1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. 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.

2,877 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2877
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: 2,877 | Reviews: 1,409 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of plaid75

New York

4/5  rDev +9.3%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

07-19-2009 22:19:04 | More by plaid75
Photo of Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

3.75/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle picked up at Premier Gourmet in Buffalo.

Pours a clear golden, medium white head forms, quickly settles down to a thin ring, not really any lacing. Smell is sweet and grassy, some honey, biscuit, lemon, very clean herbal/floral aroma. Taste is lightly bready/biscuits, citrus, some grassy hops, quite a dry grainy finish, balanced, not a whole lot of flavour but solidly drinkable. Mouthfeel is light bodied with medium carbonation, very refreshing. I could keep this around for the summer indeed.

Serving type: bottle

06-04-2008 01:44:38 | More by Viggo
Photo of Beerandraiderfan


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

A decent little yellow pour with big carbonation and little foam. Aroma is uplifting, that good light zip.

Taste, lemon, astringent suprisingly. Light bodied, hops stick out more, more of the Euro style hops, not traditional SN type. Resonates moreso downbottle, a good hot weather beer at a legit price.

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2010 16:12:44 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of Bighuge


4.5/5  rDev +23%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This crystal clear light golden beer throws out a perfect 2 finger foamy head. It clings nicely to the glass as I drink. Beautifully subdued spicy noble hop aroma layered within a nice little pils maltiness. The taste of this beer is great. A nice malt backbone provides the foundation. Spicy little hop accents make their presence beautifully throughout the experience. A perfect blend of malt and hops for this summer brew. Highly drinkable. Very good beer.

Disregarding weizen style beers,because there are a lot of great summer weizen beers, this is one of the 2 elite summer brews that I have tried. (The other is Goose Island Summertime Kolsch.)

Serving type: bottle

06-19-2002 18:45:47 | More by Bighuge
Photo of beerthulhu

New Jersey

3.83/5  rDev +4.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2008 22:58:33 | More by beerthulhu
Photo of DrJay


3.9/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010. Crystal clear and bright gold with a thin white cap of fine bubbles. The modest collar produced some sticky, spotty lace and even though it didn't start with much foam, what was there lasted for a long time. The aroma was full of spicy and lemony hops, mild malt, and some corn sweetness. Moderate bitterness and fruity sweetness up front. It finished with a combination of spicy hops, sweet malt, and crisp carbonation. Light bodied without feeling thin, dry without being harsh. Quite refreshing and easy drinking, very enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

06-27-2010 21:37:46 | More by DrJay
Photo of glid02


3.98/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a six-pack at Green's on Buford in Atlanta.

Pours a perfectly clear straw color with a one-finger white head. The head recedes fairly quickly into a wispy layer on top leaving light lacing.

Smells of sweet malts with a good deal of grassiness. As the beer warms light floral hop aromas waft out.

Tastes good. Sweet malt flavors up front are joined by grassy flavors that toe the line of being overly flavorful. Light floral hop flavors join in midway through the sip before a clean and mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It has a solid thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I didn't have a problem finishing the bottle and killing the six-pack won't be a problem.

Overall this is a solid selection for hot weather - it's got enough flavor to enjoy while not going overboard. Worth a shot.

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2009 00:59:35 | More by glid02
Photo of Gusler


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

The beer pours a crystal clear bright gold color, the head pertinent in size, frothy texture that leaves lots of lace to coat the glass. Fruit sweet aromas, over lying the malt, citrus crisp and fresh, quite sniffable with sweet malt front. Top is middling in mouth feel, the finish bitingly acidic, meaningful hop spicy bite, the aftertaste dry.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2002 07:18:53 | More by Gusler
Photo of Slatetank


4.25/5  rDev +16.1%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

07-20-2011 11:42:29 | More by Slatetank
Photo of Brad007


3.83/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear yellow color with a nice head at first that fades. Aroma is nice and malty with some fruitiness. Taste is malty, though it leaves a weird aftertaste that's somewhat reminiscent of lemon and spice. I also detect some sort of biscuity flavor in the middle. Light, smooth and refreshing. I like this.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2007 00:31:04 | More by Brad007
Photo of JohnGalt1


4.13/5  rDev +12.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2008 07:31:32 | More by JohnGalt1
Photo of smakawhat


3.58/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

06-02-2011 22:35:32 | More by smakawhat
Photo of mothman

United Kingdom (Wales)

3.33/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Beer 4 of 4 for the Sierra Nevada Tasting Event at Stub and Herbs that I reviewed.

Poured into 6 oz Sierra Nevada sample glass. Pours a small head, due to the glass. Color is a clear straw yellow. Very little lace.

Smell is very grainy and corn-like. Not one of my favorite smells coming from a Sierra Nevada beer.

Taste: Just like the smell. Very grainy and I get a metallic flavor as well.

Mouthfeel is very crisp. Over carbonated. Very light bodied.

Overall, this is by far my least favorite offering from Sierra Nevada. I don't plan on ever buying this, but maybe on a HOT summer day I could try it again.

