Seriously, people. Sierra Nevada does quality brewing. We all know this. It’s good beer and easy to find. The Pale Ale set the standard for West Coast Pale Ales and is still one of the better APAs out there. The Celebration Ale (their Winter Seasonal) is *everywhere* and tastes, as a friend of mine put it, “like poinsettias.” It’s nearly omnipresent come mid-November.
But. Sierra Nevada. Brown Ale. Autumn Seasonal. THIS TOOK ME TWO MONTHS TO FIND. EXPLAIN, UNIVERSE.
Name: Tumbler Autumn Brown Ale
Origin: Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Chico, California
Style: Brown Ale
I drank this: on tap at Barley’s, Overland Park, KS
Two months for a brown ale. Was it worth the anticipation?
Answer: mostly. It’s a good brown ale. A very good brown ale, even. But it’s not over-the-moon, marry-the-beer-NOW* good. It honestly doesn’t need to be *that* good to be a perfectly good Autumn Seasonal it’s awesome already just by being not an Oktoberfest – it just needs to be warming and drinkable.
So the beer itself (rather than my problems finding it): it’s a dark, translucent brown with a light and foamy head that dissipates quickly. The scent is lovely nutty malts – like nice biscuity malts with a hint of almond and walnut.
Compared to some of my recent beers, this is thinner in texture. However, that’s not to say it’s a thin beer – it’s just to say that it doesn’t resemble motor oil. It’s predominantly a nice malty flavor with medium carbonation, nutty hints running throughout, and a hit of hops right in the back of the throat. The hops are slightly more noticeable than they are in Moose Drool, but nowhere near as strong as they are in the brown ale/IPA hybrids that have been popular of late.
The aftertaste – this made me giggle a little – is peanut butter. I’m not sure why it worked, but it did.
Overall, this is a really drinkable ale, the type of thing that pairs easily with hummus or chicken fingers or potato skins or nearly anything else you can dream up. It isn’t trying to mess with you or pretend to be anything it’s not. It’s a brown ale, and it’s happy being a brown ale. Hop-haters, enjoy this beer before we get hit with the Celebration and all the hops therein.
* I had never considered the “marry-me-NOW-beer” as a category before I saw this post on the Gingerneer’s beer reviewing blog (scroll down and look for the blingee’d picture of Donna and the Bourbon County Stout). I have since realized the validity of this category, and hope to meet my one twu beer luv again soon (NOSFERATU I MISS YOU ❤ )
(No seriously I cut out half my complaining about finding this stuff when I edited the post- it’s been making me NUTS trying to get this beer!)