With all of these funky new beers, many of which were unimaginable even a few short years ago (and I say that as a guy with a vivid imagination when it comes to beer), I often forget that a good pale ale is one of the true treats of the beer world: delicious; low enough in alcohol to drink several without causing the world to spin, yet flavorful enough to thoroughly enjoy; and strikes the right balance of bold flavors and drinkability for a craft beer neophyte to enjoy. Few things make me happier than seeing the inroads Sierra Nevada has made with marketing its flagship Pale Ale. No matter how lame the bar is (and I have been in plenty of lame ass bars), these places will usually now carry Sierra Nevada’s Pale Ale as a sop to beer snobs like me. No matter how lame the pizzeria (or now that I am in Texas, a taqueria is more likely), they usually have a few bottles of it handy, or better yet, a tap devoted to it.
The picture is probably not clear enough to see this, but the label reads “Brewed Only Once A Year With Colorado Fresh Hops.” Limited brewing schedule? Check! Unique hops profile? Check! Less than six bucks for the bomber bottle? Check! There was no way I was going to pass over this one. Put a cork on this bottle and one of those wire thingamajigs to keep it in place, and I would have bought out the store’s supply.
And it is a good thing I did not skip this one. The Left Hand Brewing Warrior IPA is excellent. It poured amber and clear. The caramel malts are prominent in the nose and the taste, and the piney and orange zest hops are somewhat muted for an IPA, but this comes together nicely, and the hops amp up on the aftertaste. The Warrior IPA has a creamy mouth feel to it. I am going to grab another bottle of this for the weekend, and if you see any, I suggest you do the same, 7.5/10.