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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.
BA SCORE
83
good

3,500 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,500
Reviews: 1,469
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 12.84%
Wants: 64
Gots: 211 | 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: 3,500 | Reviews: 1,469 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Magpie14
Magpie14

Michigan

3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

A: pale yellow with light and clear golden hues. This beer seems to get lighter and lighter as I tip. Bleached cap is in a good sudsy way with just a slobbering or two of lace

S: traditional Czech hop pilsner smell with a touch of lemons, maybe. Not much else in this. Maybe a whiff of fresh farm cut straw and hayfields

T: cooked grains push through as the base and this allows a bitter hop snap with a crushed peppery bite, somewhat sullen at times. I always associate summer beers to have a fruity character, this is just a good American version of European Pilsner. Hop flavors pull more at herbal notes after a few gulps. Not much else to mention

M: light, dry, crisp, and spicy. Holds a footing in the light summer type body with plenty of carbonation

D: summery in the sense of a "super good" lawnmower beer

05-08-2009 21:53:33 | More by Magpie14
Photo of Brenden
Brenden

Ohio

3.7/5  rDev +1.1%

Decided to try this from the bottle since I've had it on tap and I was in a "pilsner labeled as a lager" sort of mood. It's not a mood I have often, but this one fits the bill when it does hit. It's...pretty much exactly the same.

It's a pale golden color with some carbonation activity evident. A pure white head diminishes after a few moments to a lacy foam that sticks thinly in a few patches.
There's that grassy aroma that I like, very earthy, with clean hops and a spicy nip. Good, but a bit light.
A little bit stronger malt comes out in the taste. Hops bitterness bites up front and cooperative efforts from lemon, grains and spice add to a nice flavor and balance.
I've rarely had a beer with such a crisp mouthfeel. The body is light to medium and carbonation is at an optimal level.
This is nothing fancy or spectacular. It's just a good beer.

05-07-2009 15:19:28 | More by Brenden
Photo of biggred1
biggred1

Indiana

4/5  rDev +9.3%

Pale gold with a rocky white, fluffy head that sticks some lace on the glass. Saaz hops and munich malt with doughy grain and lemon rounding out the smell. Tastes of toasted grain with a fresh dose of euro hoppiness in the mostly clean finish. This tastes like what I would imagine a really fresh, real czech pils would taste like. Smooth with a light mildly creamy body and seltzery carbonation. A really nice beer and an underappreciated style.

05-07-2009 02:03:37 | More by biggred1
Photo of djeucalyptus
djeucalyptus

Oregon

3.65/5  rDev -0.3%

a crisp summer lager it says.

a crisp summer lager it looks. pours a light hay hue with tinges of lemon and butterscotch candy. a fairly nice two-finger creamy and surprisingly thick head has fair retention and leaves behind acceptable yet uninspired lacing.

smells like what I'd imagine summer crispness would smell like. some grainy notes mixed with ample traces of fresh green euro hops (sazzy?) and some interesting fruity notes - somewhere between and apple orchard and a pineapple grove. interesting.

tastes like crispness. okay... not really that crisp. grain hits up front, with a bit of cereal grain funk, then some crisp hops and nice citrusy and appley notes come in and help out. As it warms, the flavors take turns dominating. I can't quite pick out one strong leading flavor. which I'm okay with. interesting zippy tropical notes make their way through.

mouthfeel is clean, crisp, and refreshing. oh wait. this is sierra. hmm... medium bodied, smooth, ample carbonation gives just a bit of prickly pop to give body and help hammer home the subtle hops. a touch drying on the finish.

All in all, I wouldn't turn this one away. There's a time and a place for a good lager, and I guess this comes close to fitting the bill. Sits ahead of many euro pils out there in my mind, but i still can't quite call it impressive, as it just leaves me feeling like I missed something. Drinkable, sure. but there are other more striking pilseners out there.

05-06-2009 18:14:49 | More by djeucalyptus
Photo of Lambstrong
Lambstrong

Virginia

4.08/5  rDev +11.5%

Appearance: Pours a light golden color with a white head. Th head dissipates rather quickly, however the lacing is decent.

Aroma: Slight lemon aroma with a wiff of hopiness in the background.

Taste: Right away I tasted roasted grains followed by hops. There is a mineral quality to this beer that I normally associate with german lagers. I also picked up on a slight fruit notes. Very refreshing.

Mouthfeel: Good amount of carbonation which I like in lagers. Not heavy at all, but there is a chewiness to it.

05-05-2009 19:58:28 | More by Lambstrong
Photo of Amalak
Amalak

New York

3.38/5  rDev -7.7%

On a hot summer day and you're sitting outside, this is the perfect beer. The taste is minimal, but it has a crispness and is light (yet not watery). A slight bitterness gives it the crisp taste.

