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Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Sierra Nevada Summerfest LagerSierra Nevada Summerfest Lager

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,870 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2870
Reviews: 1409
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 13.11%

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

Style | ABV
Czech Pilsener |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-17-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,870 | Reviews: 1,409 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of BeerFMAndy


4.73/5  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!

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2013 18:47:54 | More by BeerFMAndy
Photo of FuzzyGuy84


4.68/5  rDev +27.9%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

04-18-2009 19:48:39 | More by FuzzyGuy84
Photo of arguemaniac


4.65/5  rDev +27%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2007 17:36:28 | More by arguemaniac
Photo of scorched


4.65/5  rDev +27%
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

Serving type: bottle

07-05-2010 22:13:35 | More by scorched
Photo of yemenmocha


4.6/5  rDev +25.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2008 04:42:00 | More by yemenmocha
Photo of jamesdr1968


4.6/5  rDev +25.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2010 01:05:42 | More by jamesdr1968
Photo of Thrasher


4.58/5  rDev +25.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2003 15:26:36 | More by Thrasher
Photo of rtratzlaff

North Carolina

4.58/5  rDev +25.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2009 17:04:23 | More by rtratzlaff
Photo of mzwolinski


4.55/5  rDev +24.3%
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!

Serving type: on-tap

08-25-2003 05:18:07 | More by mzwolinski
Photo of MNJR


4.55/5  rDev +24.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2008 23:04:37 | More by MNJR
Photo of generalnotsew


4.55/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Very pale straw yellow. Typical Adjunct Lager look but it did yield quite a nice head. Follows the style just a little too closely to the big boys.

S: Crisp, light refreshing sweet cereal malts. I also get a bit of fruitiness. Would give higher if the smell was a bit more potent but still very good.

T: Mmmmm. Tastes a lot different from what I remember last year. Actually a bit hoppy and tart with the sweetness from the cereal and corn backing it up. I never thought I would give a lager a 5 but this is pretty damn tasty. I am really starting to enjoy the style more these days. It is actually exploding with flavor. Taste buds are being pulled in all different directions.

M: Love the way it feels in my mouth. So cool and crisp and very well carbonated.

D: This is the kind of beer that has dangerous levels of drinkability. So what you will about lagers they will always be the easiest for me to get down.

I am quite impressed with this. Wasn't expecting much but damn! I really, really like this beer. Wish more BMC peeps would give this a try and see what they are missing in a good beer. Highly recommended!

Note: This is 2010 version.

Revisited nearly a year to date after my first. Review 2011.

Got a good 2 finger head on the poor but sadly it disappeared within minutes. It does have some tight lacing and body is a remarkable golden yellow. Sweet sticky grassy hops on the nose with a nice clean malty snap. Taste is a kind of tart with underlined sweetness with a slight spicy hop kick. The slightly bitter aftertaste carries over quite nicely. Mouthfeel is spot on. Nice subtle carbonation and not overbearing. Only downside is the tartness can be a little puckering. Overall this is a damn tasty Lager and I am starting to enjoy lager flavors more and more since I stopped drinking them when I got into craft beer. I would like to see more brewers make a good lager like Sam Adams and Sierra Nevada can.

A: 4 S: 4 T: 4.5 M: 4 O: 4.5

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2010 03:46:11 | More by generalnotsew
Photo of avylover


4.53/5  rDev +23.8%
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

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2004 01:55:38 | More by avylover
Photo of Bighuge


4.5/5  rDev +23%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This crystal clear light golden beer throws out a perfect 2 finger foamy head. It clings nicely to the glass as I drink. Beautifully subdued spicy noble hop aroma layered within a nice little pils maltiness. The taste of this beer is great. A nice malt backbone provides the foundation. Spicy little hop accents make their presence beautifully throughout the experience. A perfect blend of malt and hops for this summer brew. Highly drinkable. Very good beer.

Disregarding weizen style beers,because there are a lot of great summer weizen beers, this is one of the 2 elite summer brews that I have tried. (The other is Goose Island Summertime Kolsch.)

Serving type: bottle

06-19-2002 18:45:47 | More by Bighuge
Photo of Lordbacchus


4.5/5  rDev +23%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2009 15:18:03 | More by Lordbacchus
Photo of Fcip78


4.5/5  rDev +23%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2012 22:36:23 | More by Fcip78
Photo of TastyTaste


4.47/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Crystal clear bright gold in color. Fluffy white head settles in nicely and remains for the bulk of the beer. Light citrus in the nose and also some floral hops. Taste is excellent. Hops are bold and spicy, malt is full yet smooth. This is a great summer beer with hints of citrus (lemon and grapefruit). Excellent, I will definitely enjoy more of these this summer.

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2005 02:32:50 | More by TastyTaste
Photo of bennetj17


4.46/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Clear, pale straw, with lots of effervescent carbonation, but little head. Mild, yet inviting aroma of grainy malt with a light citric hop note. Clean and crisp flavor with a proper grassy bitterness kicking in early and lingering nicely on the tongue. The malt backbone is bready and dry without any residual sweetness. Carbonation is very nice. The body is light but never thin. This beer just goes down so smoothly, and the alcohol is not discernible at all.

This beer is damn near perfect and is just a fine example of a proper Pils. It's drinking very fresh right now and for 6.99 a sixer it is unbeatable. Way underrated in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2013 06:13:12 | More by bennetj17
Photo of sudz42


4.45/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is a pretty dang good US pilsner, but SA's Noble Pils is still better. I think Sierra is sneaking some corn in this one. The hop profile is nice; west coaster knows how to use their hop. I'm just not getting any biscuit malt that we get from, even a mainstay like Becks.

