Friday, July 13, 2007

Sierra Nevada Summerfest Pilsner

It's good to be back after a short absence. Life has been kinda busy and I haven't had much time for beer (unfortunate, I know). But now I'm back, and I decided to try yet another seasonal beer: Sierra Nevada Summerfest.

In Spanish, sierra nevada means "snow-covered rocky mountain range" (or "snow-covered saw," if I am to believe my dictionary), and it was the Sierra Nevada mountain range that a Chico, California brewery adopted in 1979 to be a leader in American craft-brewing. Ken Grossman, who first opened a home brew store in Chico with dreams of opening his own brewery, brewed his first batch of the brewery's flagship Sierra Nevada Pale Ale on November 15, 1980, and he hasn't looked back. In 1992, he released the Summerfest, which won a Gold Medal in the European Light Lager category of that year's California State Fair.

Here are the stats:

Sierra Nevada Summerfest Pilsner
BREWERY: Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Chico, CA, USA
CALORIES/SERVING: 158 per 12 oz. bottle
ABV: 5.0%
ORIGINAL GRAVITY: 11.8° Plato (1047.74)
MALTS: Two-row pale, munich
HOPS: Perle, saaz
FOODS TO PAIR WITH: Spicy meats and sauces, specialty mixed salad greens
AWARDS: 1999 California State Fair Gold Medal (European Light Lager category)

I got most of this info from Sierra Nevada's Summerfest page, and a couple other pieces (the date and the temp) from an e-mail I sent Sierra Nevada. Thanks Laura! The rest came from sources within the brewery.

The first thing I noticed about this beer is how incredibly clear it was. It may just have been the fact that I took the picture outside, but that golden color just stood out. It had a thick white head that would not go away. The taste was a little bitter and deep at first, but it finished with a light grainy taste. The aftertaste was a little too strong for my taste, personally, but it was not metallic-tasting like just about every pilsner I've had, which is a big plus.

The bottom line is that I guess I just don't like pilsners, but you might. If so, reach for a cold Summerfest and enjoy it.


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