I like, if not love, Sierra Nevada, don’t get me wrong. I respect Ken Grossman’s pioneering spirit and craft. However, I feel they are a typical California massively hopped beer company. I rate a brewery on how well it can produce a plethora of styles that are relatively true to style and not just an Americanized version of them. That’s why when Glissade was released I rushed to buy it. This is one of two lagers they produce (the other being Summerfest) and I was eager to see if they did justice to the Maibock style.

Given that I’m on my second beer, I’d say they did a fine job. I also learned a couple things while drinking this beer. First, the word “glissade” can be a method of descending down a snowy slope or a ballet move in which one slides. This name fits given that the packaging depicts a mountain goat overlooking a snow peaked German country side. Second, I also learned that Maibocks can have low melanoidins. What the heck is that? Well, melanoidins are essentially sugars and amino acids that have caramelized when heated given a stronger flavor and deeper color.

What about the beer you say? My apologies, fine beer lovers. Glissade did well to help me descend the frozen months of winter and look forward to Spring. It is a wonderful golden-honey color with a rich head. The aroma had a wonderful “pop” to it. Mild light malts filled my nostrils while German hops presented a deep floral earthy layer. There were also lager highlights that were bready, a slightly pungent sulfur, and clean.

The taste was rather straight forward, but yet complex. It almost seemed too close to a pilsner to be a bock, but after some time the malt aspects found in bocks introduced themselves to my palate. Their names were caramel, honey, and toasted grains. It quenched my thirst and slid over my palate while sipping, but made me crave more. The dryness can be accredited to the lager yeast and piney hop finish. I’m not a big bock fan so if I have to drink one I’ll most likely reach for a Maibock. Hopefully, Sierra Nevada keeps this in the line up for years to come.

PS – Sorry, Ken Grossman, for all my preconceived notions.

ABV: 6.4%

Grade: B+