Sierra Nevada- Hoppy Anniversary Ale
We tried Sierra Nevada's Hoppy Anniversary Ale, a special series made to celebrate the brewery's 40th year of operation. The ale isn't an IPA, in spite of the puny name, but had some surprises in it that made it an intriguing beer. This ale sits at a solid 6% a.b.v., making it a great choice during winter's transition into spring and thusly the drinking population's shift away from those heavy beers of winter as well.
Appearance: As ale's go, make no mistake, this one is golden in color, but leans more toward a honey gold rather than the deep amber gold found in the high Sierra's. The beer pours nicely and forms a pleasing amount of head when in the hands of a professional.
Smell: Approaching the glass, the first thing you will smell is the hops. The notes are not massive but are strong enough to give some character to this seemingly traditional ale. Once you get past the hops, you will find a hint of alcohol and citrus.
Taste: One of the first flavors you will encounter is that bitterness from the hops, and while it's a pleasant amount that doesn't punch you in the teeth, it is the only note in the beer flavor-wise. It does finish clean, but that initial bitterness isn't unwelcome as that is one of the main reasons you enjoy an ale or an IPA in the first place. Mouthfeel wise it isn't super heavy and it isn't water either as it strikes a delicate balance between the two which is why it's fantastic for mid to late winter.
Marketing: The bottle retains the signature Sierra Nevada logo and color scheme of said logo. It's dressed up in 40th anniversary garb without being too audacious or annoying, but it does lack that outdoorsy feeling that represents the line-up of Sierra Nevada. Its safe design is fine for this short run of beer.