Rye, You Magnificent Bastard!

Sierra Nevada's Ruthless RyeI recently tried Sierra Nevada’s Ruthless Rye, and in a nutshell it was a life altering experience. There is that small list of commercial beers that are on my “must clone” list, and this beer quickly became #2 on my list. #1 is still Southern Tier’s Pumking, my white whale, which I’ve come dangerously close to but have not exactly nailed yet. Back to Ruthless Rye… I knew after the first sip what my next batch would be.

Step one… off to Google! So I searched for “Ruthless Rye clone” and to my amazement, I found that Sierra Nevada actually provides a list of the ingredients they use in the beer, they just don’t tell you the amounts. A puzzle, I love it! Step two… to BeerSmith! So I fired up BeerSmith, plugged in the ingredients in amounts that sounded reasonable, and tweaked them until the numbers fell in line for an IPA.

One of the main ingredients is obviously rye malt. There was a time about 2 years ago when I went through a rye phase… I loved the stuff. I made four beers back to back with it that I thought were amazing, and they went over really well with everyone who tried them. Then for some reason I trailed off on using it, branching into trying other things.

Smelling that rye again triggered a memory for me, just like when you hear a song on the radio that reminds you of being a kid again. As I added it to the batch, I remembered those great beers during my rye days. They were a dynasty of beers, really… the kind that I’ll always remember.

So thank you Sierra Nevada for your Ruthless Rye! Not only did you make a great beer, but you reconnected me to a special time when I created some of my favorite beers ever. And thank you for being so cool as to post the ingredients you use! My homebrewed batch will be enough to get me through the off-time for this seasonal, but I’ll always be a buyer of this incredible beer.

I’m still not sure exactly how this recipe will come out, but if it’s a winner I’ll upload the recipe to the site and link to it from here. Wish me luck!

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