1. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Sierra Nevada Summerfest LagerSierra Nevada Summerfest Lager

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,874 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2874
Reviews: 1409
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 13.11%

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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,874 | Reviews: 1,409 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of audiodav


4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured in an average-joe glass

A - Poured clear and golden. Nice thick white head that dissipated pretty quickly.

S - Very crisp aroma. Definite bready/grainy on top. Lemon/Citrus in there as well.

T - Very well balanced with the hops, grains, and malts. A bit of hoppy bitterness in there which is very much to my liking. It's somewhat dry, and very refreshing.

M - Very good carbonation, dry and refreshing.

O - I've been drinking too many IPA's, DIPA's, and Barley Wines, so it took this review to remind me that I do actually enjoy Lagers. Sierra Nevada always seems a little 'hoppier' than most in all their offerings...it's what I love about them. This Lager is very refreshing, and has a nice, well balanced taste. A great choice after mowing my yard.

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2011 13:47:14 | More by audiodav
Photo of DuncanIdaho86

New Jersey

3.08/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

After seeing this fly off my shelves at work I finally decided to take a step back from "researching" more esoteric beers and try one. Overall I was happy I did.

Right after the first hiss of popping the cap I poured it into an tall old fashioned pilsner glass. The silly tall one.

The Summerfest fell nice into my glass, complete with modest foamy head resting on an almost transparent golden yellow body. Anyone would be a happy camper seeing this on a summer day.

The aroma was muted - kind of smelled like a rolling rock or a pilsner.

The taste was something I admired. A surprising bitter bite rarely attributed to summer lagers. The aftertaste lingered but was enjoyable.
Enjoyable enough to crack open a second.

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2011 03:30:31 | More by DuncanIdaho86
Photo of Vigilante


3.3/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a Czech Pilsner glass.

A: Light yellow color with one finger of head that fades quickly leaving light lacing. A ton of carbonation.

S: Pale malt, pepper, and hops.

T: Pale malt, hops, grapefruit with a citrus aftertaste. Taste of grapefruit lingers afterwards.

M: Light body mouthfeel which transforms with the bite of the hops. Semi-dry finish.

O: Mouthfeel is a little weak when the drinker is confronted with the fairly bitter hop character. The beer doesn't seem to have the malt backbone to stand complement the bite of the hops. There are certainly better Czech style pilsners out there. I am slightly disappointed by this one as I am usually very impressed by Sierra Nevada's brews.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2012 08:27:11 | More by Vigilante
Photo of jrnold

New York

3.38/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Light yellow in hue -- much lighter than I expected. Persistent white head that leaves a light lace on the glass. Lots of tiny bubbles that persist the whole period I drank it.
S: Not much of a nose, but I detected some grassy hops .
T: Some light bitterness from the hops up front, with a dry finish.
M: Crisp, light, lots of carbonation.
D: Refreshing, a very sessionable summer beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2009 22:15:25 | More by jrnold
Photo of gravytrain


4.28/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured a see through golden color with nice head that disappears quickly.
Smells exactly like a lager should. Just beer.
Taste is spot on. Crisp with a nice flavor that is easy to drink.
Mouthfeel is crisp, with a nice lingering flavor.
Drinks very easily. I might just drink the whole six tonight.

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2009 01:56:21 | More by gravytrain
Photo of Hoptopher


3.7/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a plastic draft beer cup.

Appears a hazy golden straw color. A thin cream white head that retains well.

Has a decent malty lager smell. A little grassy or floral as well, but not to much going on.

Taste has a nice subtle sweetness from the malts followed by a floral hop taste that is not strong but enough ther to give this beer a good finsh.

The mouthfeel is spot on. Not to thin, well carbonated, and sits on the tounge just long enough to enjoy the hops used.

