Friday, December 14, 2007

Beer of the Week

Well we're in the thick of the season now; there's no chance of avoiding it, so might as well throw up your hands and declare it a celebration. Better yet, fill up your mug and call it a celebration!

This BOTW comes to us from one of the patriarch breweries of the American craft beer revolution: Sierra Nevada of Chico, California. Their seasonal ale looks like the Sierra Pale Ale, except with a festive red and white label, and is named Celebration Ale.

It's not really the malty heartiness you get from a lot of winter warmers, nor is it the spiced weirdness you get from other seasonals. Celebration is more like a special IPA. It pours a rich amber color with a minimal head. Like Sierra's Pale Ale, it has a flowery, grapefruit smell, and a bitter hoppy flavor as well. It has a bit of malt balance, but the strong alcohol (6.8%) and the hops whisk away the sweetness for a dry crisp finish. I actually wish they would let the malts come through a little bit more, as they seem prematurely quashed by the hops. You might avoid serving this one too cold so a more balanced flavor can come through.

While to me, this isn't that much of a departure from their IPA and APA, it is a good beer with Sierra's signature style. Celebration is a pleasant diversion from malty and spiced winter beers, so scoop up a 12 pack, deck the halls, and declare it a celebration!

Links of Interest:

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale

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