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Sierra Nevada BigfootWhere Spotted: S&S Liquors, 6925 4th St. NWPrice: $13.99/six-packThe Harvest Part:
Beerspotters have it too easy in the spring, when every week brings another coveted seasonal. One of the first this year is Bigfoot, Sierra Nevada’s barleywine. It’s big in all categories, from its intense, reddish glow to its 9.6 percent abv. It’s also intensely bitter, weighing in at 90 international bitterness units. By contrast, Sierra’s Pale Ale has just 37. But Bigfoot’s chewy, sweet maltiness—characteristic of barleywines—balances it out wonderfully.
Sasquatch What You Wish For:
Technically, I lied to you. Bigfoot isn’t a “barleywine,” at least not in the United States. Why? Because when American breweries first started making barleywine, government regulators feared that we hapless boozers would mistake it for real wine. Thus all such beers must be labeled “barley wine ale” or “barley wine style ale.” Even though it comes in a six-pack and is, you know, in the beer aisle. But the government was probably right—I can’t tell you how many stomachaches I’ve gotten trying to get loaded on root beer.
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