Overall i would have to say this is one of the better Pilsners I have had in a while, but that is coming from a small number.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2013 19:09:02 | More by Hoptopher
Photo of afatty

North Carolina

3.25/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours light amber with compact white head that leaves nice lace in a clean glass. Faint hop aroma and smooth mouthfeel. Very light hop flavor and little bitterness from Saaz and Perle hops. Sweet malt flavor is balanced to the hops. Quite good for a pilsner style light lager. Not a favorite style for me and I would stick to the ORIGINAL pilsner if I were going to drink more. It does a good job of quenching thirst which is important in a summer beer. It will not take the Pale Ale's place in my summer line-up.

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2004 05:28:38 | More by afatty
Photo of yzer


4.9/5  rDev +33.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager 2008.

Bottling date (on shoulder of bottle) was 08074, or March 14, 2008. My Summerfest was purchased today and was 18 days old.

First of all, this is a Czech Pilsener. I don't find much reason to subject a beer like this to extended bottle conditioning. Enjoy it young while the flavors are bright. With the new SN caps it should keep fine for six months under refrigeration. We're not talking IPAs or barleywines here.

I went into the store today to buy another 6-pack Bigfoot barleywine. It was sold out and replaced by another SN seasonal: Summerfest.

Luckily, I still have some Bigfoot and Celebration laid up on the boat.

After all of the IPAs this winter it was good to run into this old friend. I enjoyed Summerfest 2007 through July of last year before it sold out. In fact, I was drinking more Summerfest than SN Pale Ale last summer.

The 2008 Summerfest has a generous white and thick head, as much as you could want from a lager. There is a torrent of carbonation that swirls up from the bottom of the glass stein and stays active. Nice deep golden color with a little long-lasting lacing: very good for a Pilsener.

Fruity hops from the first sniff, sharp toasty hops with a lot of complexity. It's amazing how anyone can produce such a light Pilsener with that much carbonation and body.

A tangy malt and lingering hops make for a dry and very drinkable lager. I'll be focusing on Sierra Nevada Summerfest and Pale Ale as the California heat settles in.


It's the following day, another bottle of Summerfest and a few more comments are in order.

I just love this Pilsener. The abundant and complex hops of this brew are a delight. I get that warm hops woodiness on the exhale and remember the firt times I enjoyed a very good Czech Pilsener. Crystal clear, golden, lively with a body that reminds you it's a real beer and not a macro.

As much as I would like to see a number of SN seasonals made available year long, this would be my choice. Summerfest has the potential to be enjoyed by a broader spectrum of beer lovers than Celebration, Bigfoot or IPA: three of my bottled SN favorites. Summerfest just isn't around long enough.

Brew up Summerfest all year long. America needs a Czech Pilsener like this all of the time.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2008 00:45:12 | More by yzer


3.9/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Crisp, easy drinking beer. Good beer!
This beer is full of some clean flavors. With a nice after taste. Not a real powerful beer but still very tasty. I have to say its in my top three favorite Sierra Nevada beers. I Love the Torpedo and the Pale Ale is also delicious. Great for a grilling companion. Time to go throw a steak on the BBQ.

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2009 03:42:08 | More by HOPOLOGIST
Photo of davidaubrey


4.3/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a pint glass. I like a good pilsner and this one is. Hops are balanced well against a malty dry taste. The color is slightly deeper yellow other pilsners. This beer is very refreshing, though I have a difficult time justifying paying mirco-brew prices for a pilsner. Nevertheless, this one is just as good as any of the quality German imports, such as Spaten.

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2010 00:17:33 | More by davidaubrey
Photo of brandonlovesbeer

South Carolina

1.3/5  rDev -64.5%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

I got a growler of this yesterday. It was fresh and the keg was just hooked up to the tap. No more than 20 minutes old.

My first response after tasting this for the first time was that it was a Budweiser clone. So the next day, I did a side by side tasting of the Budweiser and Summerfest. The difference were so minimal that if someone were to switch these two, I would not be able to tell a difference. The only differences were in the appearance and slight bitterness. The head on Summerfest stuck around proving that it used malt instead of corn and rice. There was only a slight more bitterness. So slight that I am just digging for things to differentiate it. But the Aromas and Flavors were identical. There was absolutely NO hop character whatsoever. No Pine. No citrus. No, nothing that is described on their website.

