Sierra Nevada IPA

Finally found this stuff at a liquor store in Berkeley a few days ago. I'd first heard it existed about a year ago. It's extremely easy to find their Pale Ale, Stout and Porter. I wondered wtf is goin' on with not being able to find their IPA? So anyway. DISCLOSURE:I'm totally whipped on IPAs and esp Double IPAs. I'm a complete Hop-Head, and even marginal IPAs are preferred over most other beers. But this is probably the worst, weakest IPA I've ever had. And I've had a lot. Very underwhelming. At least it's the worst I've ever had from a west coast of US brewery. Tastes like they skimped on hops big-time. (Afraid of alienating the General beer-public by making it too bitter? Sorta like Mexican restaurants that serve "hot salsa" that no one wd break a sweat on? Anyway.)
Now I fully understand why I couldn't find SN IPA for so long: it can't compete with the other stuff out there that Hop Heads go nuts for. One of my other favorite IPA brewers - I forget who: Moylan's? - says on their bottle "Go big or get out." Something like that. I agree. If you're gonna be on the Left Coast of the USA and brew an IPA, now is not the time to come up with something like Samuel Smith's.
I think maybe it is Butte Creek who said the thing about going big. Nonetheless...
I have one more in the fridge, but I think I'll revert to my cache of Green Flash West Coast IPA, of which every bottle seems inhabited by the Hop Gods.
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Translation: my tongue has been fried by over-hopped beers to the point where a rock has a more discerning palate than I do.
They didn't. They use lots of English-variety hops. Your burnt-out palate just can't perceive non-5C hops anymore.
It's plenty bitter. It's just not full of tongue-coating resins like typical west coast IPAs, so the bitterness has a different quality.
I couldn't disagree more. Any bozo can make a SHITE beer and cover up all its flaws with an ass-load of hops. That has unfortunately become the recipe for success for all but a handful of west coast craft breweries. I applaud and support those exceptions, like Sierra Nevada, that can actually produce beers with balance, finesse, and quality.
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Jon Binkley

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