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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.

1,520 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,520
Hads: 3,916
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 12.23%
Wants: 98
Gots: 462 | 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
Reviews: 1,520 | Hads: 3,916
Photo of objectivemonkey
4.16/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a bright but pale gold, crystal clear with lots of bubblies and a solid whitish head with nice stringy chunks of lacing. The Saaz aroma hops come out and shake your hand, some nice citrus and grainy malts in there. The taste is refreshing as can be, with crispy clean herbal and citrus hop giving it a good start with a backbone of slightly sweet malts. The body is a just-right medium, good carbonation, its a thoroughly drinkable beer, an excellent session buddy to pair with a beautiful summer day. I'm not sure this reminds me of 'Vienna lager', its more like SNPA's kid brother. (589 characters)

Photo of bahumutx
4.16/5  rDev +13%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from a 12 oz bottle into a pilsner glass.

Appearance: Pours an absolutely clear golden yellow with a nice fluffy white head.

Smell: Malts, slight spices and hops.

Taste: Starts with a slight spicy flavor that moves to a toasted malt and then hops. Finishes with a bready flavor. Very simple yet delicious.

Mouthfeel: Smooth Mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Very drinkable. What a great summer beer. This would be great on a hot summer’s days.

Another good beer from the folks at Sierra Nevada. (511 characters)

Photo of Winter
4.16/5  rDev +13%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My opinion of this beer has changed so much that I felt it necessary to re-review it. (see old notes below).

Pours a clear light golden in color with a bleach white, long lasting head. The aroma seemed "skunky" at first, but once it was poured into a glass and given a chance to breathe it took on a nice bready aroma. Saaz hops were present in the nose, along with some herbal, grassy qualities and a touch of spiciness. The Mouthfeel is medium with a pleasant carbonation. The taste has a light, bready maltiness to it. Midway there's a touch of bitterness from the hops to help add character and balance to the maltiness. Saaz hops linger long into the finish.

This was definitely a refreshing and tasty czech lager. It's an example of a craft beer that you could introduce to anyone and they would most likely enjoy it.

Reviewed on: 09-08-2004 01:28:39

Serving type: bottle

Appearance: 3.0
Smell: 2.5
Taste: 2.0
Mouthfeel: 3.0
Drinkability: 2.0

Clear golden in color. Aroma is somewhat hoppy. Nothing in particular stands out. Mouthfeel is thin and crisp. Very dry, saltine cracker-like in taste initially. The hop bitterness is the main focus of the flavor here. Hoppy, crisp and bland describes Sierra Nevada's Summerfest. This beer lacks character. This is a summer offering not worth you time. It's not quenching or refreshing IMO. (1,345 characters)

Photo of teejay76
4.17/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Light gold pour with decent head.

Smell - Malt and hops. Vague honey and citrus.

Taste - Mellow hops bitterness with slight hint of citrus.

Mouthfeel - Highly delicious and refreshing. Great aftertaste.

Drinkability - Love this beer. I'll buy more and then look forward to next summer's seasonal brew. (319 characters)

Photo of blackie
4.17/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A 12oz. from the 2005 bottling. Pours a light golden color with a short lived thin head, which is refreshed when swirled. Smell is clean with nice aromatic hop crispness, Saaz maybe. Also doughy/grainy odors, and a touch of light herbals. Mouthfeel is also clean and crisp, with average carbonation. Taste is, again, clean and crisp. Nice tasty, grassy hop bite, with a bitter finish containing a slight grainy sweetness. A good summer beer fit for the woods or the backyard, and one that I will purchase again.

Better head this year, or I didn't know how to pour back then. Bumping the smell up a couple notches to 4.5, though I still agree with my earlier description. Carbonation right between medium and high. I also decided to change the mouthfeel from 4.0 to 4.5. Good balance everywhere, clean and crisp.

Still a nice pils. Considered lowering everything to a 4.0, but resisted. (897 characters)

Photo of Jerone
4.17/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Golden straw in color with lots of tiny and big bubbles, white soapy head that has okay retention, not much lacing.

S - Floral hops with some pale malt sweetness, some grassiness as well.

T - All about the hops, spicy and floral hops hit you and there is a touch of sweetness from malts. Finish is slightly bitter and spicy, lingers in your mouth for a while.

M - Light and refreshing, moderate carbonation.

O - A solid beer, I would put it just slightly under SA noble pils, but I look forward to a sixer of this every year. (537 characters)

Photo of CaptainAnderson
4.17/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Light, clear golden with a fizzy white head that doesn't linger.

Smell: Grainy malts mixed with spicy aromatic hops. Not a whole lot of skunk for a pilsner.

Taste: The first thing I noticed was the (not too) crisp, sweet malts followed by a (not too) herbal, lemony tang. In true Sierra Nevada style, enduring (not too) bitter hops finish off the pleasant experience.

Mouthfeel: High carbonation, but still light and easy. Perfect after a hot summer's day. The colder the better.

