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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.

3,658 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,658
Reviews: 1,483
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 12.84%
Wants: 67
Gots: 275 | 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: 3,658 | Reviews: 1,483 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of PDXHops
3.88/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, poured into a tall pilsner mug.

Nice looking brew, glowing gold with a fat 3 finger bright white head. This quickly condenses to thick skim, but leaves plenty of sticky lacing behind.

The nose is clean and crisp, light malts with floral sweetness and a bit of mild spice hidden underneath. The taste is more robust, spicy and juicy, while still maintaining an good crisp feel. A sting of bitterness and a bit of tangy lemon at the finish. Very refreshing.

Overall impression: This is definitely a beer that should be popping up in those "how do I convert my BMC-loving friends?" threads. Nice backyard brew.

Photo of RichieS2
4.3/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle poured into a 15 oz Czech Pils glass.

T - Good for the style, straw yellow color and easily transparent. There was little head and quite a bit of carbonation.

S - Plenty of sweetness from malt and not much hops that I could detect.

T - Great; the scent was a perfect foreshadow; the brew had a satisfying sweetness that led to a slight spiciness when the hops came into play. The beer finished clean.

M - Thin to be sure, but that is the style. It felt good in my mouth and going down.

D - Excellent, I could drink this all summer long.

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

Bottle. A pleasant golden yellow with relatively thin head. Light citrus and hop aroma. Crisp, clean, balanced flavor with somewhat subtle citurs/hop taste perfect for summer time drinking. Refreshing on the palate. Not built to be a BIG beer... it is what it is, and it is a fine summer pilsener.

Photo of udubdawg
2.84/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

pours yellow color - a little darker than straw here. White head starts to fizz away shortly thereafter but slows and eventually leaves surprisingly good lace. Good looking brew.

Aroma is pretty light, definite light Saaz spicy note. No real malt noted here to my surprise. No diacetyl or DMS noted. Hmm...

Flavor is again a bit underwhelming while once again being devoid of a measurable flaw. Sweet pale malt comes out a bit more here (still light) and hops significantly less. And...is that a sort of toast? Vienna at least, perhaps even Munich? Didn't expect that. Very slight astringency along with medium high carb on the body which is on the light side of medium.

Noting special but a decent offering. Other than the Saaz this doesn't seem at all a Bohemian Pilsner to my palate.

Photo of axeman9182
3.58/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my Duvel tulip. Pours a beautiful clear pale yellow, with an initially good sized creamy head that is too brief and doesn't leave behind much lacing. The smell is largely of bready malts, with a hint of spiciness from the Saaz in the background. Summerfest tries to walk the line between lightly hopped and under hopped, and just misses the mark for me. The nose hinted at it, but a few sips confirm that this beer is a little bit lacking in the hops department. Yes it's supposed to be subtle and an easy drinking summer brew, but I'm not asking for a hop bomb here, I'm just asking that I not have to strain to notice the spicey Saaz flavor. It's a shame too, because this beer is incredibly drinkable, not too carbonated and not too heavy, I found it disappearing from my glass rather quickly. If Summerfest had a little more hop presence it might be one of my go to summer beers, but I doubt I'll be revisiting it again as is.

Photo of Hoops4life511
3.48/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a footed pilsener glass. 2010 Summerfest, no sign of a bottled on date.

Appearance - Poured crystal clear, straw yellow. White head is bubbly and thin almost like a soda and quickly falls to a thin cap that hangs around for the session. Not much in the lacing department, just a few clingy patches.

Smell - Some signs of grain and lemon zest, but not much to talk about here.

Taste/Mouthfeel - Very light, malty and sweet. Thin like a summer style lager should be. None of the hops I would have expected from Sierra. Would be refreshing after a long day of yard work, but not really doing much for me otherwise. Finishes with a funny taste of copper, leaves me wanting to drink more to wash it down.

Drinkability - It goes down very easily which is a plus, but continued drinking gives me a slick coating throughout my mouth and makes me want to switch things up.

Overall - Not bad for the style, but not my favorite. Would be a nice picnic beer that I wouldn't mind sharing. I won't search it out, but if I stumble on some I wouldn't turn it down.

Photo of aubuc1
3.68/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured in to a tulip pint glass.

Pours a chrystal clear light yellow with a fluffy white head.

