Today at Whole Foods in Walnut Creek I picked up a bottle of one of two 30th Anniversary beers on hand from Sierra Nevada. The bottle I selected was an Imperial Helles Bock brewed by Charlie Papazian, Fred Eckhard, and Ken Grossman called, appropriately, "Charlie, Fred, and Ken's Bock". (The other one was "Fritz and Ken's Ale", from Ken Grossman and Fritz Maytag).
As it says on the label,
"Charlie Papazian and Fred Eckhard are two of the country's most esteemed homebrewers and writers. ... Charlie and Fred agreed to work with us on this very special brew in honor of our 30th Anniversary. This Imperial Helles Bock is a testament to the ever-evolving brewer's art. ..."
The beer itself is, not unexpectedly, very nice. Smooth-drinking, with a nice head that isn't too thick but does hang around a bit. It feels rich but not chewy in the mouth, and the hops are assertive but not overpowering. I mean they're definitely there, right up front, but don't leave that bitter sucker punch after swallowing that some beers can. The label described the hop flavors as "floral", and while I'm not sure about that precisely, I would agree that they tend more in that direction than toward fruitiness (e.g. I definitely didn't detect any citrus or banana).
Overall, I like it. A lot.
I wish I had bought two, but at nearly 10 bucks a pop, I'm probably OK with just one at a time.
Brew Name: Charlie, Fred, and Ken's Bock
Style: Imperial Helles Bock
Brewery: Sierra Nevada
Serving Type: 1 pt 9.4 oz longneck