Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

1,540 Reviews
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Sierra Nevada Summerfest LagerSierra Nevada Summerfest Lager

Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

Style: Czech Pilsener

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
There's something about a warm summer day that calls out for a cold glass of great beer, and this classic Czech-style lager is sure to fit the bill. Crisp, golden and refreshing, Summerfest is the perfect choice for soaking up the sunshine. Summerfest is a Czech-style lager featuring a slight malt sweetness, a spicy hop flavor, and the crisp finish you want on a hot summer day.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 06-17-2001

User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,540 | Ratings: 3,987
Photo of Truh
3.35/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pinned a tail on the donkey with this one on 7/12/2004. 16-oz. pour at the Joshua Tree in Davis Square, nee Somerville, MA. Lord knows why I was there instead of Redbones…

Light, tight head at start. Clear, light gold hue with bubbles buzzing about as if in a pinball machine, or perhaps more descriptively, a pachinko machine, only balls were ascending, not descending. Wheat, white wine bouquet, and slightly sour on the nose. Some hoppiness, which was surprising, and for me it almost beat out the wheat base. Quite astringent to taste, yet also oddly smooth and clinging. Overall, a shochu-like acidity to the offering.

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Photo of nortmand
4.22/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours lightly amber with a gew wisps of foam, not alot of retention there, though.
Smells very sweet and citrusy, with a very slight, faint background skunkiness.
Immediate sweetness is quickly followed by a floral hop flavor. There is a lingering alcohol presence on the back of the tongue.
Subdued carbonation makes for a nice summery lager. This is followed up by a sticky sweetness on the tongue.
Very tasty and light, a combination that lends itself to drinkability.

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

Yet another beer poured into a Holiday Inn tumbler. I either need to get a set of travel glassware or take up a different hobby.

Summerfest pours (a colorful descriptive) with a (descriptive) head. The (fancy word for smell) is all fruity cereal flakes, matchsticks and dead lawn. Summerfest inspires me about as much as the tumbler I'm gulping it from. It's really a decent brew though. I imagine if I lived in a house and mowed my own lawn I would drink water afterward, but after the water and maybe a sandwich or something this might be good. It seems a bit heavy grain on the attack but a nice bunch of herbal greens takes over quickly enough. I like it better really cold.

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Photo of axisjones
3.45/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This lager was nothing special.
The appearance was clear, with the head disappearing quickly and little lacing to speak of on the way down.
The smell was clean and mild, mostly a faint hop aroma, but definitely not a memorable aromatic one.
The one thing this beer has going for it is that is very refreshing. I had this beer after a walk with a sausage and it did the job just fine. This is easily the lightest and most uninteresting of the SN line, this beer is just plain and uninspired. The taste hardly goes beyond simple hops and a light body.

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Photo of woemad
3.85/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased at Huckleberry's in Spokane for $1.19.

Poured a dark gold color, with a big foamy head that dropped quickly. Not much in the way of lace.

Smell is rather mild. The most noticeable trait is it's mildly sweet maltiness. There's also a bit of grassy hoppiness.

Taste is more interesting than the smell. Although the most dominant flavor is, again, a mildly sweet maltiness, there is more hoppiness in the taste than in the smell. In addition to the grassy flavor noted in the smell, the hops provide a mild spiciness that complement the maltiness rather well.

This straddles the line between light and medium bodied. While it's refreshingly crisp, there's more flavor than you'll find in a lot of pale lagers.

This is a very drinkable beer, good for consumption at the end of a hot day. This is the first lager I've had from Sierra Nevada. Not bad.

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Photo of malthead
3.76/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear amber/gold color, with a big head of really large bubbles that disappears quickly. Not a huge smell, mostly sweet malt, with a touch of grassy hops. Taste is really interesting, some sweet malt, but also with a lot of spicy, but certainly not overpowering, hops and a slightly bitter finish. Nice crisp, clean mouthfeel, good hop presence balanced with good carbonation. Real easy drinkability. I'm impressed, a great, crisp, light summer brew.

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

Poured in a pint glass - golden in color with a 1/2" head. Lacing develops. The aroma is very mild tones of grass, citrus, and hops. The flavor follows suit as the malt and hops are softly balanced with some lemon and grass / hay flavors.

The mouthfeel is crisp as the carbonation is strong. The finish is a little crisp and dry. This is a lighter bodied brew. Extremely drinkable for a hot summer day and the flavor is just strong enough to excite some tastebuds without sending them into overload.

