BOTW–Sierra Nevada Harvest Ale

Beer of the Week!

Sierra Nevada Harvest Ale

Some of my favorite beers are “Fresh Hop” beers. That is, they are made with freshly harvested hops. These beers can only be made when the hop flowers are ready to be picked. Basically, the beer batch must be going and the hop flowers harvested simultaneously. Then the flowers rushed to the brewery to be added to the beer.

Toronado Pub has had a fresh hop festival for the last couple years, and it is one of the highlights, for me, of the fall beer drinking season.

One beer that I have missed nearly every year is the Sierra Nevada Harvest Ale. The nature of fresh hopped beers means that they are only available for a limited time each year, and I’ve just missed it every year.

I OD’d a bit on Sierra Nevada when we first moved to California. I was unemployed. Much TV was watched and many 24 packs of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale were purchased. Eventually I got a job and a bit tired of the flavor profile of Sierra Nevada’s Pale Ale.

The interesting thing about Fresh Hop beers is that they are not necessarily more hoppy than your average West Coast IPA. But, that the hop character is different. It is more alive, vegetal and complex. Sometimes there can almost be a barnyard character.

The Sierra Nevada Harvest 2007 is a bit more traditionally hoppier than some of the other fresh hopped ales I’ve had. Grapefruit, pine, all those wonderful hop flavors are present. A good malt backbone to support the hops. Complex sweet notes combined with interesting bitters.

Yeah, that’s something to look forward to next year!

Fried dark meat chicken, marinated tomatoes and greens, roasted yukon gold potatoes with shitake mushrooms. Obviously I am struggling with depth of field and white balance issues with this camera. Sorry about that.