It's called summerfest and that's when you'd drink it. Otherwise, it's kind of average. More of a mood beer.

05-05-2009 03:32:49 | More by Amalak
Photo of BeenJammin
BeenJammin

Kansas

4.1/5  rDev +12%

This beer pours a nice clear golden color with a nice white head. It has a grainy aroma with a bit of citrus hop presence in the nose. Its taste again has a nice citrus hop bite to go along with the clean malt character. It has a light, crisp and clean mouthfeel and this beer is wonderful for a hot summer day. I dig everything that SN does, even their light beers are great!

05-04-2009 01:31:53 | More by BeenJammin
Photo of StarlightSeraph
StarlightSeraph

North Carolina

3.58/5  rDev -2.2%

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a crystal-clear golden-yellow, with lots of bubbles. Two fingers of white head that just sat there - dissipated very slowly. Lots of lacing.

Smell: Corny, malty, some grassy hops thrown in there.

Taste: Smooth, crisp, with a nice hoppy kick at the end. The hops aren't too bitter. and balance out the brew very nicely. The grassiness of the hops seems to pervade the entire brew. Not too much to this one, but it's nice and refreshing.

Mouthfeel: Not too thick for this kind of beer, good carbonation. Nothing to really complain about.

Drinkability: Goes down very smooth, and very easy to drink. As its name would suggest, this is a great summer beer. It's not the best pilsner I've ever had, but it's a solid beer.

05-04-2009 01:19:51 | More by StarlightSeraph
Photo of wiseguy142
wiseguy142

New York

3.4/5  rDev -7.1%

Pours a very clear,q uickly forming condensation on the side of my glass. Tons of visible carbonation, especially from the nucleation sites in my Sam Adams glass. Head sticks around a bit.. wouldn't have minded a little longer, like the character you get from great German pilsners.

Aroma is way too muc like a macro lager in my opinion. Just reminds me of Keystone. Some more sophisticated pilsner malt aroma and tettnang.. maybe not as as bad as it first came off. Just barely above the threshold though.

Taste is buttery and a bit salty, like a bohemian pilsner. Butter cuts through the otherwise dry character of the malt.. slight hop tartness towards the finish. Slightly grassy malt, like hay. Probably the best part is the hop bitterness towards the end, but the diacetyl messes with me a bit.

Mouthfeel is light and a bit creamy. As for drinkability, I had a bit of trouble with it. A little to "robust" of a pilsner for my tastes.. would have enjoyed something dryer.

05-02-2009 15:55:42 | More by wiseguy142
Photo of AgingWarrior
AgingWarrior

Florida

3.83/5  rDev +4.6%

Poured a very light golden color into my Sam Adams beer glass. Nice finger of white head that dissipated quickly, but did provide some thin lace.

Smells like grain with some citrus hops undertones.

Tastes like a very light lager. Nice light grainy taste on the tongue with some malt balance on the backside.

Mouth feel is light body and lightly carbonated. Medium dry finish. Left my mouth feeling a little parched, wanting more liquid.

Easy to drink, light summer fare. Great for a hot day in the yard or a barbecue.

05-02-2009 14:03:02 | More by AgingWarrior
Photo of ericj551
ericj551

Alberta (Canada)

3.78/5  rDev +3.3%

Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager pours a crystal clear yellow with a thin head and light to moderate carbonation. The aroma is light dry grainy malt with a vague whiff of herbal hops. The flavor is crisp and dry with some light pilsner malt upfront followed by light spicy hop flavor. There is just a bit of lingering bitterness in the finish. Overall this is a very crisp, drinkable summer beer, but it just didn't have quite enough flavor for me.

05-02-2009 01:45:46 | More by ericj551
Photo of stuckonhops
stuckonhops

Pennsylvania

4.75/5  rDev +29.8%

Pours a nice clear golden with lots of tiny little bubbles forming a nice head that falls slower than what you may be used to from a lager style. Smells of light lemony citrus and lightly buttered breads. Taste is slightly grassy and slightly bitter. One of sierra nevada's "Lighter" flavored beers. Not extremely complex but keeps you coming back for more and more.

Very easy drinking while throwin horseshoes on hot days as well as just relaxing watching a game with the Air Conditioner on. Works well on all occasions. Better than miller for a "lawnmower beer" anyday.

very crisp..very tasty...definetly reccomend this for anyone..

05-01-2009 20:02:56 | More by stuckonhops
Photo of jkbusman
jkbusman

North Carolina

3.83/5  rDev +4.6%

A - pale golden amber with a short off-white head

S - heavy grain and yeast presence with notes of citrus

T - similar to the nose; prominent grain presence with notes of lemon

M - a crisp and refreshing mouthfeel due to the fairly heavy carbonation

D - not the best beer SN makes, but a flavorful lager, with a refreshing crispness to it; perfect for summer cookouts and for dispensing to unsuspecting macro drinkers

05-01-2009 01:52:51 | More by jkbusman
Photo of elniko
elniko

Texas

4.1/5  rDev +12%

Poured from bottle into pint glass.