Smell is floral, metallic, and nice.

Taste is clean and with nothing jumping out, but still perfectly balanced.

Good mouthfeel and very easy drinking. A very good summer beer.

Photo of kshankar
4.07/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A clear golden yellow pour, foam with okay retention. No lacing on my glass.

Lemony, grainy and a bit sweetish for the aroma.

Tastes lemony, with some grainy finishes. Somewhat sweet, but not as much as the aroma would suggest. The lemon zest and grainyness predominate.

Mouthfeel is light and a bit slick. Drinkability is high, as it should be for this type of beer. This is fine for the style, but its a style I'm not too crazy about. Still...I'll give it its due because it fits the stylistic characteristics.

Photo of jkrich
4.1/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

After reading a forum about this seasonal lager changing character from previous years, I thought I would revisit it.

The pilsner poured a standard clear, golden color with a nice white fluffy head. If you enjoy lacing, this will not disappoint.

The aroma was largely noble, european hops. The sweet malt aroma was very inviting.

Similar to most czech style lagers, the flavor was initially sweet followed by a nice refreshing hop bite. It is always a pleasure to enjoy this style very fresh.

Overall, this one is light in body with a sweet, slick mouthfeel. In keeping with a traditional czech pilsner, the carbonation is not over the top.

Immensely quaffable, this is the ideal summer lager. I noticed that only the smell dropped from my previous review in 2008. As they say, the olfactory suffers with age.

Photo of JK4Stout
3.15/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A VERY light lager here. Has a pale color reminiscent of a domestic banquet beer. However, the taste is much more developed; Light, citrus, and full. There is a slight taste of the lager yeast in the brew which, while not unfavorable, is unexpected. This is a hot weather beer, one to be enjoyed while sitting in the shade at midday, or around the bbq. Another plus to this beer is the decent price and its wide availability (anywhere one can find regular Sierra Nevada).

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

A - Pours a crystal clear, pale yellow with a frothy white head. Ample carbonation rising within the glass

S - Light pale malt aromas mix with subtle, spicy hop notes and a touch of grassiness.

T - Lightly sweet pale malt mixes with some floral and citric hop qualities, leading into a fairly dry finish that leaves some nice, spicy "eurohop" flavors lingering into the aftertaste.

M - Very clean and crisp with a light body and nice carbonation.

D - A tasty, sessionable brew that will definitely go well with summer weather. Thirst-quenching and light, but has enough flavor to maintain an interesting profile.

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

a - crystal clear golden yellow color with a white light head that dissipates quickly, no lacing

s - crisp malt character with slight hop aroma

t - malt flavor is a bit weak, some spice, noticeable hop finish, a good floral presence.

m - light feel with medium carbonation, dry

d - a good pilsener, it doesn't stand out much but i'm not sure it's supposed to.

Photo of charlzm
3.51/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Consumed May 8th, 2010.

Pours a fairly pale golden hue. Plentiful carbonation continuously replenishes a one-finger white head.

Aroma is lightly grainy in a way that will be familiar to anyone who has ever had a macrobrewed pilsener.

Flavor is lightly malty and a touch husky with a clean, mildly bitter hop bite on the finish. Easy to drink but flavors are not especially vibrant or well-defined.

Carbonation keeps things moving along on the palate with a touch of dryness, but mouthfeel is not particularly notable.

Not a terribly exciting beer by any stretch, though not flawed in any way. Still trying to figure out why this is the style target of hundreds upon hundreds of breweries...

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

Appearance: Pours straw colored with a lot of bubbles that leave a pretty large white head.

Smell: The saaz spicy notes come through, a bit of a sweetness in there as well.

Taste: The saaz spiciness hits pretty hard, along with a malty sweet backbone. The sweetness is becoming a bit cloying the farther I get into this brew. Definitely more of a Czech style pilsner but lacks the malt complexity of many of the great Czech beers.

Mouthfeel: Very dry, crisp and lightweight.

Drinkability: Works well on a hot summer day, which is the main point of this beer. So it accomplishes what it's set out to be. Overall I'll pick up a six or two every year.

Photo of zhooker
3.13/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Just bought a sixer from down the block. Poured from a bottle into a pilsener glass. Extremely light in color, slightly golden and very clear. A finger's worth of head builds and quickly dissipates. Persistent bubbling action.

