Nooner™ Session IPA
Blindfold™ Black IPA
Bright hops pierce through roasty darkness.
Blindfold blankets us in darkness yet maintains a surprisingly light body and bold, hoppy character. This black IPA emerged from our Beer Camp program and builds on Sierra Nevada’s legendary love of hops with roasted malts for depth and complexity. Like its namesake, Blindfold is a bit disorienting—the color of a stout and the intense, hop-forward flavors of a classic American IPA.
Malted barley generally falls into two camps: base malt and specialty malt. Base malt is highly modified malt that is responsible for producing the bulk of the fermentable sugars in the beer. Specialty malt is malt added for its flavor, color or effect on the body and mouthfeel of the finished beer. Specialty malts are typically produced by kilning and/or roasting barley. Caramel malt is made by placing germinated barley with a high moisture content directly into a roaster. The resulting malt produces unfermentable sugars during the mashing process, adding sweetness and body to finished beer. Roasted malt is base malt that has been placed in a roaster similar to a coffee roaster to produce deeper, darker, baker’s cocoa and espresso flavors like those common in a porter or a stout.
Every so often invention provokes revolution. Never was that truer than with the birth of the Cascade hop. Worldwide it was thought that European hops were—and had always been—superior to their New World counterparts. That changed in the late 1960s with the development of the Cascade. Born as the first successful example of the USDA Aroma Hop Program, Cascade proved that world-class hops can be grown in America. Its release in 1971 serendipitously aligned with the fledgling American craft brewing movement. These aspiring brewers were eager for something unique, bold, and distinctly American to use in their boundary-pushing beers. Cascade fit the bill. Its unique pine needle, grapefruit, and floral aromas were like nothing out of Europe and the bold aromas and flavors became the flag for the new American brewing upstarts. If one ingredient can be said to start a movement, it would be the Cascade hop—the plant that built craft beer.
From Dry Hops to Torpedo
We work hard to get strong hop flavors into our beers and one of the ways we do that is through dry hopping. Dry hopping refers to the addition of whole-cone hops to the fermentation tanks. The addition of hops to cold beer allows the aromatic oils and resins to infuse the beer with flavor and aroma without adding any additional bitterness.
Traditional dry hopping uses nylon sacks stuffed with hops and suspended in the tank. We found that as we removed the hop sacks, even after weeks suspended in beer, we’d occasionally find the center to be dry, meaning that the hops never came in contact with the beer. We thought there had to be a better way and, nearly ten years ago, an idea was sketched in a bar that changed the way we dry hop. In 2009, that idea became a reality with the invention of the Hop Torpedo. The Torpedo is a stainless steel device packed with whole-cone hops and sealed against pressure. Fermenting beer is circulated out of a fermenter, through the column of hops, and back into the fermentation tank. This circulation method is easily manipulated through time, temperature and speed. We can control what types of flavors and aromas we extract from the hops and how those aromas will appear in the finished beer.
Brewing is as much art as science, and all beer specifications and raw materials are subject to change
at our brewers' creative discretion.
6.8% by volume
Summit, Cascade, Mosaic
Two-row Pale, Carafa III
Smoked chicken, Roasted Lamb, Blackened flatiron steak
Roquefort, Gruyere, Parmigiano Reggiano