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Estate Homegrown Wet Hop Ale | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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Estate Homegrown Wet Hop AleEstate Homegrown Wet Hop Ale

Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.70%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
"Taste fresh-from-the-field flavors with this handmade, homegrown, and completely natural ale. Made with organic wet hops and barley grown at our brewery in Chico, this remarkable ale is the only one of its kind."

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-04-2010

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Reviews: 550 | Ratings: 1,408
Photo of DoubleJ
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A surprise I found on-tap at Killarney's in Riverside. Poured into a shaker pint glass, on to the beer:

This is dark copper colored, almost reddish. Lots of good lacing clings around the glass. There are crisp piney hops in the aroma, a Sierra Nevada trademark. Taste is piney as well, but without much bitterness to it. Not much malt comes into play, which explains why this beer is more or less one dimensional. Quite smooth and creamy in the mouth.

The concept of a "homegrown" ale does sound aesthetically appealing. Yes, this IS a good beer, don't get me wrong, however it's not one to remember for the ages. The $10 pricetag for a bottle is a bit of a punch to the gut, which makes the $5.50 pint I purchased look relatively cheap.

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours an amber color with a white head. The aroma is a mix of grassy hops with some citrus and bread notes. The beer is very grassy, which is what I have come to expect from well-done wet hop beers. The flavor is dominated by the grassy hops and bready malt. I also get some orange from the hops. The bitterness is pretty low for an American IPA. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of stevoj
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Excellent from the get-go, mellow, soft hoppy aroma with a nice billowing head, clear amber body, lots of sticky lacing. Resinous hop flavor, not too much, not too little, just perfect.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a clear orange amber, two finger light tan (!) head dissipates slowly leaving a thin film and lacing. Looks nice. Aroma of herbal and floral hops, sweet malt, light aroma. Taste is all about hops, green, earthy, herbal hops with some moderate malt and an almost mineral flavor at first, citrus, piney hops in the finish with a long hoppy aftertaste. Light to medium bodied. I would have liked a bit more malt body to support the hops, but the fresh hops take the forefront here, which is what I expected. A tasty IPA.

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Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. Bomber
Green Wax

Pours a nice dark golden color, nice carbonation, nice HUGE creamy/foamy off-white head, with tons of sticky lacing left behind. The nose is hoppy, with some malt notes, citrus. The taste is hoppy, sweet, malty, with a nice touch of citrus notes. Medium body. Drinkable, a pretty tasty IPA.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.91/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A solid pour down the center of my New Belgium globe glass produces a three-finger thick, light amber tinged, light tan colored head that is made up of a tightly beaded froth. The head leaves lots of layered lacing that thinly clings to the sides of my glass. The beer is a gold tinged, full amber color that shows a brilliantly clear, bright, full copper (though with a bit of amber) color when held up to the light. The nose smells brightly of essential grapefruit oils, with a backing biscuit / cracker malt character. The hops are the main attraction here though and other aromas of Meyer lemon zest, tangelo and a touch (or maybe even just a hint) of dank hop character. This is not hugely hopped and is smells more of grapefruit than anything. I really like the supporting grain / malt character that this has. As the beer warms up some warming alcohol notes contribute a spiciness and the nose takes on more of a hop focus with more complex citrus character coming out and overall the nose becomes fruitier with a brighter hop character.

The beer does not taste as sweet as I was expecting and there is a light, biting bitterness up front that lingers through to the finish. The beer is a bit colder than I usually prefer, but a quick 15 second jaunt in the microwave makes the hop character much more pungent and provides an edge to the citrus fruit character as well as contributing a herbal / pine leaning focus to the flavor; the finish has much more hop potency to it now that the beer is warmed up a bit. The flavor is citrus oil dominated, but I like the nice bittering and herbaceous-citrus character that is found here. The hops contributes flavors of tangelo zest, lighter lychee notes, some grapefruit (though not that "dirty" somehow), some pine notes and a touch of hemp oil to round things out. There is a nice, round, supporting malt character here that is more subtle than it is in the nose, but it does contribute notes of biscuit-like grain and a soft, caramelized malt character. The body is definitely malt influenced as well with a medium'ish (more so as it warms) heft and some viscosity that still manages to be drinkable enough for a hoppy IPA like beer.

