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Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada Summerfest LagerSierra Nevada Summerfest Lager

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,523 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,523
Hads: 3,934
Avg: 3.67
pDev: 12.81%
Wants: 99
Gots: 480 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager Alström Bros
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Reviews: 1,523 | Hads: 3,934
Photo of TheOtherMike
5/5  rDev +36.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A very enjoyable beer! Few beers achieve this combination of high marks in every category.

Appearance is light and clear. Plenty of carbonation. Head is commensurate with pour style.

Smell is crisp and inviting.

Taste is clean, light and straightforward.

Mouthfeel is crisp and refreshing.

Drinkability is rarely matched.

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Photo of Cresant
4.97/5  rDev +35.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured this 12 oz. 2006 brown bottle into a pilsner glass. Clear, pale yellow body topped with two fingers of head. Modest head faded with no lacing.

Smell was WOW. Clean, crispy, spicy. Floral with slight metal. Perle and Saaz hops. Yum.

Taste was fantastic too. Nice interplay of Two Row Pale, Munich malts and grinding fresh hops. Malts ride in the backseat (where I like them). Slight hints of alfalfa sprouts. Nice biting dry finish. This provides all I want in a pilsner (one of my favorite styles) and seems to be a benchmark for the style.

Mouthfeel was coarse and raspy, just as I like in a Czech Pilsner. Medium bodied. I will return again, and again.

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Photo of wollybugger
4.88/5  rDev +33%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sierra Nevada obviously knows what they are doing. Although still fairly knew in the beer world, Sierra Nevada Summerfest is clearly one of the top lagers I have ever tasted!

I will say that it is good consumed out of a bottle, but on tap it is money. The beer is clear in appearance with a creamy head (my kegerator CO2 regulator is set at 5Lb psi and pours a perfect head every time.) It has an easy entry with a slight hoppy after taste. Summerfest is only 5% abv, so this becomes a great social beer.

Sierra Nevada is always impressive and once again they don't dissapoint. Treat yourself this summer, and tap a Summerfest

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Photo of yzer
4.88/5  rDev +33%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager 2008.

Bottling date (on shoulder of bottle) was 08074, or March 14, 2008. My Summerfest was purchased today and was 18 days old.

First of all, this is a Czech Pilsener. I don't find much reason to subject a beer like this to extended bottle conditioning. Enjoy it young while the flavors are bright. With the new SN caps it should keep fine for six months under refrigeration. We're not talking IPAs or barleywines here.

I went into the store today to buy another 6-pack Bigfoot barleywine. It was sold out and replaced by another SN seasonal: Summerfest.

Luckily, I still have some Bigfoot and Celebration laid up on the boat.

After all of the IPAs this winter it was good to run into this old friend. I enjoyed Summerfest 2007 through July of last year before it sold out. In fact, I was drinking more Summerfest than SN Pale Ale last summer.

The 2008 Summerfest has a generous white and thick head, as much as you could want from a lager. There is a torrent of carbonation that swirls up from the bottom of the glass stein and stays active. Nice deep golden color with a little long-lasting lacing: very good for a Pilsener.

Fruity hops from the first sniff, sharp toasty hops with a lot of complexity. It's amazing how anyone can produce such a light Pilsener with that much carbonation and body.

A tangy malt and lingering hops make for a dry and very drinkable lager. I'll be focusing on Sierra Nevada Summerfest and Pale Ale as the California heat settles in.


It's the following day, another bottle of Summerfest and a few more comments are in order.

I just love this Pilsener. The abundant and complex hops of this brew are a delight. I get that warm hops woodiness on the exhale and remember the firt times I enjoyed a very good Czech Pilsener. Crystal clear, golden, lively with a body that reminds you it's a real beer and not a macro.

As much as I would like to see a number of SN seasonals made available year long, this would be my choice. Summerfest has the potential to be enjoyed by a broader spectrum of beer lovers than Celebration, Bigfoot or IPA: three of my bottled SN favorites. Summerfest just isn't around long enough.

