07 May 2005

Going west

Popped into top offy Redmond's of Ranelagh on my way home this evening for a browse. As well as some regular supplies (mostly Maeve's) I picked up a bottle of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, for a try.

I was quite impressed. I have had some bad run-ins with American beer in the past (proper beer - not industrial run-off), but this was among the better ones. The fizz was a bit unexpected in something claiming to be bottle conditioned, but it quite suited the crisp sharpness of the beer overall. However it still suffered from a lack of depth: I've yet to find an American beer that has the satisfying roundness of a European ale (though the guys at Allagash come close). Still, pale and crisp was presumably what they were going for and they can't be faulted for achieving it.

A plus for putting the strength on the label, though a minus for the absence of a formal ingredients list. How do you Americans do it? How do you buy beer without even knowing how loaded it's going to get you?

All in all, a positive experience, but given the hefty price tag I think mine'll be a Duvel next time, I'm afraid.

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