Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada Summerfest LagerSierra Nevada Summerfest Lager

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

3,737 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,737
Reviews: 1,500
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 12.84%
Wants: 86
Gots: 360 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Czech Pilsener |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-17-2001

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,737 | Reviews: 1,500
Reviews by HarryPotHead:
More User Reviews:
Photo of OKbrew89
3.64/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a pint glass. Clear, golden color with a small 1/2 a finger head that leaves no lacing. Sweet bready aroma with a little pepper at the end. Smooth citrus and bread flavor with a nice peppery hop kick at the end. Medium body and medium carbonation with no bitterness. Very crisp and refreshing beer. It tasted good while sitting out on the porch.
A good summer beer. Less hoppy than one would expect from Sierra Nevada.

Photo of xos
2.73/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Not up to Sierra Nevada's standard.

Photo of Nickholland
4.84/5  rDev +32.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Makes you wonder why the big breweries can't put out something resembling this. A great beer. If you like adjuncts this should be your foray into craft.

Photo of bradleyrehmus
4.33/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, packaged about 6 weeks ago.

A- Golden and translucent with almost 2 fingers of head, decent retention for the style and a little bit of lacing.

S- Very light and very characteristically pilsner. A little bit of bread or biscuit, very slightly floral and a hint of sweetness reminiscent of apple.

T- This is the taste I am hoping for any time I open a pilsner. After avoiding almost all lagers due to years of awful adjunct/macro experiences, my faith in the style is restored. This is an excellent combination of quality malts and (mostly) noble hops well-suited for a pilsner.

M-This beer is so light and crisp yet still retains excellent flavor. This is quite carbonated so if you're averse to such, you might want to look elsewhere.

D- This is exactly what I want in a pilsner and I could enjoy this in the sun all day. It goes down so easily and pairs excellently with so many foods that it would be great any time of year.

Given that my craft beer palette was shaped by the Pacific Northwest, I'm always going to favor aggressive hops (and most of Sierra Nevada's offerings fit the bill) but when I am in the mood for a Czech Pilsner, this will probably be my first choice. I wouldn't mind at all if they offered this year around and would certainly enjoy getting it once in a while throughout the year.

Photo of oberon
4.08/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice for the style,not to hoppy good malt-accented beer.Light color with a decent head.Would try again,Iam not into summer accrnted lighter beers.Bring on Oktoberfest!

Photo of RoyalT
4.3/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – Light yellow with a monster head that laced the glass quite nicely.

Smell – Typical hop aroma with a tinge of sweetness.

Taste – Americans seem to have great difficulty in producing the German pilsner style of ale, but this one nails it. The clean, slightly bitter, refreshing flavor of the neutral hops is lightly complimented by a touch of sweetness. The beer is dry and refreshing, which is just right for the summer.

Mouthfeel – Some nice carbonation and the traditional dryness make this one a stand out.

Drinkability – This went down just like it is supposed to: clean, crisp, and refreshing.

Comments – I have to part with the (current) 3.62 rating of by BA Buds (on average). This offering from SN nailed the style, IMO.

Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.67/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Fest pours a crystal clear gold with a foamy white head. Dissipation is immediate and nearly complete. Clean and crisp hops and lager aromas with a touch of lemon. Primary component of MF and taste is the snapping turtle hop bite. Pretty darn drinkable.

Photo of tectactoe
3.72/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a straw-yellow color with a silky white head; tame, yet vibrant, no apparent lacing left on the glass. Aroma is crisp with some grains in the background, playing secondary to a nice helping of bitter, earthy hops. Some lemon zest pulls through and plays tertiary as well. Lots of carbonation on the initial sip; this was to be expected - it gives a nice, clean, crisp taste on the palate and brings out the strength of the hops. The hops make up a good percentage of the taste here, but make no mistake - this beer is far from "bitter", even compared to pale ales. Malts and grains come through in around the edges, again followed by a lemon-orange-citrus like sweetness that shows up for a moment and washes away. Some clove and light spice shows up once the beer is significantly warmer, although this isn't typically a beer that takes too long to put down. Thin body, crisp, clean, dry finish.

I'm not extremely well versed in "Czech Pilseners", so I don't know how this differs from the American type, but it certain makes for a refreshing beer to drink on a hot summer day. Hits the spot after mowing the lawn in 95 degree heat for hours.

Photo of SIRIUS2
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint pint glass.

Pours crystal clear light golden in color. Very thin head of white soapy bubbles that dissipated very quickly to nothing. No lacing to speak of.

The smell strikes me as a slightly more malty version of your run of the mill American macro lager. There are some hops, some malts, but mostly it just has that generic 'beer' smell.

