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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.

3,659 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,659
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: 3,659 | Reviews: 1,483 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of generallee
4.15/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12oz into a Pilsener glass.

Appearance: The body has a golden yellow color with very good clarity and some nice visible carbonation. On top its head is bright white in color, slow fading and makes some nice lacing.

Smell: It has a light nose of pale clean malt with a spicy and floral hop character.

Taste/Mouth: The flavor is medium bodied, crisp and very clean. Dry crisp biscuity malt foams the base for the lightly spicy and floral hops. These hops give the beer a nice overall bitterness. The finish is sharp and dry with some bitterness hanging on. The texture is light and refreshing with active cleansing carbonation.

Notes: A solid beer from a solid brewery! "Everybody fest"

Photo of BierFan
3.61/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a stubby 12 ounce bottle.

Appearance: Clear golden body. Slightly off-white fizzy head. Carbonation looks great.

Smell: Not much aroma. This is my biggest problem area with this particular beer.

Taste: Very refreshing, with a modest bitterness. A little bit of lemon from otherwise spicy hops.

Photo of barleypopmaker
3.48/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a brilliantly clear yellow color. If you were to hold this up next to Budweiser you may have a hard time visually telling the difference, for a Bohemian Pilsner this beer's color is at the mark, albeit the low end of the color scale. In the aroma you have a lot more malt aroma than you would in that Bud, and that's a good thing, the bad thing is the hop aroma levels of the Saaz is a bit lower than I would expect for this style. The malt aroma is crisp and grainy, while the hop aroma is a bit more floral for me than spicy, as well as being low.
As for the flavor, the hop bitterness is a bit underdone as well as the flavor. The malt flavor is lingering as well. The bitterness is quite a bit lower than what I have had in many other Bohemian Pils, but it is there and it does not linger into the finish. I do like the beer's finish and it does leave you wanting more, the malt is just slightly sweet and finishes clean. Stylistically the beer misses the mark a bit for a claim as a Bohemian Pils, but it does deliver as a good easy drinking summer beer. I guess it all depends on what the main goal of this beer was, if it was to nail a Bohemian Pilsner style or be a mass market craft beer perfect for summer events. I would put my money on the latter. But this beer still could benefit from a boost in the Saaz hops additions even if it was just a little.

Photo of dacrza1
3.2/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Situation: Celebrating the halfway point of summer school...
Glassware: Ayinger willibecker...
Appearance: golden yellow body; steady, busy effervescence beneath bright, white, foamy head; looks to be a lager/pilsener tweener...
Aroma: nice balance of hops and malts--with a floral overlap that pleases; malts are sharp, hops are lowery...
Palate: light-to medium-bodied; slightly available early with a buzz at the throat; only twinges are detected at the tongue...
Taste: pleasantly restrained in its maltiness--a toned-down pilsener indeed, but definite dimensions to its profile...
Overall: a six-pack session beer for the summer, as advertised... not as big (Bigfoot), professional (pale ale) or awesome (Wet Hop) as their more memorable offerings, but smooth and agreeable...

Photo of boatshoes
2.38/5  rDev -35%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Had this on tap when I was up at the Jersey shore staying courtesy of a friend in a nice condo in Margate. Beer accompanied a nice coconut porkchop with dinner.

Appearance- Can't say this beer came out from the bar looking very attractive, but it isn't completely its own fault either. No head whatsoever with just a small ring around the edge off a lousy pour by bartender. The beer itself is a pale straw yellow and combined with the nonexistent head, this beer came out looking like any other macro.

Smell- Very little going on here for me with just a faint bit of graininess and hay coming through in the nose. Perhaps a mild whiff of citrusy hops in the background as well, but nothing really coming through very strongly here.

