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

1,512 Reviews
THE BROS
89
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,512
Hads: 3,889
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 12.23%
Wants: 95
Gots: 437 | 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
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Reviews: 1,512 | Hads: 3,889
Photo of SixpointJMH
3.45/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A pretty bland brew from the Sierrra Nevada folks (by their standards), but still halfway decent overall.

It pours a crisp golden colour with a big foamy white head, which leaves a nice amount of residue on the glass.

The smell is a bit grassy and wheatlike with a tiny hint of sweetness somewhere in there.

The flavour is more of the same with perhaps some lemon zest and tartness thrown into the mix. Hops come out here and there in the flavour but their presence is certainly nothing to write home about.

This is easily the worst of the SN line, but it's still not half bad. I can't tell you to avoid it but can't really recommend it either, as there are a plethora of better summer brews out there. At best, it's a decent fallback option if available and the pickings are slim. (794 characters)

Photo of woodychandler
4.24/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This showed up recently at The Fridge and went into my fridge awaiting furtherance of The CANQuest (TM). Reviewed 08-14-2013.

It was a long day of paranoia and I was jonesing for a beer, so I executed a quick Crack and an inverted Glug, resulting in two fluffy, foamy fingers of French Vanilla-colored head with good retention. Color was a sunshine yellow with NE-quality clarity. SRM = 4 to 5. Nose had a great Noble hop grassiness underlain with a light biscuit maltiness. Mouthfeel was thin-to-medium and man, this really hit the spot! The Saaz hops commingled beautifully with the malt to create a light, easy drinking lager in the form of a Pils. Finish was crisp, dry, refreshing and I may have found a new CANdidate for the summer cooler.

My original bottle review from 07-07-2005 with scores of 4.0; 2.5; 3.0; 4.0 and 3.5 follows:

This poured with a decent white head, but it just evaporated to wispiness. I had a light malt smell, but even that was tough to discern. It had a nice tang in the mouth, but no taste that really jumped out. The finish was lightly grainy, not so much of malt, but more like wheat, or (heaven forbid) corn. It just reminded me of being out in the fields behind my maternal grandparents' house as a kid. It was a decent beer, but I'd like something with a bit more flavor, even in the summer. (1,332 characters)

Photo of KoG
4.34/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I wasn't impressed the first time I had this in the comforts of my own home. Today however, it was in the 90's and I was walking around, so it hit the spot.

Golden color with a small head, no real lacing.

Smell is light hops and some malt. Not offensive, but not inviting either.

Taste was clean and crisp, but still somewhat musty and dry.

Went down clean and hit the spot in the heat, but not something I would buy again. (435 characters)

Photo of Sammy
3.4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Creamy, big head, wheat and alcohol aroma. Light colour, no lace, drying aftertaste.More bitter than malty, undetstated carbonation. Some hops. Needed it after summer day thirst, but only marginally satisfying. Medium-light mouthfeel. Very average beer overall. (261 characters)

Photo of RBorsato
3.33/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Tasted On-Tap 06/29/05 at Carpool in Herndon, VA.

Clear bright straw yellow/light gold color with a decent white head and decent carbonation. Light grassy herbal hop aroma with little else to speak of. Balanced nicely with light malt and light hop characteristics -- nothing standing out on top or very memorable though. Light bodied and refreshing.

A decent thirst quencher but not a staple brew... Preferred the hoppier bottled version. (444 characters)

Photo of jasonpeckins32
3.49/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very transparent golden yellow color with a little bit of airy white fizz, but not much. Smells delicious. Aromas of sweet sweet malts cover hints of floral hops. The taste is slightly tart at first as I expected, but finishes clean. Great job on finishing smooth and clean. Floral hop flavors are noticeable throughout the taste. The mouthfeel is slick and smooth and has a nice full feel to it. This texture demands respect. I'm sure I could drink a few of these, but all I bought was a single. (504 characters)

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

I'd poured this right after I had had an Iron City and the difference between the two is great that I feel the entire city of Pittsburgh owes me an apology.

Dark gold with a slight haze and a fantastic head.

Big odor of wonderful, deep bread malt mixed with very lights hints of fruit.

Bitter malt taste upfront, nice, and it moves into a sweet malt in the middle and ends with chewy bread dough. Hops are present only in the aftertaste--just bitter enough to keep this lager as easy-drinkin' as can be.

Sierra Nevada can do no wrong. This is as perfect an example of a Euro Pilsner as I can imagine. (615 characters)

Photo of zerk
4.3/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear golden with a persistent 1/2 inch white head. There is a steady trail of bubbles tracing up the glass. Aroma is a mix of bready malts and spicy noble hops with a touch of citrus. Flavor begins with slightly sweet biscuit, then becomes spicy with a healthy dose of hops. Finishes with a refreshing bitterness. All of the flavors are in excellent balance. Mouthfeel is crisp and light, with appropriate carbonation for the style. This is a very tasty pils/light lager, and a wonderfully refreshing summer beer. (522 characters)

Photo of cubedbee
3.9/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a pale golden yellow with a thin fizzy white head. Nose is malty and almost breadlike. Taste is very smooth and malty, rich honeylike flavor and a sharp hop finish, very nice. Full-bodied and properly carbonated, this feels good in your mouth. I'm pretty impressed with this lager. Another good offering from Sierra Nevada. (329 characters)

Photo of malty
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2005 vintage.

