Review: Sierra Nevada's Estate Homegrown Ale

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

About the brewery:

It'd be hard to overstate the importance of Sierra Nevada, which revolutionized our nation's craft-beer industry and remains the standard-bearer in many suds-slinging categories. Since the first Sierra Nevada Pale Ale was released in 1980, a thousand American microbreweries have tried to mimic the magic that emerged from Chico, California.

Why drink it:

Reputation definitely precedes this limited-edition harvest offering, and it earns extra points for being produced with hops and grains grown in the brewery's own northern California fields. It's also certified organic - good news for eco-friendly drinkers.

But is this simply a plain beer hiding inside some fancy gimmicks?

Not at all. Organic, homegrown pedigree aside, the Estate is a solid ale that should satisfy the craft connoisseur's need for complexity. Using wet hops reduces some of the pungent bitterness of the pale ale, yet a familiar grassy tinge remains. Citrus notes come forward early, with a shy butterscotch flavor hiding in a corner.

When to drink it:

The rather high price tag makes this a beer for special occasions, but the engaging harvest flavor would pair well with food, especially pork or chicken dishes. Just grab a bottle before the limited-edition supply is swiped from local shelves.

Palmer's Beverage Center

3375 Indianola Ave., Clintonville

614-263-7444

Brewery: Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Beer: Estate Homegrown Ale

Type: Harvest ale

ABV: 6.7 percent

Cost: $10 for 22 oz. bottle

Web: sierranevada.com

Grade: Three stars out of four