Beer Review: BITBURGER / SIERRA NEVADA TRIPLE HOP’D LAGER

Beer Review: BITBURGER / SIERRA NEVADA TRIPLE HOP’D LAGER

Upon pouring Bitburger / Sierra Nevada Triple Hop’d Lager, I was met with a hue that was surprisingly deeper than expected. It exhibited a captivating deep orange to light amber color, crowned by a delightful, buttermilk-colored head of whipped foam. This creamy head impressively lingered for a good five minutes before gradually dissipating. However, a minor caveat: if you pour the entire 11.2oz can, which is almost unavoidable given its diminutive size, you may encounter a fair amount of sediment that clouds up the pour, along with thousands of tiny floaties in the beer. Personally, I found the sediment to be a negligible distraction, and it didn’t significantly affect my overall enjoyment.

Aroma

The aroma of Triple Hop’d Lager is distinctly German, bearing a somewhat “imported” character that doesn’t immediately convey freshness, in contrast to most other beers I’ve sampled. Initially, I detected notes reminiscent of candy corn and even hints of cheese Danish. After allowing it a bit of time, the fragrance evolved to include zesty grapefruit rind and freshly cut grass. However, once you take that first sip, this lager truly comes into its own. Despite its relatively modest alcohol by volume (ABV) content, it boasts remarkable malt density, rivaling some of Germany’s finest lagers, particularly those hailing from Franconia. With a mouthfeel akin to pound cake and buttery frosting, it introduces layers of sweetness without crossing the line into excess. The beer exudes a notable minerality that diverges from the chalky, off-putting concrete mix flavors often found in hazy IPAs. Instead, it leans towards the profile of mineral water, imparting a foundation reminiscent of limestone and tonic water. An intriguing savory note reminiscent of browned butter emerges, intermingling with sourdough, contributing a subtle lactic acidity towards the back of the palate. The American hop component seamlessly integrates, infusing the brew with the vibrant essence of Valencia oranges and grapefruit sections. This familiar hoppy bite builds upon the qualities that make Bitburger Premium Pils outstanding, transitioning from a dull, grassy bitterness to a lively, fruity hop presence. The experience concludes with a lingering finish characterized by sourdough-like acidity.

Taste

Bitburger / Sierra Nevada Triple Hop’d Lager is a revelation in terms of its depth and complexity, setting it apart from its American counterparts. Its remarkable interplay of malt richness, refreshing minerality, and hints of savory browned butter alongside sourdough create a captivating symphony of flavors. Each can of this lager has a short lifespan of about 15 minutes or less after opening, beckoning to be consumed in hearty gulps, making it a fitting companion for dinner, or even lunch during these times of home quarantine.

Mouthfeel

In terms of perceived specifications, Triple Hop’d Lager presents a unique profile with a sweetness level of 5, balanced by an equal bitterness of 5. The acidity registers a modest 1, while saltiness is absent, and savoriness is minimal at 1. The beer impressively flaunts a robust fat content of 5 and a notable mineral presence at 3.

Overall

Bitburger / Sierra Nevada Triple Hop’d Lager stands as one of the most distinctive collaborations in recent memory, executed with excellence. For aficionados of pale lagers like myself, it’s a dream come true. Finally, we have the opportunity to taste the reverse of what we’ve been accustomed to for years. Rather than another American brewery’s interpretation of a German hoppy pale lager, we are treated to a German brewery’s take on an American hoppy pale lager. The result is nothing short of glorious, displaying meticulous attention to detail. It’s safe to say that this will likely become one of my favorite new beers of 2020.

Similar Beers

This lager is quite the rarity in today’s market, with few contenders that can match its flavor profile. While it stands alone in its uniqueness, I would recommend exploring Russian River Velvet Glow, North Coast Scrimshaw Pilsner, pFriem Mexican Lager, and Bell’s Lager of Lakes as alternatives, though none quite capture the enchantment that Triple Hop’d Lager offers.