The first pull on this was light, refreshing and satisfying. There is a terrific balance between the light flavored malts and the grassy to citrus flavored hops. There is also just the slightest touch of yeasty fresh bread. The carbonation is quite light and the general disposition seems just a touch watery but still rather flavorful. There is just enough malt coming through that I would hesitate to call this 'dry' but it certainly isn't sweet. The finish is relatively quick and there is just a little bit of hoppy linger.

I found this to be incredibly drinkable. It just isn't too much of any one thing - just light and refreshing with just the right amount of flavor for the recipe. By the time I got to the bottom of the glass, I was really digging this brew.

Photo of cbgVT
2.41/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Not impressed with this. I a big Sierra Nevada fan, their Pale Ale is what turned me on to better beers, and their Killerweiss is my favorite Hefe to date over several Germans I have tried. I was excited to try their Summerfest and was expecting a taste similar to Sam Adam's Summer Ale - crisp & somewhat citrusy. I took 1 sip of this beer and was disappointed. It iis a decent beer but it tastes like all the other mass produced crap.

Appearance is pretty standard, golden color, transparent with a slight head that reduces quickly.

Smell - not getting too much on the nostrils, but I am still new to reviewing beer....smells like the classic "beer" smell

Taste - slightly bitter and sour at the beginning and finishes with some malt. I am a fan of IPAs and like bitter, hoppy beer but this bitter isn't complex or floral.

Mouthfeel - medium body, not too thick, not too thin. Highly carbonated.

Drinkability - I honestly think this beer sucks but a lot of it is because I had high expectations of what I wanted it to taste like.

I usually will have 3-4 beers a night when I drink, but I am done after one of these and don't want anymore. I am going to try another one tomorrow and see if I come to the same conclusion. I may have gotten an old/bad batch as this is definitely not 'crisp' or 'refreshing.'

Photo of JMD71
3.73/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Nice frothy pour. Golden color & transparent. Strong carbonation. Very light looking & refreshing.

Aroma: Malty with slight lemony hints? Smells similar to a German or Czech pils with that slightly skunky profile. Not too much to be found in the aroma.

Taste: Light, malty flavor with slight hop profile in the finish. Again, I note a slight lemony flavor....

Mouthfeel: Very light & crisp. Carbonation makes this very clean feeling on the way down. Very smooth...

Drinkability: Easy drinking! Good for a summer quaffer. Light, smooth & not overpowering.

Comments: I found this an enjoyable American pils in the German/Czech style, but nothing out of the ordinary. Good when looking for something light & easy drinking while staying with the domestic craft brewers.

Photo of Dmann
4.2/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is a great warm weather brew from Sierra Nevada. If you are kicking back on a hot summer day, this is definantly a great choice. It poured a clear golden color with a nice white head that lasted awhile, leaving a decent lace down till the end. The malty characteristics really stood out in the smell, with some grassy and hoppy smells as well. The taste was a great summer balance between malt and hops, with the malt being the dominant flavor. As the beer warms a bit, the hops come through a bit more, and it tasted more balanced. All in all a great summer brew.

Photo of newk340
3.1/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: looks like a carbonated translucent. lemonade or Mellow Yellow. lots of carbonation though!

S: hints of lemon and orange zest, summertime!

T: minimal taste, hints of citrus flavor that are quickly gone and a soon afterthought.

MF/D: very thin, carbonation may be one of the only noticable traits of this beer.

Photo of orbitalr0x
3.51/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Wow...I can't believe I haven't reviewed this one until now! Pours from the stubby bottle a brilliant clear bright sunshine yellow with a pillowy foam of white head. Active carbonation rises up in the glass. Aromas of clean, pale malts paired with a grassy, slightly citric hoppiness. Lemony graininess. Nothing to shout about but nice for the style.

First sip brings a crisp, lemony grainy pale maltiness accentuated by Euro hops (Saaz). Slighty spicy, grassy bitterness on the back of the palate along with a bit of citrus. A clean drinking lager that definetly fits in the summertime. Doesn't do anything to knock my socks off but is still an enjoyable brew.

Crisp mouthfeel is fairly light and refreshing with stable carbonation. This one is an easy drinker that would go down like water at a backyard barbecue. Worth seeking out if you're looking for an easy drinking, tasty lager.

Photo of blitz134
3.77/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Crystal clear yellow body, inially had a fizzy 1" white head that reduced down a thin bubble layer.

Aroma is quite pungent, moreso than expected. Nice floral and citrus hops with a kick of grass and straw. Light clean malts work in well. Flavor is a bit light initially but then some stronger hops come in at the finish. Typical lager flavor to start with, light malts with a bit of grain. Finish has some bitterness with some earthyness.