Taste- Have to say that I wasn't terribly impressed here right off the bat. Didn't pick up much on the first couple sips, but as it warmed a bit, I detected some of the grains present in the nose along with a more prominent hop bitterness and citrus than came through in the smell. Still not overly impressed however and I'm left with the sense that I'm drinking a weak SNPA. A bit of a disappointment considering how much I've liked the other Sierra Nevada beers I've encountered.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- I found this beer (out of this particular tap anyway) to be thin and poorly carbonated. I suspect that the beer would have been a bit thin anyway, but the minimal carbonation really increases its watery-ness. The watery body and lack of flavor don't make me want to drink much of this beer.

Overall, I'm not very impressed. I'd rather have one of the other many fine Sierra Nevada beers. Perhaps I should give this one another try in the bottle as I was a bit surprised.

Photo of mnj21655
3.3/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a SN Summerfest shaker pint glass.

Pours a brilliantly clear pale gold in color with about a half finger of white head. Aroma is quite clean. A bit grainy with a biscuit-like aroma. Low hop aroma. Taste is pretty good. Very clean, lightly malty, touch of honey, some spicy hop flavor and a nice balancing bitterness. Mouthfeel is pretty good with light-medium body and moderate-high carbonation. Drinkaiblity is pretty good as well. A nice easy drinker that is fairly flavorful and well balanced.

Photo of plaid75
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at Canterbury Ales, Huntington, New York.

Poured a medium to dark straw hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a sift malt and spicy noble hop.

The taste was very well balanced with a musty hop and super biscuity malt.

The mouthfeel was toward the softer side of the style.

Overall a tasty and refreshing pilsner.

Photo of lweaver18240
4.25/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Deep golden straw color with two finger head and good retention.

S- Smells like a lager, but the trademark hops of sierra nevada are present. Smells delicious and well balanced.

T- Tasted like it smells, good balance of malt and hops. A step above the Yuengling that I'm used to I must say.

M- Light and carbonated, almost fizzy. Smooth and slightly dry, perfect for a cold refreshing lager.

D- Amazing, perfect in my opinion. Would love to see this sold by he case in my area.

Photo of Gyle41386
3.96/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a .5L stange.

Pours a golden color with a massive white head. Foam retains very well, eventually giving way to sheets of lacing. I'm impressed.

Malty, pils-y aroma. After checking the Sierra Nevada website, it would appear the lemony hop note I'm smelling is from the Saaz. The aroma seems a little hoppier than most pilseners I've tried.

Taste is mostly of lightly sweet and grainy malts. Slight spicy hoppiness that carries over into the dry finish.

Crisp, clean, very refreshing. Body is on the lighter side of medium. Lively carbonation may be slightly overdone. Super easy to drink. This one is definitely hitting the spot after a workout.

This beer isn't spectacular, but I'm digging it, and pilseners don't rank too highly on my list of favorite styles. Another good one from Sierra Nevada.

Photo of jdklks
3.43/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 5

i dont like lagers a whole lot, but this one isn't too bad. SN does many good things that other breweries cannot, including brewing a drinkable lager.

A- pure gold with a thin white head.

S- smells like a lager, anything more to say?

T- hops, watery (surprised?), and some fruit sweetness that AT LEAST gives it some flavor.

M- light light light

D- drinkability is huge. could EASILY go through a 12 pack of these.

Photo of skrib09
3.3/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a clear yellow. white head clears quickly.

smells slightly hopped and malty. hints of corn or corn husk maybe.

taste is boozy and bready. corn meal notes on the palate.

crispy mouthfeel and drinkable. this is where this beer comes in play. summer time fun. it has a decent backbone but it goes down well and would pair well with a lawnmower session.

Photo of tai4ji2x
2.39/5  rDev -34.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12oz bottle. 2009 release. tasted in early may 2009.

pale straw color. clear with faint chill haze. 1-finger head, fades to wisps and ring. lacing is sparse, thin, and rarely sticks.

aroma: faint malt, hint of esters? slightest hint of hop? wtf? there's almost nothing here!

taste: again, weak malt, faintly bready, but watered down. light esters mingle with fusel or phenol or even diacetyl hint. meanwhile the hops are crisp and boldly bitter, but are totally lacking in flavor - unlike how good saaz or noble hops should be.

light body, with very fizzy, prickly carbonation. resins in the finish, but of no help.

c'mon guys! what happened? i tried two bottles of this from the sixer, and i had to go back and return it. i might as well have been drinking soda water...

