I don’t want to become the crotchety guy who just bitches about beer he doesn’t like. So, here’s one I liked. It’s Sierra Nevada’s Estate Homegrown Ale.
This is a wet hop ale that Sierra Nevada brewed with hops and barley grown on their own property, which is strange because I think Chico, CA, may be better known for other homegrown crops.
It pours a lovely copperish-orange, with a nice, white, big-bubbled head. It kind of smells like a sauvignon blanc…er, what I meant to say is: what kind of self-respecting male would drink a sauvignon blanc? Let’s try again. The hop aroma is pretty strong grapefruit, with some herbal zippiness.
As for the taste, drinking this beer feels just shy of taking part in a (fully-clothed) grapefruit-themed fraternity hazing ritual.
There is some pine and herbal quality to the hops as well, but mainly grapefruit. And despite the fact that this is a hop monster, there is some decent malt character in there to balance it. This is a well-crafted beer. Get this if you like being brutalized by hoppy, but not-over-the-top, beers.
The Haybag: It’s a pretty good beer. In hoppy beers, though, I prefer the orange-citrus or floral hop character to the grapefruit bomb. And I would have preferred a little more sweetness as a backbone. You’re still crotchety.