Serving type: on-tap

05-18-2009 20:08:47 | More by mothman
Photo of superspak


3.8/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2013 04:14:59 | More by superspak
Photo of dbrauneis

North Carolina

3.66/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a crystal clear medium yellow in color with moderate amounts of gentle carbonation and some hints of golden yellow highlights. The beer has a finger tall white head that reduces to a small patch of very thin film and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light aromas of biscuit malts with light to moderate aromas of spicy and floral/herbal hops.

T: Upfront there is a moderate flavor of biscuit malts that is followed by light to moderate building to moderate flavors of hops - initially spicy but more herbal towards the finish. Light to moderate amounts of bitterness which lingers only slightly.

M: Light to medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth and crisp with light hints of dryness in the finish.

O: Easy to drink and refreshing, a very enjoyable beer for the summer - I'm enjoying this one while I'm making and grilling up some burgers.

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2013 22:56:16 | More by dbrauneis
Photo of Derek

British Columbia (Canada)

2.63/5  rDev -28.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2006 19:16:22 | More by Derek
Photo of ccrida


3.8/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into my Yuengling pils glass, summerfest is clear gold with tons of streaming bubbles forming a medium sized white head that is pretty dense and leaves an impressive amount of lace.

Smell is bright, sweet cereals, very clean, with not of the diacetyl and sulfer that plagues most pilsners. Very nice at first, I tired of the sweetness.

Taste is good, again very clean, almost pushing blandness. A nice bitter hop bit keeps it semi-sweet at best. Not much too it though, a bit of graininess.

Mouthfeel is crisp and snappy, with a medium light body.

Drinkability is pretty good, for the style it's well made and very clean. I'd prefer a bit more character, it's not really my style, but well done.

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2008 21:17:34 | More by ccrida
Photo of Tone


3.93/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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 grain. Fits the style of a Czech Pilsner. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp with an average carbonation level. Tastes of hops, pale malt, slight citrus, slight sweet malt, and a hint of grain. Overall, good aroma, blend, and body.

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2010 00:53:17 | More by Tone
Photo of beertunes


3.5/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2011 23:03:50 | More by beertunes
Photo of Dogbrick


2.68/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

I was really not too impressed with this one. Pours a rich golden color with a medium and fizzy off-white head. Very bubbly with thin lacing. Aroma is mild hops with a pinch of citrus. Light and crisp but ultimately uninspiring in the flavor department. It tasted about a 1/2 step better than the rest of the bland Lagers out there. The finish is decent but I honestly found my interest waning way before the end of the glass.

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2003 17:56:12 | More by Dogbrick
Photo of kylehay2004


3.35/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A:mild hazy. Golden. Fairly thick single finger foam head.

S: strong grain. Little wheat.

T: initially grainy, little malt. Then fairly sour and dry aftertaste.

M: mild carbonation. Light bodied.

Overall: the sour and dryness takes away from the refreshing aspect most summer ales have. Not one of sierras best in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2011 17:52:09 | More by kylehay2004
Photo of tavernjef


3.95/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Color of light golden pale yellow with a fluffy white head that fades to a ring and lots of whispy lacing.

Smell is faint, crisp, yeast & wheat notes and soft fresh malts, a bit of musty grass or old water logged wood also noted in the aroma.

Taste is more of the same, smooth at first, clean, fresh, soft pretzeled bready malts, picks up some light hops of herbal quality near the middle and ending with a short crispness that holds some feathery dusted yeast & wheat-like features through into the finish along with peppery hoppyness; which is very nice. Solid finish.

Feel has a smooth start, quick and crisp, lighter bodied with a medium fullness that picks up in texture midway and into the finish. Fairly fuller in carbonation at first and rounds off as it warms.

This is a pleasing, simple, easy drinkin' beer. Perfect for a summer refresher.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2003 03:01:36 | More by tavernjef
Photo of Cyberkedi


3.75/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an appetizing, semi-transparent honey-golden with a little white head. Aroma is fairly strong, malty, wheaty and inviting. Flavor is mainly malty and wheaty with a hint of hops and a whisper of fruit, not too complex but still pleasing and refreshing. Texture is smooth so it goes "down the hatch" easily.

Serving type: on-tap

07-13-2008 00:16:47 | More by Cyberkedi
Photo of avalon07

South Carolina

3.18/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a mug. Had a golden yellow color and a slightly cloudy consistency. There was a small amount of foamy head and some decent lacing.

S: Malty, with traces of citrus, but not much else.

T: Like the smell, there was some malt and some citrus, with a trace of hops, but mainly it was a little on the thin side.

M: A decent amount of carbonation and a dry finish. Light-bodied.

D: Overall, this is a drinkable beer, but hardly an outstanding one.

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2009 15:22:56 | More by avalon07
Photo of Bitterbill


3.88/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle(room temp) a yellow-gold with a medium sized head of foam that reduced to a fine layer but it stayed for the entire session.

The smell has is kind of citrusy and earthy. Reminds me of a lot of lagers.

The taste has a nice citrus hop flavour up front followed by good sweet malty notes, and a bit of the earthiness I mentioned in the smell, midway through with the hops character returning in the finish. Good stuff.

Bottom line: This is first time I've seen this beer in Casper and I think it'll make an excellant thirst quencher on a hot summer day. I recommend it.

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2006 22:45:47 | More by Bitterbill
Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 2,877 ratings.