Sierra Nevada Brewing Company is based in... are you ready?...California. Who woulda thunk it, huh? They have, beyond a doubt, earned their share of awards so I thought I would give the Summerfest Lager a try.
Typical of lagers (which basically means "storage" in German), the appearance of the beer was clear with a golden color. The head disappeared in a matter of seconds (I was hoping it would stick around in the photo but by the time I grabbed the camera, it was gone!). A swirl in the glass released the hoppy aroma (not too strong, not too subtle) and also gave me chance to see how it evenly coated the glass as it fell back down the sides (totally unlike the "legs" one might see in wine).
The first impression of the taste was one of sweetness, but it almost instantly gave way to a more hoppy taste that I would expect elsewhere. On the palate, it was crisp and what I would call medium-bodied. The finish, in my opinion, lingered a bit and was more hoppy than I was expecting.
Looking back in my notes, this appears to be one of my more average lagers. I have had some real beauties and some real busts. I think, for my taste, this beer is fair, but not I would normally drink on a hot summer day. Too heavy. Too hoppy. When brewers talk about "summer beers", usually one gets something with some sort of a citrus smell and/or taste or maybe something lighter (body, not color) and smoother.
All in all, not a bad beer, but, in my opinion, not the best either. 3 out of 5.
By the way, #500 is coming up soon! Plans are in the making!