Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada Summerfest LagerSierra Nevada Summerfest Lager

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1,510 Reviews
very good

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Reviews: 1,510
Hads: 3,881
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 12.23%
Wants: 94
Gots: 434 | 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: 1,510 | Hads: 3,881
Photo of indy169
3.6/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The 2006 Summerfest brew pours a clear golden color and the smell is like that of of a well done macro brew. The taste is even, with a fine balance of hops and malt for easy summer drinking. I can't help but thinking that the big brewers of the land could learn a thing or two from this beer. Why, with all their bigness, can't Miller, Bud, etc put out a QUALITY beer? Are they afraid the wannabees won't buy it??? They buy hard lemonade, anyway!
Very drinkable, but not terribly interesting. (493 characters)

Photo of smurphy77
3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this beer on draft. Actually, I had two. Off the tap it was a hazy golden color with a small, vanishing head. Subtle aromas of wheat and malt, but nothing overt.

This beer has a nice body to it, moreso than the typical pilsener. In fact, it was almost reminiscent of a hefe in that it had a sort of grainy feel to it, although much more understated. I found this beer to have a pleasant, light malt taste that finished with a clear tinge of honey flavor.

Nothing sharp, nothing fancy, and utterly quaffable. (517 characters)

Photo of HUXC
3.94/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving Type- Served from a chilled 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance- Yellow straw color with golden and light amber undertones. about a fingers worth of white head that laces nicely around the brim of the glass.

Smell- Slight sweat malted aroma with summer spices and herbs. Notes of citrus fruits and summer grains.

Taste- Slight sweat malted taste with hints of summer grains and spices. Excellent balance with bittering and flavoring hops with citrus notes.

Mouthfeel- Light bodied pilsner style lager with a nice crisp and smooth finish. Mild carbonation with a perfect balance of bitterness and sweat/sour summer spices.

Overall- A nice refreshing lager, excellent beer after a hard days work in the summer heat. Would recommend and and purchase this beer time and again. (792 characters)

Photo of tbone53
3.2/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

dont try and twist the cap off of this one.need a bottle opener that is a plus for the home born on date but it does say 2007 on the bottle.
a:head quickly diappears but what is left laces nicely down the bottle.
t:a little stronger than the trditional macro brew similar but stronger.
m:feels good on the palate.
d:this is a beer that could get me into trouble.easy smooth drinking.this is one you could probaly get those brand loyal guys to drink.
ill buy this one again.good sound choice. (506 characters)

Photo of aaronxsubaru
3.72/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

i wanted to give this a better score but i remebered it tasting better the first time i had it. still overall my favoraite summer beer so far i think.

looks light, lighter than it tastes which is good. i like how the sweet notes help balance the hops in this. its also nice that it doesn't hit you all at once giving it more complexity. as a summer beer should be this is crisp and drinkable but without being boring. (418 characters)

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

The Sierra Nevada Brewing Company is famous for one of my favorite beers of all time, their Pale Ale. Many people only know them for the Pale Ale, but they have a lot more. Sierra Nevada makes Ales, Lagers, Seasonals, a Stout and Limited Editions. You can check out their site here. The company is not in the Sierra Nevada mountains like the name implies, it is in a town north of Sacramento, California called Chico. The company's founder was an avid backpacker, and he named the company after his favorite place to hike.

Seasonal beers can be hit or miss, although a seasonal from Sierra Nevada comes with higher expectations from the drinker. Summertime brings us the Summerfest "crisp summer lager."

The beer pours a fluffy, pillowy head that clings traces to the sides of the glass. The color is more pale yellow than golden, and a steady stream of bubbles rises from the bottom center of the glass. The aroma is of malt and a slight trace of citrus. When you first taste the brew, you get the malt taste. This is quickly followed by the hit of citrus, and then finishes with a nice hoppy bite.

The beer is "crisp" as described, and it has just enough citrus to make it interesting. This beer does not make the common seasonal mistake of overpowering the drinker with gimmicky flavors. Overall it is a light and refreshing brew, that has good carbonation and is extremely smooth and drinkable. This is a great summer beer that you can drink during your BBQ or on your pool deck and not get sick of it. In a marketplace full of crappy breweries looking to make a buck during the summer, Sierra Nevada comes through with an offering that is different, refreshing and never lets you forget that you are drinking a "beer." (1,726 characters)

Photo of BrandonLBC
4.09/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A--Very light yellow, completely clear. Has a light head that dissolves quickly. Minimal lacing.

S--Malt first, followed by just a hint of floral/and or pine hops. The hop smell is there, but very light.

