In this beer blog, we are going to get into the new spring seasonal from Sierra Nevada Brewery. Their Ruthless Rye takes a step asides as it enters the 4-Way IPA Sampler pack. The beer that is being featured is their Beer Camp Hoppy Lager. If you read my earlier beer blog posts on their beers, you know the history of this west coast craft brewery. If you have not, please, read them to get to know this craft brewery legend. Let us get into this Lager.
This Lager has a clear golden color with a constant white head. The aroma is really faded to non existed. The taste has a hoppy to slight and light malt notes. The aftertaste has a dry hop bitter finish. It is extremely drinkable beer.
Here is a description from the beer bottle:
This hop-heavy beer combines intense citrus and floral hop flavors with the clean, classic malt body of a hearty blonde lager for a crisp but aggressive take on the India Style Pale Lager.
Last summer we teamed up with San Diego’s Ballast Point for a hop-head twist on a crisp lager. We remixed this encore which is loaded with whole-cone hops in the brew kettle and in our Hop Torpedo to deliver a bold aroma backed by smooth malt flavor
Here is a description from their website (www.sierranevada.com):
Beer Camp® Hoppy Lager
A hop-heavy twist on the classic blonde lager.
Beer Camp is the ultimate brewing experience. We bring beer fans into our brewery nearly every week to create their own beer with us—the more daring the better—and each spring we’ll highlight one of the small-batch standouts. Last year, Beer Camp worked overtime. Along with our fan brews, we made 12 additional beers with 12 exceptional breweries. Choosing one for an encore wasn’t easy. Ever drawn to hops, we decided to reimagine our hoppy lager collaboration with Ballast Point.
Bitter vs. Hoppy
There is a general misconception regarding the bitterness of beer versus how hoppy a beer tastes. A beer’s IBU number is based on a measurement of how much bitter hop acid is in the packaged beer. Hoppiness on the other hand, is a relative thing and can’t be put into numbers. If both bitterness and hoppiness come from adding hops to beer, how can bitterness and hoppiness be disconnected?
Bitterness comes from adding hops to the kettle. There, the boiling process causes a chemical change in the hops (isomerization) which allows the resinous acids to mix with the liquid without separating out. Adding hops to the kettle after the boiling has stopped or adding hops into the fermenter (such as in dry hopping or our hop torpedo process) allows hop oils to mix with the beer—the source of most of the hop flavor and aroma—without adding bitterness. A beer can be hoppy but not bitter, and vice versa, but looking only at IBU doesn’t give a good measure of the hop flavor in a finished beer.
Ale versus Lager
All beer is broken down into two camps: ale or lager. The principal difference is the variety of yeast. Ales use a yeast called Saccharomyces cerevisiae, referred to as “top fermenting” because of the frothy foam created during fermentation. Lagers use a yeast called Saccharomyces pastorianus, called “bottom fermenting” because of the slower, restrained fermentation process. Ales are fermented at warmer temperatures and generally produce more fruity and spicy aromas from the yeast. Lagers are fermented at cooler temperatures and produce cleaner, more reserved aromas, which let the malt and hops shine through.
Dry HopsWe work hard to get strong hop flavors into our beers and one of the ways we do that is through dry hopping. Dry hopping refers to the addition of whole-cone hops to the fermentation tanks. The addition of hops to cold beer allows the aromatic oils and resins to infuse the beer with flavor and aroma without adding any additional bitterness.
Here is a their website and twitter addresses:
In the end, I knew going through the Beer Camp Sampler pack that this brew or one of those beers would become an everyday or seasonal brew from Sierra Nevada. I enjoyed that IPL. I am happy that I can get it for the whole spring season now. I love it. It is a very drinkable. This beer has a nice balance from the hops but with a nice crisp and clean finish. This beer is perfect for the hopheads in the world but it will get some lager heads looking and trying this brew. They might like it. I highly recommend this beer. Go get some! Drink it! Enjoy it! Metal it! \m/
Bill DJ Weiser