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Photo of Beastdog75
3.15/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sierra Nevada beers are a usually above average indulgence, with some of their offerings being mind blowing. This Summerfest beer is definitely not mind blowing, and some would say it is not even near above average. For me, this was middle of the road: a well-made brew that is just terribly unexciting.

Sierra Nevada Summerfest pours a yellowish gold color with a decent foamy head that retains for a few minutes before thinning out. The aroma is crisp and hoppy: those distinct citrus and piney hop notes jump out of the glass and up your nostrils. Although the mouthfeel is a bit thin, it is crisp and bubbly enough to make this a quaffable beverage. There is a light malt presence in this beer, but of course the hoppiness is the most dominant feature, lending the trademark SN citric and piney notes. The dryness in the finish rounds out the brew well enough. The aftertaste has a bit of a bready/cracker like quality to it along with the lingering citric dryness, and there is no alcoholic warmth in the end.

This beer really doesn't bring to mind the dog days of summer. For me, it is just a hopped up fizzy yellow brew. I think SN's Wheat Beer was more interesting than this, and that one previously held the title for my least favorite SN brew. This is still a well-made brew, no doubt about it, but there isn't enough here to keep my interest.

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Photo of moulefrite
3.03/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A rather average offering that pours a light goden and does proffer up a bit of head and some splotchy lace. Some freshness is noted on the nose, featuring citrus hop, and sweet malt, all way in the background. The mouthfeel is light and mildly brisk, yet not really that refreshing going down. Flavors mimic the aromas with lemony hop notes and a kiss of sweet malt. Not a bad beer at all, but I don't find it too Summery personally.

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

Poured a pale yellow color with a decent head that faded to a mist across the top of the beer and a bit hanging on around the outside of the glass fairly quickly. Mix of malt and hop aromas, it seems. The hops seem to hit first in the taste with a bit of bitterness, fading to a smooth maltiness. Not too light or heavy in the mouth.

A good beer, nice summer time brew.

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Photo of Sixpack595
3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very good summer beer for kicking back and putting a few away. Tast is crisp and refreshing with a light maltiness and touch of spicy hops. Mouthfeel is a perfect balance, light enough to remain drinkable without feeling heavy on a hot day. First beer I actually liked from Sierra Nevada, good job.

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Photo of RedwoodGeorge
3.66/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Ahhh, silly me... Since the label said "Summerfest" I just figured it was a wheat beer of some sort. When I poured it out to see a bright golden color with a large pure-white head, I thought "odd, it looks quite a bit more like a pilsner..." (Reading SN's website later reveals it -is- a pilsner style lager, which explains a lot!) The head lasted for quite some time, leaving lots of lacing on the glass - a very attractive brew.

The smell was nice and crisp, hop and malt pretty equally balanced and a bit of a light grassy note as well. The taste was pretty complex for a pilsner, many echoes of fruit and a rather sweet note with a very light hop finish. It was light on the tongue, leaving a clean palate for the next drink though as a pilsner I would have expected a bit more fine carbonation leaving a bit of tingle on the tongue to go with a nice hop finish - here it's quite a bit more muted. Pilsner or what, this is a very tasty brew and it's a good light beer for summertime sipping...

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Photo of usualpulp
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice golden color with a very fluffy thick white head.

The beer has a nice hop and malt smell with a hint of grain and grass.

This beer is really nice, crisp and easy going down, yet flavorful. Each sip starts with a nice hop bitterness, and finishes with a clean malt sweetness.

There is a slightly bitter aftertaste to this beer, but nothing that another sip doesnt cure.

Overall, this is yet another good beer from sierra nevada, not my favorite from them, but definately a good lager.

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

Yet another well-crafted beer from Sierra Nevada.

This one pours out to a bright gold in the glass with a wispy, white head. The aroma is light and refreshing and yields the light smell of malt, lemon and fresh baked biscuits. The taste is enjoyable and offers a nice crisp, fresh taste. It reminded me of a Euro-lager, but fresher. Their is a slight hop bitterness that adds to the crispness and a nice, light malt sweetness.

A summer keeper for sure.

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

Pours a bright, golden yellow with a medium-sized pure white head which leaves some fine lacing on the glass. Smell is lightly malty with some grassy hops. Taste is grain and a little sweet malt at first, followed by grassy, maybe a bit piney hops. Crisp, refreshing finish with very good balance. Medium to light mouthfeel with a good amount of carbonation. Very, very drinkable... this is a beer for drinking in large gulps on a very hot day!

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Photo of TongoRad
4.03/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottling date on the case was May, 2004

There's a real nice balance between hops and malt in the nose, but not too aggressive on either front. That impression continues to the palate. An initial burst of sweetness gives way to more dominant malty characteristics, almost grainy, but certainly not in a bad way- almost like a German Pils. The finish is dry and lingering. This beer definitely benefits from a vigorous pour as its aroma is its best quality. It has a nice balance about it as well, though I would wish for a touch more personality.

