I am a beer bottle purist. I simply adore the feel of a cold bottle in my hand and the delicious suds that come forth from it. There honestly is nothing better than a cold bottle of beer and a hot grill on a summer day. Recently though I have been delving into the world of craft beer in cans and I can honestly say I am impressed with what is available on the market. Some of the best beers I have ever had are in cans right now and I felt it appropriate to visit one of my all-time favorites: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.
You all know that I adore Sierra Nevada brewery, and their Pale Ale is one of the most impressively dependable beers you can buy today. Regardless of where you are you can always buy a pale ale that tastes exactly like you remember it, and no other brewery I know has this kind of consistency outside of AB InBev. While the SN pale is not their best brew, it is still a really amazing pale ale that stands up to beers that are twice the price. Now that you can buy this beer in cans you are able to take it pretty much anywhere beer is allowed.
I should not have to explain to you how great portable beer is.
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is a hoppy pale that balances piney hops, clean malt and fresh spring water (yes the water is important). The beer pours a pale gold with a solid white head that sticks around for a while. The fresh smelling hops are a testament to the freshness of this beer and how important the ingredients are to the Sierra Nevada brewery. Everything about this brew screams quality and you can easily smell and taste it.
The combination of Cascade, Magnum and Perle hops give this pale ale a wonderful bitterness and piney/citrusy flavor that is refreshing and highly drinkable. I feel Sierra Nevada is really good at balancing hop bitterness with malt sweetness and their pale ale is a testament to that balance. No single sip of this beer is too hoppy or bitter, it simply is delicious and works well for the palate.
So what makes this beer better out of a can? Cans are completely air and light-proof, thus improving the shelf-life of the beer dramatically. Light and oxygen are the natural enemies of beer and a bottle is more prone to air leakage and light entering the bottle. If you have ever had Heineken from the bottle and from the tap you may have noticed a huge difference in flavor. This has to do with how well the beer is preserved in a keg compared to a green bottle. The same principle applies to beer from a can.
Cans are also a lot easier to transport than bottles. They are lighter, stronger and better for the environment. You might think that beer from a can has a metal flavor to it, but that is most likely from the taste of the can against your tongue. Once the beer is poured into a glass there is absolutely zero flavor alterations.
I will always love beer bottles, but cans truly are a great way to enjoy your favorite beers. Some beers like Heady Topper IPA and Dales Pale Ale are only available in cans, and for good reasons. Cans can preserve your beers in ways that bottle can’t. So pick up a can of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale in a can, crack it open and enjoy the final month and a half of summer. Drink it.
Sierra Nevada is 5.6% ABV and carries a 38 IBU rating.