Pours a crystal golden color with a bubbly white head that descends to 1/4".

Smells like lemon/sugar cookies. Clean sweet scents of bisquit malts.

Flavors are all very fresh, lemon grass & citrus rind with pale malts. Slight dry white wine notes also. Has that somewhat earthy/skunky/grassy flavor hidden in the background, but it's very nonintrusive.

Mouthfeel is lively with kinetic carbonation. Light-med. bodied with a crisp finish to cap it off.

Drinkability: Summer = High, Colder months = not so good.

Overall a refreshing and solid lager that leans a bit to the sweeter side but has enough dryness to keep a nice balance. Flavors are somewhat attenuated but are still evident. A good (not great) lager. (742 characters)

Photo of IceAce
3.9/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Brilliant yellow-gold body with a wispy white ring of foam in place of a collar. Nose is light with notes of honey, clover, and malt.

Entry is silky with just the right touch of carbonation. Midtaste features malt on the front side and a honey-like smoothness leading headlong into the finish...a crisp hop-snap accompanied by a long malt fade. (347 characters)

Photo of karst
3.78/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear golden 12. oz pour, 1 hand Tall white foamy head filling the 0.5L. + pils glass to the top and providing persistant lacing for the duration of the glass. Wonderful Hallertauer hop aroma and a taste lightly malty, fruity, understated bitter hops and hinted of a sourish saison. Mouthfeel aided by good carbonation ( saw beading until the end). Refreashing bitterness. Hopping alone makes it a must try lager. (413 characters)

Photo of Zorro
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear golden brew with a sticky white head.

Smell is pleasant and grainy with a biscuit malt scent. There is a good solid dose of Nobel hops in the smell, nice herbal perfume and a bit of grassiness. Slight fruity nature comes out after a bit.

Taste is faint sweetness and heavy noble hops. Very fruity and perfume on the tongue. Stout bitterness in the aftertaste makes the dryness of the beer. Very good beer but the hop level makes my brain say Pilsner and not Lager.

Mouthfeel is quite good solid but not cloying.

Very satisfying and drinkable beer. A good Pilsner when you can't find a Pilsner. (620 characters)

Photo of danielharper
3.42/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Purchased from Great Spirits, Huntsville, AL.

Pours a yellow-amber color with a fairly full head. Head dissipated quickly. A very clear beer, with no cloudiness whatsoever -- objects were clearly visible through the beer. No bubbles to speak of.

A nice, spicy aroma with a malty hop presence dominates this nose. Pleasant and inviting, if uncomplex.

A kind of fruity, odd taste is mostly present in this beer -- it almost seems like grapefruit or cranberry to me. Carbonation is present but muted, and tartness dominates the finish.

Perhaps this brew is a bit watery on the mouthfeel, but I think it's a perfectly pleasant experience for a nice summer brew, and it is a really good example of a warm-weather beer. Drinkability thus gets a fairly high mark from me, as while this brew is uncomplicated and uninspiring, it's nonetheless a nice example of a "lawnmower beer", at least for me.

If this review seems a bit truncated, it's only because this beer doesn't inspire strong feelings one way or the other for me. I'm considering making this my Fourth of July beer, but I can't really claim that it's a fantastic or even very good beer. Probably better than Heineken, but nothing to get worked up over.

The best compliment I can pay this beer is that immediately after bringing these home from the store, I popped one open and drank it down, cooling off from the hot weather outside. Then I had a second one, even though it was only three or four o'clock in the afternoon. Good, but not great. (1,516 characters)

Photo of ybnorml
3.15/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A clean light yellow beer. Has a small bright white head. Which dissapears quite quickly. There is a light grainy biscuty aroma with a hint of skunk in the background. The bitterness starts off the flavor sharply. Then the grainy biscut character takes over at the end. (269 characters)

Photo of GreenWBush
3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

"Piss"

A term too often thrown around our conventional knowledge of beer. As children we wonder why our parents drink something so resembling human waste. As we get older, we wish our intoxicants were lighter than said matter. Teetotlers claim that beer not only looks and smells like piss, but it also makes you piss obsessively and obscenely.

I have never had a beverage that made me think of urine so much as this particular beer. The nose just absolutely screams "pee" so much that I thought of scrapping this review entirely. But I don't think its necessarily an unfair description. You might be wondering now: "Is it possible for a person to actually compare a beer to a liquid body emission and actually enjoy it?"

Enjoy it I did. As mentioned underneath this particular review, this beer's labeling does shy away from any mention of "lager" like those five letters are a dirty word. I say go with it. I say we start the reclamation of lager, stealing it away from dirty macro-sludge and reenter it into our lexicon - and not like we think of cheese (velveeta), bread (wonder), or beer...B M or C.