But it's better than Bud.

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2010 02:37:06 | More by sudz42
Photo of Oakenator


4.44/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a yellow color with a finger of head. Some lacing on the glass.

S: Fresh pilsner aroma.

T: Crisp taste - lighter side lager but again ample presence of pilsner. Really well balanced - almost perfect.

M: Full bodied yet light.

O: Great summer brew.

Serving type: bottle

06-05-2013 23:49:42 | More by Oakenator
Photo of MobBarley


4.43/5  rDev +21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A fine, bitter pils in the Sierra Nevada tradition.

Pours a straw-golden color with ample carbonation and a thick, white head that lasts long and laces thick.
Smells deep and bready with an underlying hoppy greenness bordering on herbal/metallic. Some citrus notes come up in the aroma as well.

The taste, while peculiar for the style, is, in a word, delicious. A big, biscuity maltiness roars out of the gate and joins forces about midway with a nice, not-too-bitter hops flavor that is slightly sweet and ultimately refreshing. The finish is dry and bittersweet...almost grassy as well.

Mouthfeel is a little chewy, nice and dry at the finish, and perfect for hot-weather quaffing. Drinkability is high, and I may just have to have this on hand for the 4th this year.

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2004 06:00:05 | More by MobBarley
Photo of scruffwhor


4.43/5  rDev +21%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a bright, clear straw sunshine yellow. Very quick, spongey head and one string of bubbles. Crisp pilsner malt and cracked grain with some clean hops. The taste is very crisp clean malt, and lightly astringent hops. Great clean, smooth palate that wips the palat clean every sip. Ready for more sips of this awesome pils.

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2009 21:47:34 | More by scruffwhor
Photo of stewart124


4.43/5  rDev +21%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Carbonation is very visable. Straw in color with little head.

Floral nose with some grass and lemon in the nose.

Very crisp and refreshing. Finish is dry and oh so crisp. There is just a slight amount of lemon zest in character.

Super smooth and refreshing on a hot summer day. Lots of malt character and just a nice amount of noble hop bitterness. The zest and spice of the hops compliment the crisp maltiness perfectly.

A very nice example of the style and always something to look forward to in the summer.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2010 22:54:41 | More by stewart124
Photo of AustinBeerLvr


4.43/5  rDev +21%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was looking back through my 200 beer reviews, and noticed that ironically enough, I have not officially reviewed one of my favorite seasonal brews. That said, I pretty much already knew what I was going to say about this awesome offering from SN, as I have been enjoying it a bit too much for the past four summers. So, here goes with what I get from this awesome summer seasonal...

For maximum enjoyment, I strongly recommend pouring this beer straight down the middle in a pilsener glass. If poured properly, a nice, rocky head is formed that tops off a wonderful rich, pale golden body. The head along with some lacing sticks around all the way until the end.

The funny thing about that aroma and taste of this summer offering is that it's not a beer that tries to jump out at you and say "I'm a summer beer." Rather, it's really just a straightforward, exceptionally well brewed, pilsener. By no means is it really that complex, but at the same time, it has plenty of character to keep you interested. The flavors range from a slight bread sweetness to start things off, to a very nice hop flavor of lemon grass, a little pine, and a nice tingling bitterness that is spot on to round it out in the finish.

SN's summer offering's best quality is that it doesn't try to be too complex, but at the same time it's a lager that even a beer geek will find himself never getting bored with. It's drinkability is exceptional, and it therefore always has a place in my fridge during the warm months of the year. Only problem is...I wish this was a year-round offering.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2011 08:38:13 | More by AustinBeerLvr
Photo of Tonesy


4.43/5  rDev +21%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Had this in a bottle, so I didn't get a good look at the color, the head it would have made, or the lacing. I will say that the packaging is very unique and looks good.

S: From the bottle, getting some sweet malt and a tinge of floral hops with some very, very mild zest undertones.

T: Like summer! Starts off smooth with light, sweet malt. Finishes off clean with some mild hops and some even milder banana-sort of flavor. The hops linger on the palate in between drinks (in a good way).

M: Very nice. Perfect for the style. Full yet light, and the carbonation is just right - when you swallow it, it's clean and crisp, but doesn't bite. I wouldn't call it oily, but there is definitely a little residual taste/feel that hangs around in between drinks.

O: Great summer beer. By definition, I think summer beers should be on the lighter side in terms of flavor, body, and abv - nobody wants drinking beer(s) to become a chore in the heat. If you like their pale ale, you will love this seasonal. Could/will definitely session these. The best thing about this beer is that literally everyone i know loves it! Can't go wrong keeping these in the fridge or bringing them to a bbq/party. Newbies, girls, the seasoned beer drinker, and everyone in between has given this the best acclaim anyone can give a beer: they always ask for another.

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2011 18:13:37 | More by Tonesy
Photo of NeroFiddled


4.4/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear (filtered) golden body topped by a big, creamy, bright-white head that holds well and leaves some limited lace. Nice aroma of malt and hops with some fruitiness and a bright lemony note that I assume comes from citrusy hops. The body is medium-light with a very fine & slightly effervescent carbonation, making it very silky in the mouth. The flavor is lightly hoppy and citrusy up-front, warming into a lightly sweet maltiness as it crosses the palate, and drying out just before the swallow with some more light hop flavor and bitterness. All of these flavors are carried over, to some extent, into the aftertaste. A really refreshing and interesting change of pace that really does make a great summer beer. Not complicated, but with alot of finesse. Somewhat lighter in flavor and easy to drink, but with some distinct hop character and bitterness. Very nice, fairly unique, and well brewed.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2002 18:06:09 | More by NeroFiddled
Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 2,870 ratings.