Sierra Nevada 2017 Snowpack

Discussion in 'Beer News & Releases' started by Lucular, Sep 18, 2017.

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  1. ecpho

    ecpho Aspirant (258) Mar 28, 2011 New York

    I agree with everything you said.
    As for me, I am a pretty simple beer drinker - I'd be happy with a kolsch, ESB and a porter (with an Oktoberfest and wheat beer thrown in too.)

    I do not care for the latest and greatest - this tiny rare batch of hops are used in this beer or the new coffee from the latest trendy coffee chain, etc. I'd imagine there are others who might feel the same. Of course I support a few key local breweries who make world class beer but I can't always get to the brewery for growler fills. I do have a couple of favorite canned ESBs I buy, of course I go to SN for Celebration and Oktoberfest. But I'm branching out to other breweries of similar size. Harpoon has a nice fall pack out now. Boulevard's Kolsch was disappointing so I'm still looking for my Kolsch supplier. So I've stepped away from buying as much SN as I used too.
     
  2. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,688) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Society

    The other option is to become a homebrewer. Every one of the batches you mentioned here I homebrew every year. I still have some Kolsch and ESB beers in my basement and I will be brewing a Robust Porter next month.
    I bought a 6-pack last spring and I thought it was just OK; this will not be a repeat purchase for me.
    For me that is my homebrewed Kolsch but I only have 10 bottles left so no more Kolsch for me once those 10 bottle get consumed until next winter/spring when I will brew another batch. If Sierra Nevada Kolsch was available for sale I would be drinking that between homebrew batches.
    I am in a similar condition: my purchasing of Sierra Nevada beer is a bit lower than previous years but they are still getting my business. I will be buying some Celebration when it becomes available. I may be purchasing the wet hopped variety pack if I hear a lot of good things about these beers. At the moment I have a Harvest Ale fermenting that was brewed with wet hops picked from my hop plant in my backyard. Maybe this beer will be the only packaged wet hopped beer I drink this season?

    Cheers!
     
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  3. WV_Charles_Homebrew

    WV_Charles_Homebrew Initiate (70) May 17, 2017 West Virginia

    Personally, I'm pretty happy with this pack. I get it that some of the BA's around here might prefer a more traditional winter seasonal, but there is a winter warmer in there, along with the beloved Coffee Stout, and of course the venerable Pale. I'm kinda glad to see a hazy IPA from SN in there (even if it admittedly seems an odd choice for a winter pack) as I am interested in trying their take on the style, and its another beer I haven't had, obviously, b/c I believe this is the first time they have released it. I will definitely and happily pick up this pack when I see it. If this gets more new-to-craft consumers to pick it up, all the better. This longterm fan of SN will be buying it as well.
     
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  4. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,688) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Society

    Sierra Nevada needs more people like you. I am sure they appreciate your patronage.

    Cheers!
     
  5. DarkDragon999

    DarkDragon999 Aspirant (258) Feb 13, 2013 Rhode Island

    Heavy Seas has a ESB winter seasonal.
     
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  6. ben4unc

    ben4unc Initiate (185) Feb 28, 2013 North Carolina

    This HazeBro buys every SN variety Pack that comes out! Good beer is Good beer - hazebro or no hazebro!
     
  7. cello

    cello Initiate (87) Oct 17, 2013 Pennsylvania

    or at least a seasonal winter release:stuck_out_tongue:
     
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  8. cello

    cello Initiate (87) Oct 17, 2013 Pennsylvania

    they put the porter in the first snow pack, guessing not enough people were buying it. :slight_frown:
     
  9. Alexmc2

    Alexmc2 Aspirant (262) Jul 29, 2006 New Hampshire

    For my money, SN doesn't make a bad beer. Celebration is probably my favorite beer, owing in part, I suppose, to its limited nature. Mix packs are the way that large and regional breweries drive sampling and innovation. The "throw things at the wall" comment I guess isn't far off, but it is far more strategic than that.

