26 February 2008

Extra Special Brew

Sierra Nevada has a new one they call ESB, or Early Spring Beer. The label is particularly attractive, exceeding even their high standards, and the beer is nothing short of wonderful.

The press release talks about the "earthy" quality of the Challenger hops, and I believe it. The nose is reminiscent of the famously "earthy" Anchor Steam (which supposedly uses Northern Brewer hops), but the sweet maltiness is distinctively Chico-an (Chicoan?). These guys have such an amazing range of delicious beers, but their flagship Pale Ale is iconic. The stuff is mother's milk to a guy like me. I've been drinking Chico's Sierra Nevada beer since it first hit the shelves. When they put out a new one, I'm all over it. And this 2008 ESB is exceptional: rich and full flavored with fresh hops and a clean finish, expertly balanced. Go get some before it is gone.

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