Sierra Nevada — Chico Estate Harvest Wet Hop Ale — 6.7%

Fellow beer aficionado Talkin’ Bob and I had an impromptu tasting in preparation for the first presidential debate.  Nothing says democratic process like a head-to-head throw down between a few of the greatest California brewers operating right now.

First up was a real find: Chico’s own Sierra Nevada has been producing a wet-hopped ale for local consumption at their brewery for five years now, but this is their first attempt at bottling it. All of the Cascade, Centennial, and Chinook hops used in this ultra-rare brew are grown in Chico on the 20th Street property. This allows them to toss fresh-picked hops directly into the brew kettle without letting them dry out, ensuring that all of the natural oils remain intact.

The first thing I noticed upon pouring this brew was the magnificent light tan-colored head. The coppery ale throws off a surprisingly malty nose, but upon first sip, it’s all earthy garden notes. Kind of like licking a lawnmower in heaven.

Grade: A

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