“ Brand: Sierra Nevada / / Type: Ale „
What's this? A review of a Summer beer in deepest, darkest mid-Winter? Why yes. Yes it is. How very observant. The thing is, I'm banking on this review still being around when the sun has come back out to play and, seeing as I can't be bothered waiting until June to post this (just as I couldn't be bothered writing it last June), I'm afraid you'll just have to indulge my untopical offering. That's UNtopic, not OFF-topic for all you sticklers out there.
The Sierra Nevada Brewing Company of Chico, California, is arguably considered to be one of the top craft breweries in the USA - it's also probably the most famous and is well-known for its full-of-character and complex beers. They've been around since the early 80's and now produce a wide range of quality ales including this one, Summerfest.
"Our Summerfest® is a refreshing, pilsner-style lager. Its incredible smoothness comes from an extra-long lagering period. Lighter in body than our ales but just as complex in character, Summerfest® quenches your thirst with big aroma and a tangy hop bite."
Summerfest pours a pale, translucent yellow colour which is topped by an inch or so of white foamy head. The head lasts quite well and leaves a respectable, if thin amount of lace on the glass.
The aroma is initially pretty one dimensional being dominated by grassy hops but there are some mild fruity tones (mostly citric) and a touch of malty grain. It's not the headiest beer I've ever stunk my neb in.
Did ya spot the Freudian slip?
It has a fairly light mouth feel with just a little too much carbonation making it a tad spritzy. Taste-wise, the first sensation is of a yeasty, slightly musty feel, but the hops soon kick in with some fruity, citric tones. There's a good malt presence too, with a faint hint of biscuit, but it's the hops that dominate with a spicy, gingery hit towards the finish.
At 5% ABV, this is a decent thirst quencher, but nothing more. I thought it was a little light in character and only a notch or two above some of the offerings from the giant brewers. Having raved about Sierra Nevada's Pale Ale I was somewhat disappointed in this beer. That's not to say it's a bad 'un, just not anything special.
According to their website, this beer is 'complex enough to accompany any gourmet meal...great at barbecues, picnics...with spicy meats and sauces...specialty mixed salad greens...' Hmm I think they've covered all the bases there. Personally, I'd have stuck at barbecues.
A decent beer for a Summer day, but I wouldn't climb over a Duvel to get to it.
Would I drink it again? - Well...yes. As long as it wasn't behind a Duvel...obviously.