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Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada Summerfest LagerSierra Nevada Summerfest Lager

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

3,577 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,577
Reviews: 1,474
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 12.84%
Wants: 64
Gots: 245 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-17-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,577 | Reviews: 1,474 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BarryMFBurton
3.48/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A lager from Sierra Nevada is just what I’m in the mood for right now.

Brewed less than two months before the date of this tasting (bottled on March 25, 2012, on bottling line 1, at 9:20 a.m.).

A: Pale golden body with a creamy, fizzy head. Not a big retention, but the lacing is nice and slides back oily into the glass. Pilsner presence at its finest.

S: Loads of buttery grains, like creamy, fresh-cooked noodles; a big pilsner malt aroma. Some herbal hops, showcasing bright Noble presence of lemon zest and grassy potpourri. Just what I want from a bright yellow beer.

T: Slight pilsner taste, not a chewy backbone but a breadiness spiced with thyme and lemon zest. Not a big lager bite, but the hops provide an earthy yet refreshing bitterness – lime rind, and crisp. This is not a very complex nose, but it hits on all the smooth lager notes like pizza crust, Czech grains, and some skunk. Finishes with a bit of dry, leafy hops.

M: Crisp and a bit bubbly. Feels like a bit of BMC in thinness.

O: A decent-tasting lager; nice pils, but nothing more. I’d be excited to see Sierra Nevada try something thicker in the lager department.

BarryMFBurton, May 24, 2012
Photo of joekfsu
3.48/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. Pours golden with 2 cm of off white head, mostly diminishing. Aroma of lemony hops. Malty start, slight hop finish, balanced and light in the middle. Some lacing, light carbonation, light body, and light on alcohol. Overall drinkable as a summer beer, if you need something light and like the style.

joekfsu, Jun 12, 2008
Photo of jdklks
3.48/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 5

i dont like lagers a whole lot, but this one isn't too bad. SN does many good things that other breweries cannot, including brewing a drinkable lager.

A- pure gold with a thin white head.

S- smells like a lager, anything more to say?

T- hops, watery (surprised?), and some fruit sweetness that AT LEAST gives it some flavor.

M- light light light

D- drinkability is huge. could EASILY go through a 12 pack of these.

jdklks, Jul 13, 2009
Photo of USCTrojanBrian
3.48/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz 2008 bottle into a tall pilsner glass

A - Frappe-like foamy, bubbly shock white head. Transparent, pale amber color of a classic lager. Lots of medium-sized bubble action.

S - Ripe, toasty malty aroma.

T - Classic malty sweetness. Some hop bite. Standard stuff.

D/M - A touch watery, but with a nice bite.

A reasonable stab at the style from a great brewery. Good start but tapered off and became a little less enjoyable late.

USCTrojanBrian, May 14, 2008
Photo of BrownNut
3.48/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Light gold with a white soap-foam head

S - Light malty sweetness, like the nexus between honey and something floral.

T - Sweetish satisfying honeyish malt. A slight bit of hop bitterness.

M - A bit thicker than mainstream lagers

O - I had initially gotten bad macro lager taste and cardboard out of this. But later in the pack I got a pretty good flavor, a sweetish kind of malt and overall was just pretty tasty. I wonder what the difference was. The first four or five were just nothing beers but now I'm on board. Weird.

BrownNut, Jul 06, 2012
Photo of stephendr
3.48/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Gold color medium , clear – frothy medium white head –nose is cinnamon , apple , wheat , citrus ( lime / lemon zest ) , grassy , wet hay , slight hopps , and slight malts - taste mild hint of malts , grainy , grassy , and red apples – creamy sweet mouth feel – aftertaste
cereal , grass , slight hopps

stephendr, Nov 10, 2006
Photo of sitarist
3.48/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Summerfest 2010

Pours a faint clear yellow. The head is white, about an inch, and fades fast to a few spots and a ring, hardly any lacing, steady carbonation rising.

Aromas of straw / hay, bread, flowery. Something doesn't set right with me.

Flavors: grassy green tea, sourdough bread, raw dough, hints of lemon, peppery. Flavors are fresh.

Light body, slight prick from the carbonation, flavors explode then coat the tongue.

Its a no frills easy to drink beer; I could pound these all-night.

sitarist, Apr 06, 2010
Photo of Rainintheface
3.48/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into Sam Adams glass

A: Golden and very clear. thin head with medium carbonation

S: light hop aroma lemon and hint of malt

T: faint hop bitterness, lemony and a bit grainy. a rather subtle taste

M: very crisp, light bodied and refreshing, just right carbonation

D: easily drinkable. a nice summer session beer

Sierra Nevada never disappoints though not their best by any means.

Rainintheface, Aug 28, 2007
Photo of jeffthecheff
3.48/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Being a fan of summer beers, I decided to try as many as I could this summer. This was one of the first. I bought a six pack of bottles.

