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Friday, July 13, 2018

Feature Beer Friday: Sierra Nevada's Hazy Little Thing IPA

by Eric Ducote

Good morning everyone, and welcome to another Feature Beer Friday!  I hope you all enjoyed the NOLA Magical Brewery Beer Bus Tour recap last week, and I hope to include more event recaps in the future, but this week it's back to a beer review.  We're smack dab in the middle of Summer now, so while browsing the beer selection at my local store of choice recently I saw some of the Sierra Nevada Hazy Little Thing IPA... alright, sounds like a good refreshing but not over the top brew.  After checking the date (this 6-pack was brewed on 5/31/18) I added it to my cart, and now it's a feature beer here on the internet.

A little about Sierra Nevada... they are one of the grandfathers of the modern craft beer movement, starting from homebrewer Ken Grossman's homebrew store and opening in 1980 as a craft brewery.  Their standard Sierra Nevada Pale Ale was one of the three flagships and is often credited as the beer that really launched America's craft beer revolution.  The other two flagships, the Sierra Nevada Stout and Porter are still in production today as well, with largely unchanged recipes, but one thing that has led Sierra Nevada to thrive is their commitment to adapt to trends and styles, which is why you'll see them jumping on board the "haze craze" and putting out a beer like "Hazy Little Thing" when other established breweries might scoff at the idea of a hazy IPA. 


Sierra Nevada's Hazy Little IPA
Sierra Nevada's Hazy Little IPA


So, on to the beer... this is a new release from Sierra Nevada, they describe it as an "unfiltered, unprocessed IPA, straight from the tanks and into the can."  It's 6.7% abv, with 40 IBU, bittered with Magnum hops and finished with Citra, Comet, Simcoe, El Dorado, and Mosaic.  I'm not too familiar with Comet, but I am a huge fan of the other four, and would expect this to give a very complex hop character instead of a one-note citrus bomb. 

The pour is expectedly hazy... a little darker than some I've tried recently with more of an orange and gold color and a very bubbly head.  The aroma is a combination of grapefruit and dank notes, with the dank coming through a little stronger.  The taste is a lot of the same, with a combination of citrus, herbal, dank, and piney characters that create a fascinating departure from the hazy IPAs I've been drinking recently.  There's also a little more of a bitter finish, which I really enjoy and I find can be missing sometimes from the new-school NEIPAs.  

In all, excellent effort from Sierra Nevada on this one to blend some of the characteristics that we're used to seeing in a hazy IPA with some of the characteristics that we're used to seeing in a West Coast IPA.  It makes for an outstanding refreshing Summer beer option, or really any time of year.  Cheers!