The first one, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale

After polluting my palate with the mass produced domestic dishwater, I decided one day to try the green box that had a small spot in our local liquor store. I had a reputation. I could drink a case of Coors Light in a night. Beer wasn’t pleasurable until the the booze kicked in so this is how I thought all beer was supposed to taste. The characteristics of SNPA were so drastically different that if you are not ready for it you may think that it was spoiled. The cascade hops has become a trademark tasting note for their brewery, and my world was not ready for it.

It was naturally more expensive than the domestic brands so I was not about to waste it. I drank, and I drank until there was nothing left of the green box. That hop characteristic that I have come to adore in the now had fought and destroyed my palate, leaving me in literal agony and with no desire to ever experience that again. And so it went drearily into the following years, nights upon nights of more and more dishwater, and looking back on it, I don’t know what made it okay.

I guess the point, if there is a point to be made at all, is that the change does not happen over night. An open mind with an open mouth can lead to a wide open world of open bottles and cans of great experiences. The years of dishwater can only lead down the drain so when you sit there and throw your justifications around about why you drink the “beer” you drink, just know this old man has heard it, has said it too, legitimately meant it, and regrets… well, most of it.

With that being said, the flagship Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada may not be the best choice to start your journey, but for the brave and the patient, it will probably HAVE to be a part of it somehow eventually. For being the pioneering brew in my craft journey it gets the respect points when factoring the rating, so with that I give it a 6.5/10 on the UrD scale. Again, this is a sentimental rating, and with what I am sure are conflicting opinions, is based solely on my own personal journey.

Your thoughts on this beer? Do you remember your first taste?


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