Sierra Nevada’s Brut IPA pours into the glass with a crystal-clear pale straw color, crowned by a resilient bright white foam that lingers briefly. The labeling designates it as a Spring Seasonal, although the bottle I sampled was bottled in December, well within Sierra Nevada’s freshness window. The visual presentation is appealing, with an inviting clarity and effervescence.


Despite its IPA classification, Sierra Nevada’s Brut IPA presents a disappointingly muted aroma. Even after experimenting with different glassware and sampling on multiple occasions, the nose remains subtle. In my pursuit of a more pronounced scent, the best results were achieved with an oversized Cabernet wine glass, revealing faint notes of lemon pound cake. Unfortunately, the aroma lacks the assertive hoppiness expected from an IPA, leaning more towards biscuit undertones as the beer warms.


Upon tasting, the immediate impression is the beer’s remarkably light-bodied nature. It surpasses even typical macro pale lagers in lightness, lacking any discernible maltiness, sweetness, or body. The absence of substance contributes to a dry but thin and watery mouthfeel. The flavor profile is characterized by fleeting hints of lemon peel, with an overall bitterness reminiscent of a blonde ale or possibly a saison. Despite the stated 6.2% ABV, the perceived alcohol content feels notably lower, resembling a beer with a much milder strength.


Sierra Nevada’s Brut IPA boasts an exceptionally light and easy-drinking quality. The thin and watery mouthfeel, while contributing to the beer’s dryness, lacks the robustness expected in a traditional IPA. Carbonation levels remain moderate, failing to evoke the effervescence associated with sparkling wine. Although the beer succeeds in being refreshing, the lack of substance in the mouthfeel is a notable drawback.


In evaluating Sierra Nevada’s Brut IPA holistically, it emerges as an extremely drinkable and refreshing option. However, its main drawback lies in the absence of substantial characteristics. The hop presence, both in aroma and flavor, is elusive, manifesting primarily as fleeting lemon peel notes. With a body lighter than typical macro pale lagers, this Brut IPA aligns more with a mainstream, ultra-light beer. While it may serve admirably as a casual day-drinking choice or a tailgating cooler stuffer, the beer lacks the depth and excitement expected from the burgeoning Brut IPA style.

In essence, Sierra Nevada’s Brut IPA could potentially find success in the mainstream market with appropriate marketing and a potential name tweak. It presents itself as a craft beer alternative to ultra-light beers, akin to Michelob ULTRA. While it may not capture the essence of Brut IPA for enthusiasts, its simplicity and approachability may appeal to a broader audience seeking a straightforward, refreshing beverage.