Saturday, July 23, 2011

Summer Beers

I decided to obtain a few summer beers to try them out as the hot weather has hit Colorado.  I picked up Sierra Nevada – Summerfest (5.0% ABV and 28 IBU), Widmer – Hefeweizen (4.9% ABV and 30 IBU), Breckenridge – Summerbright (4.5% ABV and 15 IBU), and Left Hand – The Stranger (5.0% ABV and 36 IBU). 

I think it hard to beat a Hefeweizen or Belgian Wit in the summer and the Widmer Hefeweizen is very good.  It has your typical cloudy yellow color with a nice head.  I prefer ales to lagers and while Summerfest is a lager, it is not bad at all – I would probably select Kellerweis over Summerfest though.  It pours crystal clear with great carbonation and pours yellow / gold with a nice two finger head.  Summerbright is very refreshing and with the low ABV, one could literally drink this all day with no issue.  The addition of citrus, oranges and lemons, to this wheat beer is well done and this is a nice beer.  At first taste, I did not like The Stranger Pale Ale, but as the ale warmed up, I grew to appreciate it.  The taste difference is due to the use of rye malt and it is not a bad beer – just let it warm up a bit.  Below are pictures and web descriptions for each beer.

Sierra Nevada Summerfest - "Our Summerfest® is a refreshing, pilsner-style lager. Its incredible smoothness comes from an extra-long lagering period. Lighter in body than our ales but just as complex in character, Summerfest® quenches your thirst with big aroma and a tangy hop bite."

Widmer Hefeweizen - "Meet the beer that started it all. Our naturally cloudy flagship brew starts with the highest quality wheat. It's bold, clean flavor and pronounced citrus and floral aromas are what define American-style Hefeweizen. So pour yourself a cool, cloudy glass, finish with a lemon and enjoy the original."

Breckenridge Summerbright - "The brewmaster's goal: the perfect ale for summertime quaffing, nothing more. Breck Brew's SummerBright is the result. The craftsman's touch combines white wheat, two row pale and munich malt with the pacific northwest's most intriguing hops to create a bright, clean ale ideal for picnicking, evenings on the screen porch and enjoying the whims of the summer breeze."

Left Hand The Stranger - "Sane or senseless? Harmless or harmful? Sometimes it takes awhile to get to know a stranger. Initial impressions are not always reality, so you must delve deeper. Beyond the initial floral hop aromas, malt sweetness is revealed, yet with a spicy undertone that exposes a very rye sense of humor. Take your time to get to know the Stranger. It’s strangely satisfying."

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