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Presented by Consumer Beverages
by Erik Wollschlager and Chris Groves
Sierra Nevada OTRA VEZ
>by Erik Wollschlager
Thanks to the commercial availability of such beers as Anderson Valley’s Highway 128 series, sour beers have made a mark in the national market, and more recently, here in Buffalo. Known mainly for their tart characteristics, these beers are consistently brewed with malted barley and wheat, coriander and sea salt, then fermented with a bacteria called lactobacillus. Americanized versions of these have come to add complimentary fruits in order to enhance the sour flavors—AV’s most popular version is likely the Blood Orange Gose, and is a great example. As we experience a January spring in the Queen City, Sierra Nevada’s release of Otra Vez could not have come at a better (albeit unpredictable) time. As the temperatures rise and we crawl from our stout-fueled slumbers, we seek beers that are lighter and crisper, and Otra Vez is both of these, in spectacular fashion. It is a great beer for anyone who has not tried a sour before, or may not have liked the ones that they have tried because Otra Vez lacks the sharp pucker of some of the sour beers on the market. The beer pours golden with a slight haze and a thin head. The grapefruit is immediately apparent, and as you take the first sip, more citrus and a touch of salt flood the palate. Otra Vez would pair well with a great spring salad—mixed greens with pickled beets and goat cheese, perhaps, but could easily be enjoyed accompanied only by the wind in the bare trees and the distant call of a returning robin.
Sierra Nevada Nooner Pilsner
STYLE: German-Style Pilsner
>by Chris Groves, Certified Cicerone
Sierra Nevada continually fails to disappoint. Someone over there surely has a sense of humor to call a beer Nooner. Urbandictionary.com is your friend if you don’t know... You know what else is not disappointing? The current swing of warmer weather in February. It’s light jacket weather and it’s time to celebrate! If you’ve been reading this page of beer reviews for the past couple months, you may have picked up on my admiration for the subtle, wonderful qualities of real Pilsners. They’re perfect for your afternoon canoe picnic up the Buffalo River, your day hike at the gorge or a break from the slopes. When the sun reaches it’s high point..its Nooner time! Nooner joins the ranks of superb, American made German-style pilsners with its effulgent golden straw color, spicy hop nose and clean, crisp finish. This beer is not excessive; it’s naturally beautiful with just the right amount of everything to keep you interested. While German Pilsners aren’t do-all food beers, they certainly work with a wide variety of dishes typically associated with summertime and those wonderful evening dinner parties. If you’re looking for a beer to cool your Jerked Chicken, Nooner fits the bill. Salmon, scallops, spicy chorizo, andouille all work exceptionally well. Do yourself a favor...put your pilsner in a tall slender glass. It will retain the head on your beer and enhance it’s effervescence, plus you’ll look cooler. Buy one get one free 6-packs at Consumer’s now.
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