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Hidden Gems: Sierra Nevada 30th Anniversary Grand Cru

March 16, 2011

We’ve actually had this one on the shelves for a while now (it came out in 2010), but I’m always amazed at how good it is. Brewed to mark their 30th anniversary, it’s a blend of three of their most popular brews (Pale Ale, Celebration, and Bigfoot), combining the best attributes of all of them. It’s got the complex hoppiness of their Pale Ale, the grapefruit bitterness of Celebration, with the strength and firm malt backbone of Bigfoot. It’s pretty much like a supergroup for beer. At 9.2% abv, it’s a blend of 78% ale and 22% ale aged in bourbon barrels, all generously dry-hopped. Deep amber in color, it has resinous, bitter hops that are balanced with flavors of oak and caramel, topped off with a warming finish. There’s a lot going on taste-wise, but the different components mix together to create a complex whole that earns the title of Grand Cru. I’d be interested to see how it matures with age, but I doubt I’d be able to hold onto a bottle for long enough.

Sierra Nevada, as one of the pioneering breweries in craft beer, has a lot to celebrate after 30 years. Founded in 1980 in Chico, CA, Sierra Nevada has not only revolutionized craft beer, but they are huge proponents of sustainable brewing practices as well (for details, check out Maggie’s post about it). Their legacy speaks for itself, and their integrity hasn’t diminished in the least. In fact in the same year that this Grand Cru was released, they earned the distinction of being named Green Business of the Year by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Sierra Nevada has cemented it’s place in the pantheon of American craft beer, and they’ve done it in style, with particular attention to their impact on the future. I credit their Pale Ale with turning me on to craft beer in the first place, and to this day I can’t think of a better introduction. Here’s to thirty more years of being awesome.

It pays to get involved…comment on our blog for a chance to win an Andover Liquors Gift Certificate! In order to be considered in our contest, the “rules” are simple. Pick a post, leave us your thoughts and sign your first and last name. It’s that easy…and you could win a $50 gift card, too!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Paul Raimondi permalink
    March 16, 2011 1:34 pm

    They are probably one of if not the largest craft beer producer that is still producing top quality brews. Cheers!

  2. Mark Mckenna permalink
    March 16, 2011 2:15 pm

    Sierras whole 30th line is excellent, the stout was my favorite with the grand cru coming in second.

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