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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.

1,522 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,522
Hads: 3,932
Avg: 3.67
pDev: 20.44%
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
Reviews: 1,522 | Hads: 3,932
Photo of largadeer
3.18/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Clear and straw-colored. Not much head, just a ring around the glass.

Smell: Grassy, grainy, buttery.

Taste: Mildly sweet, a bit husky and grainy with a touch of citrus. Spicy hops lead to a dry but buttery finish.

Mouthfeel: Light and crisp.

Notes: A simple, sessionable lager. Nothing particularly special about it, but quite good for what it is.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, 2010 edition. Ahhh...Americans sure have it good, being able to buy this brewer's wares pretty much anywhere they gosh darn please.

This beer pours a clear, medium golden straw colour, with some sparse, but consistent rising effervescence, and two fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and yet somewhat creamy white head, which leaves a few thin splotches of sudsy lace around the glass as it gradually recedes.

It smells of crisp, grainy pale malt, a touch of spicy wheat, lemon zest, and prominent grassy, floral, and dried hay hops. The taste is more cereal-heavy, semi-sweet malt, lemon rind, a stoney flintiness, earthy, sort of peppery spice, and further leafy, grassy, and mildly weedy hops.

The carbonation is moderate in its swirling and probing frothiness, the body a decent middleweight for the style, and pretty smooth, those hops knowing where to draw the line. It finishes off-dry, just, and clean, with a wee warmth that is hard to ascribe to a specific alcohol sensation.

A rather enjoyable quaff, and still quite refreshing, but kind of heavier than one would expect from a native-brewed Czech Pilsener. Whatever, it definitely works for assuaging our dire, dog days of summer needs, as I could surely go for another one of these, post haste.

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Photo of zeff80
3.82/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle pours out a straw yellow with no head.

S - Smelled of grains and caramel with a hint of a floral aroma.

T - The grain/caramel flavor came through along with a grassy hop bitterness.

M - It had a very sharp and crisp mouthfeel. A light bodied lager that is quite sessionable.

D - It is drinkable, especially on a hot day. I'd say it is fairly typical of a Czech Pilsner. Good but not my favorite style of beer.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I fail to see how a beer brewed in California, U.S.A. can be called a Euro Pale Lager. Yeah, I know, if it fits the style... blah, blah, blah. But still, this beer deserves better. I therefore dub Summerfest a Yankee Pale Lager.

Pellucid bright amber with an impressively large, creamyfirm, French vanilla head that looks like it belongs on an IPA. The foam displays remarkable persistance and eventually lays down generous amounts of lace in vertical streamers.

The aroma is unmistakably of aromatic Saaz hops with very little else muddying the waters. I'm not a big fan of that particular hop, but it's actually somewhat pleasant here, both in the nose and on the palate. Its oftentimes sharp, pungent nature is blunted to some extent by a fair amount of sweetish pale malt.

A subtle clove and white pepper spiciness increases marginally with warming. I prefer more citrus in my summer beers, but I won't complain too loudly. The body is solidly medium, yet is still well within the bounds of easy drinkability demanded by the summer seasonal designation.

Summerfest is a pretty good Saaz-hopped pale lager, even if my lack of affinity for that particular hop variety keeps me from loving it. That said, this Yankee Pale Lager kicks the crap out of the vast majority of its Euro counterparts.

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Photo of oberon
4.08/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice for the style,not to hoppy good malt-accented beer.Light color with a decent head.Would try again,Iam not into summer accrnted lighter beers.Bring on Oktoberfest!

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.82/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 2007 offering served up on tap. Much better then last years offering. This poured a nice pale golden color with a nice white frothy head. Smell was pretty hoppy, especially compared to last year. Lots of citrus and pine hops were evedent in the flavor. Fine crisp clean finish with lots of carbonation. An awesome session beer or a barbecue beer, really very nice overall, and a wonderful addition to my summer beer lineup.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The pour is a crystal clear pale golden color with a short lived fluffy white head.

S: A pretty typical lager aroma. Mostly grain and malt sweetness with a touch of earthy hops.

T: There is a touch of bready malt with a mild spicy and earthy flavor from the hops and yeast. The finish is surprisingly bitter with a citrus in the mix as well.

M: Light to medium body (for a lager, that is) with a nice crisp carbonation.

D: A pretty refreshing and good tasting lager. But, I don't really ever worry about Sierra Nevada when it comes to making a good beer. Good for a hot summer day.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.76/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a cloudy, yellow-orange body with a small, fizzy white head.

Smell: Pale malt aroma with notes of floral, spice, and the juice of half a lemon.

