As The Basement Beer Tastings panel delved into summer seasonals, the panel found the selections they tasted were apparently brewed to be consumed, not savored.
Light and crisp seems to be the name of the game with Czech-style lagers like Sierra Nevada Summerfest — a full 180 degrees from their massive Barrel-Aged Bigfoot Ale that currently tops our ratings.
This beer says, “Hey, it’s summer. Stop looking at me and get back to looking at the ocean.”
Smell is light and doesn’t have much in the way of notable overtones, though one panelist picked up a faint smell of pomegranate. Other than that, it’s an average light lager with a clean, malty smell.
It has a moderately sudsy mouthfeel, and aftertaste is average. The brew’s dry finish is highlighted first by light hops, followed by a slightly earthy, slightly metallic taste as it trails off.
Summerfest is a middle-of-the-road, average beer. It’s obviously well-crafted, and won’t turn you off. But it’s not going to knock your socks off, either.
Our panelists had a hard time explaining the delicate balancing point between “not finding anything remarkable” about a beer, yet “not being disappointed by it,” either.
Perhaps Summerfest is best summed up by one of our panelists, who remarked, “I’m not impressed. I’d drink about three.”
(Appearance 6.5, Smell 4.33, Taste 18.5, Aftertaste 14.33, Drinkability 20.67)