T--Very crisp. with the malt up first and then just about the right amount of hop goodness, certainly about right for a lager

M--Light to medium carbonation feels great on the mouth and makes it extremely drinkable. Quite refreshing as well. I'd love to have a few of these at a barbecue on a summer afternoon.

O--Another great beer from Sierra Nevada, and I'm so glad we can get it here in Utah. It's pretty much exactly what I expect from a good craft lager/Pils. That full flavor gives it a good bounce over other more generic lagers. Looking forward to having quite a few of these this summer.

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Packaged 4/10/14. 5.0% ABV (879 characters)

Photo of kculrich
3.11/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Hard pour into a cold pilsener. Clear yellow, maybe a little darker than I expect a pils to be, no head to speak of. No particular smell, really, something sharp, maybe a little hops? Tastes clean and dry but nothing stands out. Over-carbonated to my taste, distractingly so. I don't know, I drank this all last summer and enjoyed the heck out of it but it's not doing anything for me now. I can see myself knocking back a few on a hot afternoon after mowing the lawn, otherwise, meh. (484 characters)

Photo of tigerdoc
3.51/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear straw yellow with a thick creamy head the dissapates moderately quickly. Nice crisp aroma of light malt and noble hops, however the aroma isn't as powerful as some of the better pilsners. Taste is similarly malty with a nice hop bite on the end that lingers on the palate. The mouthfell is nice and light with moderate carbonatoin that support the crisp bitterness from the hops. Truly a great summer beer, very refreshing, very drinkable. This beer doesn't inspire deep thought by any means which is why I think the overal score is a little low, but I think it accomplishes what is sets out to do in creating a great refreshing beer for those hot summer days. (674 characters)

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

A - pale golden amber with a short off-white head

S - heavy grain and yeast presence with notes of citrus

T - similar to the nose; prominent grain presence with notes of lemon

M - a crisp and refreshing mouthfeel due to the fairly heavy carbonation

D - not the best beer SN makes, but a flavorful lager, with a refreshing crispness to it; perfect for summer cookouts and for dispensing to unsuspecting macro drinkers (420 characters)

Photo of Tawnos
3.99/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

To be fair, as an intro, I'm normally not a big lager/pilsener drinker.

A: Pours a very nice gold color, lots of bubbles, looks darker than most pilseners, which gives me hope I might enjoy it :)

S: Bready with hop crispness. No skunkiness, somewhat citrusy.

T: Like the smell, a citrusy/grassy taste is there, not a very heavy beer, very small and light in comparison to everything else they make. Not unpleasant as a thirst quencher.

M: Very fizzy, dry finish.

D: I'll get this again if my friends want something light. It's appealing to me in a way that most pilseners aren't. (595 characters)

Photo of Caesar1pup
3.4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Golden in color with a small head.
Aroma: A slight smell of hops and malt. Nothing great but nothing unappealing either.
Taste: Clean, crisp and very dry. Very thirst quenching for a hot summer day. This has a hint of something unpleasant to it, nothing overpowering but at the same time, nothing that makes you want more.

Overall: A fairly bland offering from a brewer I expect more from. Worth a try but I personally will not be back. (453 characters)

Photo of mhaugan
3.63/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Server up a deep gold in color with a nice head. Has a touch of hop aroma, slightly herbal or grassy. The taste was better than most for the style. Reminded me much more of an ale than an Pilsner. The hop profile was citricy and slightly spicy. A great gateway beer, refreshing and would have worked in a session. (313 characters)

Photo of scorched
4.65/5  rDev +26.4%
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 (263 characters)

Photo of squirrelpirate
3.69/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager poured a clear straw with a thick white head that quickly dissipated to a thin bubbly lace on the surface. I detected only faint grassy notes with a little malt sweetness.

This is a very crisp, refreshing beer with moderate carbonation. The taste is a smooth malty sweetness with mild hop presence lingering in the aftertaste. It has a light body and is very easy to drink, with a moderate mouthfeel that is a bit surprising.

Like a lot of the other reviews, I don't find this to be a good Czech Pils, but it is a very refreshing summer beer that I could easily drink for an afternoon. A good overall beer. (643 characters)

Photo of chicagobill13
2.51/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I love Sierra nevada Beers but this one kind of disappoint me. A nice crisp clear lager. Nice session beer. Barely any head. Perfect on a hot summer day. I believe this beer would grow on me but I remember having this beer last year and loving it. I am thinking they change it every year. Is this true? (302 characters)

Photo of cjl1209
3.18/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

"Crisp Summer Beer"

A - Pours a light gold with a small white head. Looks to be well carbonated judging by the bubbles running up my glass.