Flavor lingers on for a while but the mouthfeel is still leaning a bit towards the thinner side of things. Decent carbonation. Overall drinkable enough, its just a lighter beer than what most of us BAs usually shoot for. But regardless its good overall, could be one for the masses

Photo of chOAKbarrell
3.6/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sierra Nevada's Summerfest is a lot like a "lighter" version of their famous Pale Ale. The scent is very similar, but it does not have the hoppy kick finish that the P.A. has. Like the name implies, this is a great warm-weather beer that goes down fun & easy. The drinkability is the most notable feature of this beer, as you can easily drink several of these without feeling too full.

It seems to me that Sierra Nevada Summerfest would also be a great "conversion" beer, meaning that I would highly recommend it if you are trying to get a friend or loved one (who normally drinks macro filth) into craft beer.

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.7/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is probably a great beer to drink on a hot summer day. It's a clear yellow with a medium head, nicely carbonated. It had a fresh, grainy odor, along with some fruitiness. A tangy citrus taste, with some hoppiness. A smooth,drinkable beer.
I'll try it again when it's 30 degrees warmer.

Photo of Chuggs
2.8/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Overall an average beer. Poured nicely with a light, thin frosting that disappered rather rapidly. Aroma nice, althhough. I was overwhelmed with a bit of wheat. Taste was average, for some reason I was expecting a blonde ale. Good beer to go along with a fried seafood dish. Not a sesion beer. Stick with the pale ale. I am still searching for that perfect summer ale.

Photo of SunDevilBeer
4.22/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I have been a big fan of this beer ever since it switched to a lager.

Nicely balanced and oh so drinkable. SN's experience with being masters of hops is evident, as this beer is crisp without the hops getting out of hand (looking at you, Prima Pils!)

Frankly I can't get enough of this beer in the summer time and is my go-to summer quencher.

Photo of grynder33
3.47/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Local retailer must be trying to get rid of these as they were in the single bottle area. It poured a nice golden color, had a light fruity hop aroma , had a clean light taste, nicely bubbley and refreshing, flavors were bold and complex. Hope to get this sooner next year. A couple of these on the beach, hey where am I going?

Photo of shapudding
3.71/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

As soon as I opened the bottle, foam came frothing out all over, so I expected to have trouble with the pour. When I did start pouring into the pint though, there was no trouble. Tons of carbination rising throught the golden lager leading up to a small amount of tiny bubbles at the top where it stayed as mostly a light, white layer. Scents of hay, fresh and light. Very balanced. Crisp tasting, medium bodied with alot of carbination that holds well throughout. The finish is dry and leaves a very nice bitterness with you. Good drinkability. I am usually not one for lagers but will drink them if they are there- just not my first choice. But this one is nice.

Photo of generallee
4.15/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12oz into a Pilsener glass.

Appearance: The body has a golden yellow color with very good clarity and some nice visible carbonation. On top its head is bright white in color, slow fading and makes some nice lacing.

Smell: It has a light nose of pale clean malt with a spicy and floral hop character.

Taste/Mouth: The flavor is medium bodied, crisp and very clean. Dry crisp biscuity malt foams the base for the lightly spicy and floral hops. These hops give the beer a nice overall bitterness. The finish is sharp and dry with some bitterness hanging on. The texture is light and refreshing with active cleansing carbonation.

Notes: A solid beer from a solid brewery! "Everybody fest"

Photo of Fcip78
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I remember at O'Neals on South St. back in 2000 there was a special one-off keg of "Sierra Nevada Pilsner". My friend and I must have spent three hours there and drank a bunch of them. Never have I tasted the balance and hoppy carbonation that was in that beer. A couple of years later I saw it was bottled as Summerfest and since then, every summer I buy at least one case of it.

A perfect pilsner, a perfect lager, a perfect beer.

Photo of SAxDRC5
4.01/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: head fades very quickly, golden yellow color.

S: smells sweet. very light citrus scent

T: nice and crisp. great for a summer lager. citrus flavor (lemon I think?) flavors could be a bit stronger but still very good

M: crisp, light, not too carbonated

D: I could have quite a few of these. not too carbonated, not to hoppy, not too citrusy (though i'm not sure that's a word)

Photo of Doomcifer
4.05/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a straw-like color with a decent head that goes quickly. Smells mildly earthy hoppiness and maybe some breadiness going on. Tastes of more earthy thin hops and a light malt evening out. Pretty crisp and kind of a "dirty" pilsner imho. I bought a sixer, thinking it would be a good accompaniment on a hot Sunday cookout but I wasnt enjoying them too much. Decent at best.

Edit: 4/27/14 : I've come along with this beer. Better than I remembered and quite enjoyable session-wise.

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Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 3,737 ratings.