This is what I would consider an epic fail on Sierra Nevada’s part. If they were looking for a way to make a more expensive version of Budweiser, then they have succeeded.

Serving type: growler

05-06-2012 00:14:49 | More by brandonlovesbeer
Photo of Validus


3.65/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into a pub glass. Light amber with a present but ordinary head.

The hops are the first thing to hit your tongue, and they hang around. This is great for a beer like this that is so light in your mouth, as it adds a complexity to this beer that (in my opinion) takes it from good to very good.

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2007 20:13:12 | More by Validus
Photo of BeerBishop


3.05/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Scored a case this summer for the first time. (Lots of tasting, little review follow through. 2009 resolution, folks.)

Hoppy nose right off the crack of the cap. From Sierra Nevada, who'd have thunk it?

Beyond that, the coloring seemed okay, a bit lighter than Yuengling, the quintessential lager for those born and bred in PA. But we consumed straight from the bottle on a golf course and didn't have the opportunity to pour one into a pint glass to surmise color, head, etc.

Taste was... grassy. Yeah, grassy. A bit of an odd sensation I must admit. Not overtly offensive, but unexpected for a cold-fermented lager.

No trouble polishing off the case, so I'd call it rather sessionable. Likely won't buy it again this summer. For a hot day spent on the golf course this year, I'll likely go with BitBurger for something crisp and altogether refreshing.


Serving type: bottle

01-13-2009 15:55:14 | More by BeerBishop
Photo of BogusOwnz


3.65/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Beer poured super clear golden yellow. The smell is of grain maybe a bit of lemon zest. The taste is very crisp and bit of lemon as I warms up. Mouthfeel is nicely carbed which is expected of the style. All and all a good solid beer I could enjoy on a day which is what SN was going for.

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2010 23:08:58 | More by BogusOwnz
Photo of djbst73

2.85/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Labeled 2012 bottle from wegman's six pack poured into pint glass.

A= Clear straw color consistent with style. Half inch of bright white head.

S- Aroma reminiscent of macro-brewed lager, which is to say not much. I associate the smell with adjunct corn, but I doubt that is the case here.

T- Crisp and clean taste with little hop profile. Refreshing and light with a bit of sweetness that lingers afterward.

M- Thin, but not as thin as others of this type.

O- Not offensive, but with significantly less character than other craft summer seasonals. After trying other "summer beers" this is not particularly compelling. Probably the first SN beer I haven't been impressed with.

Serving type: bottle

06-17-2012 23:16:40 | More by djbst73
Photo of cjnuxoll


3.55/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

here's a strong, flavorful lager that makes me forget how much i really don't like everyone else's favorite pale ale. summerfest reduces the bitterness of SNPA and adds the wheaty flavor that should be common to a lager. i know i'm comparing a pale ale to a lager, but i'm just qualifying my preferences so you know where i am coming from in my beer tastes in this review.

it's lightly carbonated and full bodied. the alcohol content is slightly higher than that of a normal lager, so you know from the stronger flavor you're getting a micro brew from a company that is quickly becoming one of the largest distributors in the country. it's not a sell-out beer - it still has the uniqueness that tells you it's a sierra nevada without overwhelming or offending. just a solid contribution to give you some additional options at the beer store.

[edit] had a few more since the review. It's growing on me. The Summerfest is pretty good; but I've found, that like a fine wine, you need to let it "breathe," so the yeast oxigenates and mixes. It's lightly carbonated, but as the yeast dissolves when opened, it maintains the bubblieness and stays sharp.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2013 01:19:09 | More by cjnuxoll
Photo of hojuwestlake


3.53/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The color is light golden with not to much head. Sweet fruity smell maybe a little honey.

Very crisp almost over carbonated but refreshing. Light malty taste a little sweet with a light hops finish.