This is quite enjoyable, quaffable, hop focused, but malt supported. It is quite cool / interesting because of the estate aspect, but it is not uniquely so. Despite the hop head in me, I wanted to be able to get a distinct sense of both the estate hop and malt character and this beer delivers on that.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sierra Nevada Estate Homegrown Wet Hop Ale

Pours a clear deep copper color, soapy, slight off white head and lots of lace. Aroma is floral, herbal, dank and inviting. In the taste, more fresh herb qualities, mild grapefruit, peppery, piney, earthy bitterness and a rich caramel like malt base. The hops come through very well, with a slight west coast fruityness. Juicy, bitter, fresh and smooth. An easy drinking ale, and a well crafted one at that.

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Photo of plaid75
3.71/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a medium copper hue with a two finger frothy white head. There was very good retention and lacing.

The smell featured earthy herbal hops atop a soft caramel.

The taste was a touch muddled with an overall earthy sensation. Leafy herbal hops, some tropical fruit and a round sweet malt detected.

The mouthfeel was soft and full.

Overall a good and well balanced ale.

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Photo of Zorro
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark amber colored beer with a very tall tan colored head. This is dark enough to be called a red ale.

Smells malty with an earthy aroma. I smell tea, mushrooms and peaches, but honestly this isn't real fragrant for a Sierra Nevada beer.

Starts off sweet and malty with a fair bitter aftertaste. Strongly earthy and pine flavors. Pretty balanced but not real complex.

Mouthfeel is good.

Drinkability is good, very smooth. Could be more complex. I really expected more from this beer.

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Photo of tobelerone
3.83/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nearly clear golden beer with a creamy, fast falling head and excellent lacing. Big hoppy aroma with prominent grapefruit character.

The taste of this beer, like many wet hopped ales, is clean and quite bitter. The fresh hops are very strong and not particularly nuanced, so there’s just a kiss of grapefruit and floral notes underneath a big dose of bitterness. Faintly boozy and with a modest amount of maltiness underneath the hops. This one is very fresh.

Medium carbonation with a creamy mouthfeel, clean finish without an overly long bitter aftertaste. I enjoyed this beer but at 10 bucks a bomber I’d probably pass on it in the future. I love the hop bombs but for me they have to have a bit more flavor: citrus, pine, herbs and flowers, etc. When the bitterness just crushes all of that it’s a little disappointing.

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Photo of John_M
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Apex the other day (at $5.50 a pop for a 12 ounce glass!).

The beer pours the typical sierra nevada pale ale copper amber color with very good head retention and lacing. The nose is pretty exotic, showcasing earth, light malt, celery, celery salt, wheat grass and light pepper. The flavor profile isn't quite as exotic, though I still got some interesting celery/celery salt flavors that combined nicely with some light brown sugar, melon and grapefruit rind. As one expects from Sierra Nevada, this beer is quite well balanced, with the light sweetness from the malt countered beautifully by the bitter hop profile, leading to a fairly dry finish. Otherwise, the beer finishes with a nice kiss of hoppy bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a fairly long, decently bitter finish. Drinkability is pretty good in this beer. You can tell the beer is a bit more boozy than the regular pale ale, but it's still nicely integrated into the flavor profile, and is not at all hot on the finish.

Clearly a well crafted beer by someone who knows what they're doing when it comes to making good beer. Not sure I quite understand why it's so expensive, but that's the only thing that would probably inhibit me from ordering this again. Impressive.

Note: The folks at Apex indicated they have only seen this beer in sixtels, and not a whole lot even in that format. That tends to make me think that not much was made of this beer, especially on draft. That's too bad...

Note II: What do you know, the beer is on tap during Baltimore Beer week... at $4 a pint and I get to keep the glass. Plus the local SN rep said he'd buy the next pint. Grrrr....

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Photo of puboflyons
3.99/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From the 750 ml. waxed top bottle with no expiration or bottling date. Sampled on January 15, 2011. It pours a vaguely cloudy amber-orange with about an inch of puffy, off-white head. Slow carbonation. The aroma is well-hopped and earthy. The taste is also hopped up but at the same time on the subtle side. It isn't all that bad.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an extremely thick and heavy very slightly hazed golden amber. Head forms languidly, and is everything you expect from a Sierra Nevada brew - thick, creamy, solid and persistent. Lacing is firm and sticky, leaving this perfect experience down the inside of the glass. It's a top-notch appearance. I'm starting to think Sierra Nevada to the archetypical appearance for an American ale.

Nose is pleasantly hoppy, very fresh and green. Some citrus, sharp lime in particular, with a crushed vegetation character that gives off sharp herbal notes like coriander root. Behind it, is a pleasant light sweetness, soft caramel and white sugar, just enough to give some basis for the other characters. Lovely.