This one pours out amazingly light from a brewing company you expect nothing but liquid calories from. Clean "Chico" characteristics; biting, piney hops, velvet smooth mouthfeel with a hop taste that lasts and lasts.

After the third or fourth sample of this beer, you come to realize the similarities between this and Boston Lager. The hopping tastes quite parallel to that beer if not a little more embedded in the eraser-head Sierra Nevada mold that somehow makes every SN beer taste freakishly similar.

This beer is a fantastic summer beer...nothing to force the world into a beer revolution, but a solid, tasty beer from a solid, tasty brewery.

Let's call it Grolsch/Heineken/Stella/Carling with a soul, and fresh, unskunked ingredients. Maybe they should put this one in green bottles for the fuck of it. (1,936 characters)

Photo of charlatan
3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This straw coloured pint had a decent head. The bar was too smoky (although not unusually so) for me to pick up an aroma.

Beers with summer in their name throw up a huge variety of styles (try searching the term summer in the find beer box), and thus are something of a lottery.

I'm not a lager man, but I really enjoyed this brew. It has a rich, fruity start which reminds me of grapes, but with less of an acidic twang. This is followed up with a reassuring rather than potent hop backing. Couple this delightful taste with a little creaminess and good carbonation and you have a very drinkable number. (610 characters)

Photo of JackStraw22
2.66/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

2005 vintage

Appearance: Crystal clear golden body, nice crisp white head that stuck around. Lots of bubbles up to the top. Good lacing too.

Smell: Very earthy and herbal hops, crisp and refreshing aroma. A little one dimensional, though.

Taste: One of the only lagers I've had that's a real hop assult. In my opinion, it doesn't work. It reminds me a lot of tonic water unfortunately. Very dry too, not refreshing.

It was off to a good start with it's appearance and aroma, but didn't quite hold up. Oh well. (522 characters)

Photo of GClarkage
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

05/28/05- Purchased at Piazza's Market in San Mateo, CA

Presentation- 12oz bottle with no dates. Poured into a standard pint glass.

Appearance- Average golden color pour, decent white foamy head and average lacing.

Smell- Smell of bitter pine hops...not much of anything else. Not that this is bad!

Taste- I don't know what to make of this beer. Has malty moments, fruity moments, bitter hop moments and maybe even sourish saison moments. Tons of different things going on in here. Maybe too much.

Mouthfeel- Above average carbonation. Lip smaking bitter at times.

Drinkability- Wish I had this brew first so I could make a more accurate judgement. The one thing I will give it is refreshing. It was nice and hot outside by the pool and it did the job. (770 characters)

Photo of taez555
3.3/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Summerfest 2005

The beer poured a very clear yellow body with a small white head.

The nose was very clean; pseudo macro but turned up a notch. Soft fruits, touches of biscuit malt, but mostly just a clean macro-esque Euro lager smell.

The taste was light bodied. Grainy but very crisp. Biscuit malts, some caramel taste, an earthy hop bitterness. This beer reminded me a lot of mexican lagers in that the bitterness really cuts through the standard macro taste. Soft fruits and a mild leafy hop taste.

Really a very simple beer. Crisp, grainy but clean and quite tasty. The big bitterness and mild hop taste remind me a lot of a mexican lager mixed with SNPA. A nice refreshing summer brew, but from my memory not nearly as good as years past. (756 characters)

Photo of oelergud
3.85/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Perfectly clear honey/wheat golden body, good carbonation. White rocky head, great lace and decent retention.
Smell is green grass, floral, earth and slightly musty hay. Good malt base with some caramel tones. Hops are there late in the swallow and are well balanced with the malt in the aftertaste.
Excellent mouthfeel, not watery as you see with many lagers. Coating is present but not too thick for a lager either.
Highly drinkable, one of the best lagers I've had so far.

-Oelergud (491 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.

2006
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.

2008
Still a nice pils. Considered lowering everything to a 4.0, but resisted. (897 characters)

Photo of chrisms86
3.3/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Pours with a thin layer of sticky head. The taste is great, some notes of citrus add to the full flavor. A very drinkable beer with a pleasant aftertaste, which stick around for awhile due to the syrupy texture of this beer. The carbonation seems artificial, which really brings down the quality of this lager to something like a Henry Weinhards (goes for a good taste, but it all seems somewhat fake).

Without the strong carbonation this would have been a common sight in my fridge, but as it is Sieraa Nevada Summerfest will only make occassional appearences. (564 characters)

Photo of TastyTaste
4.47/5  rDev +21.5%
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. (366 characters)

Photo of Gagnonsux
3.82/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The color is a healthy shade of yellow and the head is average-sized. Carbonation is very good. The aroma is fairly clean with just a mild spicy hop smell. The taste is strongly (for a lager) of spicy hops with a tasty light malt body. A light citrus bite is also noted. This is very different and much more interesting than expected. Mouthfeel is appropriately crisp and drinkability is great. This is a choice summer seasonal beer, light enough to quench thirst, but still very flavorful. (490 characters)

Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 1,512 ratings.