Taste: Pale maltiness accompanied by a mild sweetness. A bit crackery, but then again, aren't we all? Hint of lemon, flowers. A punch of spicy bitterness. Finishes crisp with a light, lingering spice on the tongue.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A nice little surprise. It's quafftastic!

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Photo of jlindros
3.79/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Light fluffy head fades very quickly over a brilliantly clear golden yellow color.

N: Semi sweet lager aromas, some wheat, toasty malts which are light, a little citrus and lemon zest. Very pilsner like aromas. Very light grassy hops.

T: Nice toasty but lighter lager like malt flavors. Some light sweet malty flavors, with a little toasty pilsner malt, citrus, lemon zest, clean and crisp, a light grassy hop turns into a fairly bitter hop kick. the gassy spicy hop kick gives a nice long finish.

M: very crisp, semi light body, good carbonation.

F: Semi bitter, little lager sweet malt taste but dries a bit. Toasty malts, light malts. Slight lingering sweetness, crisp and refreshing, nice hop characters but maybe a bit heavy in the overall hop profile for a summer beer and Czech pilsner.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.98/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear gold, with 3 frothy fingers of bright-white foamy head. This retains with a nice looking robust richness, which leaves back some thick spotty lacing. The aroma is floral, earthy, spicy, and fruity smelling, with a silky backing of malts across the back of the nose. This was flavorful, bright, and pleasant. I liked it.

The taste is moderately biting with fresh citrus flavors, along with grittier notes of earth and rind. This is well balanced with some lightly toasted grainy sweetness underneath, while this finishes with lingering notes of earth and spice. The mouthfeel is lighter-medium bodied, with a smooth, crisp, and clean feel throughout. Just a very easy and quaffable body on this.

Fresh, bright, and flavorful, with a super easy body and overall drinkibility going for it, this was a pleasant quaff. Another sturdy entry from Sierra Nevada.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.93/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Budweiser pokal.

Ah, the Whole Foods bargain area. Delightful. This guy pours a clear pale straw topped by a finger or so of white micro-foam. The nose comprises light wheat, flowers, corn, grass, and a touch of sugar. The taste is similar, with the floral hops really coming through nicely, along with a hint of oatmeal. The body is pretty light, with a very light carbonation and a crisp finish. Overall, a solid pils, but missing a small something in the taste department to really kick it up a peg.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.39/5  rDev +19.6%
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.

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Photo of mactrail
3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear, full golden color in the Stella glass. Nice head to go with it. Light body but not watery. Toast and faint barley aroma. Long nose of flowery hops to go with the resiny hint in the flavor.

Pleasant balance of hoppy flavors with the malt. Crisp and tasty overall. This has a little of the perfumey flavor I associate with some Kolsch brews. A hint of lemon-lime soda. Extremely drinkable with a very nice hop hit without lingering bitterness. Finishes with a spicy taste.

2012 edition in the 12 oz bottle from Trader Joe's.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.88/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a Uinta pilsner glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are average.

Served refrigerator cold and allowed to warm somewhat over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a one finger beige colour head of slight cream, okay thickness, and average retention. Clear yellow colour. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Clean malts, bland hops, and some barley. A very boring and bland aroma. Average strength. Not particularly appealing.

T: Clean malts lend it body. Background floral hops give it a little character, but not enough to save it from its simplicity. There's very little going on here. No yeast or alcohol notes are present. There's some malty sweetness on the climax. The finish is bland, but at least it's a change of pace from the body - some crystal malt is all that really comes through. Bland and boring all around.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Thick enough. Acceptable carbonation.

Dr: Drinkable and enjoyable, but mundane. I'm pretty underwhelmed - but hey, it's Sierra Nevada. I wouldn't get this again, but it's a decent little pilsener. Probably best on draught.


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Photo of oriolesfan4
4.12/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

One word for this beer: crisp. It has a nice snap to it as you sip and its very refreshing. It may not be as extreme as other beer styles out there but this one is great to have on a nice, hot day. I have yet to be let down from this brewery and they seem to tackle all assortments of styles with ease.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap 6/30/07 at Racebook Brewpub @ Mohegan Sun Casino, Uncasville, CT.

A: The beer is a light gold color, with a medium white head that fades slowly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is faint but contains light but bready malts and a good amount of hops.

T: The taste is very straight-forward, simply light malts, lager yeast & hops, all decently balanced. The after-taste is bready and slightly bitter.

M: Smooth and very crisp, light-to-medium body, medium carbonation, clean and dry finish.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not very filling, good representation of style, this is a beer that I wouldn’t buy in a six-pack unless my options were severely limited, but on-tap it’s worth drinking over many of the usual suspects (macros, Sam Adams, Guinness et. al.) that most places carry.