Brew up Summerfest all year long. America needs a Czech Pilsener like this all of the time.

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Photo of bbluemzbeer
4.86/5  rDev +32.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

appearance : pale yellow color

Smell :floral , grassy , biscuity

Taste : it has a nice floral , spice and biscuit taste with a great malt background to the finish the beer off. The beer is well balanced and made. Nice summer time beer to enjo at picnic or any outdoor outing.

Mouthfeel : medium mouthfeel and body to this beer

A well made lager with great characteristics of a European lager. If you enjoy beers like Stella Artois , Heineken try out this great beer . I highly recommend it !

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Photo of billybob
4.85/5  rDev +32.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

poured a slightly opaque straw yellow color with a head equal to your pour style and leaving fair lacing on the glass. spicy hop smell. taste slight bread, spice hop. mouthfeel medium, smooth, very well balanced. very easy beer to drink very enjoyable put it on your list.

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Photo of TroyS
4.82/5  rDev +31.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I got this years Summerfest at MarCellar's in Idaho Falls, Idaho. It's a really great brew with nice smooth overtones. Yum yum. Some hints of banana. This brew is very clear and doesn't have much head to stick around. It's really really good beer. Go get some! Cheers! PlS. I'll have to add a pic later - saving bottle;)

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Photo of jlenik
4.8/5  rDev +30.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into my Victory Prima Pils pilsner glass.

a: clear, pale, and golden. an offwhite eggshell colored head about a fingers worth that remained for a few minutes.

s: a little hoppy and a little like straw.

t: sweet citrus with a balance malt aftertaste

m: crisp, clean, and refreshing.

o: a great summer beer. I love pilsners and this was definitely a winner again this year.

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Photo of MirkoCroCough
4.78/5  rDev +30.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

2010 edition poured into Great Lakes pint glass.
Clear golden goodness. Sunlight harnessed into beer.

Very light clean smell. Grassy and delicious.

So refreshing and glorious. Everything in balance.

Crisp and refreshing.

Could consume seven seas worth of this beer. Amazing.

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Photo of DogFood11
4.77/5  rDev +30%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

What a difference a couple of years makes. Not to this beer but to my palate. As I sit here enjoying my first summerfest of 2007 I decided to take a glance at my original review. What a load of crap it turned out to be. Either this beer got incredibly better or my palate changed drastically because this is an excellent Czech Pilsner in the elite class. Lawnmower beer at its finest.

Poured into a pils glass it forms a Ivory white 2 finger head that falls to a solid cover. Yellow body with medium carbonation.

There is a nice earthy backbone throughout this offering. Plenty of snappy saaz hop bite and also adds a soft dryness to the backend. There is an underlying wheaty/grainy taste but it stays right there in the background. Tremendously smooth and drinkability is off the charts.

Notes: The best American made Czech Pils I've had to date.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.74/5  rDev +29.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada imperial pint.
5.0% ABV, 28 IBUs

A - A constant stream of little carbonation bubbles rise through the center of this brilliantly clear golden yellow beer, sustaining a sparkly, foamy white that, after some time, leaves chunky, sudsy bubbles on the glass.

S - Grainy pale and smooth pilsener malts give Summerfest a fresh and classic pilsener nose, kissed by a touch of honey sweetness and hints of Saaz noble hops, which add to the beer's authenticity with slightly floral components on the finish.

T - Soft floral hops impart light spiciness and envelop the pilsener malts, gently balancing the mild sweetness that lingers in the background of this brew for a simple but true and enjoyable pilsener flavor.

M - Medium-high in carbonation, Summerfest is a light, crisp beer with a soft, clean body and delicately bitter finish. True to style, this is one easy drinking brew!

O - Sierra Nevada's nod to the Bohemian Pilsener is damn near spot-on with an overall crisp, clean drinkability and classic, simplistic flavor of honey-kissed malt and floral, lightly spicy hops balanced to perfection!

