Beer Camp Hoppy Lager
IPL (India Pale Lager)
This is not the first nor will it be my last of this budding style of beer. My first dalliance with an IPL was the Golden Road Might As Well IPL. I thoroughly enjoyed that beer and think I like this one even better.
What I am most surprised by in this beer is how light, “crisp and clean1” it is. It definitely has a nice hop profile, great citrus and floral aroma and flavor. It is not bitter like an IPA though, and for a 7% ABV beer it is very easy to drink. Sierra Nevada created this year’s Beer Camp Hoppy Lager as a remix of last years Imperial IPL Electric Ray, a collaboration beer made with Ballast Point.
Through some very brief research, I looked at the Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Hoppy Lager webpage, I found out how they were able to get the great hop aroma and flavor without making the beer bitter.
Basically when you add hops to the kettle during the boiling process it causes isomerization allowing “resinous acids to mix with the liquid without separating out.” The acids cause the bitterness in the beer. If you add hops after the boiling process or into the fermenters it allows hop oils to mix with the beer, giving you hop flavor and aroma without the bitterness. While I’m sure many of you were well aware of this, I hoppily2 learned something new today.
The citrus and floral hop aroma and flavor melded with the lager malt body makes for a really nice beer. I’m finishing up the last of my 6 pack, sad with the knowledge that I will never have this particular beer again. This is a Spring Seasonal brew and while I look out the window to see snow on the ground, this spring beer is already sold out in my market and Sierra Nevada Summerfest is on its way.
I do hate that in our culture seasons and holidays are pushed forward, and then when it’s appropriate for a seasonal item it is too late, as stores are already selling items appropriate for the next season or holiday. Enough of my complaining about the “Unified Field Theory of Creep,” as Gregg Easterbrook has coined it and written about extensively. If you do see a 6 pack of this beer on the shelves make sure you buy it before it’s gone forever.
I feel compelled to mention something about the Budweiser “Macro Beer” Superbowl Ad. Many others have written eloquent and insightful pieces about the ad, specifically The Beer Babe.
I was watching the game with 4 friends. We all have different beer tastes. The one common factor when the Budweiser ad came on was that not a single one of us was drinking a Budweiser. Sure my brother was drinking a Bud Light, as that is his favorite beer. I was drinking a Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Hoppy Lager, another friend was drinking a Shock Top Shockolate, another a Leffe Blond Belgian Beer, and the last was drinking a Redd’s Apple Ale. As you can see that is an eclectic group of beverages, a couple of us are the “beer geeks” who fuss over and dissect our beers, the others not so much. Again though, the commonality was that no one was drinking a Budweiser. Most importantly that ad wasn’t going to make any of us drink a Budweiser any time soon. Maybe “this Bud’s for you,” but it sure as hell isn’t for me or the vast majority of people I know.
Here are a couple good rebuttal videos to the Budweiser Ad.