This duel will focus on a couple Pale Ales, Sierra Nevada’s Pale Ale and 3 Floyd’s Zombie Dust. Let’s talk for a minute about the Zombie Dust label. 3 Floyd’s label style is typically gritty, raw, and comic book-inspired. The Zombie Dust label perfectly embodies this style. The artist is Tim Steeley, a talented man with hundreds of samples of his work on his blog. I could spend hours scrolling through his artwork, and it’s clear to see why 3 Floyd’s asked him to produce the epic label for their Zombie Dust.
On top of the cool label, the Zombie Dust is making waves among the beer community for it’s taste as well. As it’s opponent in this duel, I’ve chosen Sierra Nevada’s Pale Ale, a classic fan favorite. Considering the popularity of Sierra Nevada, and this beer in particular, it’s hard to imagine it as a craft offering. But I’d quickly point out that this is an original craft beer that helped launch the movement, and it should not be overlooked. Lets see how things went.
|Better label||3 Floyd’s Zombie Dust|
|Better aroma||3 Floyd’s Zombie Dust|
|Better taste||Sierra Nevada Pale Ale|
|Better finish||3 Floyd’s Zombie Dust|
|Winner||3 Floyd’s Zombie Dust|
Tell us about it
Living up to the hype, 3 Floyd’s Zombie Dust took most of the categories in this one, including the win. The aroma is powerful, not unlike many IPA’s, but this is an American Pale Ale, so a fairly unique aspect for the category. The taste is a hoppy slap in the face. The finish is rich, dry and slightly bitter, again, similar to what you’d find in an IPA. I really enjoyed this beer and I’m looking forward to future pairings.
The Sierra Nevada Pale Ale didn’t let me down, and ended up taking the taste category. It’s a smoother, easier drinking beer, and I could see taking with me on a hike into the mountains (as pictured on their label). They have a very interesting story about reviving the craft beer industry that I hinted at in the intro, I’ll drop a link in case you’re interested in diving deeper.