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Photo of stuckonhops
4.72/5  rDev +28.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice clear golden with lots of tiny little bubbles forming a nice head that falls slower than what you may be used to from a lager style. Smells of light lemony citrus and lightly buttered breads. Taste is slightly grassy and slightly bitter. One of sierra nevada's "Lighter" flavored beers. Not extremely complex but keeps you coming back for more and more.

Very easy drinking while throwin horseshoes on hot days as well as just relaxing watching a game with the Air Conditioner on. Works well on all occasions. Better than miller for a "lawnmower beer" anyday.

very crisp..very tasty...definetly reccomend this for anyone..

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Photo of JPVanderbilt
4.67/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This is what you always wanted back in the day when you'd pick up a Budweiser or Miller, but wished they had more flavor. Taste like a light German or Czech-style pilsner, crisp, refreshing with a nice level of carbonation, finishes cleanly. This is territory that American craft brewers need to explore and develop.

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Photo of scorched
4.65/5  rDev +26.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Without going into the normal details, this is absolutely, hands-down, the most refreshing beer I have ever had. It is so hot where I am and this cools me right down. Its too bad this isn't out all year long. Drinkability is VERY high and mouthfeel is exceptional

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Photo of FuzzyGuy84
4.63/5  rDev +26.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Clear, golden color with a big fluffy white head. Excellent lacing and consistant carbonation.

S - Fruity hops come through easily. Balanced is the key word here.

T - Like a transformer, there's more than meets the eye here. What seems clean and simple at first reveals an underlying complexity as you drink more and more. Clean beginning and a pointed hop finish with a range of subtle tastes throughout. I love this beer.

Mf/D - Complex and drinkable? Holy cow.

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Photo of jamesdr1968
4.6/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I just bought my first case of the year (2010) tonight. I was very impressed with it. Not your typical SN offering, because the hops are a bit muted. To be honest, this reminds me of what a good, every day American beer should be like. Unfortunately, here in PA (with tax), it costs $36 a case. So, not the best choice for an "every day" beer. Color is a lovely golden hue. Nice head on it, although not nearly as thick as their standard pale ale. Smelll is light, crisp, sharp. Taste is a very good balance of hops and malt. Really smooth. Grainy is a good word to use to describe the taste. Mouthfeel is fine, just right. This is an almost perfect beer for those warm-weather days. A reasonable ABV (5%), so you can drink a few and still maintain a coherent conversation with your buddies.

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Photo of arguemaniac
4.6/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Just the right amount of residual malt sweetness blends perfectly with a delicious, smooth caramel grain character and it’s all balanced by a firm, leafy Saaz hop spice. Slight apricot malt fruitiness and more of that assertive hop bitterness in the surprisingly lengthy finish.

I think this is my favorite Sierra Nevada beer (besides perhaps Celebration, but even that one isn’t as drinkable) and it’s certainly my favorite summer seasonal. This exceedingly refreshing brew is exceptionally drinkable with balanced, flawless flavors. I only bought the six-pack a day or so ago and I’m already on my last bottle. Guess I’m gonna have to go out and get some more…

Highly recommended.

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Photo of yemenmocha
4.6/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

**sampled first week of release in my location, early Summer 2008

Pours a luminous pale gold, very slight haze, and stark white head that retains a thin head for the duration of the pint.

Nose is Saazy right off the bat, some citrus, and grainy malt aromas.

On the palate this beer starts off a little malty sweet but an incredible crispness & dryness takes over and dominates. Herbal & metallic hops take over, and finish is dry and very crisp.

Immensely drinkable, refreshing, and certainly better than the imported Czech lagers on most of our shelves.

