Monthly Archives: February 2010

Drinking It All: #11 Sweetwater IPA

Drinking It All is a document of my attempt to try every beer in circulation. It’s a Herculean and tragic attempt at best. But it’s the means, not the end that counts here.

sweet water + mystery hops=yes, yes, yes

The last of the papers have been graded–it’s officially time for beer.

So, I’m going through and finishing the hanger-ons from some sixpacks I bought specifically to post about. Today I’m on the last Sweetwater IPA from a sixpack a friend brought back with him the last time he was in town. Sweetwater’s the premeire, I guess, brewery in Atlanta, GA. Or at least it’s the only one I know of. I think they’re most famous for their 420 Pale Ale, but that’s for another day.

I realize the last post was about an IPA, as is is this one (I’ve also got one more IPA in the dugout), so I’ll try to switch it up a bit the next couple out. The Sweetwater IPA is described (on the label) as being a mammoth IPA with generous quantities of premium hops. Very specific, I know. Although vague, this description seems pretty apt to me. The hops are definitely a big part of the beer–it’s spicy and bitter, more so than the Anniversary Ale of the last post. This is one of the few IPAs I’ve had that tastes pretty close to what hops actually smell like. And this is a fantastic thing. (You, dear reader, should smell hops, either pellets or whole leaf. To put it subtly–Sheeit. (In a good way))

I can’t be specific about what type of hops were used, nor can I give any kind of educated guess, but whatever they are seems to work well. This is a solid IPA. It’s a bit tougher than a standard Pale Ale, such as Sierra Nevada’s or Anchor’s Liberty Ale, but not so much so to turn people off–I don’t think.

I’ve heard that you can volunteer to work in the Sweetwater brewery for a day and receive some beer as a gift/reward. I’d strongly recommend volunteering when/if you’re in the Atlanta area (haven’t done it myself, but I haven’t really been to Atlanta since I was probably 12). Free beer’s always a good incentive to do some manual labor, and if this beer’s free–sign me up.

Thumbs up or thumbs down? I’m going with up. Obviously I’m stupid for IPAs, and this one’s a keeper.

P.S. Lest you think I’m focusing too much on beers I’m fond of (a fair statement (afterall, I’m the one doing the drinking here)), I’m always up for suggestions. Also, I know there are plenty of bad beers I can get my hands on, so look forward to the next couple of entries being particularly amusing (read: bad, cheap, shitty).

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Drinking It All: #10 Sierra Nevada 2009 Anniversary Ale

Drinking It All is a document of my attempt to try every beer in circulation. It’s a Herculean and tragic attempt at best. But it’s the means, not the end that counts here.

that's a hoppin bitch

So I’ve been out of commision for some time now. And I’ve been saving some last-of-the-sixpack-beers for posts but have also been too lazy to post. The beers are still there, I’m still here, you are (I guess) still there, so let’s talk about some fucking beer.

Specifically Sierra Nevada’s 2009 Anniversary Ale. This beer’s an IPA style, which I’m happy about, but they change the recipe every year. (Not having had any previous anniversary ales, or wanting to look it up, I can’t tell you if they’re all IPAs.) I doubt that you’d have much luck finding this beer on the shelves anymore, though you might, because I bought the sixpack probably 3 or 4 months ago. That’s right, I’ve been saving this for that long. That’s willpower to drive a truck. Big fuckin truck.

So the beer is an IPA, which, good little students know, tastes hoppy more so than malty. They’ve used Cascade hops for this beer. If you’ve had Sierra Nevada’s Pale Ale, you should know Cascade hops well–they’re the reason that that Pale Ale tastes somewhat like grapefruit. So this Anniversary Ale is not so much different than the Pale Ale, except for a more pronounced hop flavor.

Again, this is good. None of this is to say that the beer tastes like hop tea. It’s definitely a balanced beer that just leans more towards hops than malt. It’s easier to drink than other IPAs I’ve had are. By that I mean that someone who isn’t necessarily into IPAs would be likely to pick this one up and not be surprised by such a strong hop (though they wouldn’t call it hops, I imagine) aspect.

If I had the moneys, I’d drink this all the time. Although it is relatively cheap, but now probably out of stock. We (I) all look forward to next year.

Thumbs up or thumbs down? Up, but it’s not like I can go buy it again now is it?