Brew Review: Gordon Biersch's Sommer Gold

By Jonathan McNamara

Avid New Times readers may be under the impression that working here is a never-ending party. We cover concerts. We write about sexist chocolates. We get to have our say about the actions of public officials. But believe me when I say there are times when working at this paper does feel like a real job.

As I sat contemplating this and sipping beer on company time at Gordon Biersch on Mill Avenue, I realized that this was not one of those times.

Gordon Biersch Brewery and Restaurant invited New Times to the unveiling of their new seasonal Sommer Gold. Sections of the restaurant were roped off for Gordon Biersch VIP members to enjoy the an exclusive, first taste of the new golden brew tapped from a wooden cask.

Call this my second office.

This week's brew: Gordon Biersch's Sommer Gold. Does it live up to its VIP presentation?

Tastes: like hops-infused champagne.

Strangely enough, the beer has a rather pungent though not unpleasant odor that would suggest a stronger flavor. Upon consumption the beer reveals itself to be a delicate drink with a combination of flavors that melt into each other rather than remaining distinct components.

I had mine: while munching on a tower of shrimp and crab with avocados and tomatos; part of the summer menu at Gordon Biersch.

Goes with: light, fresh food. If you're going to order this at a Gordon Biersch restaurant, try to pair it with the lighter side of the menu. This crisp nature and subtle flavors of this brew will be lost on heavier foods. If you're getting a burger, go with the hefeweizen.

Verdict: On a hot, Phoenix day a Sommer Gold could certainly hit the spot. It's unfortunate that it goes best with lighter fare and can not stand up to summertime staples like barbeque and burgers. Dark beer fans will be put off by Sommer Gold's clean, delicate body.

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