Pros: Finished in the bottle Naturally carbonated
Cons: Hopefully they don't run out
If the beer industry were forced to benchmark what a pale ale should taste like, they would use Sierra Nevada as the comparison pivot point.
From the time you pop one open and derive its presence of hopiness spouting out of the bottle neck ... to the time you pour its golden body into a glass that releases its residual containment of finished essence; you are led into a pre-satisfactory notion that you're in for a brewers treat!
Then the first sip ensues and Whammo! It's all gooooooood! Sparkle/zip/penache/zapppp give me another and I'll be just fine ... again ... again ... again ...
Sorry I lost my train of thought there for a minute. Sierra Nevada emerged during the micro-brew craze and sent a message to the brewers world about how it was going to deliver its product to its customers.
You see most of the other brewers who mass-market, grew beyond themselves as a true micro-brewery which meant they got into the mass producing aspect of the biz, which meant they had to sacrifice hand crafting for larger volume.
One of the biggest differences being the method of finishing the beer. The volume producers don't have time or space to allow the beer to finish itself in the bottle; or naturally carbonate itself by allowing the residual yeast to spend itself on the remaining malts and sugars after capping. Sierra Nevada does! The other guys have no other choice but to introduce carbonation by CO2 into the beer before capping.
Two critical conditions that produce the same results to an extent:
When you allow a beer to naturally carbonate itself, it will produce a more satisfying and finished full-bodied beer that settles down nicely after opening resulting in a richer lasting taste.
When you introduce artificial carbonation by CO2, you cut off the beers ability to age in its entirety much like that of picking a peach from a tree before it ripens. It will eventually ripen on the counter, but the peach won't have that full-bodied ripened taste. Carbonating beer by CO2 behaves in a similar manner, thus providing the drinker with a shorter-lived essence from each bottle.
Now the micro brewers do compensate well for this by hopping up their batches and using the finest yeasts and malts available no problem there. But Sierra Nevada is right beside them in those areas with one exception They refuse to grow any bigger then they already are, and they insist upon finishing the beer in the bottle by natural carbonation.
This my friends is the perfect way to make a beer. I should know, because I'm one of those dabblers out there that likes to brew my own beer, and I gotta tell you; there really is a difference when it comes to the final product that naturally carbonates itself.
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is the beer drinkers ale meant for the discriminating palate. It's not standard tailgaters beer and the bitter hops dictate the headiness of its essence. What you get is a refreshing taste treat that will lead your senses into a relaxing posture. The alcohol will support all this with a warm afterglow.
It's not a beer to chug one after another, but you might put away three or four before your night comes to a close. It's also an absolutely perfect accompanying whistle-wetter at lunch time. Try it with a turkey on rye with plenty of dijon, red onion, tomatoes, green leaf lettuce, and dare I include avocado. Yeowww ... now that's what I'm talkin' about! Talk about an afterglow!!
So the next time you're at the store and just gotta try something new, give Sierra Nevada Pale Ale a whirl. I'm betting you'll be fully satisfied.
Happy drinking, and may the hops be with you!