This is definitely my favorite summer session beer, and for good reason. It's not likely to wow or amaze, but you'd be hard-pressed to beat it in quality and drinkability. (667 characters)

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.17/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out with a big pillowy head, making some craters as it bubbles down to a half-finger head. Standard pilsener yellow.

Grainy, slightly lemon aroma with light spiciness. Smells like a pilsener ought.

I've had a few pilseners this summer, my first real attempts to learn and basically just identify the style. This is a very good attempt at combining the Sierra Nevada hop hallmark and still keep it recognizable as a pils. A grainy, light malt start moves briskly to a pleasant hop finish. Not overkill at all, but you know Sierra had to throw those hops in there. Good solid character, a little too balanced to the hop side, but I believe it to be intentionally so. Toasty yet hopped aftertaste. Perhaps my favorite pils so far. Bonus points given for balancing the style with their penchant for distinctive hoppage.

Great carbonation level, enhances the appeal as a summer choice. Clean enough, plenty of flavor to keep it from tasting watery yet still be thirst quenching.

Great session beer, probably better suited for relaxing after the participatory event, not during. Solid beer, to be enjoyed in multiple bottle quantities. (1,147 characters)

Photo of tgbljb
4.17/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Upon its release from the bottle it entered the glass a s a clear golden beverage with an abundant white head that left nice lingering bits on the side of the glass as it fell. Aroma is slightly sweet with a bit of malt detected. Flavor is malty with some lemon detected and has a nice dryness as the flavor matures in the mouth. Finished very light and refreshing with the dryness lingering. A very nice drinking beer. Wasn't exactly what I was expecting but very enjoyable. (475 characters)

Photo of beerdrinker4life
4.17/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer looked refreshing on the label. Hate to be vain here but its 100 degrees out! :-)

Ok it looks good going in to my glass as well! Real pure gold color and absolute snow white pure head. Nice!

Smells nice. Fresh grass aroma and some floral spice.

Taste is real real nice! Super clean lighter in body with perfect kiss from the hops in the end. Talk about fresh!

Great mouthfeel in the end and overall this is one fine quencher! (440 characters)

Photo of setexascustoms
4.17/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle into a SA Perfect Pint

A- Clear golden yellow, not much head on a gentle pour. A lot of carbonation rising, and a little lacing sticks.

S- Clean, floral hops. A little light citrus, very pleasant.

T- Again, clean and floral with a slight spiciness from the hops. Light and refreshing, with a slightly bitter balance and a clean finish.

M- Coats the mouth well, lighter body, carbonation is just right.

O- I know what would be my first choice on a hot Summer's day, definitely could enjoy a few of these. (515 characters)

Photo of LittleDon
4.17/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Crystal clear and light yellow with plenty of carbonation and a small white head. Pleasant malt aroma with a hint of hops. Light mouthfeel with a somewhat bitter middle and finish. An excellent very drinkable beer when you have to live through a Texas summer that has already been too long. (290 characters)

Photo of mcarroll10177
4.18/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured from a bottle into a imperial pint glass

A- pale yellow with big white head that sticks for a bit

S- decent hint of hops, but not a lot of nose to this beer

T- a very crisp and clean taste no real bitterness or after taste present.

M- thin which is particular to the style

D- this is an excellent summer beer. Very clean and very refreshing. An easy drinker on a hot summer day. (401 characters)

Photo of RockyTopHeel
4.18/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Perfectly golden with a thin white head with staying power and a nice bit of lace. Soft, nice aroma of hops (saaz?) and a crisp, clean, refreshing finish.

Truly a great pilsner, one of the best American versions I've had. Perhaps the perfect summer beer?

At very least, it's in the discussion. Consummately refreshing, and the perfect follow up to a round of golf. (370 characters)

Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.18/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager has a very thick, egg shell-colored head, and a hazy, yellow appearance with lots of bubbles and fine particulate matter floating about. The aroma is faint, but some slight breadiness is picked up. Taste is, at first, white bread, but hops explode in the mouth at the mid sip. It’s hard to distinguish the various hop varieties here, but the smooth bitterness is delicious. Mouthfeel is light, and Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager finishes crisp, refreshing, and semi-dry. I really liked it. RJT (526 characters)

Photo of sfsean28
4.18/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a golden yellow colored brew into a tall pilsener glass and left a foamy white head and nice sticky lacing to the glass.
Not a strong smell, only slight aromas of bread

Taste was mostly bready, grainy and some malt.Has a nice clean dry finish which I enjoy very much. Carbonation seems to be just right. I think its well balanced, its not heavy and not light.

This is good tasting beer. I think this is what a regular beer should taste like.Hot summer day beer and a good session beer. (498 characters)

Photo of neenerzig
4.18/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got a single 12 oz bottle of this recently. Pours a light to medium clear golden color with a thick white head well over an inch when poured. Eventually settles to a very nice thick surface coating. Excellent lacing here. Aromas of malt and hops are present, the hops being quite nice. Not much else smell wise. The taste is pretty much the same, fairly sweet malt along with a nice citrus hop flavor on the back end. Not complex at all but damn good! Has a crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. Very clean finish. A great summer brew! Very drinkable indeed.