    The company clearly identifies trends in the market (session sours/NEIPA/fruited IPA) and makes product to meet that market demand. However, the positioning of the brand is in an awkward market spot. Too big to be 'local' and hot (ie: Tree House, Maine Beer Company etc), too small to go up directly against macro brands. Growth in the segment that they are in (large craft) has slowed, nearly stopped. I'll admit I haven't checked out IRI in 6 months, but if someone wants to correct me, I'll listen!

    But what does SN do well? Make world class traditional beers. Price competitively. Innovate. I'd love to see something bold out of them, like building some brewpubs in key markets (I know they've got the second facility online in NC). Brewdog is going to be doing it. AB has done it via acquisition.
     
  10. ecpho

    ecpho Aspirant (258) Mar 28, 2011 New York

    From a business standpoint I have no idea if opening brewpubs is a good idea or not but as a consumer I love that idea. It would be great to have other places to samples their portfolio of beer other than CA and NC.
     
  11. Alexmc2

    Alexmc2 Aspirant (262) Jul 29, 2006 New Hampshire

    Easy for me to say right? Not my money they are throwing down to build those pubs. You just look at where growth is coming from, and it is pretty clear that a local brewpub gives you local cache, and boosts off-premise sales in the surrounding area. Any large or regional brewery that isn't at least doing due diligence on the idea is falling behind IMO.
     
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  12. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,688) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Society

  13. ecpho

    ecpho Aspirant (258) Mar 28, 2011 New York

    I think some of those tagged might need to work on opening taprooms in their hometowns first.
     
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  14. JeremyDanner

    JeremyDanner Initiate (140) Dec 20, 2005 Missouri

    American Kolsch six-packs debuted in January of this year. Are you thinking of a different beer from last spring?
     
  15. jmdrpi

    jmdrpi Poo-Bah (6,987) Dec 11, 2008 Pennsylvania
    Society

    I think you and @JackHorzempa have the same disagreement about semantics as when my wife and I disagree about when "next weekend" and "this weekend" are on the calendar.
     
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  16. jageraholic

    jageraholic Disciple (339) Sep 16, 2009 Massachusetts
    Trader

    I think its only a fresh hop variety pack. So more in line with celebration but not wet hopped like picked and brewed same day.

    Mind PM-ing me your robust porter recipe? I've been trying to make a good one in the same vein as Smuttynose Robust Porter but haven't got there yet. Is yours attempting to mimic a commercial brew?
     
  17. JeremyDanner

    JeremyDanner Initiate (140) Dec 20, 2005 Missouri

    Very likely. To me, last spring was 2016. Just wanted to check...
     
  18. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,688) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Society

    And that is indeed the beer I purchased.

    At the time I was contemplating sending you a PM on this beer but I did not.

    Cheers!
     
  19. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,688) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Society

  20. JeremyDanner

    JeremyDanner Initiate (140) Dec 20, 2005 Missouri

    I'm always on the lookout for honest feedback and will gladly pass along any thoughts you'd like to share via PM or by email at jdanner at boulevard dot com.
     
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  21. THANAT0PSIS

    THANAT0PSIS Crusader (793) Aug 3, 2010 Wisconsin
    Trader

    Don't give anyone any ideas.
     
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  22. THANAT0PSIS

    THANAT0PSIS Crusader (793) Aug 3, 2010 Wisconsin
    Trader

    I'd love that recipe, if you're willing to share. Everett is the best American porter around to me, and I'd love to not have to trade for it.
     
  23. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,688) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Society

    “Fresh hops add incredible aroma and intensity to hop-forward beers. Every year, at the height of the hop harvest, our brewers make the trek to the Pacific Northwest for the finest cuts available. Hops are harvested at the peak of freshness and brought back to the brewery within two weeks of leaving the field.”