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Photo of Hibernator
4.04/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this out of a 12 oz bottle with a twist cap. I didn't notice a freshness date marked on the label.

This is a bottom fermented beer. Nice pour with a good head for a lager. The color is somewhere between a light orange and yellow.

This beer had a refreshing smell and a modest hop aroma.The hop smell and taste was very much a classic Sierra Nevada staple. A clean lager with crispness rolling off the tongue.

I had the Summerfest with a salad with balsamic vinaigrette dressing. Both worked very well together...nice pairing.

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Photo of ColForbin
3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Summerfest is Sierra Nevada's only lager, I believe. It pours a clear, light, golden color with small bubbles and a thin white head that fades to a mere coating on the surface of the beer. Smell is bready and with a hint of spicey hops. Taste is very light, with some wheat flavors and a slightly tart and dry finish with a very small hop bite. Mouthfeel is also light making this an extremely refreshing and incredibly drinkable beer. A very well-crafted lawnmower beer.

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Photo of shapudding
3.71/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

As soon as I opened the bottle, foam came frothing out all over, so I expected to have trouble with the pour. When I did start pouring into the pint though, there was no trouble. Tons of carbination rising throught the golden lager leading up to a small amount of tiny bubbles at the top where it stayed as mostly a light, white layer. Scents of hay, fresh and light. Very balanced. Crisp tasting, medium bodied with alot of carbination that holds well throughout. The finish is dry and leaves a very nice bitterness with you. Good drinkability. I am usually not one for lagers but will drink them if they are there- just not my first choice. But this one is nice.

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Photo of necoadam
3.81/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2004 Verison

Poured out a golden color with a nice amount of carbonation that was visible and left lacing around the glass. Hop aromas hit the nose with some slight malts left in the background for good measure. Some grassy aroma can also be detected. Spicy hops hit the palate first and then combine with some malts towards the end. Some grainy flavors are in the aftertaste along with those spicy hops that seem to last forever. It's not over the top but it sure does last a while. Overall this isn't a bad choice for a summer cookout. Goes down easy, that's for sure.

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

On-tap at the Capital Ale House.

Poured a sparkling clear yellow-golden in color with not a bit of head. Miniscule white head does a nice attempt at lacing the glass, but with token success. Aromas are quite clean brisk. Hoppy, but not overly so. There is a hint of malts there as well. Flavor is more of the same. An interesting mix of hops and that "lager" flavor. Not quite macro, but more mainstream than I'd expected. Maybe that's why it was so popular with the crowd at CAH. Brisk and snappy flavor, starting with a mildly bitter front, fleeting sweetness in the middle, and dry/acidic on the tail end. Moderate carbonation and decent mouthfeel. A good beer for the summer, no doubt, but I think I'll stick to my hefe's to quench the Richmond heat.

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Photo of ZAP
3.38/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clean, super clear looking golden color...big fluffy head....nose is grassy with some lemon grass notes...taste is grainy and spicy with noble hops present in bunches...some spritzy lemon notes too...lighter side of medium bodied....finishes dry and crisp....almost a slight bitter finish...feels like a Pilsner...not bad but not one I would personally seek out...One of bigHugey's pool party's featured a keg of this and after awhile (say after 12 or so) it was hard to drink for me....I think Summer beers should be easy drinking up to 30 or so....

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

This poured a standard pilsener yellow with a rather large head that dissipated after a few minutes to a ring of lace.

The aroma was of aromatic hops, mostly Saaz, with borderline hints of skunkiness. Not too bad, but not spectacular.

The taste was of bittering hops on the foretaste, with hints of pine and minimal citrus. Possibly coriander as well. It was about average, IMO.

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Photo of PSUDREW
3.04/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Meh, not a fan of the hype. Medium gold in color, some head, and moe then enough lace. smells is so so, something didn't seem right, dunno. This isn't overly malty, like most lagers, but something didn't seem right. I mean the hops were adding a pecular taste. It's mouthfeel is OK, but all in all, this isn't very special IMO

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Photo of EagleTalon
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of my favorite domestic lagers. Pours to a generous white head and clear golden color. Aroma is very hoppy--like smelling hops freshly added to the brewpot. Malty sweetness is apparent in the aroma. Flavor is dry, pleasantly bitter/hoppy and good malt backup. Finishes dry and refreshing. A fine beer that deserves year-round production.

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Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 1,540 ratings.