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

1,511 Reviews
THE BROS
89
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,511
Hads: 3,884
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 12.23%
Wants: 94
Gots: 435 | 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: 1,511 | Hads: 3,884
Photo of Billolick
3.97/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ouncer, twist top, no freshness/dating info given. Pours light golden and clear, near white head and just a tad o' fine lacing left behind. Spicy nose of lemony, grassy hops. Crisp, flavorful lager, subtle notes of light lemon/lime/gin. Grassy and floral hops. Fine warm weather brew. Underated member of the SN line up (322 characters)

Photo of BlackHaddock
3.47/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brown 350ml bottle poured into a 0.2 litre Veltins Pilsner stemmed tulip glass (twice).

Lager looking beer (what a shock!), white head sat on top of a clear golden, bright body. The large head fell away to a thin covering very quickly.

The aroma came from the sour end of citrus fruits (lemon, limes and grapefruits) along with a hint of yeast.

The taste has a grapefruit tang to it. The other citrus fruits from the aroma didn't re-appear in the taste.

Refreshing and fizzy, this is a summer beer for sure and pleasant one at that.

Zesty lager that has a lot more going for it than a lot I've reviewed, not bad at all. (624 characters)

Photo of billab914
3.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Southern Tier glass. Poured a clear and pale yellow/gold color. It had a bubbly and active head to start with, and it lasted pretty well into drinking it.

The aroma shows off an earthy, grassy and almost peppery hoppiness to it. Some citrus and sweet, grainy, malty flavors come through and really balance the aroma out.

The taste is very well balanced with the earthy and grassy hops, the sweet grainy malt, and the lemony citrus flavors. Very clean and crisp overall.

The mouthfeel is on the lighter side with carbonation being high. Drinkability is pretty decent, it has a very nice balance of flavors working in it's favor. Pretty good version of the style and a easy drinking beer overall. (733 characters)

Photo of yourefragile
3.23/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz 2007 bottle poured into a pilsner glass.

A: Golden straw color with light carbonation. Nice clarity. Slowly dissipating one finger head that leaves thin film over surface
S: Malty, grassy smell. Nothing spectacular, but appealing
T: Crisp, refreshing flavor to start, with a hoppy bitter finish. Some hints of lemon.
M/D: Medium bodied, mild carbonation finishes very dry with bitter aftertaste. Nothing too spectacular, nothing bad. Nice summer beer but coming from SN slightly disappointing compared to some of their other seasonals. (542 characters)

Photo of smakawhat
3.58/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured on tap at Meridian Pint DC into a shaker pint.

Simple classic gold, with a big white head that never lets up. Foamy with uniform pin head sized bubbles throughout. Body has some slow rising carbonation.

Mild malt on the nose, even some very very small hint of lemon, but also a fizzy gas and slight sour.

Taste however is fairly alright. A little dense it seems with a decent malt body, but a faint light bread and great good feel, but missing a little snap and crispness I associate with this style.

Not too bad, but not too gravitated towards it much either. It would do in a pinch on a hot day for sure. (617 characters)

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

From the bottle into a stange, it's frothy white head floats on top the clear straw colored body. Aroma is grassy. In taste, it's more of a helles lager than a pilsner to me, as there isn't much hop profile, which is surprising given this is a Sierra Nevada brew. Somewhat like drinking saltine crackers with grassy notes to it. It's still a pretty good hot weather beer. (371 characters)

Photo of tempest
4.05/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Oh man, I remembered this just being a light lager, but I've since gotten into pilsners and this one impresses me. The aroma got me first, it's pretty spot-on with the imported pilsner's like Jever or Budvar - slightly sour with a bland grain element. The flavor is surprisingly strong with a burst of citris and grassy hop flavors. It tastes like American hops might be in there. There's a nice white head and lacing to complete the appearance, and like all good pilsners, its quite drinkable. (494 characters)

Photo of corby112
3.12/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From notes:

On draft at The Bishop's Collar. Pours a pale golden yellow that is completely clear with a thin white head that quickly settles into a thin lasting ring. No lacing at all and not very impressive looking at all.

Bland aroma with very faint earthy hops along with a pale malt presence. Hints of yeast, bread, pilsner malt, grass, stra and faint light fruit.

Fuller bodied than expected with a nice crisp hop bite up front that lingers throughout over the sweet malt body into a slightly dry, refreshing finish. Dry bitter hops up front countered by sweet pale malts and crisp light fruit notes, especially apple and pear. Slight bready yeast with faint grassy straw notes. Very quaffable especially in hot summer weather. (735 characters)

Photo of johnnnniee
3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Bottle from Market Basket
Pours a medium straw color wit a decent sized white head that dissipates to wisps of foam on the top. spicy floral hop aroma with a light biscuity malt base. the flavor is crisp crackery bready malts with plenty of spicy hops to counter. Medium body with a moderate to high level of carbonation. Nice hoppy light pilsener beer I quite enjoyed this one. (378 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 barleywinefiend
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a light gold with good head retention.

