The Archetype

ar • che • type

a very typical example of a certain person or thing

an original that has been imitated

a recurrent symbol or motif in literature, art, or mythology

What beer fits this definition better—to style—than perhaps Sierra Nevada Pale Ale? It is all at once the prefect specimen of an American Pale Ale. The second beer that the brewery ever produced, Pale Ale burst onto the scene (or lack thereof) in 1981, and the rest is and was history. 

It is the beer that inspired innumerable homebrewers to take up the hobby, it is the beer that inspired countless professional brewers to open up shop, it is the beer that all other pale ales (maybe) should be rightfully judged by. It is a beer that helped me fall in love with beer. Accept the fact, or not, it is the original American Pale Ale. 

The beer is also a true showcase for the ingredients that it is built upon. Chico Ale yeast, clean, crisp, unforgiving. Two-row pale ale and caramel malts, bready, complex and full of malt depth without exhausting the palate. Cascade hops, a true showcase of pine and grapefruit.

And the execution from Sierra Nevada on this beer, practically perfect, every time.

It’s the typical example of Pale Ale. It’s an original that’s been often imitated, but rarely re-created. It’s a true symbol within the art and mythos of the beer world. Most of all, it’s delicious.