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Photo of LXIXME
3.46/5  rDev -5.7%
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.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.23/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on tap @ Maewyn's in York, served chilled in a pint.

The color is a pale golden with thick cap of white cream, the clarity is good and the lace clings in ringlets. The smell is good with some gentle floral/herbal hop aromas with mild malt and slight yeast ester which gives a sort of bready backing. The feel is very good, nice hop presence which gives the kind of acidity you want from a pils, plenty of carbonation, but not overboard. I think the malt profile is pleasant adding a bit of sweetness to keep the lager balanced.

The flavor is smooth and malty up front, but mid-taste the flavor of the herbal hop emerges with some nice gentle grassy and tea like flavor, somewhat floral but not too much to be enjoyable with some citrus elements. The taste of the malt is gentle and slightly sweet with a mild yeast that adds some character to the brew and perhaps a tinge of mineral. The overall impression I get from this is it is a great beer, an all around flavorful and quaffable lager which is saying something because there aren't enough of its ilk out there these days.

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Photo of Jason
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz brown shorty bottle, no freshness date but there is the year 2009 on the neck label.

A- Quick to froth a white head, subsides to a thin but sticky lace. Shimmering clarity off of the golden yellow colored brew.

S- Clean fresh cut hay, spicy hops ... a very clean nose.

T&M- Crispness is beyond belief, so refreshing. Clean but dry malty palate, hint of lemon in the spicy hop character that lends a nice bitter bite. Touch of herbal hop and grain husk middle to end, finishes quite dry.

D- Give one of these to a macro drinking friend and see what happens. I could easily go through a few on a hot summer day.

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Photo of russpowell
3.74/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2007 version

An effervescent deep gold with 4 fingers of white rocky head. Below average head retention & lacing

S: Herbalhops & a little bit of floral hops

T: Floral hops,lemons & straw up front. Finshses lemon hoppy Wth a little grainyness & fruittyness

MF: Geat balance & medium bodied, a little light on the carbonation

Drinks very easy, but not as tasty as last years

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Photo of superspak
3.78/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into lager glass, bottled on 4/4/2013. Pours lightly hazy golden straw color with a 1 finger dense white head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of lemon zest, pear, apple, grape, floral, grass, cracker, bread, light pepper, herbal, and yeast earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance of malt, hop, and yeast ester notes; with solid strength. Taste of lemon zest, pear, apple, cracker, bread, floral, grass, light pepper, herbal, and yeast earthiness. Light earthy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of light fruits, cracker, bread, floral, grass, light pepper, and herbal earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance of malt, hop, and yeast ester flavors; with good robustness and no cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth and moderately crisp mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very good pilsner style. All around well balanced flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A nicely enjoyable offering.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.08/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a crystal clear golden hue with a white frothy head, leavs a nice collar of lace that lasts throughout the session with this beer. Aroma is slightly sweet of lemongrass notes mixed with the graininess and nice touch of delicate hop bitterness to complete the aroma. Taste is a refreshing well made crisp clean lager predominantly sweet grassy notes balance out with a light hopping and full bready tone which is very pleasing in the heat great summer beer in all regards. Mouthfeel is lighter bodied but by no means thin or watery one smoothly textured drinkable true lager. I could go fishing with a six pack of this beer any day, truely great for beating the heat.

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Photo of chinchill
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz 2013 bottle served in a lager glass.
Pours golden with excellent clarity and a massive amount of carbonation bubbles. The carbonation level is high, but seems appropriate for style and is softly prickly. Light body. Very durable white head.
Quite true to style, partly due to the use of Saaz hops.
A quality pils that would fly in CZ.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From 08/21/15 notes. 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Super easy to drink, clean and crisp. Bready malts, grains, light fruits and light floral notes. Overall a decent summer beer, good for some summer day drinking.

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Photo of smcolw
3.49/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A literally over-the-top head (16oz glass, 12oz beer). Great rockiness of a nearly pure white head. Excellent thick lace on the glass edge. Beautiful golden (and clear) color.

Unusually musty aroma. Low hop, mostly lighter grained malt smells.

Strong malt flavor in the front followed by a decent bitterness from the hop. There are the beginnings of some skunkiness. This is a delicate beer, but there is very good body for the style; appropriate carbonation.

I'm a little disappointed with this one: I was expecting a typical 4+ offering from SN. The skunk part aside, this would likely be a run-of-the-mill pils. I could not find the typical fresh hop smells or flavors.

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Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 1,522 ratings.