S: Nose biscuity, cracker like with a nice floral hop presence

T: A nice refreshing biscuit, grain and floral hop mixture. This beer is clean, crisp

M: Light bodied, drisp, refreshing with a nice subtle bitterness

O: Overall a good brew. (291 characters)

Photo of wl0307
3.62/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

BB date 04/10/09, served lightly chilled in a pilsner glass.

A: dark golden hue, an off-white creamy head with good retention, on top of lively carbonation full of microscopic fizz.
S: deeply flowery aromatic hops hand in hand with semi-candyish+honeyish+lightly grainy malts (reminiscent of some pale Scottish ale I've tried), intense aroma of fruitiness like peach and sweet lemon-grass sustains solid in the background.
T: a mouthful of spritzy, lightly toasted grainy flavour descends on the palate, along with an intensifying flow of sweet fruity and mildly honeyish flavour; gradually giving way to an herbal-hoppy and quietly bitter aftertaste that is bittersweet, zesty and dryish in the finish, where the lager's crisp sourness keeps a restrained presence.
M&D: lively but still smooth on the mouthfeel, with a medium-plus hoppiness in support of the overall malty flavour upfront, although in the end a slightly sticky mouthfeel gradually prevails. This is a decent lager overall. (992 characters)

Photo of John_M
2.44/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I am a huge fan of Sierra Nevada beers, and would certainly place them in the top 10 of my favorite breweries in the US. So I have to say I was a bit surprised by this lackluster effort. Granted, I know it's made to be a light summer thirst quencher, but this is going too far (IMO).

The beer pours a nice yellow gold orange color, but with almost no head and little or no lacing. What little head was evident disappeared completely after a few minutes. I could smell almost nothing, despite my best efforts. Perhaps there is a slight aroma of sweet malt, but not much else. On the palate this is one watery beer. There is a hint of sweet malt, with some bracing dryness from the hops. This beer is not very crisp or refreshing, but on the other hand is certainly very light and drinkable. There is almost no finish, and mid way through my 10 oz. glass I just gave up. If I'm going to drink something with this kind of calorie intake I want it to be something with a bit more flavor.

Very disappointing effort from SN. Calling this a summer beer is no excuse for making something this flavorless. (1,102 characters)

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

2011 Summerfest. Poured from a bottle into a pilsner glass, the beer is an insanely light, pale, bright yellow coloring that is slightly hazed, and the beer doesn't have a lick of head whatsoever. The nose is toasty, with some citrus and honey highlights. The beer's flavors are toasty, with lemon zest highlights and a very light spicing of clove. Decent flavors riding a light, crisp body. The aftertaste is more of the citrus and spice, with an effervescent feel to it. The beer has a clean, crisp finish. Great, light beer for hot days, with decent flavors compared to most of the style. (591 characters)

Photo of biegaman
4.05/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

It just seems that, for whatever reason, yellow is the colour best suited to hot summer days. With regards to this beer, it's likely because it mirrors so prettily the sun's brilliant luminosity. Indeed, peering at it now, sitting directly in the sun's path, it glistens with golden splendor (enough, in fact, to gain the affection of the bees). Its head is no site to behold although its bubbles put on quite the show.

Lagers are infinitely better with proper hopping. The grainy, toasty, sweet-smelling scent of pale malts has its charms, but it's made much more splendid when it has the accompaniment of grassy, zesty, lemony Saaz hops. Continental hops may not be as brassy as American varieties, but they're every bit as appealing and aromatic.

The beer has a fairly rich maltiness but it isn't all that complex; its plain breadiness makes a perfect canvas for the lemony, spicy, ultra-floral bitterness of the hops. Without the hops - and without this many of them - the beer might be a little humdrum and quickly tiresome. With all those spicy, lemony, grassy, floral components at its side, however, it's delicious.

The beer is appreciably clean and its bitterness is prominent but far, far from crude and does not linger. The aftertaste actually contains a good dose of both grainy sweetness and spicy, floral bitterness although neither lasts long and the interval between sips can be as little as seconds long (and the sips themselves quickly become more like giant gulps).

Hoppy, zestful, refreshing, quaffable pilsners like this seem to me as essential to hot summer days as sun screen, sandals and a pool or lake. Ignore food pairings (although just about anything done on a BBQ seems a safe bet) and just pair this with friends and a beach. This beer is as agreeable as the summer season itself and, like it, I find myself sorrowfully missing it the other months of the year. (1,898 characters)

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer pours a golden bright yellow crystal clear body with strong carbonation and a soapy white head.

S-The aroma of pilsner malt and German hops are strong in the nose. Very crisp clean smell.

T- This beer has a good smooth hop flavor up front with a sharp malt finish. The hop bitterness does linger in the dry crisp finish. There is a bit of American citrus hops also at the finish that gives it more depth and character than typical to euro pale lagers. It has a bit of and acidic finish perhaps from the carbonation.

M-The mouthfeel is medium-full with some slipperiness and a bit of fizz from the bubbles.

