Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. announced the release of Kellerweis Hefeweizen into their year-round portfolio of beers. This is the second new year-round release from the brewery in 2009.
Several years ago, the brewers at Sierra Nevada began working with a unique Bavarian hefeweizen yeast strain unknown in this country. They were with the yeast strain and its characteristics, that they began working on a recipe for a traditional German hefeweizen with a “Sierra Nevada twist.” For years the brewers weren’t satisfied with the beer; something was missing. In a flash of inspiration, an epic trip was arranged. The brewers took a whirlwind tour through the legendary Bavarian wheat breweries to see what they were doing. It was there they realized the advantages of making wheat beer using the traditional system of open fermentation.
Sierra Nevada had been making a portion of their beer using the technique of open fermentation for years. Most modern brewery fermentation takes place in closed, stainless-steel tanks; this method is efficient, quick and clean. After seeing the technique in use in Germany, the inspiration to make Kellerweis in the open system took hold. The name is an homage to the German Keller, meaning cellar–the name breweries give to their fermentation systems, and weis, or weiss–the German name for “white” or wheat beer, hazy with suspended yeast.
Sierra Nevada’s Kellerweis Hefeweizen will be available in 6-packs starting in early summer 2009.