Sierra Nevada Mega-Update: Ruthless Rye IPA and a peek at 2012

sierra nevada ruthless rye ipa

UPDATE: Only Ovila Dubbel will be in 375ml bottles (4pks) and it will be available year-round to boot. The other Ovila ales will remain in 750s.

UPDATE II: Potential barrel-aged bottle releases

(Chico, CA) – Here is a rundown on upcoming beer releases from Sierra Nevada Brewing courtesy of Communications Coordinator, Bill Manley.

Ovila Abbey Quad: shipping out beginning at the end of next week

Celebration Ale: will be released on October 24th in the NorCal market and roll out over the following weeks to the rest of the U.S.

This is actually about two weeks later than usual. Sierra Nevada produced more last year than ever before and it still sold out faster than it did in prior years. Despite the shorter availability window, the brewery is upping production significantly to meet anticipated demand and will adjust as needed to supply the market.

Sierra Nevada Torpedo and Pale Ale cans: The canning line is pretty much set up to rock and roll. Cans are expected to arrive from the supplier to the brewery in the next 30 days. That said, the brewery still needs to do some “R&D” in working with the cans so late January is still estimated ship date.

Ruthless Rye IPA: This beer will replace Glissade in the brewery’s “seasonal” lineup. I actually didn’t ask why they are replacing Glissade though I think one can piece it together. IPA remains the fastest growing style in craft beer. Period. Bocks on the other hand…

Manley said that the brewers are still dialing in the recipe but it will likely be in the high 6-low 7 ABV range and hit around the 60s for IBUs. They are using a good portion of rye so expect some spiciness to compliment all those hops.

For this one, the brewery is actually stealing away the “Ruthless” moniker from its Weiss Bier. Sierra Nevada had been developing a more wintry theme/name but ended up ditching it for “Ruthless.”

The beer is slated to debut in mid-January. Manley conceded that he’s getting away from referring to these beers as “seasonals.” The industry is trending toward pushing up seasonals to the first month of each quarter. Notice how pumpkin ales (and other fall beers) are moving closer to July 1st and winter beers are moving closer to October 1st?

The other seasonals barely came up during the chat. Manley did say that sales of Tumbler have gone quite well in 2011. Celebration and Summerfest exceeded expectations.

Bigfoot Barleywine: Despite the fervor surrounding its annual release, beer geeks may be surprised to learn that out of over 800,000 barrels of beer that Sierra Nevada will produce this year, only around 1,000 barrels of that will be Bigfoot.

The 2011 edition of the beer was first shipped on January 18th of this year and Manley expects timing for the 2012 edition to be in the same ballpark.

Between cans, Ruthless and Bigfoot, January will be madness for Sierra Nevada.

Hoptimum Double IPA: Hoptimum will return in 2012. With beer drinkers getting their hop fix with Ruthless Rye IPA for the first quarter, Sierra Nevada is going to push Hoptimum back to spring (bottles debuted in early January 2011). Instead of 24 oz. bottles, it will be packaged in 12 oz. 4-packs.

Ovila Abbey Ales: This series will also return with a few notable changes.

1) They are trading out the 750s for 4-pks of 375ml cork-and-cage bottles UPDATE: only for Ovila Dubbel.
2) Ovila Dubbel will be year-round.
3) A Belgian-style Strong Golden Ale will replace Saison.
4) They are going to release wood-aged versions in 750s.

Dubbel will once again be the first Ovila release of the year with the Golden Ale coming out during the summer. Nothing to report with respect to Quad in 2012 where it hasn’t even been released yet this year.

Brux: Last but not least, this is the collaboration with Russian River Brewing that was announced back in March. This will be a Brett-finished beer that should hit the market (nationwide) in July through Sierra Nevada’s distribution network. Brewing is taking place at Sierra Nevada where they have the capacity to handle the 1,000 barrel batch of this beer. Yup…Brett in the Sierra Nevada brewhouse…

18 thoughts on “Sierra Nevada Mega-Update: Ruthless Rye IPA and a peek at 2012

  1. I can tell you why they nixed Glissade – it sold terribly last year. I work in a grocery store, and we only had six-packs of Summerfest for 2 weeks or so because the shelf was full of Glissade for months after it’s release window.

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  3. Glissade?!? Really?!?

    RIP to another quality beer just to make room for MORE IPA?!

    If you couldn’t tell by my overuse of ?’s and !’s, I’m upset.

  4. Messed up! A month or so back, Sierra Nevada sent a cease and desist letter to Barrier Brewing (Oceanside, NY) regarding the name of Barrier’s Ruthless Rye IPA, based on SN’s prior use of “Ruthless” for their (draft-only) Weiss. Now that Barrier has complied with a name change, SN introduces a new beer w/the exact same name!

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  6. The Glissade was an amazing bock! Too bad most people don’t really care for the style. Hopefully this means they are bringing pale bock back to the Chico market :)

  7. I liked Glissade and bought probably two 6-packs each season it came out. But I’m more excited about the Rye IPA and willing to bet I’ll buy more of it than the maibock. I also love variety, so I would be excited no matter what leaves the shelf to make way for something new. I am still bummed I missed out on their ESB a few years back.

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  9. Whoever did the art on this did a great job. Guarantee a majority of people will give it a shot just because the bottles rad.

  10. Just tried SN Ruthless Rye. Never had a rye beer before. I am a big rye fan. To me, This is a homerun. With corn beef and cabbage,frickin AWESOME! Sorry they had to replace gllissade.

  11. Summerfest is a good example of a chech style pils. I am a hophead and had my first Sierra Pale when I was 18. First beer I had with my dad. Summerfest is a great beer to have in the spring or summer. Not every beer has to be extremely hopped.

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  13. The Ruthless Rye is an outstanding IPA. Sierra Nevada should consider brewing it year-round. Here in Colorado, and also in the Northwest, the IPAs are huge sellers, even in Summer. I’ll have to get a few more sixes before they run out.

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