Birra Vina | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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Very Good
17 Ratings

Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: Fruit / Vegetable Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Domingo on 11-24-2011

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 17 |  Reviews: 6
Reviews by the Alström Bros:

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More User Reviews:
Photo of TimoP
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of standardcherry
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of nickhiller
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of 31Sam13
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of Domingo
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at the Royal Hilltop. I'd never heard of it, but with a little bit of checking around, it appears as though it's an ale brewed with red grapes.
Arrived an amber color with a rich white head. I expected something crazy that was purple and smelling like candy (not sure why) but this was refreshing. I suppose I should expect no less from SN. In the light the beer has a bit of redness to it, but I wouldn't pick it as a fruit beer by sight.
Hops are heavy in this one! Ah, I think I picked up on the intention for this beer from the nose. We have an APA or IPA, but with grapes.
The fruit character comes much closer to a real grape than juice or random grape flavored things you might expect. Just a hint of sweetness and slight acidity. The malts come through a little like an English barleywine - very caramel-heavy. However the big pine-y bitter hops take the stage first, and then trail off into a sweeter middle and finish. I can definitely imagine people who don't care for fruit beers potentially really enjoying this one. It's a bit like Aprihop in that the beer comes first and the fruit adds more of a slight accent.
Good stuff and a pretty unique brew from SN. I'll probably order it again if it sticks around.

EDIT: I got some more of this 2 weeks later and had a chance to compare it to a 90-minute IPA. Even with the grapes and slightly mellowed hops, the flavor profile is still less sweet and perhaps a hair more bitter than the 90 Min. This is clearly a hop-lovers fruit beer.

 1,511 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.65/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Malibu Sundownder Tasting Room in Westlake Village, CA.

Pours a hazy honey orange with a foamy bone head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. A foamy lattice of lace coats the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, tea, and slight grape aromas. Taste is much the same with tea and grape flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with an interesting tea and grape presence.

 571 characters

Photo of VelvetExtract
3.68/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a cloudy brown color. Head is fluffy but it dies down quickly. Pretty murky.

S-Nose is not as wacky as I was expecting it to be. Light vinous aroma from the Petite Sirah and Tempranillo grapes. Aside from that, this seems to be a mostly sweet Brown Ale. Was expecting a bit more.

T-Pleasant taste but I wish the wine grapes made more of an appearance on the palate. Hops are more stressed than in the nose. Sweetness is a bit stronger than the hoppiness.

M-Medium bodied. Surprised by the high ABV; it feels more like a 6.5% brew than an 8.5%. A bit syrupy.

O/D-Kinda felt like there should have been more pop here. I think the Beer Camp series is pretty great. This is a very unique brew but it could have been amazing.

 732 characters

Photo of mdfb79
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of JAHMUR
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.58/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served on-tap at Cask Republic in New Haven, Conn. in a red wine glass.

A: Poured a rose-tinted gold color beneath a frothy head of off-white foam that settled quickly and left a little lacing.

S: Vinous, sweet and spicy with a clear dose of grape skins, some gummy esters and a slight whiff of booze.

T: Crisp, sweet and golden raisin flavor flashes before a hint of strawberry and spicy Syrrah juice. Bitter, herbal and prickly hops settle onto the palate and dries out some of the sweetness. A bit blunt and buttery before the clean, fruity finish.

M: Medium-bodied, crisp and slightly tart with some warming alcohol notes and prickly bitterness in the finish.

O: A very interesting brew and I'm not 100% on whether or not I really enjoyed it or not. The 8.5% ABV wasn't noted at all times and the sweet, grape concentrate might've messed with the other subtle flavors a bit too much. Walked away feeling much the same about this brew as I do DFH Midas Touch; glad I tried it but not rushing to the bottom of the glass to order another.

 1,044 characters

Photo of TicoCali
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of djre4orm
3/5  rDev -20.6%

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

on tap at the cheeky monk downtown denver. pours a shiraz shade of red and a classic hue of a nutbrown in equal parts into a goblet. good white head stands nearly two inches high, and fades slowly. smells much less like grapes than i thoguht it would from the color, but there is some of that tannic astringent vibe in the nose that you get from a big red wine. also a nice caramel to chocolate malt body is obvious in the nose. the flavor surpised me for two reasons. first, that this beer could be so well balanced. its not beer and wine in equal proportion to one another, but the wine essences compliment the flavor profile of the beer. second, the yeast is the uniting element. it is fruity enough to drag beer up to the wine's level in that regard, but its bright enough to really carbonate the beer and make the wine element compatible on the other end. feel was nice, bubbly without being over the top, and a body that is impossible to describe on the heavy or light scale. its satisfying and drinkable, but it is a beer to share with a loved one. tons of credit for both the idea and the execution, great great product for any beer drinker looking to expand their horizons.

 1,182 characters

Photo of photomike
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of woosterbill
3.79/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at The Cask Republic, served in a pint. According to the menu, this is Beer Camp no. 59, and includes Petite Syrah and Tempranillo grapes along with Nelson Sauvin hops. Sounds too interesting to pass up.

A: Clear deep reddish amber body topped by a finger of dense, sticky light-pink head that leaves terrific lace. The foam is the only indication that there's fruit within, and overall it's a great looking beer.

S: Pleasant, clean, but surprisingly subdued nose. Biscuity malt and fruity hops are the main players; if I didn't know ther were grapes, I don't think I would have ever guessed. Pretty mediocre for a fruit beer.

T: Much better here. Hops start things off with a flavorful, bitter kick, and then the grapes deliver some nice spice, tannin, and berry notes. Hops and grapes coexist perfectly on the finish - bitterness is both accentuated by tannic dryness and countered by delicate strawberry essence. Very nice indeed, although I was hoping for a bit more acidity.

M: Lively medium body: frothy without being prickly in the least.

O: Enjoyable, interesting brew. I'm not exactly dying for it to be released in bottles, but I'd gladly drink it again.


 1,185 characters

Photo of WMEugene
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Birra Vina from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.78 out of 5 with 17 ratings