Appearance- I poured it into a pilsner glass, it had a good head, but overall it was not a great appearance. It looked much like a Budweiser in color, not anything impressive.

Smell- The smell was good, it created an appetizing feel.

Taste- The taste here was just average. I didn't taste anything much different from a regular lager. Towards the end of the beer and 15 minutes later, it had that flat, light taste that resembles the warm, bottom sip of a macro lager.

Mouthfeel- Good carbonation, had that extra kick and complexity that slightly separates it from another macro beer

Drinkability- Had a very good drinkability. It was light and refreshing like a summer beer should be. You could easily have many of these. This is where the main appeal of this type of beer comes from, and it was good here. I didn't love the beer itself but after one I immediately opened another because it was very drinkable.

jeffthecheff, Aug 02, 2008
Photo of srandycarter
3.48/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Clear Light gold, not much head, some resilient lace up and down the glass.

S - Straw, hay. Light low alpha hops.

T - Maltier than taste. Still has that straw hay feel, but the sweet malt makes an appearance here. Bitter enough to balance.

M - Light flavors, sweets and bitters. Done well.

D - Very. Easy easy easy.

srandycarter, Sep 04, 2010
Photo of hobbes2112
3.48/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle

I had this on a hot June day and it hit the spot. Pours a nice golden color with lot of white head and lace. The head retention was good. Smell was of floral hops, grain and a little yeast. Taste is clean with lemony sweetness and a long mildly sour hop finish. The mouthfeel was pretty average, nothing really stood out for me.

This is a good beer and is nice on a hot day. I would buy this again, but not likely as a first choice.

hobbes2112, Jun 19, 2004
Photo of jgreenearrow
3.48/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2011 vintage poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a golden color with some light brown hues. An off-white head formed at the top of the glass with some lacing on the sides of the glass.

S: Some malt and light citrus in the nose. The nose is underwhelming.

T: Sweet malts hit the tongue at the onset. Some slight citrus enters in the middle and some hop bitterness in the finish.

M: This is a light bodied refreshing beer with ample carbonation.

Overall, this is a good summer lager. The nose could be a more complex, but the flavors are refreshing and well balanced.

jgreenearrow, Jul 31, 2011
Photo of axisjones
3.48/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This lager was nothing special.
The appearance was clear, with the head disappearing quickly and little lacing to speak of on the way down.
The smell was clean and mild, mostly a faint hop aroma, but definitely not a memorable aromatic one.
The one thing this beer has going for it is that is very refreshing. I had this beer after a walk with a sausage and it did the job just fine. This is easily the lightest and most uninteresting of the SN line, this beer is just plain and uninspired. The taste hardly goes beyond simple hops and a light body.

axisjones, Aug 15, 2004
Photo of phisig137
3.48/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a bright gold crystal clear, with a one finger head. Poor retention, and no lace or foam cap. Constant bubble rise from the bottom.

S- Sharp hop aroma, some raw cereal grains (although not adjunct-ey), and surprisingly a very slight hint of alcohol.

F- Raw grain and metallic. Not much going on up front, but a pretty decent hop bite on the finish. Full flavored, but not overly exciting.

M- heavily carbonated and refreshing. Great for one of the first days of spring here.

D- Excellent outside with friends

Overall, not bad, but not a pils that I'd crave regularly.

phisig137, Apr 11, 2008
Photo of sk8man121
3.48/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into tumbler. 2011 vintage.

A: Pours a completely transparent pale-gold. 1-finger stark white head dies quickly and leaves no lacing on the glass. Lots of carbonation.

S: Very subdued notes of corn and grass in the nose. Malts smell very sweet. Hops are not forward, but smell nicely fresh.

T: TONS of wheat and bready malts. Faint spiciness from the hops never really gets over the mound of sweet malts. Finishes with lemon and perhaps coriander.

M: Medium-high carbonation helps this beer cream up nicely. Otherwise, rather thin with a dry finish.

O: As far as Czech pilsners go, I have yet to find one to rave over. That said, Summerfest is a light and refreshing brew that won't knock your socks off, but would likely hit the spot on a hot day at the beach. While far from my favorite, SN offering, it's not a bad beer by any means.

A crisp and refreshing lager, if not a bit mundane.

sk8man121, May 01, 2011
Photo of ectomorph
3.48/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A - Crystal clear gold in color, very light head and carbonation noticed.

S - Very malty and clean. Lots of bread in the nose.

T - Again, some bread and a little fruit, but very clean. The sign of a nice lager.

M - A little watery in feel for my taste, but not bad.

D - Great on a hot Sunday afternoon for sure.

ectomorph, Jul 20, 2008
Photo of bozebus17
3.48/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice copper out of the bottle. There is a little bit of a white head at the start but it goes away quickly.

