Monday, May 5, 2008

Seasonal Shifts - Sierra Nevada Summerfest

Seems the seasons are shifting on the calendar. Last January, while in the throes of Winter, we were enjoying Sierra Nevada ESB. In that case, the brewer tells us ESB stands for Early Spring Brew. Recently while shopping for beer, I came across Sierra Nevada Summerfest. It's May! We're in the middle of Spring!

Okay, in all seriousness, I know it's about marketing, and the brewers need to get their beers in front of people. That's why we see the Fall beers starting around July or August. So, let's cut right to the chase and take a look at this Summer release from Sierra Nevada. The beer pours a straw-yellow with a thick, creamy head. (The color is actually a bit lighter than is shown in the photo to the right.) I'm glad I decided to dig out the Pilsener glass for this one. Even with an easy pour I had to empty the bottle in stages. The aroma is grainy with faint floral hops. I found the flavor light and refreshing, with bitter hops and an ever so slight citrus zestiness. A crisp, bready maltiness keeps everything in balance. The finish is dry and clean.

This is a crisp and refreshing Pilsener. I half expected something a little more heavy on the hops, coming from Sierra Nevada. However I am quite pleased that those expectations were unmet. At a mere 5.0% ABV this will be easy to enjoy during the heat of Summer. I do wonder how many beer drinkers will miss the attractive and flavor-releasing head by consuming directly from the stubby bottle. Me, I'll keep the Pilsener glasses handy and enjoy this one throughout the actual Summer.

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