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Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada Summerfest LagerSierra Nevada Summerfest Lager

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

3,645 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,645
Reviews: 1,480
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 12.84%
Wants: 65
Gots: 261 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-17-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,645 | Reviews: 1,480 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TheBeerAlmanac
2/5  rDev -45.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bottle poured into a pint glass

A: Has a fizzy head and is very light yellow, similar to most American lagers.

S: Has a malty aroma and some lemon citrus, but there’s not much else there.

T/M: Taste is extremely light and slightly bitter. There is some orange and bitter rind in there as well, but it’s overall very bland.

If you’re in the mood for something light and crisp in the summer time, you might as well buy any American adjunct in your local gas station. There’s not much else that sets this apart. But they still have a lot of other great beers.

Photo of harrymel
4.08/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Vintage 2011

A: Pours a golden straw ale with brilliant clarity (like it amplifies the pixels on my screen like a magnifying glass). A single finger of bone white foam falls over a couple minutes to a thin quilt of the same. Good spotty lacing.

S: Smells fresh and simple: grains, sweetgrass, simple crisp hops and that's about it. This is the way this beer should be, nice. Totally low impact and refreshing in tone.

T: Nice and crispy hops are proficient, a little higher than I recall having had this earlier today. The beer has a mid palate flavor that reminds me of cornbread, which I like. The hops really offer the premier degree of refreshment this beer can provide.

M: Medium to low body with higher carbonation. This is the prime composition for the style IMO.

O: This is a great example of the style. Having just been to the Czech Beer festival in Berlin, I would argue this competes with the originals.

Photo of gskitt
4.05/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a bright yet cloudy golden, little head. Smelled of hops, but just barely perceptible, not a huge scent. Tasted like a summer, czech pils should, dry, crisp, with some bitterness, mouthfeel was spot on. This was a really enjoyable quaff after a hot summer day. Nice job SN.

Photo of DCon
4.03/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought a 12oz Bottle of this from Lukas Liquor in Ellisville, MO for $1.49. Added to my Mix-A-Six Pack and Poured from the 2011 Edition Bottle into my Mizzou Pilsner Glass. Has a Date of 1091 12212? Whatever this means in Brewery Language.

Aroma- Clean smell with a light floral hop. Nothing huge here and expected much more!

Appearance- Pours a whopping 5 finger, bubbly head with a crystal clear body. Medium carbonation bubbles and head stays around for ever! Clouds of thick lace are left on the sides.

Flavor- Easy drink with the floral hops being present and a soft, watery taste. A nice bitterness is added at the end of the drink and stays appropriate to style.

Mouthfeel- Medium Bodied, Medium Carbonation, and leaves a bit of wheat on the palate (hmm...).

Overall Impression- With Sierra Nevada being one of my favorite breweries, I knew this would be a great beer from the start! Clean, refreshing, and could enjoy this anytime! Decent drinkability and am glad I picked this up! Will be enjoying again when available.

Photo of spinrsx
3.6/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle

Appearance – Clear gold colour with an average size frothy white coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is some fair lacing. The head lasted for around 4 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Grains, lemons, hops, grapefruits

Taste & Mouth - The beer has an average amount of carbonation. I can taste breads/grains mixed with hops and some citrus fruits.. lemons and grapefruits. It finishes with a clean and crisp citrus/hoppy aftertaste.

Overall – Probably one of the best 'summer beers' that I have had to date. It reminded me of a slightly toned down version of their Pale Ale. It's highly drinkable and the flavours are well balanced. I'd buy it again. Thanks for the bottle Swedes21

Photo of litheum94
3.7/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. 2011 vintage. Reviewed on 5/31/11.

Perfectly clear, golden body. Has a very minimal amount of head, off-white in color, that dissipates quickly.

Sweet, honey malts. Grassy and grainy smelling. Some banana esters. Slight hint of spicy hops.

Flavor starts off with thin, cracker malts. Moves into banana and honey sweetness. Finish showcases floral and spicy hops, with a decent amount of bitterness. Good carbonation gives a nice bite, but there is also a creamy component to the mouth feel.

This is a classic summer beer. Not too challenging, and highly drinkable. I'm never necessarily looking forward to this beer, but I end up picking up a case every year just because it's so refreshing.

Photo of beerman21
3.68/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The heat has arrived and well so has the summer seasonal. Much of which I can due without, But common its Sierra Nevada! Gift from the fam, 12 pack of it, so i hope i like it. Lager type beer have to be the beers im troubled in seeing the complexity and well pulling out the flavors are much more challenging then your top fermenting ales. Anyways let the tasting begin.

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Poured it aggressively and a two finger head rose and fell to a thin lace rather quickly.

