Thursday, July 19, 2007

Sierra Nevada Brewing Company Wheat Beer - A Microbrew Review

Yes, I purchased another Wheat Beer today, already chilled to sipping temperature and everything. It's a pretty rare occasion for me to grab a wheat beer when at my local mix 'n match bottle shop. But this is summer, the season for lighter, crisper wheat type ales. And this one happens to be from a longstanding favorite microbrewery of mine, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company based way out west in lovely Chico, California. This newest review is geared to their Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. Wheat Beer.

If you've read any of my prior posts or articles reviewing microbrews, you might know I'm not the biggest fan of wheat ales. They've just never struck me as most tasty, deep and full of character I guess. No biggie though. Everyone's got their favorite microbrew styles. And I do try to be fair. Being that this is produced by Sierra Nevada Brewing gave me a fair indication that, while even not my favorite style, it wouldn't be bad.

Good news, I was right! It was far from bad. In fact, I love this beer! I sampled mine chilled at about 50 degrees out of a standard brown 12 ounce bottle. A 7 10 7 on the date portion of the brilliant red with gold lettering label led me to think either 1) it's super fresh being brewed just one week ago on 7/10, 2) it's a best by date of 10/7/07 and still real fresh or 3) this baby's past its reliable prime drink-by date of 7/10. This is one problem I constantly have when identifying those bottles to stay away from and those to go after out of the cooler. I like a microbrew not afraid to show plainly and clearly when it was brewed. So many have nothing at all, missing notches on the label or some uncrackable code or batch number that noone can interpret the information it's intended to portray.

Sierra Wheat Beer pours a very nice and crisp bright, straw colored gold into my 16 ounce pub glass. While it's an Unfiltered Wheat Beer and the label snippet spouts the disclaimer that it's a cloudy, hazy beer by intent and completely normal (I suppose to not scare off a newbie from thinking something's wrong with it)this microbrew didn't seem all that cloudy to me. In fact, mine poured rather clear and full of zing and zest. A nice one finger cloud of hyperactive meringue foam populated the surface for just a few brief minutes and dissipated. No big deal though. This is a wheat ale afterall. I really liked the appearance though. The beer seemed "alive" to me. Jaunty almost. A personality all it's own.

Aroma outstanding. The kind of strong musk and lemony grass scent I'd want to have in a good wheat ale. There's a zing to the smell as well. Bready in dimension a little too. First sip results in some splotchy thin lacing on the glass, but nothing substantial.

Taste is great too. Yes, I said it tastes great! A wheat ale. Wow! It's crisp, light, refreshing and substantial all in one. Not watery at all and not overbearing in lemony wheat pastiness. I've had a few other wheats in the past that are just so tart and sticky on the tongue (like the powder from unsugared KoolAid lemonade). This seemed to go down easy and cleanse my palate after each refreshing sip. The carbonation was incredibly active with bubbles abound almost to the point of soda pop but it was far from the point of being annoying or distracting from the beer itself.

I truly enjoyed Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.'s Wheat Beer. I'd even admit that I could see myself buying a case to have on hand for grass mowing sessions, yard work, picnics and just general seasonal heatwave imbibing on the back porch. I'll put this microbrew in my "remember this one" memory log for the next time I see it and will review again just to be sure I'm on spot here with my impressions. Go out and try it yourself though if you haven't already.

One last note, Sierra Nevada Brewing Wheat Beer is only rated at about 4.5% alcohol by volume. This is great if you want to have a few of these back to back maybe a one of your summer get togethers. It's a very drinkable microbrew from Sierra Nevada Brewery and one I'm giving a 6.00 out of 10.00. That's more than fair I'd say for normally shying away from the wheat ales. I'd recommend.

You can check out more reviews of new microbrews and fun microbrew and craft beer related info at Microbrew Review or My Squidoo Lens. Check out Summer Microbrew too!

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