Sierra Nevada announced last year that they would be adding two new beers to their year-round stable. As there had been no changes to that lineup in over a decade, the beer community was understandably excited. The first beer was revealed to be a new "Extra IPA" named Torpedo. I just got my hands on a couple six-packs, and it's a very worthy addition to the collection.
Late last week, Sierra Nevada unveiled their second new year-round release, Kellerweis Hefeweizen. This will actually be replacing Sierra Nevada Wheat in the lineup, so if you're a fan of the Wheat, stock up. The beer is of the traditional Bavarian Hefeweizen style and Sierra Nevada is using the shallow open fermentation process and top-cropping yeast. The yeast itself is a special strain borrowed from a small Bavarian brewery and was actually the inspiration for Kellerweis.
When the brewers started playing with the strain a few years ago, they were so enamored with the results that they decided to brew up a new year-round Hefeweizen. After a trip to Germany the team realized that the key to really unlocking the yeast strain's potential was open fermenting.
The name Kellerweis comes from a combination of the German words for cellar (in this case a reference to the open fermentation tanks) and hazy wheat beers. Here's how Sierra Nevada describe the flavor profile:
The flavor is rich with bready wheat notes and massive banana and clove. The finish is clean and crisp and the beer has a low enough ABV to be scarily session-able.Be on the lookout for Kellerweis on shelves in late May, just in time for summer. If Torpedo is any indication, it should be great.