Taste is raging and spicy, with more hoppiness and more raw bitterness than I expected. It's especially prevalent because the hoppiness is a direct green vector of fresh hop oil through the centre of the palate. Possibly more of a hop character than I've had in a wet-hop ale, which generally save their big guns for flavour and aroma. Some sweetness, but it's overwhelmed, leaving just the long, lingering bite on the back palate.

Feel is a little light, with a pleasantly fine carbonation, but it feels lacking in body to support the hops.

Phew. It's a tasty beer, but something of an exhausting one. It's extremely full flavoured, but it overwhelms my palate after a little while. That, however, is not necessarily a bad thing...

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Photo of rudzud
4.23/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally picked one of these up at Austin Liquors.

A - Poured into a Clown Shoes pint glass Holy cow theres alot of head! It puffs up like a fluffy whipped topping. This is almost like an intense belgian head! This clings to the glass and very slowly fades leaving incredibly thick side lacing and a dense cloud on the clear amber colour brew.

S - Nice hoppy, floral aroma all over the nose. Really nice pine notes too.

T - Really strong I believe citra hops here. Nice and super floral along with that delicious pine resin as well as some light citrus rind/grapefruit. Very light malt notes with this one.

M - Slighly low carbonation on this IPA. Goes down smooth and easy but could use a touch more carbonation.

D - Just delicious. Really good hop flavours and this appearance is crazy. This is easily the craziest head I've seen on an American IPA. Really nice all across the board.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.65/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a nice bronze color with a off white head leaving a nice white head

S: Citrus and floral notes, very Earthy nose

T: Rarthy meets varamel meets biscuit with fruit and flowers. Good

M: Has a nice feel, good carbonation and a nice amount of bittering

D: Pretty good overall. Worth the money.

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Photo of beerthulhu
4.38/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark pomegranate red with a translucent nature and a monstrous 2+finger head that was frothy and parchment in color. Retention was solid as well leaving a thick lustrious foam lace that sticks well on the glass walls. Soft and lazy rise of tiny micro-bubbles float upwards at their leisure.

S: Beautiful fresh grapefruit, spicy hop flowers with soft toasted grains. Spicy citrus and pine, solid show of hoppiness meets the tongue.

T: Dry flowery lace lingers about with dry toasted grains. The hops are truly dominant here with an earthy flowery citrus that just screams sticky, wet and fresh. Dry toasted bready palate.

M: Tingly carbonation is sharp, with a malty weight and a sharp dry citrusy spiciness that just zings through grabbing the tongues attention and continues to hold it.

O: Overall an extremely solid beer, fresh sticky wet citrus hops team up with a malty base to deliver a one two punch of solid respectability. A true tribute to its homegrown roots this showcases what micro-brewing is all about, the freshness. Sharp and spicy.

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Photo of clayrock81
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%

Poured a clear reddish-brown hue with one finger foamy white head that recedes and leaves lace ring down mug.
Not as much grapefruit on the aroma as I thought but more of a piney, earthy, dirty hop aroma that gives off a little bit of citric spice and grape sweetness.
Laid back beer b/c the under 7% ABV doesn't factor into this ale at all so the beer is smooth, medium-to heavy body ("fluffy" at times), slightly dry, with some sticky malt sweetness.
The hops are the star and they are low-key, giving off a piney, citric taste that never overpowers/ruins your taste buds but gives off a wonderful taste profile that keeps you wanting more as well as giving off slight grape/tangerine like sweetness.
Pretty good ale that any Sierra Nevada or west coast type ale fan needs to try.
I can only wonder how the 2014 version differs from previous versions since I never tried this beer before, b/c not only does the current version have no wax top but in comparison of reviews of previous versions the grapefruit taste profile seems to be lessened in the current version and a more earthy, dry feel is present.
Maybe drinkers of this beer from yesteryears can take a pass but I think it's worth trying this year's version.

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Photo of beertunes
3.63/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Oddball 25.4oz bottle. Poured into 10oz goblet. Poured a very attractive deep golden amber color with about 1-1/4 inch of light tan head that had very good retention and lacing. There were a few flecks of green wax from the lip of the bottle floating in the beer. Why were these bottles waxed?

The aroma was a big blast of pine and floral hops over an earthy malt base. The flavors started out the same, but then the malts came through in a bigger manner than the aroma had led me to expect, and the hops were a bit more subdued and balanced.

