Had I been asked about American beer 9 years ago, a few months before knowing that my first job would take me to live in Brussels, I would have likely said that beer in the United States had no interest at all, with as much audacity as ignorance allows. But just half a year later, I found out at Delirium Café that there were far more American beers than the ones I knew, after spechlessly skimming their 2,500 plus beer menu.

The first ones I drank were Anchor Steam Beer and its sister Liberty on tap, during my Honeymoon, in a fantastic seafood restaurant in the piers area of San Francisco. I was greatly impressed, and thought I had tried such local, unusual beer and that I would seldom have the opportunity to try it again. Time gives one perspective, indeed.

Soon, I found a beer bottle with a slightly different shape and a flashy green label. And I loved it. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale helped me realize that something was changing in my country: shyly, but increasingly, the variety of beers that could be found was growing and exceeded the supply of supermarkets. Funnily enough, today it seems that everything begins and ends in the US, a country that holds a truly exciting beer scene -or many-, and that has been deeply changing the industry for years.

Nine years after that first story, I stand in front of three American beers, willing to drink them and evaluate them briefly, still marveling at how things change.

Sierra Nevada Kellerweis

It is not easy to find good Hefeweizens outside Germany. It is a style that, recurrently, so many brewers with as much will as bad luck. However, since I removed the cap of this Kellerweis a pleasant smell of clove seized my nose, gaining strength as I poured it into the cup and, even more, once I got to finally smell it. Fresh, a bit more spicy than most of its style sisters brewed in Germany, giving hints of ripe banana, accompanied by a somewhat lighter-than-usual body and with a long pleasant finish, leaving an aftertaste of dough. Firm, nice carbonation, perfectly opaque and bright almost-amber colored. A tough opponent for many of the great German wheat ales that we all know.

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale

Possibly one of the main reasons why today there are so many hopheads around. Also in my country. A beer that has helped me several times to encourage people who said they didn't like beer to redefine their claims. Crystal clear, with a golden to amber hue. Soft fruity profile with notes of citrus, mostly emphasizing the classic pine and grapefruit aromas. But there is a slight tropical hint too, with passion fruit, and a cereal background. In the mouth it is slightly sweet, with a velvety, long finish that leaves a certain nutty aftertaste. Light, easy to drink and very pleasant despite a bitterness that some of us find increasingly difficult to call it intense. SN Pale Ale always leaves you wanting more. I guess that if it was launched today it would be tagged Session whatever.

Samuel Adams Rebel IPA

The rebel IPA of one of the less rebellious American brewers today, who find their comfort zone with their target consumers in more balanced brews, nonetheless executed with a high degree of perfection. While acknowledging their usual moderation, this delicious ale strongly brings out a quintet of hops -Yellow, Simcoe, Centennial, Chinook and Cascade- defining of what many understand as American character in beer. These ostentatiously show a full range of aromas and citrus flavors, accompanied by pine, and with a malty background that adds some sweetness, but without much protagonism. Medium body, well carbonated and nicely bitter. A textbook American IPA. Daring, being a Sam Adams: possibly the reason why they made it part of their "Rebel" series.


To end with the post today, I just wanted to express my gratitude to beer distributors Crusat, who sent me this three samples for free.

Salut i birra!

Distribuciones Crusat, S.A. → Carrer Lleida 19. 08901, L'Hospitalet de Llobregat (Barcelona).


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