Brew Review: Sierra Nevada Summerfest

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When you're looking for a new beer to try it seems like everyone under the sun has a bottle they'd like to uncap and shove in your mouth. Answers to the question "what beer should I drink," are endless. That's why we prefer recommendations secure in their justification. Take Sierra Nevvada Summerfesr Lager for example. We drank this beer for this week's Brew Review thanks to a recommendation from Papago Brewing Bartender Zach Ogle. His justification: they've sold out of it on tap and only have bottles left. Yup, he says it's that good.

It turns out that Summerfest is just one of several beers brewed by Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.; an outfit that got it's start in 1979 when Ken Grossman began building a brewery in Chico, California. Thirty years later Sierra Nevada has become a brewing force selling its various bottles all over the country and establishing it's own restaurant in the brewery much like Four Peaks.

Sierra Nevada is famously known for it's award-winning Pale Ale, but we had to know how the Summerfest stacked up. Would Mr. Ogle go down a hero or would we be cursing his name through our bitter-beer faces?

Tastes: absolutely delicious. The bottle says it's a "crisp Summer beer." Let's just say this bottle isn't full of empty promises, it's filled to the brim with citrus notes and a powerful hop finish. Just about all the tasters who tried it loved it. Less-experienced drinkers may find the hoppy finish a tad too bitter, but they'll come around.

Goes with: Sierra Nevada will tell you that Summerfest has what it takes to stand up to spicy meats and sauces devoured at most barbecues. One of our tasters said he'd like to toss a few back with a "really good, smoked cheese." What can we say, the guy loves cheese.

I got mine: at Papago Brewing in a bottle, but I can't wait to try it on tap.

Verdict: One sip is all it took me to see why this beautiful brew is going dry over at Papago. My advice is to go get some right now.

By the way: In case you haven't noticed we're on a quest to find the top ten best Summer beers and we want your help. If you've got a beer you prefer to drink in the hotter months or just want to throw in your two cents on other people's picks, check out this blog post to find out how to participate.

Happy drinking!

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