S - A little bit of grain and a little bit of hops. Not much going on here at all.

T - It's a little light in the flavor department as well. Citrusy hops and yeast accompanied by a pinch of lemon. Hoppy but not overtly bitter. Nice bite on the finish.

M - Medium-light and very crisp. Has the perfect body for a summer beer.

D - Through the roof; a perfect session brew.

Final Thoughts: Not a bad beer, it's just far too weak on the smell and the taste. Simply put, there's just not enough going on. (645 characters)

Photo of wmthorne
3.6/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap at the flying saucer in Cordova. Served a little warmer than I would prefer. That isn't the beers fault

Yellowish orange in color and almost no head. Smells a little hoppy but I can't distinguish a distinct aroma. I was expecting a little more.

Lots of carbonation in the mouthfeel. Hoppy but not overpowering. Almost no lacing below the original pour.

I'll give it another shot cold from a bottle. I have no problem with this beer. (451 characters)

Photo of kush6875
3.93/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2007 vintage served from 12 oz bottle poured in to pilsner glass

golden, pale yellow color with a white foamy head that quickly dissipates

smells like a good hoppy pilsner with a litte hint of lemon

taste is very crisp and refreshing, great on a hot summer day or night

mouthfeel is nice a light and thirst quenching

this brew is highly drinkable and would be great to session!


note: this would be a great gateway beer for a macro-drinker (467 characters)

Photo of Twerknasty
3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours morning after color, foamy egg white head with decent bubbles. Smells very fresh, lively, and malt dominated. On the very background, a subtlety of hops arise. To start off, a very RS dominated palate, that subsides everything. Only a slight bit of grass taste, followed completely by sweet malts pertaining to cheerio/honey flavors. Refreshing, and a good pool-side brew is the best way to look at it. (408 characters)

Photo of MirImage
3.86/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bottle Poured into a pint glass.

A: A crystal clear light golden color with a white head. The head dissapated too quickly for my liking but there was decent lacing.

S: Not much nose on this one. Smells a little like hay/staw.

T: A nice light pilsner. very good quencher with a little kick.

M: Light and crisp, not overly carbonated like some mainstream pilsners.

O: This could be a go to beer during a hot summer day at the beach or cookout. I wouldn't really go for it otherwise. (485 characters)

Photo of dataskatt
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light golden color. Nice head that dissipates quickly. Nice lacing. Smell is underpowering...clean, grassy, some hay. Taste is clean, with hops & floral notes...a little pine. Overall, a nice refreshing beer. It is very similar to their pale ale, only lighter and not as intense of a smell or taste. Perfect for hot weather when you want less intensity. Enjoyable. Would buy again. (389 characters)

Photo of honkey
3.63/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Great head retention, good lacing. The color is a little darker than what I would expect from Czech or German brewers unless they are doing decoctions. I would describe the color as more yellow gold than the extreme light colored straw that modern brewers pride themselves on.

Aroma: Spicy hop aroma and slight lemon as expected, but a touch of honey aroma is there as well. It makes me think they used melanoiden malt to attempt to emulate a decoction mash. I suppose that would also explain the slightly dark color.

Taste: Nice spicy hops, slight citrus, biscuit, and honey. I would prefer that the honey flavor not be there and that the hop flavor would be a bit stronger. Nice crisp finish, but it does taste like it could have used more lagering time.

Feel: Mouthfeel is crisp, but a touch oily. Medium carbonation level could potentially be a bit higher to balance out the oily mouthfeel, or I'd prefer that it be a drier beer.

Overall: A better example than most American breweries make as far as pilsners go. I would like to have a drier example with less honey sweetness. I wouldn't hesitate to buy again, but I know now that it is not going to satisfy my thirst for a good dry, hoppy pils. (1,215 characters)

Photo of FrankenBeerStein
3.23/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours out a straw yellow color. It has a definite grain smell to it, as well as a definite note of the hops. Has the familiar pilsner sting to the taste, and this does stay with you like it does most pilsners. For a cross between a pilsner and a lager, it isn't bad though I think I would go with one or the other. Still, for what it is, it's not bad, and something I would drink again. (386 characters)

Photo of HuskerTornado
3.57/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. bottle poured into sensory glass. Pours a clear, bright golden color with a medium sized head that has fair retention for the style and some lacing.

Smell is of hops, some lemon grass, some hay.

Taste of sharp hops up front with some dry biscuits, and a bit of tart lemon. Mouthfeel is lively, highly carbonated with a dry, hoppy, peppery finish.

Overall, a very good summertime beer, crisp and refreshing. (417 characters)

Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 1,510 ratings.