A good beer for the summer, would be great after a long hot day working in the yard.

Serving type: bottle

09-01-2005 14:47:19 | More by hojuwestlake
Photo of rking

South Carolina

2.98/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Color was a nice gold, the smell was not very impressive and the taste was not what i was expecting from Sierra Nevada. When i took the first smell and taste of Summerfest it reminded me more of my freshmen year and going to busch light kegs, easy to drink but not an impressive tase. The after taste that is left is a bit bitter for the flavor that the beer does have. Like i said not really what i was expecting coming from Sierra Nevada which i tend to enjoy most of their other beers.

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2007 03:08:40 | More by rking
Photo of Chuggs

North Carolina

2.78/5  rDev -24%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Overall an average beer. Poured nicely with a light, thin frosting that disappered rather rapidly. Aroma nice, althhough. I was overwhelmed with a bit of wheat. Taste was average, for some reason I was expecting a blonde ale. Good beer to go along with a fried seafood dish. Not a sesion beer. Stick with the pale ale. I am still searching for that perfect summer ale.

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2009 00:50:29 | More by Chuggs
Photo of DoctorQ9


3.44/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

This canned pilsner "summer lager" is gracefully contained by its metal can. Running my tongue along the cold, multicolored label, I detect traces of aluminum. Popping the pull-back tab produces a brief, intense mist with the brief sound of an excited porpoise.

The actual beer was good.

Serving type: can

07-13-2013 01:54:15 | More by DoctorQ9
Photo of drea0695


3.43/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I picked this up in a "Make your own 6 Pack" deal.

Poured into a pint glass it had a hint of head and then it looked like carbonated apple juice, the color and everything.

The taste is a bit like a buttery cracker, kind of like RITZ or something. Definite carbonation keeps it light in your mouth. Aftertaste is something of a corn chip. In fact I bet corn chips would go well with this beer.

Its decent, nothing incredible to speak of, no hidden undertones or flashy flavors but thats ok sometimes. A good beer to hang out with. I could bring it to a barbeque and not be embarrassed.

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2006 23:46:55 | More by drea0695
Photo of The_Doubtful_Guest

New York

3.49/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pilsner glass

Appearance - Very clear, nice gold color. Pretty carbonation spiraling up into decent head (that can stick around for quite a while if you get a good pour).

Smell - Floral, slight spice. I swear I pick up a slight hint of tea as well.

Taste - Floral, hint of spice, bitter after-kick at the top of your mouth and sides of tongue.

Mouthfeel - Light bodied, moderate carbonation.

Overall - Little low in the taste area but a great, drinkable summer beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2013 17:30:21 | More by The_Doubtful_Guest
Photo of rattleweed


2.05/5  rDev -44%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

A - bright yellow with a nice big white head
S - faintly floral, pretty nice
T - not bad when it first hits the mouth but turns bad going down and stays bad. watery and sour.
M - not overly carbonated. no squeeze on the tastebuds.
D - not looking forward to the other 5 bottles.

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2010 00:11:37 | More by rattleweed
Photo of Polycarp


4.2/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Solid amber color. Thick, two finger head. Beautiful lacing down the sides.

S- Simple floral notes in the smell. Nothing special.

T- Really clean, surprisingly complex. Smooth yet full. Great hops flavor you expect from Sierra Nevada, but with the smoothness of a lager.

M- Very full. Has a carbonated pop to it. Really fills you up (in a good way)

Overall- Give me another.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2011 23:19:47 | More by Polycarp
Photo of BrianOfMayberry


3.65/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

nice hop characteristic for a lager... head dissappears pretty quickly when poured from the bottle, but that can be forgiven. some "herbal" / grassy notes in the flavor profile. Drinkable and just the right level of alcohol. Actually it's a good Spring beer if you live in California. But it should hit the spot when the weather gets hotter, too.

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2003 20:31:10 | More by BrianOfMayberry
Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 2,874 ratings.