It smells grassy and there are hints of citrust hops. There is nothing that really dominates the scent.

The citrus flavor is apparent when you drink it. A sweet malt flavor also comes through and sticks with you for an instant after the beer is swallowed.

It feels light to medium bodied. It goes down pretty easy which explains the high drinkability rating.

Nothing special about this beer, but it isn't bad. I'd have it again. It's refreshing if nothing else.

bozebus17, Jul 16, 2006
Photo of vaughtex
3.48/5  rDev -4.9%

vaughtex, Sunday at 06:59 PM
Photo of codfeast
3.48/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2011 hard pour into pint glass.

A: pale gold in color, 1/4 head disloved rather quickly.

S: like a bud. faint floral, citrus as beer warmed.

T: Crisp and clean

M: high carbination, clean finish.

O: It's good. a real palate cleanser. Got better as it warmed. nice for a warm evening like tonight.

codfeast, May 04, 2011
Photo of phishgator
3.48/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Looks like a nice golden lager with decent carbonation and a thick white head; I poured this into a pilsner glass. The aroma is nothing to write home about, there is some malt and a little floral aroma (very faint). The taste is a crisp body that has a slight bit of malty sweetness in the finish. The body is balanced well and quite enjoyable. A good lager that reminds me a German brew.

phishgator, Apr 17, 2006
Photo of cmaloy
3.48/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured with a beautiful creamy white head that went quickly. The beer is clear and golden yellow.

S: Floral hop aroma with spcie.

T: Refreshing and taste great. Spicy hop flavor with a crisp finish and light bitterness.

M: Moderate-light bodied, with medium-high carbonation.

D: Good beer.

cmaloy, Aug 14, 2010
Photo of morebeergood
3.48/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a six pack to drink with friends on their deck on a hot Sunday afternoon. Poured mine into a standard pint glass. Bright yellow color. Lots of carbonation. Fairly large head, but that went away fast. Pilsener clarity to the body. A nice looking beer to say the least. Smell was OK, got some hops in the nose. Taste was pretty good but not too strong, which how a summer beer should be I guess. Nice balance of malt and hops, but I did get a bit of a corn-like flavor on the first few sips. Also, I though the aftertaste was a bit sticky at the finish. This beer was not as crisp as I had hoped for. But, it was light, flavorful, and not too high in abv. Pretty refreshing on a warm day. I'd buy this again over some locally marketed summer beers.

morebeergood, Apr 28, 2009
Photo of LXIXME
3.46/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big thick white head slowly dies above a clear golden colored ale.

Very light citrus hops and floral aroma and the taste resembles the aroma to a T.

A clean tasting medium bodied beer with a slight dry aftertaste that keeps a bit of the taste of the the beer hanging around.

Seems like this would be a pretty good beer to have on the beach on a hot summers day, to bad it's in a bottle and that would be a very irresponsible thing to do.

LXIXME, Oct 15, 2013
Photo of hardy008
3.46/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours clear gold with a one finger head, with decent retention and spotty lacing. The aroma has lemon, herbs, grass, and hay.

Tastes just like it smells with lemon, herbs, grass, and hay. Nice combination of sweetness and bitterness to make a well balanced beer.

Light bodied with average carbonation. Crisp, smooth, and clean. An above average Pilsener, which I am glad I had a chance to try. I'm not sure if I would seek this out again, but I wouldn't refuse it either.

hardy008, Jul 04, 2013
Photo of barleypopmaker
3.45/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a brilliantly clear yellow color. If you were to hold this up next to Budweiser you may have a hard time visually telling the difference, for a Bohemian Pilsner this beer's color is at the mark, albeit the low end of the color scale. In the aroma you have a lot more malt aroma than you would in that Bud, and that's a good thing, the bad thing is the hop aroma levels of the Saaz is a bit lower than I would expect for this style. The malt aroma is crisp and grainy, while the hop aroma is a bit more floral for me than spicy, as well as being low.
As for the flavor, the hop bitterness is a bit underdone as well as the flavor. The malt flavor is lingering as well. The bitterness is quite a bit lower than what I have had in many other Bohemian Pils, but it is there and it does not linger into the finish. I do like the beer's finish and it does leave you wanting more, the malt is just slightly sweet and finishes clean. Stylistically the beer misses the mark a bit for a claim as a Bohemian Pils, but it does deliver as a good easy drinking summer beer. I guess it all depends on what the main goal of this beer was, if it was to nail a Bohemian Pilsner style or be a mass market craft beer perfect for summer events. I would put my money on the latter. But this beer still could benefit from a boost in the Saaz hops additions even if it was just a little.

barleypopmaker, Jul 28, 2009
Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 3,577 ratings.