Bottoms Up

Beer and wine in the Bay Area and beyond

The Sierra Nevada Bigfoot video…

By William Brand
Friday, January 30th, 2009 at 11:43 am in what's on tap.

Forget Bud Light for the moment (if not forever).  It’s time for Sierra Nevada  Bigfoot Barley Wine-Style Ale. It’s just now reaching a store near you (and if your favorite store doesn’t have it, for gawd’s sake find the manager and complain.

This year, Sierra Nevada’s posted a time-lapse movie showing the process of fermenting Bigfoot. They use open fermenters in a sealed, sterile room, just like Anchor.


To watch the video, click on this link:

This year’s Bigfoot, SN says, is 9.8 percent (It’s been almost 11 percent at times). It’s 90 IBU. Bittering hops are Chinook, finishing (late addition) hops are Cascade and Centennial. Dry hopping — whole hops added in the fermenter — were Cascade, Centalennial and Chinook.
Malts were two row pale and English caramel.  That’s interesting. Bigfoot has evolved from inky brown to what appears to be a caramel color. Hmm.

Has anyone tried this year’s Bigfoot? Let us know what you think.

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  • Owen

    Sterile room? Uh, I don’t think so. Clean, I am sure, but not sterile.

  • William Brand

    right you are. Clean room, not sterile — hospital or laboratory-style sterile. Because the fermenters are open, they have to protect against contamination or they’d wind up with a Lambic.

  • Brandon Carriger

    It might end up getting infected but it certainly wouldn’t result in a lambic. Lambic’s are fermented with very specific wild micro organisms indigenous to the Lambeek region of Belgium.