Light nose to match the color. Pilsener maltiness and a floral hoppiness. Maybe a tad of citrus-y spiciness.

The smell does not belie the taste. A crisp and refreshing mouthfeel compliments a light, tempered malt taste that doesn't veer too far from your standard mass market Pilsener/lager. The hops, however, are more pronounced than the usual, which is welcomed. Hints of citrus spice, reminiscent of some hefeweizens, float in and out.

Even during the hottest of summer days, Summerfest, a "crisp summer lager," is a bit too light for my taste, and the flavors too unpronounced. However, this kind of inoffensiveness and neutrality is perfect for friends and visitors just looking for something pleasantly drinkable and refreshing.

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

Poured into a snifter.

appearance - pours a transparent straw yellow with a big white foamy head that recedes but leaves generous lacing behind

smell - yeast and wheat, floral hops

taste - yeast followed by wheat, slightly bready finish, slightly sweet malt

mouthfeel - light and foamy, strong carbonation, frothy

drinkability - easy drinking, light on flavor, pretty to look at

Photo of meeekyh
4.13/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

So I decided to get a keg of beer. A session beer in quantity to mitigate the extreme cost of buying good beer individually or by the sixpack. Around here a six of Victory or Rogue will cost you in the high eights up to around twelve for the Golden Monkey or the Brutal Bitter. Anyway I wanted to save a buck and get good beer and due to limitations Summerfest became the fall back choice (after a sample to assure myself that tis year's product was better than last...See my other Summerfest review for more).

Price check for my own gratification...6 Pack of Summerfest - from 8-9 bucks. Five gallon can of Summerfest - $60 so...thats $60 for 53 beers or just short of 9 six packs...anyway, I saved a buck.

I set the CO2 a bit high so the head was big, like 4-5 fingers big, and the color seems lighter. Lacing is great, and the smells are different.

I note a grain smell that is much like the bottled version. I like it as it is clean but question the purity. I really wish I knew where to find the components of the grain bill for this beer (and all of the other ingredients too). OK, Back to the meat of things, this smells good with citrus and grassy notes the mainstay. I still note a lack of piny smells which generally accompany SN releases, and this surprises me and confuses me, not really ;-)

The taste is quite nice, thankfully as I seem to have a quantity on-hand, and tart. It is refreshing and dry. I am pleased with this representation of the style; it is clean, refreshing, dry, grainy and pleasing.

Mouthfeel is light, finish is the aforementioned dry and there is good carbonation to carry the flavors to my nose and sinuses and supply the carbonic acid I so desire. I am pleased for my choice as this is a greatly quaffable pilsner lager beer, and that is saying a mouthful.

Finally, lastly and to conclude I believe this to be a fine beer full of aged yeasty goodness. I will drink it, lather rinse and repeat.


Photo of tykees88
3.62/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap

A- Clear yellow, one finger head

S- It smells like summer, a refreshing lemon zest and hoppy bitterness makes me years for a taste.

T- Hoppy and lemony. A good taste but nothing to ride home about.

D- Good beer for a hot summer day on the porch, would prefer this out of the bottle at home versus on tap at a restaurant. I think that setting is what is going to make this beer more drinkable.

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

Appearance: Pours a crystal clear pale yellow with a small, fizzy white head.

Smell: Pale malt aroma with notes of floral, spicy hops. A hint of vanilla and lemon drops.

Taste: Pale maltiness with a punch of spicy bitterness. Floral flavor with a crisp with a light, lingering spice on the tongue.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Oh yeah, a nice change from all the BIG American beers I had over the winter. It's friendly and refreshing.

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

Poured into a shaker pint glass a bright yellow, the color of a traffic light. Thin white head formed that was maybe 1/2 an inch. Nice looking beer.

Smell was very clean. Light pilsener malt aroma & light citrus, but mostly clean without strong aromas.

Taste was very nice. Plenty of grainy character without the corn character or the thin flavors of most American lagers. Nice assertive bitterness here. Not quite to a real pilsener but close. Less citrus in the taste than in the aroma and more noble hop, herbal/floral character.

Body & mouthfeel were good. Full body for style, presumably b/c there are no adjuncts in here. Well carbonated. This beer is exactly what standard American lagers should taste like! It's a straightahead lager but with full flavors.