The body was very nicely medium-full and smooth. Drinkability was very good, the beer went down quickly and easily, this is not a sippin' beer, it's a gulper. Overall, a very nice beer in a semi-ridiculous format. A must try, and almost worth it's $9 price point.

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Photo of cjgator3
3.95/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a clear copper/amber color with an off-white head with decent lacing and retention.

S- The aroma is some caramel malt along with some grapefruit hops. The aroma is good but not as pronounced as I was hoping for.

T- The taste is pretty solid. Sweet caramel malts up front with some bitterness from the grapefruity hops. Very tasty, more balanced than I expected.

M- The mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

D- Overall, I love the concept of the beer and it didn't really disappoint. It is a solid beer that is definitely worth trying. Recommended!

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Photo of Haybeerman
4.38/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A : Slightly hazy amber-orange color. Poured a 2 finger rocky tan head with good retention. Decanted lightly. Laced in webby rings.

S: Big citrussy hops; predominantly grapefruit. Plenty of earth and pine. Caramel malt in the background.

T. Bready caramel malt. Big resiny hops - citrus, grapefruit and pine - dominate the middle. Malts linger a bit in a grassy bitter finish. Overall, nicely balanced.

M: Medium body. Moderate carbonation. Resiny and dry with enough carbonation for crispness in a lingering bitter finish.

D: Very drinkable. Smooth, flavorful and balanced.

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Photo of spinrsx
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5


Appearance – Slightly hazy copper colour with a very large size fizzy beige coloured head. There is a high level of carbonation and there is a good amount of lacing. The head hung around for around 5 minutes.

Smell - Malts, hops, caramel, light citrus

Taste & Mouth - The beer has an average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, caramel, and lots of hops. There is also some grapefruit and a cherry sweetness along with some spices. It ends with a hoppy malty sweet aftertaste.

Overall – I had a celebration ale right before this beer.. and they're not that much different. For the price I think I would rather just have 6 celebrations but I'm still happy I gave it a try. You can really taste the quality ingredients.

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Photo of pat61
4.75/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Had on tap at the Bryant Lake Bowl and then immediately went out and bought a bottle. L: Pours brilliant deep garnet amber crowned by a 1” finely bubbled, clingy cream to tan colored foam collar. S: Big hop spicy, citrus aromas with a little vegetal, minty, herbal. T: This is a hop driven beer with big hoppy spiciness, citrus and floral, supported by a solid malt backbone. F: Medium body and carbonation. O: Very nice – I have to remember to get more of this.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
4.16/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A-Pours a translucent copper/amber color. The color is attractive. Deep amber. The head is lightly tanned. The consistency of the head is both creamy and bubbly. It leaves a ton of consistent lacing. Looks quite delicious.

S-Sweetness combined with grapefruit rind and some other floral and fruity hop aromas. The aroma is a bit lighter than I would like. Definitely smells well balanced. i enjoy the hop profile although it is quite light in the nose.

T-Hops are decently bitter. Sweetness from the nose combines with some resinous piney hops. Grapefruit and a hint of floral happiness too. More bitter than hoppy. A tad grassy too. As it warms I get much more of those juicy fruity hops that I love. Impressive.

M-Has that resinous, oily feel that is a must for a good IPA. Bunches of carbonation. Dry, quite bitter, and clean. Good feel.

O/D-The more I sipped this beer the more it grew on me. I am a pretty big fan of this beer. I do not know if it is better than their Northern or Southern Harvest IPAs but it is pretty damn good in its own regard. At $7.99 for a 750 ml, this is not a bad deal either.

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Photo of Davepoolesque
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Earthy, malty in a good way with some pleasant citrus hop flavors. Really balanced and drinkable. Thirst quenching. Easy drinking. Nice bitter dry finish makes you want to keep sipping. Solidly made beer.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle purchased at WineNation, Millbury, MA. Green waxed cap.

Poured into an imperial pint, formed a 1/2" beige head over the cloudy coppery amber brew. Thick head lasts well, with ample sticky lacing. Aroma is citrusy and earthy hops.

Taste starts sweet, goes crisply citrus in the middle, with earthiness coming on at the end. Lemony aftertaste. Mouthfeel is quite smooth, and drinkability is very good as well. Price is somewhat prohibitive, but a very enjoyable brew.

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Estate Homegrown Wet Hop Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.1 out of 5 based on 1,408 ratings.
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