A: Light amber coloring with nice head and rather substantial lacing. High carbonation apparent. Good looking brew.

S: Nice pilsener tones, mostly grassy and malty tones with just a hint of the hops as well. Solid.

T & M: This is my go-to summer brew that I never got around to reviewing last year. Nice maltiness up front with crisp nicely bitter finish. Mouthfeel is not thin but not overbearing either, some slight buttery tones as well. Carbonation does not overwhelm.

D: Super drinkable, I could drink Summerfest all day long.

05-01-2009 01:40:08 | More by elniko
Photo of PintOHops
PintOHops

California

4/5  rDev +9.3%

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance/Smell - Appears ultra clear golden amber with medium carbonation and almost an inch of frothy, fluffy head. Head retention is decent, and it leaves some spotty lacing as well. Some nice little strings of carbonation, kinda like champagne. Smells of lite citrus orange peel, hints nutmeg & grapefruit, raisins & dates. Wonderful bouquet of hops, pretty floral, spicy and pine like, and some nice sweet undertones of malt. Wonderful!

Taste/Mouthfeel - Tastes of sweet malt, nice citrus orange peel, grapefruit & hints of nutmeg. Wonderful roasted, toasty and almost burnt biscuit like hop bitterness is plentiful! Hop bitterness lingers well, and the hop bitterness is pretty well balanced with the wonderful, thirst quenching citrus flavors, very crisp & refreshing! Mouthfeel is thin & crisp, and lite-medium bodied.

Drinkability/Final thoughts - I could definitely enjoy 2-3 pints of this on a warm day, so crisp & refreshing, so balanced & hopy! I absolutely love this beer, and everything about it, I really enjoyed the toasted hop bitterness coupled with the lite citrus orange peel and grapefruit flavors. Thirst quenching, and highly drinkable! This is a very nice summer lager, and I recommend everybody give it a try when they can. Cheers!

04-29-2009 23:04:15 | More by PintOHops
Photo of BeanBone
BeanBone

Texas

4.13/5  rDev +12.8%

Appearance: A clear, golden-straw colored body with a generous and bubbly white head on top that leaves good lacing. This certainly looks the part.

Aroma: Grassy, herbal, and lemony Saaz hops over pale malt. Quite crisp.

Taste: Much the same story here. Classic Saaz hop character over a pale malt body with some wheat-like flavors added to the mix. The aftertaste is not long lived, and tastes of pale malt.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light bodied with moderate carbonation. Crisp and clean with a dry finish.

Drinkability: Quite the quencher, this would be excellent on a Summer's day.

Verdict: Summerfest is just a solid, tasty American version of the classic Czech Pilsener. I'd love to slip one of these to one of my macro drinking buddies and see what they thought of it.

04-29-2009 17:16:07 | More by BeanBone
Photo of alpinebryant
alpinebryant

Connecticut

3.33/5  rDev -9%

Served in a pint glass with dinner at Mohegan Sun

Looked pale yellow in color, small white head lacing the glass. Smelled of Pilsner malt, and citrusy hints. Taste of strong pilsner as expected and nice citrus notes. I thought the play of the citrus and Pilsner flavors had a light licorice like taste when together. Medium bodied - definitely not your average pilsner lager , nice thickness to it. Had one with dinner and then off to a comedy show, but I would have had another.

04-28-2009 19:21:11 | More by alpinebryant
Photo of Foolmonkey
Foolmonkey

Maryland

3.78/5  rDev +3.3%

I decided to pick up a 6-pack of this today. It felt wrong on a day this hot to buy the early spring beer. The mouthfeel and drinkability are Superb, smooth, and very drinkable on a hot day. Just what I wanted.

The pour was a good solid gold color with a small lacing up top. Both the smell and taste were light and not imposing. Good beer but overall did not provide enough depth for me to choose it over other summer lagers in the future.

04-28-2009 04:22:56 | More by Foolmonkey
Photo of bkilpatr
bkilpatr

Oregon

4/5  rDev +9.3%

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. 04/27/09. 2009 Version.

Pours a bright clear straw-yellow color with a good inch of soft whitish head. The head disappeared rather quickly. Aroma is faint with pils malt, a biscuity character, and floral European hops.

Taste starts with a grainy pils malt and sweet biscuit flavor. Nice spicy and floral European hops provide a pleasant bitterness that lasts throughout. Very crisp and clean finish, which is helped by just the right amount of carbonation. Light bodied enough to make it super-easy to drink. Almost sessionable, just a touch lighter and it'd be great.

