Sierra Nevada Flipside: Better than a Phil Spector B-Side

Next up, Sierra Nevada Flipside Red IPA:


Brewers tend to focus their seasonal energy on the main seasons: Summer, Fall, Winter, and Spring. However, Flipside appears to be a beer meant for the fleeting seasonal moment between Summer and Fall. The weather is cooling, but nobody has yet earned the right to be kicked in the nuts for uttering the term “leaf peeping”. It’s kind of like a Summer Flipside/B-Side beer, akin to the old recording practice of putting the song not intended to be the focal point of the vinyl single on the flipside. Yes, vinyl…as in records.

phonograph dj

Of course, B-side quality varies. Phil Spector wanted DJs only to play the A-side track. So, if Phil Spector was your producer, you were just as guaranteed to have a shit song on your B-side as you were to be chased around the studio at gunpoint by your producer dressed in a karate outfit. On the other hand, sometimes Flipsides ended up just as important, or more so, than the A-side. Case in point, the Smiths. The B-side to “William, It Was Really Nothing” (you know…the brooding, depressing one about unrequited love) was “How Soon Is Now?” (the brooding, depressing one about unrequited love), which ended up one of their most well-known songs.

Yes, Morrissey. Tasty, tasty murder.

Yes, Morrissey. Tasty, tasty murder.

Now for Sierra Nevada’s Flipside. It pours a clear copper with a big, off-white head that hangs around a bit like it just wants to be loved. It’s dark enough that it looks less like an end of Summer affair and more like a Fall ditty, à la Red Hoptober. The smell says otherwise. It smells lively, with some grapefruit and none of the 10-ton truck malt that I was expecting (don’t get me wrong, that would have been heavenly). And in the taste, the Citra, Simcoe, and Centennial work hand in glove, with light tropical and citrus, particularly grapefruit. There is a little earthiness and perhaps some spice that I thought was a little rye in the malt bill. But I was wrong. No rye. I’m so sorry. Lastly, it finishes somewhat dry (but not overly so) in a final nod to Summer.

It’s not mind-blowing by any measure, but I think it’s pretty good. Though, Morrissey would say: I was looking for some hops, then I found some hops. And heaven knows I’m miserable now…actually, maybe not. Maybe this beer would even make Morrissey happy.

The Haybag: It’s decent. Who the hell is this whiny Morrissey guy? Is this another one of your 80s things that I allegedly don’t understand because I’m all of 5 years younger?