From the look of it, very bright clear golden champagne in nature brew. Other the golden hue this beers clarity is well, not to get all beer geeky but beautiful!

Smell. Bready, maltey, sweet with some sour back scents. Grassy notes as well with some faint very faint, citrus.

Taste again more bread, taste of sour doe, must be the yeast. Grassy notes again with a little hop bitterness reminiscent of the grapefruit flavor hops SNB is famous for. Drinkable, refreshing yes. Out of this world brew that I'd go for every summer not so much.

Photo of rodney45
3.45/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Nice light amber, the color of light maple syrup. Slightly cloudy. A slowly disipating bright white head, that laces nicely upon my favorite tasting glass.

S: Refreshing crisp smell. Light floral grapefruit hop smell, and perhaps lime.

T: Spicy floral hops, and this beer has a euro-macro feel. Distinct taste of wheat and coriander. Slightly orange peel flavor. We all know you cant spell "summer beer" without "orange peel flavor" except literally of course.

M: Not overly carbonated, and it isnt a palate spoiler. Would be nice in a backyard barbecue.

Photo of mattkoon
3.93/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

the summerfest from sierra nevada is very mild and drinkable, like a good summer ale should be. The color is a golden straw. The smell is slightly citrus and mellow. I really like how mild the flavor is. compaired to the rest of sierra nevada's beers summerfest is very smooth. I like the mild alternative for a summer ale. Their ipas are nice but I like those more in the cooler months. I really like this beer.

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.

Photo of perrymarcus
3.4/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle served in a standard pint glass.

pours a translucent straw yellow with a moderate 1" or so of foamy, off-white head; not much in the way of retention or lacing.

nose is definitely on the subtle side but offers notes of grain and a touch of citrus (lemon zest), maybe a little grass. again, very muted.

flavor delivers more of the same. some grain, bready malts, and a little citrus. light and crisp, with a clean finish. not bad.

light bodied mouthfeel with some especially spritzy carbonation.

overall, while i wasn't overly impressed here i do think the summerfest is essentially what it should be: a light, crisp, refreshing, and relatively tasty summery beer.

Photo of horshack7
3.88/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: It pours a pale yellow with a light frothy head.

Aroma: A rather straight forward aroma floral hops, grassy and grain. To round it out there is a good dryness in the nose.

Taste: A bit of spice up front along side floral hop that has a nice dry finish. The mouthfeel is a little crisp but it still has a buttery smoothness in the end.

Notes: What a solid Czech Pilsner crisp well made and the dry finish is great. Cheers.

Photo of rawfish
3.28/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear straw with a whipped white head that reaches two inches. Poor retention and spotty lacing, even with a newly cleaned glass.

Aroma is very thin, some bready malts a touch of grassy hops coupled with grain. Nothing unpleasant but nothing much here either.

Taste is very grainy and of grain husks, some sweet corn starts to trickle in but the hops arrive just in time to save the flavor from becoming too sweet and add a nice grassy feel. Bitterness is light and dries with a touch of soap. Aftertaste ends as it began with a raw, grainy taste.

Lightly soapy and crisp ending with a nice light body. Carbonation I felt was under developed.

Ho-hum at least it's better than a macro lager, nothing offensive, well balanced but for a craft lager is very raw and you can taste the adjunct grain in places. Hop character and feel are redeeming qualities.

Photo of binkman
3.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Medium yellow with little head, though a bit of lacing stuck to the sides of the glass as I drank it.

S: Only subtly hoppy with some toasty bready notes up front.

T: Toasty, bready maltiness is followed by a clean noble bitterness. Maybe slightly citrusy?

M: Very light, clean, and lagery. Good carbonation. Very nice.

Light body feeling with a good clean crispness. Carbonation level is just right and compliments the body very nicely.

O: Crisp clean lager that would probably impress your macro-drinking friends. That being said, slightly too much residual sweetness for me. But if you bought me one, I wouldn't say no.

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

Appearance is a clear golden straw with a billowy pale white head atop. Scents of fresh cut hay and some citrus make for an enjoyable smell. The taste is quite enjoyable as well - some lemon/lime flavors are noticeable, with a slight piney bitterness in the finish and aftertaste. Very crisp and refreshing, very drinkable. The perfect beer for a cook out on a hot summer day. I'm generally not a big fan of pilseners, but I enjoyed this one.

Photo of Treyliff
3.3/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2010 edition, Pours pale golden color, small white head, decent lacing.

Smells of sweet malt, a little bit of citrus.

Taste- Strong hops on the back end, seems a little too strong for a Summer brew. Balance is a little off.