    You are indeed correct. Once again I have been ‘confused’ by the terminology that Sierra Nevada seems to feel they can use here. Every other brewery seems to use Fresh Hops for Wet Hops.

    Thank you for correcting me.

    Non-cheers to Sierra Nevada for their ‘marketing’ here.
     
  24. dripa8

    dripa8 Initiate (198) Sep 19, 2014 Kansas

    Oh my god! Now we are not only gonna argue over 2 week old ipas, now the hops have to be 2 days or less old. Pleeeeeese stop! Arrrgh!
    By the way @JackHorzempa , celebration is also "marketed" as a fresh hop IPA. Does this mean you are now down on that one too!
     
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  25. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (2,089) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    Well, yeah - in the specific case of "wet hops" ( traditionally, aka "raw" or "green" hops - and now, confusingly, "fresh hops"), if they are older than that they are "degraded" or "rotten hops" and, eventually, "compost". It's why hops had always been dried as soon after picking as possible on a daily basis.
     
  26. dripa8

    dripa8 Initiate (198) Sep 19, 2014 Kansas

    When does a hop become in @jesskidden words "degraded,rotten, or compost"? I'm truly asking because I don't know. But I've read on here people selling off their year old excess hops. Seems to me if Sierra Nevada can start using them within 2 weeks as @JackHorzempa stated in his post, then that is pretty darn fresh. It may not be "wet" as in born yesterday's case, but it still seems worthy to be called "fresh" to me. Imho
     
  27. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (2,089) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    JackHozempa and I were referring to "wet/fresh hops" in our posts - and that seems to be what you were objecting to with "... now the hops have to be 2 days or less old. Pleeeeeese stop! Arrrgh!" Those freshly picked green hops, undried (or otherwise unpreserved), rot in a matter of a couple of days.

    Think of a flower, picked off the stem (so, not in a vase of water) or a leaf of romaine lettuce left out in the air and room temp. What do they look like 24 hours later?

    Those hops are preserved by drying (in some cases, further processed into pellets - depending on who these "people" are). Drying is the traditional way hops were treated immediately after harvesting.

    Sierra Nevada considered dried whole flower hops "fresh" if they're only a few weeks old.
     
    #67 jesskidden, Sep 21, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2017
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  28. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (4,006) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Is Sierra Nevada unique in that? They've been doing it for at least as long as they've been releasing Celebration.

    It seems there are at least some Hop Growers that seem to make a distinction between "wet" and "fresh."

    "There is an important distinction between “fresh” and “wet” hops, says Jaki Brophy of the Washington Hop Commission and Hop Growers of America. “Wet hops are just that—wet, unkilned hops. They are picked and then go straight to a brewery and must be brewed 24 – 48 hours max after they are picked,” she says. Fresh hops, on the other hand, have been freshly picked and kiln dried."

    https://www.beeradvocate.com/articles/14547/as-fresh-hop-beers-multiply-so-does-experimentation/
     
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  29. dripa8

    dripa8 Initiate (198) Sep 19, 2014 Kansas

    "Wet" is what I consider the green, right after picked hops, and Sierra Nevada that I see is not calling their products "wet". Instead, they are saying "fresh, which means a couple weeks old dried hops. Which to me, is fine. And to the many fans of Celebration has been fine for years.
     
    #69 dripa8, Sep 21, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2017
  30. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (2,089) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    Yeah, me, too. But Grossman & Co., you and I are in the minority these days, apparently.

    Well....(and it comes up every hop harvest season :rolling_eyes:) Sierra Nevada seems to be the last or only or most notable brewer to still use the traditional definition of "fresh hops". They seem to fighting a losing battle, with most other "craft" brewers these days in the "fresh hops = wet/undried/green/raw hops" camp.

    But it was not always so - FRESH HOPS

    Yeah, they've been "doing it" but only labeling it as such recently. Oh, since 2010 (according to this AAB article).
     