Photo of bigfnjoe
3.23/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A- Pours a clear, dark yellow with a very thin white head that quickly fades. Nearly no bubbles rising from the bottom of the glass...looks a little plain.

S- Very mild malt scent. Really, not much of anything.

T- Not really a whole lot. I get a nice bit of maltiness in the back of my mouth upon taking a sip, which is nice...but thats really all.

M- Not a whole lot of carbonation at all. Very light.

D- Oh yeah, its drinkable. Because of how light and rather flavorless this is, it goes down real smooth and you don't even blink. I could easily pound back a few of these in a night...if I was into drinking beer like this on the regular.

Photo of lester619
4.33/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a bubbly clear golden yellow. Thin white head with clingy lace. Smell is very clean and dry. Grassy, a little bit of lemon. Not a huge nose. Very clean and crisp. Sharp carbonation. Fantastic tasting pilsener. Perfect amount of refreshing bitterness. Finishes ultra clean with no aftertaste what so ever. I could literally drink gallons of this stuff regardless of the weather. This is a great summer beer, but I don't think they should limit it to a seasonal. Just call it Sierra Nevada Pilsener and make it every day. In my opinion SN is the best brewery in the country. They are great at every thing they do regardless of the style. Great beer.

Photo of semibaked
3.58/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass

A - Pours a bright almost neon yellow with a crystal clear body that is producing more carbonation than I have ever seen in a beer. Also had about a half finger of bright white foam.

S - Big lemon and lemon candy smell that dominates the slight malt I smell.

T - Slight lemon and malts, plus a nice bitterness from the hops in the middle.

M - Just your run of the mill lager mouthfeel which is very thin and watery, plus a little oiliness.

D - This is up there with the other summer beers I have had, super refreshing, crisp and clean with a lingering lemon candy flavor. Good stuff

Photo of loftisCT
4.23/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Brewed on the 68th day of 2010 (so early March), and enjoyed on May 2, 2010

A: Pours a crystal clear light straw color. The head is bright white with a nice mix of small and large soapy bubbles. The head recedes quickly but leaves decent lacing. This beer is ALIVE!!! Small bubbles aggressively rise from the bottom to the beers very last drop. This beer is a GLP, or good looking pilsener.

S: The nose reveals a nice exchange between sweet grainy malts and fresh smelling mix of spicy and floral hop aromas, with just a slight citrus hint. I am used to a sweeter, honey-bread malt aroma coming from pilsener but this more grainy malt but still smells very fresh and clean.

T: The sweet graininess of malts is balanced beautifully by the delicate, spicy and noble characters of the hops. The malt wins out for a moment, but its victory is short lived as the hops kick in at the end. The hop finish is not so much bitter as it is drying as a mild earthy spiciness is left on the back of the tongue.

M: The mouthfeel of this beer is amazingly light and refreshing. This beer is very highly carbonated which makes it feel lively on the tongue and provides a delicious crisp finish.

D: I could drink this beer all day. In my opinion this is a great, affordable pilsener. It may not be the most complex beer but it has everything I look for in a pilsner: a showcase of noble hops, a nice solid, slightly sweet malt backbone, and amazing drinkability.

Photo of SamN
2.9/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Ridiculously clear and light. Indistinguishable from a Corona Light. Decent head, fluffy and light, slight rockiness on top and with great retention. Lively carbonation streams.

S- Musty! Like dust, literally. Smells like the back of an old computer store. Doesn't even smell like a liquid, it smells dry! I've never encountered such a smell before. After the initial shock wears of, I can find apricots and other light fruit esters from the hops. Very faint maltyness in there providing a dab of sugary sweetness. But wow, it still smells like old dust to me. Weird.

T- Slightly tangy hops and malt balance, fades to macro-like metallic hops twang, slightly bitter finish. Mostly a mustier pilsner, nothing too terribly exciting here. Easy flavor, no overwhelming tastes in either direction. Meh, what can I say? Kind of boring.

M- Light body, fair carbonation and more than decent smoothness of pulls. The best part of this beer, by far.

D- No real reason I would drink this beer again. Boring and faceless with a weird mustiness to it. Not the biggest hit with me, but I wouldn't complain if it was at a BBQ. Can go down without noticing it's lesser qualities.

Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 3,658 ratings.