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Photo of Thrasher
4.57/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A very credible lager coming from the aleheads at SN. Pale gold, crystal-clear with wispy, lacey head. Gentle aroma of musty yeasts and flowery hops. Malts are light, sweet and bolstered by big hop quality that lets you know this beer was brewed on the left coast! Otherwise a note-perfect European lager that goes down easy, refreshes the palate, quenches the thirst. The tempered but defiant hop kick is flowery, sweet, and really creates a summer feeling. Drinkability is beyond the pale. This is a unique beer and an excellent one. It's one of the best summer seasonals I can think of, and I enjoy it more than the overplayed currently-shadow-of-its-former-self SN Pale Ale. This beer should be a no-brainer for a BBQ, it's light enough for daytime drinking and should stand up to spicy meats and sauces. Furthermore, everyone will be pleased with it; the more adventurous drinkers have some toothsome hops to wrap their tastebuds around, while the quivering timid masses have a light, pale, cleansing lager that is very non-threatening. Pour it into a tall pilsner glass with a huge head.

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Photo of rtratzlaff
4.57/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appears a light golden bodied beer with a bone white head that fades and doesn't leave much lacing.

The aromas are earthy spicy hops above a sweet malt character.

The flavor is slightly sweet with a strong hop flash and mineral character that cleans the palate well.

Crisp mouthfeel with adequate carbonation. For a Czech Pils, this one has a bit more body.

Tasted next to Pilsner Urquell, this beer is slightly lighter in appearance, more aromatic, and more character all around.

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Photo of mzwolinski
4.54/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Crystal clear and golden in appearance, with a very thin head. The aroma is led by a lovely graininess, and a clean, lager-like hoppiness. Deliciously tasty, too. A bit spicy, with a lightly bready malt body, a husky grain flavor mid-palate, and a snappy, floral/lemon peel hop finish. Light and crisp in body and eminently drinkable. Good stuff!

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Photo of MNJR
4.53/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I read the label on the bottle twice and read the entire packaging very carefully before buying this, so I wouldn't get another flavored "summer" beer as in Anchor, or a summer wheat (like an Oberon - not a style I care for). Thankfully, this is just a great, simple beer that is what a "summer" beer should be - refreshing, thirst quenching, not too strong or full-bodied, and goes down easy. I should note that I had the 2008. I was surprised to see reviews going back to '06 - I'd never found this in Chicago before today.

Nice golden color, very light aromas of a vaguely malty honey, and light orange citrus. But, what you taste is just damn good beer. Hops arrive on the tongue after the swallow with no bitterness, but the classic lager malt flavor is not compromised. Very clean and nearly "light," except for the more medium body, and fine, smooth carbonation. The head remained 1/2" high down to the bottom of the glass. Truly enjoyable, and ridiculously drinkable. Seems like the perfect beer for seafood in the summer.

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours brilliant straw gold under a 1” clingy white foam collar, lively and lacy.
S: Floral, earthy, spicy with some light cracker aromas.
T: Light malt sweetness, light pils malts and has an assertive but pleasant earthy bitter finish that lingers.
F: Light to moderately light, medium high carbonation, clean, crisp and refreshing.
O: It is a beer you could drink for an afternoon of gardening or yard work or while painting a fence on a warm summer day.

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Photo of avylover
4.5/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is a great summer offering. It is refreshing, light, and has great subdued taste. Pick this one up

Pours a very clear yellow, with a tinge of orange. Aroma hits you with some grainyness, and a subtle scent of citrous hops. Taste is clean and refreshing. There is a good laid back maltiness, much like a budweiser, but a slight dose of flavoring hops spices this up a bit. Fruity, yet still very light. this is not cascade crazy like many SN products. Just hopped well enough to balance and add some taste to a clean lager. Clean mouthfeel, good dry finish, with a refeshing aftertaste. This is a great lighter offering - the perfect summer - or session - brew

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Photo of Lordbacchus
4.5/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - nice straw color with just the right carbonation

S - good balance of malt and hop aroma

T - nice and dry. a few malty and "peppery" notes up front with a great hop finish at the end. Czech Saaz hops - Taste is very nice. Right on target for a Lager.

M - great mouthfeel. not watered down.

D - I would definitely buy/drink this again.

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Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 1,523 ratings.