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Beer of the Week: Sierra Nevada Torpedo
Saturday, 26 September 2009 00:00

Sierra Nevada Torpedo was the first in what is becoming a steady flow of new offerings from one of America's iconic craft breweries. Long known for their ubiquitous pale ale, Sierra Nevada has begun showing its creative side with beers that put a twist on the typical. Rather than just catching up with the hop-forward trend they helped launch, Sierra Nevada released an IPA using a customized dry-hopping system and a newly bred hop variety.

The eponymous "torpedo" in this case is a system of steel cylinders filled with hops. Finding a way to add hop flavor and aroma to a beer after fermentation is surprisingly tricky when your brewing enormous batches of beer, so the brewers at Sierra Nevada run Torpedo IPA through a series of hop-filled cylinders to give it the oily flavor and aroma associated with dry-hopping. Whether or not the flavor is much different than dry-hopping is up for debate (as are the merits of the new hop, Citra, a Cascade hybrid), but the result is undeniably delicious.

Torpedo IPA is--like many great American IPAs--intensely aromatic, quenchingly bitter, and sessionably dry. It pairs very well with spicy Mexican food and fatty dishes that call for a cutting bitterness. Best of all, it's very reasonably priced and widely distributed.

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