Monday, June 27, 2011

Beer of the Month - June

The beer of the month for June is Sierra Nevada Brewing Company's Summerfest {5.0% abv}. I've known Sierra Nevada as a quality beer for about a decade. I was first introduced to their popular Pale Ale many moons (and semesters) ago. I didn't think much about background on the companies that supplied my beers back then, just taste and percentages. That said, I was happy to get to know more about Sierra Nevada through researching for this months BOTM selection. Sierra Nevada Brewing Company's (SNBC) Chico, California roots go back to the late 70's with it's home brew loving founder, Ken Grossman. Ken was like all of us at one point or another; young, enjoying beverages and with a dream. Unlike most people though, he followed through on his dream of wanting to setup his own brewery by going to college and studying Chemistry and Physics. Soon afterwards he went from helping others to setup their own home brewery systems, which he had become an expert at, to gaining a business partner that wanted to help fulfill the brewery creation dream. In 1980 Ken Grossman and co-founder Paul Camusi gathered second hand supplies, put in the legwork to get the best local ingredients available and created the now famous Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Word of mouth spread, business grew, facilities grew and the rest is history. They apparently have a restaurant/music hall as well where you can see live music acts, eat great food and have access to every brew they offer. I think this may need to be a part of my next trip to California.

SNBC advertises this tasty seasonal, Summerfest, as a crisp lager; I think they're relatively accurate depending on the serving temperature at which you drink it. In my opinion a summer beer should be served around 40 degrees; a Summerfest lager from the back of the fridge does not disappoint. Upon the first sip, its complex choreography of ingredients become immediately apparent. This golden lager flaunts it's spices, hops and moderate malt profile, all while being easy to drink. While this beer is sold as a seasonal it would be good to have all year round. For food pairings, treat Summerfest like a white wine; matching up great with white meats. I went into a local beer store and picked this brew out on a whim, knowing how good the Sierra Nevada product was. Since getting this trial sixer at the beginning of the month, I've gotten more to split with friends. 2.5 stars (see below).

In honor of the one year anniversary of this blog (time flies), this will be the new rating 'key' post for future BOTM posts. For clarification, if a beer sucks I won't even bring it up. Every BOTM is worth trying and could possibly be your new favorite; that said, below you'll find my relative scale for beers worth drinking. 'Half-Star' designations mean both the referenced number it is as well as the next number up (e.g., 2.5 means both enjoyable and solid).

1 - Let a friend buy it.
2 - Solid choice.
3 - Enjoyable.
4 - Seek it out with great effort.

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