If you’ve ever had craft beer, then you know about Sierra Nevada. Especially if you keep up with BBG, since this is the 7th and 8th brews featured on here from the Chico, California brewery.
They have been around forever (well…since 1979) and basically helped pioneer the craft beer revolution with their Pale Ale. They are now the seventh largest brewery in the country and you can find them pretty much everywhere.
You can find them across the country and they continue to release new and different beers. And today I have two of their newer releases – Know Good and Hazy Little Thing.
Know Good features Citra, Comet, and Simcoe hops along with Pale, Caramel, and Oat malts. A six-pack costs the typical $10 with each can containing 62 IBU and a moderate 6.2% ABV.
It poured a golden straw color with moderate head building up. The pure white bubbles quickly faded away to a small accumulation around the edge and a few cloud formations floating around the center.
There was a hoppy, tropical bouquet of aromas emitted from Know Good. Pineapple, passion fruit, and papaya led the way with some light malt notes adding more sweetness. Behind the fruit, there was a dash of pine and some earthy grass undertones.
My first sip began with a moderate rush of carbonation that slowly fizzled out as the taste progressed.
The hops were the first to assault my taste buds with a slightly bitter, mostly tropical, fruit flavor. My mouth confirmed what my nose predicted; papaya and passion fruit started it off strong before giving way to some lighter citrus notes of lemon and grapefruit.
Midway through the hops took a turn and moved from the citrus to an earthy quality which changed the flavors to a piney, yet soft and floral, flavor. The change in hop-flavor also amped up the bitterness a bit more here and stung my tongue some.
As everything was coming to a close, the malts finally kicked in and quelled the hops some with a sweeter caramel and slight bready flavor. But the malts didn’t last long and the hops would not be denied one final push.
Know Good finished with a hop bitterness that was accompanied by some dryness and a sticky-sweet citrus resin that lingered for a few moments after each swig.
It was a tasty IPA but nothing amazing or special, just the usual West Coast IPA that Sierra Nevada has made (and perfected) for years and years. If you’re looking for something unique and interesting, this one isn’t going to blow you away but, if you just want a solid brew for an evening, look no further.
Even the big guys in craft beer have to jump on the bandwagon and that’s what Sierra Nevada did when they released their Hazy Little Thing IPA at the end of 2017 – a New England-style hazy IPA.
Hazy Little Thing is made with Citra, Comet, El Dorado, Magnum, Mosaic, and Simcoe hops and Munich, Oats, Two-row Pale and Wheat malt. The six pack costs $10 and each can inside has a decent 6.7% ABV and 40 IBU.
It poured a bright, yet cloudy, golden straw color with about a finger and a half of pure white head nestling atop the beer. The foam mostly disappears within a minute or two, leaving just a thin line around the end of the beer.
There was a surprising amount of hoppiness to the aroma – sure it was juicy but there was also a bitterness in the smell that made it seem closer to West Coast IPA than NEIPA. Pineapple and orange dominated the aroma with some sweeter malts lingering in the background providing a corn flake-like aroma.
My first taste began with just the tiniest bit of carbonation that quickly got left behind as the flavors began to wash over me.
Ample amounts of pineapple, orange, grapefruit, and lemons flooded my taste buds with a tiny bit of bitterness stinging me some near the back of my throat. It certainly was juicy though!
The malts contributed that corn flake-like sweetness and a dash of breadiness that eliminated almost all of the 40 IBU…and I say “almost all” because there was still that tiny sting that just sat in my throat for a few moments after everything else.
As it ends, the hops leave a sticky, resinous tropical flavor (mostly pineapple) that was coated on my tongue. It also ends on the dryer side of things which amplifies the sticky feeling some and required me to grab a glass of water at the midway point of the can.
Hazy Little Thing had a somewhat lighter/watery mouthfeel and more bitterness than a true New England but the flavors certainly hit on most aspects. The alcohol was hidden really well, with just a slight dash of booziness hitting me on a few sips towards the end of the can.
It just isn’t hazy or juicy enough to be a true NEIPA…however this hybrid between a West Coast and East Coast is a very tasty attempt at a New England IPA…just with more bitterness. If you like either style, odds are you’ll like this beer.