Sierra Nevada’s Kellerweis

I recently came under the spell of Sierra Nevada’s Kellerweis beer. This is a hefeweizen made in the German style (unlike, say, a Widmer or Pyramid hefe) and is a perfect beer choice for hot summer months. There is a lightness and crispness to Kellerweis that helps one meet the many challenges of the stifling Mojave heat. If one is to encounter what feels like a blow-dryer to the face, this is the beer that is most enjoyable while undergoing that experience.

It is also a beer with “resistance.” By that, I am making a comparison with some of the higher alcohol content imperial stouts I enjoy drinking. When sitting down with a Rogue Chocolate Stout, or a North Coast Old Rasputin, one tends to take small sips. The bitterness and alcohol preclude chugging the aforementioned beers. It is an experience not unlike sipping a cup of really strong morning coffee. And this is perfect. There aren’t too many ways to better enjoy the close of the day than having an evening equivalent to the morning joe.

Getting back to the Kellerweis, this is one of the few non-imperial, non-stout beers that offers a similar experience. Kellerweis is a rather thick beer, and one that lends itself well to a slow-sipping experience. This makes it rather distinctive among “summery” beers. For comparison, North Coast Pranqster, while delicious, is far too easy to sip down. One could easily find themselves four deep in Pranqster before they realize what has happened. Kellerweis offers something sweeter than the stouts, certainly, but not quite as much as a Pranqster (or Big Sky Brewing, Moosedrool, or New Belgium Brewing, Fat Tire).

Lastly, Kellerweis is a modestly priced beer, which certainly sets it apart from Rogue. Despite its affordability, however, it retains higher than average stature in the minds of the beer-imbibing public. This quality makes it a near perfect choice for mass purchase, i.e., buying several cases worth for public get-togethers, such as barbeques or tailgaiting parties. Beer snobs will certainly understand its glorious attributes, and the average beer drinker, while not understanding why it tastes so great, will nonetheless hold the thrower of the barbeque in higher esteem for said individual’s obviously refined taste in beers.

I really cannot say enough good things about Kellerweis. It has made its way into my esteemed top-ten favorite beers, a list that includes beers from Rogue, Anderson Valley, North Coast, Dogfish Head, and Deschutes. I give this a 9.5 out of 10. The reason for the .5 deduction is because it really is perfect in the hotter weather, but one would most likely go with a darker brew during the winter than the Kellerweis. But that’s my preference. I enjoy stouts more than any other style. So bear that in mind.

Go forth and drink this beer. It’s delicious and affordable and you will dazzle those around you with the quiet confidence of a person who knows their beer.

– Dr. Hops


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.