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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.

3,672 Ratings
very good

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Ratings: 3,672
Reviews: 1,485
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 12.84%
Wants: 74
Gots: 296 | 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: 3,672 | Reviews: 1,485
Photo of stewart124
4.42/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Carbonation is very visable. Straw in color with little head.

Floral nose with some grass and lemon in the nose.

Very crisp and refreshing. Finish is dry and oh so crisp. There is just a slight amount of lemon zest in character.

Super smooth and refreshing on a hot summer day. Lots of malt character and just a nice amount of noble hop bitterness. The zest and spice of the hops compliment the crisp maltiness perfectly.

A very nice example of the style and always something to look forward to in the summer.

Photo of JohnQVegas
4.15/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into Sam Adams sensory glass.

Pours crystal clear yellow, with a one-finger creamy white head, settling down to a soapy cap fairly quickly. Tons of effervescence coming up from the nucleation points on the bottom of the glass. Lots of nice lacing.

Nose is light - kiss of barely-there sweet pilsner malt with just a bit of grassy hops sitting on top.

Taste kicks it up a notch. Dry, grassy hops take center stage, with just enough pale malt sweetness to balance the big hop presence. Finish is firmly bitter, dry, grassy, prickly, crisp. No off flavors at all, very well-put together beer. Excellent.

Mouthfeel is crisp, light-bodied, dry, snappy carbonation with a bite that's just a bit coarse.

Drinkability is stellar. Perfectly balanced, no real flaws at all, just a great example. Top notch.

Photo of grittybrews
4.2/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a pale gold into a Duvel tulip (how casual and summery, right?) with around a finger of loose white head that receded to a thin film.

Light grainy aroma with just a touch of lemon. Moderate carbonation and a nice light mouthfeel. Very smooth, crisp flavor with a further hint of lemon and a slightly sweet caramel malt profile. Very tasty, easy-drinking summer pilsner.

Photo of DNICE555
3.88/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Nice calarity, lots of carbonation, frothy white head.

S - Citrus and floral notes.

T - Slight bitterness from the hops. A lager sweetness follows. Some nice citrus in there.

M - Very refreshing after a 5 miles trail run in the new kicks with zapps. Compliments a spicy jalapeno turkey burger, avocado, asparagus, and spicy brown rice very nicely. Zapps the chef.

D - Goes down very nicely. 2 of these after a nice run is perfect. A light 5 percent makes them very east to put down.

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

A- Super pale yellow with a perfectly white head. Lots of lacing is not hard to achieve with this beer. It throws sheets and sheets that cover the whole glass. Lots and lots of bubbles rising to the top, spawned by the laser etching in the Perfect Pint.

S- Mild nose. Lots of spicy hops. Plenty of lemon, fresh cut grass, wet dog and some cracker like malts. Lots of that classic Saaz stuff.

T- Loads of hops for a pils. They start out lemony, zesty and sweet. By the end they become piney and just bitter enough to give this a really nice bite. The only downside is that from time to time the finish becomes quite medicinal.

M- Light and sharply carbonated. Its just a totally clean feeling beer. Its somewhat dry but there are many pilsners out there that are much more dry. I think in this case this is a good thing. It helps this beer quench your thrist better.

D- Super easy to drink. I have some yard work to do so over the course of the day I dont think I will have any problem finishing the 6 of them.

Photo of WJVII
3.33/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass this brew is a light straw color with a clean one finger white head. The aroma is full of malt, some breadiness, and slight floral hops. The taste is crisp and fresh. It is a hot day and as suggested this brew is fresh, crisp, and clean. Not too bold and there is a moderate bitter after taste but the overall feel is light and refreshing. I think there are better beers when needing your thirst quenched (as the bitter after taste leaves you needing to take another drink) but all in all a well balanced brew.

Photo of ryanonline
4.28/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

very clear pale straw color with a thin white scarce head. little lacing.

smells sweet and yummy with a slight grassy nose. very clean and crisp smell.

taste is the same but the sweet tastes a bit more like honey, definitely got some peppery and flowery hops too.

mouthfeel is crisp but a little dry in the finish. thin bodied too, but has a pleasant malty aftertaste.

easily drinkable beer.

i like this beer, had it at the beach the other day and it was quite the compliment to a sunny day and some burgers fresh off the grill.

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

Appearance - Pours a light golden color with about a finger of head that quickly dissipates leaving slight lacing.

Smell - Bready malts, lemon, and a slight skunky/hoppy smell? I just picked it up so I doubt it is bad?

Taste - Similar to the nose. An initial hop kick followed by a caramel malt backbone. Slight floral presence. None of the flavors are overpowering.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied, slight carbonation, slight dry finish.

Drinkability - Relatively so. Not a beer that you would get "excited" about however. I don't think I will be getting this again however.

