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Sleeper Hit: Sierra Nevada Kellerweis

October 13, 2016

Some things are famous for being underrated. Like Sports Night, sardines, Moby Grape, or Tim Duncan.  Sierra Nevada Kellerweis also happens to be on the list. It’s that one in the quaint yellow six pack. The one sitting next to the Pale Ale and the Torpedo that many have seen but never picked up. It's not exactly the hoppiest thing in the world, but trust me. If you've ever enjoyed a wheat beer before, Sierra Nevada Kellerweis is a gem.

 

 

 

Maybe the Kellerweis is a victim of the Sierra’s reputation for American Pale Ale. Perhaps people who prefer wheat beers see the Sierra Nevada name and are turned off by bitter, hoppy memories? It doesn’t change the quality of the beer in the bottle, which is one of the most true-to-form expressions of the German style I’ve seen from any country. There’s also the name - Kellerweis isn’t an obscure style, but rather a reference to the beer’s basement-style open fermentation tanks (keller = cellar).

 

The Kellerweis is a great step up in craftiness for people who primarily drink wheat beer. Although I wouldn’t recommend it to an absolute beginner, it’s a perfect pick to show a diehard Hoegaarden drinker (a wonderful beer, by the way, despite how widespread it is). It’s also great for seasoned craft drinkers suffering from IPA burnout, or those who enjoy Belgian Trippels and Strong Ales but want to cut back a bit on the alcohol content. It’s also a great Hefe with food - in fact,  my Sierra Nevada sales rep claims that its banana-forward flavors pair excellently with chocolate, of all things.

 

See Also: https://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2015/04/tasting-and-ranking-39-of-the-best-american-wheat.html?a=1 The Kellerweis finishes a respectable #7 on this list, which is the second-highest for a true hefeweizen (and the highest for one available in the MD market)

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