D- This is a beer with a lot of character for this style. Nice complexity yet very good for quafting in the heat of the summer. The carbonation is strong but it doesn't really work with the slippery mouthfeel. (882 characters)

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

Good carbonation and head. Citrusy overtone, clearly a light body, crisp, clean summer lager. Some hops on the finish but they don't rip your face off. (153 characters)

Photo of plaid75
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at Canterbury Ales, Huntington, New York.

Poured a medium to dark straw hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a sift malt and spicy noble hop.

The taste was very well balanced with a musty hop and super biscuity malt.

The mouthfeel was toward the softer side of the style.

Overall a tasty and refreshing pilsner. (387 characters)

Photo of Wasatch
3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

05 edition Pours a clear yellow color, some carbonation, small head, nice lacing afterwards. Scents of malt, lemon grassy, and kinda sweet. Very nice taste of .light malty and sweet. Light body. Very drinkable lager from SN. Another very nice brew from SN. (256 characters)

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.13/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz picked up a couple days ago for about $1.30.. Label is different this year... Blue border and the "Bottom Fermented" is gone.. instead, "Lager" is printed beneath the Summerfest banner. Poured into my shaped Sam Adams glass.

Rocky head that I was able to get to tower one inch above the lip of the glass without ever spilling a drop. Head drops leaving only spotty lacing. brew is crystal clear straw gold.

Aroma is pale malts with more than enough spicy hops.. smells very clean.

Flavor is very clean.. grainy maltiness.. nice hop bitterness backbone.. midpalate mildly doughy grains with spicy/slightly floral hop flavors.. Again.. very clean.. body is perfect for the style.. Finish lingers for a while.. playing pingpong back and forth between the hops and malts.

I could drink buckets of these.. the problem is, I never gave it too much play until this year. I've had my fair share of Summerfest over the years and never put too much thought into it... this year, with the label change, I did a little research and decided to give it a proper go around. Really, it is a damn good pilsner .. I now am very interested in picking up the other locally available Czech Pils and trying in a row... I would bet this plays ball well with its European brothers. (1,266 characters)

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

2011 release. Poured into 10oz glass. Poured a clean, bright golden yellow color with over an inch of fluffy, bright, white head that had good retention and very attractive, light lacing.

The aroma was fairly crisp and clean with a touch of sweetness. There was a nice grain scent and some gentle hops in the background. The same was true in the flavor department, solid grains and nice hops, the beer was, however, sweeter than I like in this style.

The body was a bit fuller than typical for the style. Drinkability was pretty good, the beer went down smooth and easy. Overall, this was a pretty good brew, although I would tend to grab a local version if I was in the mood for this style. A decent brew that's worth grabbing a sixer when you're in the mood. (762 characters)

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

A decent pils for a summer afternoon. Pours clear and very light pale yellow with a fluffy white head. Good retention and lacing. Grainy aroma, some grassy, vaguely floral hops, a bit bready but not all that complex.

Taste follows the nose; it’s simple and seems almost underhopped for the style; a bit bland; some grassiness but feels like it needs a sharper hop definition and bite. Light breadiness; some floral and citrus, again plainer and less interesting than I’d like. Body was light and carbonation medium; I feel like this might be one of those beers I’d like more from a bottle than on-tap, as it felt smoother and less bubbly than I’d like for the style, taking away from the crispness and refreshing aspect of the beer.

Edit: returned to this beer a few times in bottles and found the feel and carbonation to be just fine but just a little sweeter and breadier than I would have wanted - would have enjoyed it a little drier. Still not as lean and nimble as I'd want on the hottest of days. (1,014 characters)

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

A: Poured a very clear, maize yellow with a ½ finger soft, creamy off white head that lasted a few minutes after the pour. Visible carbonation was light-medium.

S: lemons, grains that were fairly light but provided a clean aroma.

T: The flavor was nice opening with a fresh grain sweetness with lemon hints and a soft herbal hopping. Nice lemony tang, a light grassiness with a very crisp finish. Overall a nice crisp summertime drink that is sure to please and keep you coming back.

M: light, oily, and softly carbonated providing for a nice feel in the mouthful and as good as any per style.

D: A nice summertime quencher really, crisp and clean and will keep you coming back for more. Enjoyable in multiples. (720 characters)

Photo of Tone
3.81/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear, pale gold color. 3/4 inch head of a white color. Great retention and decent lacing. Smells of pale malt, sweet malt, hops, hint of citrus, and a hint of wheat. Fits the style of a Czech Pilsner. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp with an average carbonation level. Tastes of strong pale malt, slight citrus, hint of hops, slight sweet malt, and a hint of wheat. Overall, decent aroma, good blend, and good body. (422 characters)

Photo of Derek
2.64/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Clear, golden yellow, fluffy white head, some retention & lace.

S: Acidic, soapy/floral hops.

T: Slightly sweet, slight soapy/floral hop flavour. Needs some more bready maltyness and bitterness. It's just too light for a Pils.

M: Light to moderate body, moderate carbonation.

D: Approachable & quite quaffable, but it doesn't bring me back for more. (364 characters)

Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 1,511 ratings.