After recently trying (and loving) the Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, dawned on me that these guys make good beer! Granted, I haven’t tried everything they make yet, but what I have tried like their Stout has been really good. I wasn’t crazy about their Summerfest beer, but that was a long time ago and I should probably revisit that beer anyway.
So, when I was cruising the beer isle in search of the perfect beer for this week’s beer exchange with the rest of The Brew Club crew, it made a lot of sense that I grabbed the Sierra Nevada Kellerweis.
Its good logic really. I was looking for something I hadn’t tried before, something that would likely be a good beer, and something nice for Summer. Sierra Nevada Kellerweis seemed to fit the bill – so let’s crack it open and see what happens!
Kellerweis is a Hefeweisen, which is a wheat beer that typically features nice banana and clove flavors, although there are no bananas that are actually harmed in the making of these beers. The banana flavor is a result of the type of yeast used I think – but anyway its a nice beer style perfectly suited for summertime refreshment. I don’t know how common it is, but Sierra Nevada claims that this beer is one of a few American Hefeweizens that is made using a ‘traitional Bavarian-style of open fermentation.” Anybody want to comment on that?
This beer pours a very nice golden color, and it was very hazy with suspended yeast particles floating about. It created a nice white head that produced a good bit of lacing on my glass.
The aroma was in a way typical of a Hefeweizen – spices, in this case clove is pretty easy to pick up, and sure enough banana-like aromas back it up nicely. Overlay that on wheat and you know what it smells like!
Kellerweis tasted great! Granted, I haven’t tried a lot of domestic hefeweizens yet, but this one is just wonderful right off the bat. Like the aroma, and not surprisingly I suppose, spicy flavors of clove come to the front along with that classic banana flavor. There’s a bit of a grainy flavor too, which at the moment I can only attribute to the wheat? I’m not going to overdo it here because to me this beer’s flavor is fairly simple and straightforward – and it works.
This hefe had a great mouthfeel too. While its not watery, its thin enough not to feel stick or heavy – perfect for a hot summer day. The bottle mentions that this beer has a ‘velvety smooth texture’ and I’m inclined to agree at this point.
Overall, if you couldn’t tell, I was mightily impressed by the Sierra Nevada Kellerweis! I think this 4.8% ABV brew out of California is a great rendition of the hefeweizen style, and I suppose that open-fermentation thing does make a difference. I’ll be getting it again for sure before the Summer is over, but I’m also happy that its available year-round.
If you’re a hefe fan, you owe it to yourself to give this one a try.