Everything else might be in the trenches but our taste for premium beer is not. Seemingly, the kawaida beer drinker is looking for an elevated experience. I am not sure when this happened but as a result, a number of craft breweries have mushroomed to fill this gap.
Sierra is one of them. It prides itself on being the first boutique brewery and restaurant in East and Central Africa. So, of course, I had to jump in and confirm it. So I had a go at the Sierra Platinum and the Sierra Blonde. Chances are I will give you my two cents on the Sierra Amber over a medium-rare steak at their Brassiere in the coming weeks. For now, let’s dive into the two premium beers.
Whether it's a credit card or a beer, anything tagged platinum is supposed to be premium. From how it looks and feels you expect to gain some recognition from it - vain but true. The Sierra Platinum comes nothing short of this. A 4.5% ABV beer in a compact bottle that snugly fits in your palm. It's not your usual off the mill beer though. It's exclusive. This means you'll find it conspicuously missing at your local pub mostly because should you want to enjoy its company, it's up to you to find it. But is finding it worth it?
Yes. It's the kind of beer that wants to be enjoyed in a serene setting. Not that it won't let you sit back on a high stool, at the counter drowning in the sound of football loudly playing. Just that, if you want to really enjoy it you need the company of serenading music. You know, instrumentals only. You need a warm ambiance and cordial wait staff that wouldn't bat a lid if you asked for a medium-rare steak. That's who the Sierra platinum is.
My first sip of the sierra is demure. You can't help and notice how it carries a splash of caramel flavor. Brewed from three types of malts (Pilsen, Vienna, and Caramel) it is smooth in flavor. Like cruising on an open road at 60kph with your windows open and the wind in your hair. As always recommended, beer is best served chilled. What I noticed with the platinum is that it is a beer that cuts across. For a first-timer, it would ease them nicely into its subtle flavors.
It would not rush them and they wouldn't take long to get used to it. To someone already familiar with beer it'll be a pleasant surprise. Not exactly what you're used to, but it is welcome all the same. One thing though with the platinum, it's feisty. Should it come a little shaken it'll jump out the bottle on opening leaving behind a trail of gorgeous head and its scent will fill your nostrils way before you can taste it - a good thing.
I don’t know where it gets the name from but I will go out on a limb and say it might have something to do with the gold rings that adorn the top and bottom of the can. For the bottle, you get a golden cap and the golden ring to the bottom. I have no qualms about the name though, as a matter of fact, if you’ve ever wanted head from a blonde – here’s your chance.
The look and feel of the Sierra Blonde is enticing. It has a nice balance of colours between gold and black. Definitely makes it feel premium. A step away from the usual brown and green bottles we’ve grown accustomed to. This might be their way of pre-empting you on what to expect when you finally have your first sip.
In comparison to the Sierra Platinum, the Blonde has a much stronger presence on the palate and conspicuously missing is the caramel flavour but maintains the 4.5% ABV. This one is brewed out of only one hop, the Pilsen. It is definitely not a beer I would recommend to a first-timer but one I would recommend to an intermediate beer drinker.
You cannot mistake the bitterness of the hops in this beer. But as you gradually sip on it the taste grows on you. The bitterness lingers on much like a stray kitten that’s looking to get fed. You might not want it there in the first place but you let it stay and enjoy its company. The crisp gold colour of the brew is alluring. You might just spend the first few minutes staring at it effervesce in the glass. Pro tip – pour it into a champagne flute to confuse people he! he!
Since I tried the can with this beer I would best recommend it for road trips or camping.
So that’s it guys these two beers get a 7/10 from me.