Oct 23, 2014

Sierra Nevada Alt Route

The second beer that I tackled from Sierra Nevada’s Beer Camp Across America mixed pack is Alt Route. This 6.6% ABV (50 IBU) altbier is the result of collaborative efforts between the company and Victory Brewing. While the malt bill for this brew is fairly traditional, the hop profile is anything but.

With each brewery’s focus on whole cone hops (according to the Sierra Nevada’s website) Alt Route is a bit more hop-forward than your standard altbier. The recipe for the brew involves just three hop varieties (Summit, Liberty, Mt. Hood), but imparts a solid amount of grassy, grapefruity goodness that mingles well with the rich malt backbone. It may be different, but it still drinks wonderfully.


The brew pours a vibrant, rusty garnet in color with a large column of creamy, khaki foam that left behind intricate lave work as it dropped.

Sierra Nevada Alt Route photo


Grain, caramel, light bready notes, soft coffee, herbal hops, light grass, a touch of grapefruit and an overall smoothness fill the nose cleanly.


This is definitely not your traditional altbier. A solid malt backbone plays host to caramel and a soft sweetness while peppery hops, light grass, mellow citrus/grapefruit notes and a moderate tingle of bitterness make their presence known. The medium bodied brew glides smoothly toward a slightly drying finish.


This is certainly one of the more hop assertive examples of the style that I’ve encountered. It’s not a hop bomb by any means, but the accentuated presences of grapefruit, grass and light pine make for a much different drinking experience than anticipated. Still, I wouldn’t expect anything less from the company that incited nation-wide hop addiction. It is mighty tasty.

Rating: 3.75/5

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