Far From India: India Pale Ales in the 21st Century. Sierra Nevada Beer Camp #226 It’s Raining Mandarin, “light IPA”, Chico, California
Date: March 28, 2019
The Story— We don’t actually know what a “Light IPA” is, but if Sierra Nevada says there is one and brews it, that’s enough for us. The brewery’s been defining styles for decades, so we give them a quick pass on this one.
Sierra Nevada holds “beer camps” in which, for a fee of course, campers do all sorts of California type things, but some of them collaborate on nationally released beers. The brewery says about this one: “This beer is a gateway to the IPA style. Our campers designed it to be approachable with an alluring, citrusy aroma and appealing hop bitterness. Its biscuity malt body, round mouthfeel and piney finish make this the perfect beer for IPA novices and hop heads alike.”
Sierra Nevada remains a family held brewery in this world of big corporate take overs. They’ve wandered off the path with some of their adventures lately, but more often continue to provide a wide range of well-brewed beers that are widely available across the country.
We had it on tap at Adam’s Grill on Kent Island, Maryland. It’s a barbecue house that used to be called Adams Rib, but has always featured one of the most interesting arrays of beer in the area. The food’s good and the beer’s good and you’re minutes away from our favorite retreat –the all rooms with view of the water Hilton Garden in in Graysonville. We think they get these beers because the beertender here participated in the camp a few years ago.
The Beer— Tons of the advertised Mandarina Bavaria, no doubt, but so much that it seems like there may be actual juice or peel as well. Chalky with a lasting bitter. Maybe a “Northern California” SIPA, though at 5.8% abv, you’d better do your “session” carefully.
Value — Good to very good. Twelve bucks for a huge 22 ounce vessel of a beer that’s very hard to find.
Values: “fair” is a good beer at an above market price, “good” is worth the money, “very good” is a bargain, and “excellent” is a steal.