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Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada Summerfest LagerSierra Nevada Summerfest Lager

Educational use only; do not reuse.

3,665 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,665
Reviews: 1,485
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 12.84%
Wants: 71
Gots: 290 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,665 | Reviews: 1,485 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of brewskifan55
3.8/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2011 edition poured into a Stella Artois glass

Appearance: lemon yellow in color, a one-finger head; very clear

Smell: floral with spices

Taste: A lot of complex tastes trigger your tongue: spicy, floral hops, light malt. Crisp. Bitter hoppy aftertaste. The more you drink, the more firecrackers go off in your mouth.

Mouthfeel: light to medium

Overall: A very nice surprise. I'd drink more of this summer pilsner. Really enjoyed the little explosions of flavors.

Photo of mikechance
3.76/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm an ale drinker -- lagers are not my style. That said I feel compelled to sample different lager/pilsners every summer. SummerFest is a must sample for me (as Sierra Nevada is my favorite brewery). The beer has a slightly deeper color than most lagers/pilsners and a reasonable amount of head for the style. I pick up grassy like aromas and hops in the scent. It’s a smooth beer with more pilsner characteristics than lager. It’s very smooth and very little aftertaste. Again, it’s not my style, but one of the better products in its class.

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

12 oz. bottle poured into Sam Adams Perfect Pint.

Appearance: Classic pilsner appearance - clear and transparent golden yellow with active, lively carbonation and a fluffy/slightly soapy head of three-fingers consistency, eventually dwindling down to a full cap of foam and leaving occasional loose lacing down the glass. Retention and lacing were fair at best, but the carbonation stayed persistent through the session.

Smell: Again, classic pilsner. Nails the style, but doesn't necessarily add anything. The spicy and floral notes from the Noble hops are definitely present, if a little more faint than expected - even so, the nose on this is bolder than most pilsners I've had. The malt shows up in the form of some grainy sweetness and some pils malt. There's just a smidge of citrus that appears, and lemon comes to mind. Very well done. Mild but enticing.

Taste: Mirrors the nose almost exactly. The malt presence has a little bit of buttery flavor to it, but doesn't overwhelm the palate. The hops are in focus here, and the trademark pils flavors are all here: The spiciness, floral notes, and subtle bitterness from the hops balanced by bready and grainy flavors from the malt. SN nailed what a pilsner should taste like. They didn't amp it or change it, but they made a simple, balanced, and enjoyable pils. For that, I can't complain.

Mouthfeel: Probably the lightest beer from SN I've had so far. Light bodied with crisp carbonation, a slightly dry finish, and subtle lingering flavors of lemon on the back of the palate.

Overall: They've made a consistent, highly drinkable pils for the right time of year. Sure, it's not breaking ground, but what it does, it does well. Excellent summer beer, but certainly not the best summer seasonal or even SN's best seasonal. Take it for what it is: Simple, clean, refreshing, and tasty.

Photo of kagent777
3.8/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle purchased at one of the Utah State stores. Poured into my goblet.

Appearance: A slightly hazy straw yellow with a half finger white head that leaves a bit of lacing..

Smell: Honey, rice, soap, and grains, with a bit of hops. It all works though, this is what a summer lager should smell like. A bit of floral and citric hops poke through. With light lagers, I get a sensation that I describe as honey, and it shows here as well. A bit yeasty as well.

Taste: Crisp light malts mingle with floral hop notes to create a refreshing drink. Follows the nose flavors with a short bit of bitter lingering around.

Mouthfeel: Thin body, but I would not want anything heavier with solid carbonation.

Overall: A tasty seasonal that I will look forward too next year.

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

Pours a nice crisp Pils look, with pale clear yellow and 2 finger head. The head has large carbonated bubbles however and the head disappeared quickly.

Smell - smells like a crips noble hopped Pils. Straw and bready qualities with slight lemon scent.

Taste - Again, this tastes like a pilsner to me. A very good one as well. Crisp but not bitter. Refreshing. Well balanced and some lager/malty notes to balance the crips hop as well.

Mouthfeel is good but a little fizzy.

Overall - this is one of my favorite czech pilsners to date. For pilsner lovers, I highly recommend this one.

Photo of musicforairports
3.4/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Straw-gold in color, A bit fizzy with a head that goes quickly.

Smell has notes of honey and soapy German hops and light malts.