Overall, a very good beer - great for a hot summer day.

04-28-2009 02:59:13 | More by bkilpatr
Photo of morebeergood
morebeergood

Massachusetts

3.48/5  rDev -4.9%

Picked up a six pack to drink with friends on their deck on a hot Sunday afternoon. Poured mine into a standard pint glass. Bright yellow color. Lots of carbonation. Fairly large head, but that went away fast. Pilsener clarity to the body. A nice looking beer to say the least. Smell was OK, got some hops in the nose. Taste was pretty good but not too strong, which how a summer beer should be I guess. Nice balance of malt and hops, but I did get a bit of a corn-like flavor on the first few sips. Also, I though the aftertaste was a bit sticky at the finish. This beer was not as crisp as I had hoped for. But, it was light, flavorful, and not too high in abv. Pretty refreshing on a warm day. I'd buy this again over some locally marketed summer beers.

04-27-2009 23:45:47 | More by morebeergood
Photo of atsprings
atsprings

North Carolina

3.65/5  rDev -0.3%

On-tap at Flying Saucer served a nice crisp golden yellow with a nice frothy off-white head. Aroma is a some sweet malts with a mild citrus hop presence. The taste is a smooth subtle blend of sweet malts and crisp citrus hops, not overpowering at all and certainly in tune for summer. The beer is very light and crisp and would make a great lawnmower beer. This one is certainly enjoyable for the style.

04-27-2009 17:53:44 | More by atsprings
Photo of PhiloPsych
PhiloPsych

California

3.6/5  rDev -1.6%

Light, clear, yellow and bubbly. This is what pilseners should aspire to be: light, crisp, clean, thirst-quenching, palate-cleansing, with enough alcohol to let you know you're drinking, and enough taste to let you know you're drinking beer. I chose this to go with Mexican food and, as it turns out, it is well-suited for that. I recommend serving this at summer parties or barbecues to friends who normally drink macro lagers--they should clearly notice the difference in quality.

04-27-2009 00:58:06 | More by PhiloPsych
Photo of thespaceman
thespaceman

Connecticut

4.2/5  rDev +14.8%

Poured from a 12oz stubby bottle into a Sierra Nevada pint glass:

Appearance: Pours a beautiful light gold in color, nice thick rocky head, very dense, excellent retention, good lacing as well.

Smell: Grassy like hop elements emerge beautifully, a huge boquet of citrus merges nicely with a small amount of malt spice. A bit of orange creeps in the backdrop.

Taste: Very pilsner like in the front, small bits of hoppiness are here, a bit of orange again from the aroma, slick & buttery, some earth like maltiness is small and subtle, very crisp and refreshing. The finish consists of a small amount of alcohol bite which is very enjoyable. End notes carry on from the aroma with a touch of toast from the malt and some earth like flavoring.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation isn't too big on this beer, which helps out the overall mouthfeel, again it's slick in some spots, but holds up nicely on the tongue. Light bodied and leaves a nice crispness on the palete.

Drinkability: Summer beers can be hard to like, everybody loves a bigger beer but when it's 90 degrees and sunny you need something to quench your thirst and at the same time keep your interest. This beer does it. SN provides all the drinkable characterisitcs to make this a go-to summer beer for the craft beer drinker or the BMC head. I can see lounging on the shore with a few of these or even cracking one open after a long day of work in the sun. Very drinkable and refreshing. Well done!

04-26-2009 17:26:11 | More by thespaceman
Photo of grayburn
grayburn

South Carolina

3.8/5  rDev +3.8%

A very pretty beer, summerfest pours a golden crystal clear. There is a 2 finger head and a pretty nice shiny white lace. The retention is pretty good too.

The smell and taste are very clean, there are some minor malt and hop notes, mainly citrus and wintergreen.

The mouthfeel is light, crisp, and refreshing, very nice for a summer beer. This leads to a very drinkable package.

04-25-2009 23:14:31 | More by grayburn
Photo of Kolsch
Kolsch

Pennsylvania

3.9/5  rDev +6.6%

On tap on home draft system. Kegged date not stamped.

Appearance: Very clear & yellow straw. Nice Pillowy head that stayed as a 1/4 inch cusp throughout drink.

Smell: Cake dough and Saaz hops.

Taste: Doughy up front & slightly sweet. Crisp taste from the hops at the end of the sip. Very smooth and easy to drink. Very sessionable beer at 5% and I can easily down a few after struggling to cut the grass.

Overall: If you are expecting a hopped up pilsner, this is not for you. This is a very well done lager by a brewery that is known for Ales.

04-24-2009 10:48:18 | More by Kolsch
Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 3,500 ratings.