Photo of vette2006c5r
3.74/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager poured a bright yellow color, with almost no head to speak of. It smelt of a bit of hops, and lemon. It had a light but full flavor, it was a little bit hoppy, and there was alot of lemon flavors as well. It was easy to drink, and very enjoyable. Overall a great summer beer, worth a try.

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

Poured from a characteristic stubby 12 oz. bottle into a pilsener glass.

A: Pours a clear, bright, straw color with a soapy head that dissipates into a thin ring. The bubbles in this are pretty vigorous--they flow constantly through the beer from start to finish.

S: Nothing really overpowering here. I get a little bit of a floral note, along with the standard grassy aroma.

T: A very straightforward pilsener. There's a slight hoppy twang, but mostly I get a crisp grassy flavor. Not really much sweetness, but very smooth all the same.

M: Very dry and light bodied, with a fairly prominent prickle of carbonation. Although the flavor doesn't stick around for long, it's still very refreshing.

D: Again, a pretty refreshing beer. It's not going to challenge your palate in many ways, but it's far superior to any macro lager in terms of quality and taste. I could definitely kick back a few of these by the pool or at a cookout.

Photo of appenzeller
3.83/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Excellent clarity, dim golden color, effervescent with apparently high carbonation. Thick, frothy white head with aggressive pour.

Smell: Feint floral or citrus smell

Taste/Mouthfeel: Very refreshing, light pilsner bursting with carbonation. Slight sweetness from malt, rather hoppy and overbitter for the style. Feint metallic aftertaste. Despite its lightness, it has the mouthfeel of a beer--with real bite.

From appearances and smell, could be great. The taste is very good and close to the standard for a good pilsner, but is ever so slightly imbalanced, overly bitter and lacks the mellow hoppiness of the very best pilsners. This is a good fallback option but a step below the leaders in this style.

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

What a formidable looking lager! When decanted hastily it displays a full two fingers of frothy, pearl white foam that holds its ground for a few minutes and then recedes to multiple chunks and wisps of lace. The color an extremely clear, dim yellow with some bright, thinning highlights. Certainly displaying all the characteristics you'd expect of a quality Czech-style Pils.

Bready and floral with toasty buttered biscuit and some spicy, crisp hops. Lots of husky, dry yeast and a well balanced overall character. Makes me wish I had a hammock.

Bright and floral up front and quickly melting in to a buttery, toasty, browned English muffin flavor. Spicy with some cornmeal and a nice mellow, yeasty character that helps to balance out the whole situation. Some phenol character with just mild note of warmth in the finish.

The initial, characteristic crispness is there but surprisingly there is a relatively low level of carbonation. It definitely helps the buttery notes to be retained but the crisp lightness is mellowed. However a nice, spicy hop character does a good job of brightening of the brew just enough.

In terms of drinkability I'm feeling just ok about it. Although the ABV is low and the brew is definitely lively enough to keep my attention, I feel like the very mellow, buttery feel may get monotonous after a couple. In this case I think a more assertive carbonation level would help the drinkability. Still a great summer brew that I enjoy often.

Photo of albertjr21
3.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

At this point in the life of my ever evolving palate, I wont say that I often opt for the Pilsener style when it comes to beer selection. But, several years ago, I admit, I was fond of pouring a Pilsner Urquell into my mason jar turned freezer chilled mugs. It was the most refreshing thing on a hot humid day but I did grow out of it. I did this time need something to go with my spicy Indian dish of Chicken Tikka Masala and turned to the reliable Sierra Nevada Co. for their hand in marriage of food and beer.
Overall, what a great couple they make...I was quite impressed with how well the crisp and mild bodied brew cut right through the spiciness after every bite and left a clean and refreshing finish with a pleasant low bitterness. The malt and hop aromas aren't very appealing to me but I do appreciate the smooth, full flavor, and aftertaste that Summerfest grants the palate.

Photo of drabmuh
3.07/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beer is served in a stange. Beer is yellow and completely clear. Carbonation is moderate and made up of medium bubbles. Forms a white broken head that clings to the glass interface but doesn't leave any lacing on the glass. Looks fine.

There is nearly no aroma, slight grainy smell. Faint. I know aroma is not a big part of this beer but its not appetizing.

Beer has a grainy taste to it but it finishes nicely. Overall just a plain, blank slate, almost a palate cleanser. There is nothing special or interesting about this beer. Its bland. Easy to drink though.

Photo of Haus
2.8/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours a straw yellow with a frothy white head. Head dissapates to almost nothing... not much lacing of the glass.

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

T - Lightly sweet pale malt mixes with some floral and citric hop qualities, leading into a fairly slick finish that leaves some a moderate aftertaste.

M - Light, clean and crisp with nice carbonation.

D - A sessionable brew that will definitely go well with summer weather. Thirst-quenching and light. Not terribly impressed with this lager especially for the price.

Serving type: bottle

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).

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Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 3,672 ratings.