Taste is bready, a bit citrusy from the hops and finishing with a nice crispness. Flavor is light but nice.

Light-bodied and easy to put down.

A good, light summer beer. A decent pilsner, but you can definitely get some more flavorful beers for the price. Good for what it's going for, though.

Photo of BeerAmbassador
3.59/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a crystal clear yellow with a thin head that didn't stick around. Floral hops and definite note of honey on the nose, not fancy artisanal wildflower honey, honey from the plastic bear. Nice hop bitterness and flavor that I associate with Saaz hops, clean finish and nicely carbonated. This is a beer that I wasn't crazy about on the first sip but as it warmed a bit and I got to the end of the glass, I liked it more and more. Not the best summer seasonal on the planet, but especially if you are at a regular supermarket, you could do a lot worse than to pick up a six pack of this beer.

Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.18/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager has a very thick, egg shell-colored head, and a hazy, yellow appearance with lots of bubbles and fine particulate matter floating about. The aroma is faint, but some slight breadiness is picked up. Taste is, at first, white bread, but hops explode in the mouth at the mid sip. It’s hard to distinguish the various hop varieties here, but the smooth bitterness is delicious. Mouthfeel is light, and Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager finishes crisp, refreshing, and semi-dry. I really liked it. RJT

Photo of n2185
3.65/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a clear golden yellow with four fingers of white head that recedes into a thin ring with some lacing.

S: Pilsner and crystal malt aromas with a bready biscuit smell following. There are some light orange and citrus notes from the hops.

T: Again, pilsner malt at first followed by some biscuit flavors. The hops provide a slight citrus and piny finish with just a little bitterness.

M: Light body with medium carbonation, the hop presence and relatively low carbonation level keeps it from being as light and crisp as I'd prefer. Still, it's refreshing on a hot afternoon.

O: A good pilsner, overall. Not the best in the world, but tasty and refreshing nonetheless.

Photo of DrinkingDrake
3.82/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear, golden yellow with only a ring of tiny bubbles around the edges. Aroma contains lemon and grassy hops with a light freshly ground grain body. Flavor is crisp upfront with a strong carbonation tingle all the way to the finish. Hop character is dominant throughout. Sweet lemon upfront transitioning to grassy and finishing very dry and crisp. Malts are balanced and provide a solid sweetness to back the bold hop character. Overall a solid and bigger than expected malt body with a large hop character, for a lager. Big hop flavor for a crisp beer on a hot day.

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

This summer lager pours a clear golden color topped by a thcik bright-white head that holds well and leaves a bit of lace. The aroma is both hoppy and malty, spicy and citrusy hops with some cracker like malts, very nice. The flavor is much the nose, soft, bready malt balanced by moderate hop bitterness and moderate spicy hop flavor. The beer finishes nicely balanced and just dry enough to make you want more immediately. The carbonation is moderate and body medium. Overall a very well crafted, one of the best summer offerings IMO.

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

Review from notes. Enjoyed on July 4th.

A: Pours a clear golden color with a foamy white head on top. Moderate retention and lacing.

S: Light hops with a heavier dose of bready and grain malt. On the sweet side.

T: The bready malt returns along with some light spice and earthy flavor. Light citrus and a slightly bitter finish.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth and crisp.

O: Tasty and east drinking, can't ask for much more, especially in the summer on a hot day. Probably wouldn't stock it in my fridge, but would gladly drink again.

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

Pours a pale –a little too pale if you ask me– gold with a decent 1-inch head that fades away quickly. Lacing is minimal to nonexistent. The nose is mostly toasty malt, with an almost wheat-like undertone. A delicate, grassy hop aroma also shines through. The beer itself is, I find, very well balanced, though it leans just enough to the bitter side to be extra crisp and refreshing. All of the flavors taste very fresh and clean, as I've come to expect from Sierra Nevada. Mouthfeel is light and crisp, but fades nice and smoothly.

An all-around delicious beer; and, at 5% ABV, one that you won't feel guilty drinking from noon to midnight on these long summer days. It's nothing fancy, but it really hits the spot.

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

Summerfest pours bright golden straw with a tall bubbly head. Retention is excellent.

The aroma is fresh and has a subtle complexity. Lemon, pepper. clove, and cream all play a part in the nose.

