Glassware: Purchasing a beer with a strong hop presence certainly means that you want to experience those hops to the utmost of its ability. Glassware that captures the aroma and allows the beer to warm slowly through heat from your palm is of the utmost importance to truly enjoy a hop forward beer. The Spiegelau IPA glass is the first choice while a large snifter glass is a close second.
Description: Nugget Nectar pours a clear bight amber with frothy off white head that leaves traces of lacing on the glass. The aroma is very hop forward with tropical fruits and resin being the dominate hop aromas with pine in the background and sweet caramel malts. Taste follows the nose with hops again being the showcase, with flavors of mango, grapefruit, and pine shining brightly before semi-sweet malts rush in to relieve the palate and bring forth a dry finish. The medium body and moderate carbonation give the beer a smooth mouthfeel but allow the resinous hops to shine brightly. While hops dominate, the beer is balanced and highly drinkable. Nugget Nectar is a must-try beer for all who love hops.
Food Pairing: The juicy hop quality and sweet malt backbone make Nugget Nectar a perfect beer with rich, hearty meals on a cold winter night. Pair Nugget Nectar with a warm beef stew. The hops will enhance the subtle spices and sink their teeth into the meat and the malts will coat the palate and provide perfect relief from the hop bite. Nugget Nectar is the perfect partner for a pepper encrusted venison medallion steak. The spices will be a wonderful match but will not overwhelm the palate. While hearty meals are perfect for cold winter evenings sometimes you just want to come home and not worry about cooking, don’t worry Nugget Nectar is a great match with pizza. Pile your pizza high with toppings, this is a beer that can handle it all, but it does go exceptionally well with a meat lovers pizza topped with pepperoni and sausage. The spices in the meats gravitate toward the hops while the malts are a great sweetness match for the sauce, and who will ever complain about having pizza and beer?
The Final Word: Nugget Nectar has long been a darling in the craft beer industry. Eager drinkers anxiously await its release every year and it rarely lasts long on the shelves. The fact that this remains true still today is a testament to this beer’s high quality. In a market that is becoming more saturated by the minute for a beer to have this kind of staying power and demand is quite the feat. All that being said, the beer is damn good and that is what truly matters.
Hopheads love it due to its heavy hopping schedule and craft beer drinkers love its sweet malt backbone with perfect balance. While it may not be a great craft beer to give to a friend just getting into craft beer because of its hop strength, it is a great beer to always have on hand.
Derek Warren is a beer fanatic, avid homebrewer and beer historian. Derek can be heard weekly on the Beer Geeks Radio Hour at noon on Sundays on WILK 103.1 FM with past episodes available on iTunes.
Brewery: Tröegs Independent Brewing
Beer: Nugget Nectar
Style: Amber Ale