In the summer, the most important thing when it comes to beer is hydration. Mississippi-legal beer can be no less than 89.8 percent WBV (water by volume), so the odds are good that almost any beer you drink will help you stay hydrated, generally. But on these dog days of summer, nothing goes better with yard work than a lager. And so, for July, we offer you Sierra Nevada Sierraveza.
Sierra Nevada is one of the original modern US craft breweries. With breweries located in Chico, California and Asheville, North Carolina, it’s also one of the largest US craft breweries. Sierra Nevada has many claims to fame; the biggest one is its Chico ale yeast, which is now widely used as the base American ale yeast by homebrewers all over. Sierraveza is a lager, though, and now you’re about to learn the rest of the story.
ALES VS LAGERS
Ales and lagers are both beers, made from water, malt, yeast and hops. The major difference between an ale and a lager is the type of yeast used. Ales are made with a top-fermenting yeast, which tolerates much wider swings of temperature than the bottom-fermenting yeast used for lagers. Lagers ferment at lower temperatures than ales do (think high 40s F versus low 60s F), and some ales ferment at especially high temperatures (closer to 80 F).
Lagering is a process that ages beer over time in the cold. A lager typically has spent at least 28 days through the fermentation process before it is packaged, while an ale can be packaged as soon as 7 days after fermentation begins.
GERMAN-STYLE MEXICAN LAGER
Sierraveza, as you can guess from the name, is a Mexican-style lager. Most Mexican lagers are actually German-style lagers made in Mexico, and Sierraveza is solidly in this tradition (except made in California and North Carolina, naturally). If you’re not mowing the lawn, then you can get out a fancy Pilsner glass and pour this beer vigorously down the center, properly developing the head and releasing the beautiful hop aromas. You will get the classic scent of the noble hops in this beer, floral and dank, from the Pilgrim hops used in bittering and aroma additions. This beer contains wheat and pilsner malts, which create a beautiful golden color and slightly biscuity aroma.
If you’re mowing the lawn, you can drink this beer straight from the can and enjoy it. At 5 percent, it’s strictly middle of the road, so you can crush a six pack over a day and not feel bad about it.
Remember, beer is bread, and bread is food, and you need food to live, so it’s OK to drink beer.