According to the parable of the wedding feast at Cana (John: 2, 1-11), when informed that the host had prematurely run out of wine, Jesus reluctantly concocted a delicious beverage from water, prompting the chief waiter to mention to the host that he had reversed custom and had withheld the finest wine to be served last.
Something similar, it seems, has occurred with Sierra Nevada’s 2010 anniversary series. Although all of the collaborations—Fritz and Ken’s Stout, brewed with Fritz Maytag at Anchor Brewing; Charlie (Papazian), Fred (Eckhart) and Ken’s Bock; and Jack (McAuliffe) and Ken’s Ale, an American barleywine—resulted in fine beers, the final installment, Sierra Nevada’s own Our Brewers Reserve: Oak Aged Ale might be the best of the bunch. Brewers Reserve, pictured at Toronado this week, blends Sierra’s pale ale and seasonal Celebration with oak-aged Bigfoot. The result is a dry-hopped ale that smooths the rough edges of Bigfoot while sacrificing none of its fullness. If you’re in the mood for a Bigfoot minus a little of the intensity, this beer is a great sipper, albeit a potent one at around 9.2% abv. Sierra Nevada continues to impress with exceptional extreme beers that are challenging without being daunting.
Brewers Reserve is on tap now at Toronado and will be served next Wednesday, February 16, at Beer Revolution in Oakland. It’s also available in large bottles.