Eric (587 characters)

Photo of jokelahoma
4.18/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a can, because cans are awesome.

Pours a lovely clear golden color. Decent head, too.

Aroma is bready, like fresh from the oven bready, coupled with a nice dose of hoppy goodness. There's really not much more to say. That's a great thing, since this is a pils, which should be clean, crisp, and simple, not some overly complex work of evil brewing genius that takes hours to decipher. Very nicely done with just the simple malt and hops in the nose.

Flavor mirrors that beautiful simplicity. It's clean barley malt, with a good charge of hops to give it a kick. Not super bitter, but more so than a standard American adjunct lager, by far. The hops are slightly flowery, a bit earthy, and mix perfectly well with the malt to create a great clean flavor.

Mouthfeel is lightish, and again, what more can you ask? It works for the style

This is a nice pilsner. Refreshing, no overwhelming or out of balance in any way. Still enough oomph to stand out from the BMCs, yet light enough to fit in perfectly well at a barbecue or poolside (hooray, cans!). I've a feeling I'll be drinking plenty of this all summer when not enjoying home brew. (1,151 characters)

Photo of becktone
4.18/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Summerfest is a sight for sore eyes when properly decanted into a glass. The staw gold color of this beer is accented by the clarity of this beer. It is crystal clear, can't get any clearer than this. The head is two fingers in width, and is pure white. The craggy appearance of the foam only adds to the presentation of this beer. Head retention is fairly good (starts to disperse once drinking commences), and ohh boy does it have lacing, some of the best lacing I've ever seen (maybe second to Duvel?).

Moving down the face from the eyes to the nose, I notice that this beer has a spicy floral aroma. I also detected some of the skunk character that is appropriate for this style, as it is associated with the Sazz hops. Smells great, just as a pilsner should, and better than Carlsberg (Ibelieve thats the only other pils that I've had). It would be nice if the nose were a bit stronger overall, perhaps my nose has already adjusted to the aroma of this beer.

To the tongue! This beer is clean, refreshing and rounded. Hop character is assertive, its right up front. The spicy and somewhat floral tones of the hops are nicely balanced by the sweet malt that becomes apparent in the aftertaste. A interesting characteristic about this lager is that as it warms up it gets better. Different interesting flavors start to emerge as the temperature of the beer gradually rises. I think that the malt becomes a bit more pronounced.

In the mouth this beer flaunts its light-medium mouthfeel. Tiny and delicate carbonation dances on the tongue as it sits in the mouth, the level of carbonation is low, as to not interfere with the taste of the beer, just a spritz on the tongue. Better than average mouthfeel, but nothing outstanding. Each time I pulled one of these bottles out of the six pack I have thoroughly enjoyed it. This is a beer that I will definitely buy again. I can't say that this is my Pilsner, because I haven't had that many, I will definitely try some more before I come back to this one. It's too bad that it is only available during the summer, but then again its realease is something to look forward to. (2,132 characters)

Photo of Running4beer
4.18/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a pale golden/orangish type color with a medium white head that vanishes completely. Aroma is that of citrus and grassy hops some malt but not that noticeable. I enjoyed this summer brew, citrus hops and sweet malt taste a slight lemon flavor also. Had a little bit of carbonation giving it a slight crisp mouthfeel, but it was rather smooth. Very good, easily drinkable definetly a beer to enjoy while outdoors relaxing by a pool or at the beach. (457 characters)

Photo of KBrady487
4.19/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- A 1 inch bubbly head, quickly dissipated to ring around the beer, left no lacing on the glass. Color was golden and crystal like.

S-Strong pilsner smell, slightest bit of sweetness.

T-full bodied taste of pilsner. Great balance of hops for a summer beer, not to strong but has a presence in the beer. Hops and pilsner give the beer an earthy tone.

M-well carbonated, smooth after bubbles dissipate

D-easy beer to drink. perfect for a hot summer day tailgating at the ballpark. (483 characters)

Photo of Dmann
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
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. (569 characters)

Photo of WCBCFrank
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sierra's Summerfest Lager pours a crisp, golden straw-yellow that leads to a nice cloud, off-white head. Good carbonation and nice notes of floral, herbal hops. Refreshing and delightfully each sip - classic pilsner taste of grains, grassy, and floral notes.

For the novice: Leave the Miller Lite and Stella; buy this and impress your friends.

Personally: I really love this stuff, one of the best pilsners made in the US. (425 characters)

Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is the summer beer to end all summer beers. Bottom fermented, consumed on a wonderfully beautiful Cape Cod afternoon. This beer seems to be a bit more edgy than other summer, has the lemon zest but is also a little bitter, with a Pils undertone. This is an amazing example of this style. (292 characters)

Photo of EagleTalon
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of my favorite domestic lagers. Pours to a generous white head and clear golden color. Aroma is very hoppy--like smelling hops freshly added to the brewpot. Malty sweetness is apparent in the aroma. Flavor is dry, pleasantly bitter/hoppy and good malt backup. Finishes dry and refreshing. A fine beer that deserves year-round production. (341 characters)

Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 1,520 ratings.