Mouthfeel- Good balance, pretty smooth

Overall- Wouldn't be one of my first summer beer choices and not on the top of my favorites from Sierra, but still a decent beer.

Photo of DuncanIdaho86
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.

Photo of Gatch
2.88/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Typical fizzy, yellow color, with a pretty nice fluffy white head. For the style, I guess it looks as it should.

S - Not much in the nose. A little fruit and some malt. Smells like a Miller Lite/Bud Light.

T - It's best when it's cold. I think this has a fairly high score because it's Sierra Nevada. If it were part of a blind taste test, in my opinion, it would be hard to separate this from any Macro Lager/Pilsener.

M - An unpleasant taste lingers on the back of the tongue. There's a subtle sweetness and a bit more flavor than a Macro Lager.

I haven't drank too many Czech Pilsners, but it seems to be a good example. I couldn't help but think this was an interpretation of an American adjunct lager. Then again, I'm not a huge fan of Pilseners and don't have much experience with the Czech style.

Photo of Kooz
2.25/5  rDev -38.5%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Sorry for abbreviated notes, but I was in a crowded bar.

Golden yellow, okay color for a summer.

No discernible smell.

Tastes slightly too bitter, which keeps it from being smooth. Unfortunate.

Despite the bitter taste, there isn't a lot of bite and those usually go hand-in-hand. Mouthfeel is really good--creamy.

Overall, not a great summer, but okay.

Photo of pburland23
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into my Prima Pils pilsener glass.

Beer pours a light golden yellow with a thin layer of bright white head. Not much head retention and just a scant amount of lacing.

Smells of spicy hops, grass and hay. Also some slight sweet malt notes. Doesn't blow you away, but is nice and inviting.

Taste is clean and spicy. The hops lead the way followed by some biscuity malt flavors. The finish is dry and refreshing.

Mouthfeel is light bodied with some exuberant carbonation which adds a touch of prickliness to the beer.

Overall, a nice summer beer. Definitely could knock back a few of these while doing yard work.

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


A medium shade of yellow bordering on light gold with almost no apparent head. Crystal clear with a light carbonation level


Mixture of spicy hops with a light toasty malt background


Spicy hop notes are balanced nicely by a toasted, bready maltiness. A slight grassy tone also sneaks its way in late.


Light body feeling with a good clean crispness. Carbonation level is just right and compliments the body very nicely.


A good crisp clean lager for hot summer days. A nice spicy hoppiness is complimented well by a maltiness that is not over powering. A good, clean brew

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pilsner glass.

This brew pours a clear golden color crested with a tiny head. The aroma is nice zesty hops and bready malts. The taste here is quite simply that of a solid Czech pilsner. Substantial noble hops and some slightly breadier malts than is typical for the style. The mouthfeel is well-carbonated and with a decent amount of thickness. The drinkability is very good. Overall, this is a solid and inexpensive Czech Pilsner. Nothing remarkable, but it won't let you down.

Photo of mah0019
3.9/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Serving - Bottle into my beloved pint glass.

Appearance - extremely light colored, a little head which dissipated quickly after pouring, some subtle lacing. Extremely light is what strikes me, almost made me fearful for the taste I was going to get.

Smell - Hoppy and fruity, but not over bearing or too bold. Similar to their pale ale.

Taste - quite refreshing, however seems too similar to their pale ale to warrant a purchase when that is readily available. Hop and citrus notes.

Mouthfeel - To me this is where the brew truly excels. It has a nice weight to it, which was quite unexpected after viewing its appearance. Washes down great, with enough thickness to leave you with a nice after taste and feel. Impressive in my opinion (everyone has their own desires though).

Overall - pretty good ale, but again, I would suggest just getting their pale ale if you are new to the fold. However, if you have some experience with this brewer, then by all means, shake things up. It surely made my Thursday watching NBA finals quite exciting.

Photo of acelin
3.13/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass

This beer is pretty clear,although hazy for a lager. Has a non existant head.

Smells of hop aroma and faint pale malt. Some yeast character.

Taste is lager like, yet very hopped, and not in the usual pilsner fashion. Very west coast. Just "ok."

Mouthfell is average.

Overall an average offering from SN.

Photo of gopens44
3.58/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Super clear super pale straw with an incredibly memorable thick foamy stark white head.

S - Biscuity maltiness with just a hint of spice and a tiny bit of hops

T - Biscuity, a touch floral. A little sweet - enough to balance out the nice bitterness on the finish.

M - Well carbonated yet pretty smooth. Moderate bitterness in the aftertaste.

O - I picked this up as a requiem after another 100+ degree day. And ya know what? It works pretty well! Clean, crisp and very tasty.

Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 3,645 ratings.