9.6% abv, it was a totally unknown animal in states like Ohio, where beer, by law, could not be above 6 percent. This lead to some awkward moments for light lager drinkers who soon discovered that this was an ale to be consumed gently, very gently.
But what makes Bigfoot the remarkable beer of legend is that this is Sierra Nevada Brewing’s new world take on traditional English barleywine, where West Coast hops add surprising support for a massive malty base. Even after many years, this recipe never fails to astound me with its delicious gargantuan approach. I could chew on this sip for a very long time.


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