Being from Chicago, as I began to acquire my taste for beer snobbery one of the first beers to help me on my way with that was local GOOSE ISLANDâ€™s HONKERâ€™S ALE. My god, just writing those words makes me salivate. I cannot acquire Goose Island now that I reside on the West Coast, so when I go home thatâ€™s pretty much all I drink (although now that BELLâ€™S is being distributed to Chicago again I have to split it between the two). But out here on the West Coast, in my day-to-day existence, Iâ€™ve come to drink Sierra Nevadaâ€™s Pale Ale, it being the closest thing to Goose Island I can get.
So Iâ€™ve always loved Sierraâ€™s Pale Ale. It used to be a mainstay of my â€˜travel beersâ€™, as I travel a lot and SN seems to have a wide enough distributorship and a loyal enough fan base among all age groups that you can get it pretty much anywhere. Milwaukee and Ohio road trips were always prime Sierra time, and I have many fond memories of stumbling out of the Cactus Club or the C-bar after several too many Sierraâ€™s. But hold on you say, letâ€™s not forget this wonderful breweryâ€™s other products. Their Wheat is also good, though not one of my favorite Wheats, and the celebration is also, in my opinion, a quality brew although again, not something I deviate to all that much.
But now that Iâ€™ve had the Sierra Nevada Anniversary Brew I have to say, if I could find it in cases I would probably be switching.
This brew is so smooth itâ€™s incredible. Same basic body as the Pale, but a less hoppy taste, and a really clean finish. No aftertaste, which is kinda bad in that it leaves you wanting another sip right away. I couldnâ€™t stop with this one until the sixer was gone, and it held my attention to the point that I continually stopped what I was doing to engage the beverage consciously while drinking it, none of this absent minded, passive imbibing. No, I literally acknowledged ever sip as being â€˜Goddamn Amazingâ€™.
Iâ€™m not sure if itâ€™s a limited edition. The Anniversary is 1980-present, and letâ€™s hope these guys and gals keep putting out quality intoxicants for decades to come (as long as the GOP doesnâ€™t reinstate prohibition in the name of the flying spaghetti monster that is).