American Beer Pioneers

Tip of the day: Forget what you think you know about American beer.

Sure, if you believe what you see on TV, they all seem to drink Coors Light, and Bud Light, and Miller, and a whole host of other watered-down bland lagers.

As a result, many people think that’s all that American beer is about. Cheap, and easy-t0-drink beer.

I know that to many people, that’s all their looking for in a beer.

And don’t get me wrong, I will happily down a few lagers or draughts at the end of a hot day simply because they are very drinkable and it’s easy to down a few after a hot day in the sun.

However, if you’ve ever listened to me recommending beers you would be well aware of the plethora of sensational beers out there – even some brewed by the Yanks.

Today we’ll be looking at just one brewery though: The Sierra Nevada Brewing Company.  Established in 1980 in Chico, California, it is now the 6th biggest brewing company in the US, and in my opinion, the best.


Well, not only do Sierra Nevada beers come in 355ml bottles – giving you 25ml extra than most beers these days – but they produce a range of big, flavoursome brews that actually remind you you’re drinking beer – as opposed to slightly malty, slightly hoppy carbonated water.

In terms of the beers they make, they’ve got most bases covered in their year-round selection: Pale Ale, IPA, Stout, Porter and Hefeweizen. These beers are fantastic, and they’re now being sold all over the place in Australia, so you have no legitimate excuse not to track them down.

However, what adds to the appeal of these guys is their specialty drafts, which are usually only available at their brewery (which I WILL visit at some stage).

Turns out they experiment with beers all the time and have produced at one time or another a Juniper Black Ale, Chocolate Chilli Imperial Stout, Syrah Barrel-Aged Brown Saison, a Wood-Aged Porter and an Almond Marzen beer.

Now that’s my kind of brewery. If only the place wasn’t so far away……

So next time someone suggest bringing Budweiser to a party as their ‘choice’ American beer, kindly lead them towards Sierra Nevada.


2 thoughts on “American Beer Pioneers

  1. Sam, you may not yet know that Sierra Nevada is expanding to the east coast in the US. They are opening another brewery in the Blue Ridge Mountains near Asheville NC.
    I wrote an article about the expansion with cool photos of the area that you can read on our blog. You may also subscribe to our free magazine if you wish to.

    I like the way that do your reviews! Have you ever considered contributing to other publications?

    David Ivey
    Black Bucket Brew Inbox Magazine Editor

  2. Impressive blog you’ve got set up! Some good reads in there.
    Haven’t had thoughts of contributing to other publications at this stage, I just like to drink new, different and unique beers and then write about them…..
    Maybe something for the future, we’ll see how we go!

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