The flavor encompasses the same elements as the smell and adds a slightly bitter hop kick, especially in the finish. A bit more buttery diacetyl notes are present as well. The overall citrus experience is limited to lemon peel, but other crisp flavors do well carrying the remaining load.

The feel is extremely slick, while the carbonation is crisp and nothing more. It wasn't fizzy as I was anticipating by the appearance.

It's a good summer refresher with enough flavor to satisfy one who's looking for it. It won't blow your socks off but it does it's job well. It would pair fantastically with a back porch fish fry.

Photo of MirImage
3.86/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bottle Poured into a pint glass.

A: A crystal clear light golden color with a white head. The head dissapated too quickly for my liking but there was decent lacing.

S: Not much nose on this one. Smells a little like hay/staw.

T: A nice light pilsner. very good quencher with a little kick.

M: Light and crisp, not overly carbonated like some mainstream pilsners.

O: This could be a go to beer during a hot summer day at the beach or cookout. I wouldn't really go for it otherwise.

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

Pours a light golden color. Nice head that dissipates quickly. Nice lacing. Smell is underpowering...clean, grassy, some hay. Taste is clean, with hops & floral notes...a little pine. Overall, a nice refreshing beer. It is very similar to their pale ale, only lighter and not as intense of a smell or taste. Perfect for hot weather when you want less intensity. Enjoyable. Would buy again.

Photo of chicagobill13
2.51/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I love Sierra nevada Beers but this one kind of disappoint me. A nice crisp clear lager. Nice session beer. Barely any head. Perfect on a hot summer day. I believe this beer would grow on me but I remember having this beer last year and loving it. I am thinking they change it every year. Is this true?

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

A cellar temperature bottle of the 2011 Summerfest is poured into a pint glass.

Crystal clear liquid is colored golden straw. Plenty of tiny carbonation bubbles are rising within the glass. The head is very large and made up of pure white foam.

Light grassy hops make up the aroma. Some pale grains are detectable as well. It's a pleasing scent.

Crisp and refreshing flavor is similar to the aroma. There are plenty of pale malts and grassy hops.

This beer has a light body and a good amount of carbonation. A slightly sticky coat is left behind that contains a modest amount of flavor.

This is a good, refreshing summer beer. It isn't super hoppy like most of SN's beers, but the hops are certainly there. If you need an easy drinking beer for your cookout, it's had to go wrong with this selection.

Photo of BerkeleyBeerMan
4.12/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Bright transparent golden yellow body with medium carbonation and little head. A ring of bubbles remains on the side of the glass.

Smell: Good. Not a lot to smell other than basic barley malts matched with a mildly zesty bouquet of floral hops. There are possibly some noble hops in here. The beer gives off a mild champagne aroma.

Taste: Very good. I taste grain and hay along with an aromatic blend of floral hops. It is very Pilsner like. This beer taste refreshing and finishes bitter despite some dryness. I also note a sweet citrus quality thought it isn't a major part of the mix.

Mouthfeel: Light and refreshing. Medium carbonation. Slight grain abrasiveness.

Overall: This is a fantastic drinkable lager. I wish Sierra Nevada made this beer year round.

Photo of justinjj1280
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Pokal glass.

Nice golden color, pretty thick frothy head. I gave this a hard pour. Retained fairly well.

I got the flavor of grains, floral hops, and just a touch of malt sweetness. Everything is in balance. Very refreshing, crisp, just enough hop bite to make it interesting.

I thoroughly enjoyed this beer. It's one of my favorite Pilseners thus far. At right at 5% alcohol, this qualifies as a great summer session lager.

Photo of humuluslupulus8
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer was a bright golden-yellow color similar to melted clarified butter. The head had a medium thickness, and was just slightly off-white.

S: The smell was mainly of the saaz hops (herbal and floral). The malt and hops aromas were fairly balanced.

T: The flavor was balanced between the sweetness and bitterness. There were also some hints of lemon and honey. The bitter hop finish was very short, which gave the beer a nice crispness.

M: The beer was fairly think from a good level of carbonation, but the head was creamy while it lasted.

O: Overall, I really enjoyed this beer. It is perfect for the summer when it's hot outside. The balanced flavor combined with the crisp finish allow this beer to be equally refreshing and flavorful.

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
3.98/5  rDev +8.7%
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
3.96/5  rDev +8.2%
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.

Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 3,665 ratings.