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First Posted: 5/28/2013

Beer: Summerfest (2013)

Brewer: Sierra Nevada Brewing Company

Style: Czech Pilsner

ABV: 5.0%

Description: Sierra Nevada’s Summerfest pours a perfectly clear golden yellow with a thick white head that leaves a good-looking lace on the glass as you enjoy this delicious beer. The nose is wonderful in its simplicity. The aromas of clean malts, earthy hops, and mild hints of lemon all play wonderfully off of one another. The taste matches the nose perfectly, and this beer is a delight in its ease with which it hits the palate. True pilsners are a study of cleanliness, purity, and simplicity, and this beer has every one of those characteristics. The light, refreshing citrus notes hit the palate first and then are washed over with mild earthy hops before the crisp taste of the malt finishes. This beer also has a wonderfully dry finish that leaves the palate cleansed and refreshed, stemming from the wonderful medium body and perfect carbonation that both invigorates and stimulates. Summerfest is wonderful and delivers on every characteristic that a beer lover would want from a summer beer during the warm summer day.

Food pairing: Pilsners are wonderful for pairing with a wide variety of foods; the simple and light characteristics in the flavor profile make them great with spicy foods or traditional American faire or even salads. A wonderful pairing for this particular beer is with Indian food. I myself am partial to chicken tikka masala with this beer, but another wonderful dish with this is a light coconut curry; the mild sweetness with a spicy bite are magnificent together, and the combination brings out the hop characteristics of this beer as well. If you are looking for something a little more traditionally summer, though, then try Summerfest with a smoked salmon dish or venison. Don’t feel like cooking tonight? Pilsner is one of the best beers to have with your favorite pizza and Buffalo wings. No matter what your choice, Summerfest certainly proves itself to be a beer that should be stocked in your refrigerator at all times this summer.

Is it worth trying? As with all beers from Sierra Nevada, yes! The pilsner style is often looked at as a mass-marketed bland brew, and thankfully, Sierra Nevada proves this to be untrue. True pilsners are very light and refreshing, especially during the warm summer months, and the choice of hops in Summerfest make this beer even more invigorating. Sierra Nevada constantly proves itself to be the real king of craft beer, and despite being in business all of these years, the brewery is still putting out wonderful beers and are by no means resting on their laurels. So this summer, grab yourself a six pack, drink, and melt into your favorite chair or hammock as you watch the sunset.

Rating: W W W W

Where can I get it? Currently available in bottles at: PT Express, Taylor; Goldstein’s Deli, Kingston; Exit 190 Beer & Deli, Dickson City; J & H Beer, Plains. Also, check out Sierra Nevada at the Steamtown Beer & Music Festival on June 15!

Remember, enjoy responsibly! Cheers!

-Derek Warren is a beer expert, avid homebrewer, and beer historian. Derek can be reached at [email protected]