As one of California's grand old craft breweries, Sierra Nevada has always specialized in ales, but for summer it does make a wonderful lager. Summerfest is a little richer and smoother than your ordinary lager, which they credit to extra-long lagering.
Naturally, it has plenty of piney-citrusy hop notes in the nose and a spreading floral finish -- after all, this is Sierra Nevada, the virtual creator of our present-day hop-head phenomenon. Still, this is nowhere as hoppy as an India pale ale. It's just a lager that's almost too good to drink after mowing the lawn. It would be great with sausages on the grill.
-- Charles Perry Style: A rich, polished lager with a strong but well-mannered dose of hops
Where you find it: Available at Beverages & More stores (visit www for locations); Hi-Time Wine Cellars in Costa Mesa, (949) 650-8463 or (800) 331-3005, www.hitime; and Beverage Warehouse in Los Angeles, (310) 306-2822, www.beverage.com: $7.99-$8.49 per six-pack