    #70 jesskidden, Sep 21, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2017
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  31. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (4,006) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    2010 eh? Helpful information.

    But if the Hop Growers still seem to be drawing a distintion between "fresh" and "wet" was that introduced as recently as Sierra Nevada starting to use the distinction?
     
  32. dripa8

    dripa8 Initiate (198) Sep 19, 2014 Kansas

    If you read the article @drtth cites, it seems at least Deschutes and the hop grower president seem to agree with Sierra Nevada about the distinction between "wet" and "fresh". No disrespect, but those sources convince me.
     
  33. dripa8

    dripa8 Initiate (198) Sep 19, 2014 Kansas

    Sierra Nevada also faces the problem of having a "wet hop" beer, their Harvest Ale, and a few "fresh hop" beers, so that probably plays into their problem of how to name and market them. I don't think, as @JackHorzempa does, they should be non-cheersed for that. If anything, there should be a standard enacted. Who would do that, I have no idea?
     
  34. dripa8

    dripa8 Initiate (198) Sep 19, 2014 Kansas

  35. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,770) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
    Society

    Can you tell us what made it disappointing? I was pleasantly surprised by how good that beer was to-style. So many breweries attempt a Kölsch and just end up with another blonde ale, but Boulevard hit it for me.
     
  36. ecpho

    ecpho Aspirant (258) Mar 28, 2011 New York

    sending a PM, to be polite
    edit: I tried but wasn't allowed to start a conversation.
     
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  37. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (2,089) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    Well, until he gets here, try here or here (topic's been discussed numerous times - every times there's a hop harvest, I guess :wink:).

    Or see SN's Celebration Ale webpage, with this company explanation:

    Wet Hop versus Fresh Hop
    Over recent years, there has been some confusion about the difference between fresh and wet hops. While it may seem like semantics, to us it’s an important distinction.

    Wet Hops are un-dried hops, picked and shipped from the growing fields within 24 hours.

    Fresh Hops are the freshest dried hops to come from the fields, typically within seven days of harvest.

    Over 90% of the world’s hop harvest happens between August 31 and October 31, and these hops are used throughout the calendar year. Can hops possibly be the same on November 1, one day after harvest, as they are on July 25, nearly one year after growing in the fields? The answer is no. We think of hops like dry kitchen spices—the flavor of thyme or rosemary right after the jar is opened is far more intense than it is six months later. The same can be said for hops. There are ways to control the way hops age and to reformulate and readjust as some of the aromas fade, but there’s nothing like the magic of the first bales of hops as fresh as can be. That is the stuff dreams are made of!
     
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  38. dripa8

    dripa8 Initiate (198) Sep 19, 2014 Kansas

    Well @jesskidden , thanks for that, but that's what I've been saying all morning, and it seemed you were disagreeing. As was @JackHorzempa , who even though he's been onsite, has yet to come here and explain. I'm just saying don't run down sierra Nevada for what they are calling these beers, especially when they have examples of both. I think wet and fresh are good differentiators. So does the hop grower president, and at the very least deschutes brewing. Case closed, unless jack wants to chime in, now back to this threads real purpose, snowpack 2017. I will buy at least one.
     
  39. devilmakesthree

    devilmakesthree Disciple (301) Nov 27, 2013 Oregon

    This sounds like a great variety pack. It covers a lot of bases:
    -Hoppy (SNPA)
    -Roasty (Coffee Stout)
    -Malty/Sweet (Wintertide Ale)
    -Trendy (Holiday Haze)
    I can't wait to see it. I'll be stocking up for sure.
     
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  40. NOAA_ALL_HAZARDS

    NOAA_ALL_HAZARDS Initiate (56) Jul 13, 2017 Illinois

    I'm sure it will be coming out around the same time the celebration IPA does around mid October. I'll be stocking up on them plus the Samuel Adams Winter Classics pack. Excited for the season! Cheers!
     
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