Name: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
Bottled/ Draft: Bottled, bottle conditioned
Price: £1.29 from Aldi
Colour: Amber, a little clouded from the yeast
Head: Fine, lingering head
Mouthfeel: Rich, full body and flavour
Taste: Strongly bitter, with the kind of “strong” flavour that I normally associate with very strong beers.
Comment: America is not a country I automatically associate with good beer; largely because it’s dominated by big, bland brands that don’t really taste of anything but bubbles (I blame Prohibition).
However, small producers have been brewing interesting, real ale for some years now and it’s getting increasingly easy to get hold of in the UK (thanks to the rather esoteric buying habits of Aldi!)
This is quite a classic, well conditioned Pale Ale – heavy on the hops but with a surprisingly rich, full flavour behind it. The yeast from the bottle conditioning lends a little cloudiness, as well as a faint yeasty smell, but these are never bad things in my book – yeast is such an important aspect of beer (it is, after all, what makes it beer!) that I don’t think the more obvious presence detracts in the slightest.