Those who know me also know that I’m a big fan of spite-borne things. Little did I know about myself, this can even extend to beer. A buddy of mine lives in the UK and decries the popularity of both “west coast bullshit”and “just cold and wet lagers,” I somehow came across a beer with both of these characteristics. I bought a six-pack of Bitburger & Sierra Nevada Triple Hop’d Lager just to show to him during a video call.
“God that seems grim,” he responded.
I see what the logic was here: People like IPAs, people like lagers, what if we hopped a lager like it was an IPA? However, in practice, this beer tries really hard to be both, muddling the good parts of the two styles and leaving the least appealing portions at the forefront.
Having drank both a lot of Bitburger when I lived in London and my familiarity with Sierra Nevada, this beer deeply confuses me – without offering much in the way of interesting qualities.
It smells hot and has a slight haze to it. I don’t find it balanced at all. This beer is too bitter to be a refreshing lager, and it’s doesn’t pack the hoppy or alcoholic bite we expect from an IPA.
Don’t get me wrong, I admire breweries when they collaborate with one another and I’m even more excited by beer experimentation. However, I believe these two titans of the beer industry missed the mark on this one – flying too close to the sun as they tried to capture the qualities that make their usual beers great in one can and ending up with one that doesn’t do justice to both breweries’ potential.
While I doubt I would ever buy this beer again, I did manage to drink the whole six-pack.