It’s about high time I wrote on a beer from Sierra Nevada, a pioneer, a staple and a true favorite brewery of mine.
The brewery is legendary for its pervasive Pale Ale and legacy as a trailblazer in the craft beer industry, dating back to 1978. I didn’t realize how significant the company’s influence was until I read “Beyond the Pale” by brewery founder Ken Grossman. I highly recommend it.
As the book titles indicates, Sierra Nevada is more than a great pale ale. The brewery makes consistent, balanced beers of all styles. I especially look forward to the fresh-hopped Celebration Ale toward the end of every year.
This year the wait is tempered by the arrival of crisp, flavorful Oktoberfest. It is the second lager collaboration Sierra Nevada has done with a brewery in Germany—this time Mahrs Bräu, of Bamberg.
I am a fan of the 2015 version made with Brauhaus Riegele. I drank my fair share of it before it left the shelves.
How wunderbar that not only is Sierra Nevada doing another collab, but it turned out awesome.
The 2016 Oktoberfest is lighter, but malty enough, with a blitz of spicy noble hops.
Sierra Nevada indicates that it is brewed with a number of relatively unsung American and German hops—magnum, palisade, saphir, crystal and record, which the brewery says has been “nearly forgotten.”
Nearly forgotten?! I’ve never heard of it, but this scheiss is great!
Just as refreshing as this beer, is the fact that Sierra Nevada continues to do new, genuinely interesting things. I see many veteran breweries throw themselves at cringe-worthy fads or simply go stale.
With a dedication to the beers it makes well combined with a willingness to branch out through Beer Camp and other collaborations like this, Sierra Nevada keeps it interesting and keeps its crown as one of the best in the business. They might even be the first brewery to make a tasteful Oktoberfest-themed game.
This Mahrs Bräu collaboration will likely remain my go-to light lager for the rest of 2016, preferably with some good butterkäse and crackers.
Rating: Glass – Growler – Case – KEG
More on my Sierra Nevada experiences here.