Photo of JordanEllwanger
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2009 Summerfest poured into a pint glass. Very little foam and fading fast. Straw yellow and very transparent.

Smells like a Heineken and tastes like one as well. I hope mine got skunked somehow, because this tastes just like Heineken. Which isn't bad but a little disappointing. I was expecting it to be a bit different. Less and less like a Heini the warmer it gets.

Aside from that it feels good. Carbonated well. And drinkable.

Photo of pwoods
3.71/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. stubby brown bottle poured into a pilsner glass.

A: Pale banana peel color, perfect clarity. About 2 fingers worth of pearl white head forms and has pretty decent retention before falling to a thick skim. Wisps of lacing throughout.

S: Not getting the spicy hops that I'm expecting. Maybe they didn't use Saaz? Aroma is filled with light malts with subdued Euro hopping creating plenty of fieldy characters; Green cut hay, Russian sage, dust, and maybe some lavender.

T/M: Still not getting the spicy Saaz but still has relatively aggressive hops. More of the field characters. Light malts, grainy. Body is light with slightly elevated carbonation. Clean, crisp, and dry finish.

D: Easily crushable and definitely on style, save the Saaz, but I just can't see myself reaching for one of these over so many other personal favorite summer time beers.

Photo of CHSLBrew
3.41/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a large mug, on-tap at Old Chicago in Roseville, MN as part of their summer mini-tour.

A-Pristine golden beer, showing occasional bubbles rising within. Arrived with a fluffy white head, decent retention.

S-Spicy hops, with a grainy malt character under that. Slight green apple.

T-Grainy and semi-sweet malts, with a spicy hoppiness coming through subtley and a moderate spicy bitterness. Almost a fruity character coming through, with a slight spicy pucker. Finishes dry, spicy, bready.

M-Medium-high carbonation, but still easty drinking. Moderate-light body, very appropriate for the beer and for the picture on the label :D

D-This would be a perfect beer to sit back on a patio on a hot Saturday afternoon; I guess its merits lie in its refreshing quality and less in its depth of character. Still, the beer shouldn't be shortchanged, as it's a pleasant representation of the style.

Photo of aaronxsubaru
3.72/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

i wanted to give this a better score but i remebered it tasting better the first time i had it. still overall my favoraite summer beer so far i think.

looks light, lighter than it tastes which is good. i like how the sweet notes help balance the hops in this. its also nice that it doesn't hit you all at once giving it more complexity. as a summer beer should be this is crisp and drinkable but without being boring.

Photo of scottyk04
2.86/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- golden yellow, very clear, with minimal head

S- slight hops, slight citrus..no real strong smell in my opinion

T- I found this beer to have more flavor as it warms up a little..if you are trying this beer for the first time, don't drink it ice cold! Just like the smell, it has a very slight hops taste, very slight citrus taste, and the warmer it seems to have a hint of spice taste.

D- goes down very smooth, definitely a good summertime beer. However, there are definitely MUCH better summertime beers. (I.E. Southern Tier's Hop Sun).

I enjoy most SN beers, but this beer is average all around. Probably would not but another 6 pack, even though it was only $6.99.

Photo of sbe1
3.95/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A very tasty summer larger.

Appearance: A clear, crisp light golden color, with a fizzy frothy white head that does not last long. Some lace on the glass.

Smell: Clean gut grass smell, some hop spice in there as well.

Taste: Clean dry malt, a little citrus and spice. Nice dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Light, crisp and refreshing, mild carbonation.

Drinkability: Excellent. A fantastic summer session beer.

Photo of froghop
2.85/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

summerfest 2009.

pour is a clear yellow with a medium white head, and some lacing.

smell is faint, slight grain, some straw, and a little citrus.

taste is crisp, smooth, grain, some malt, a little corn, and some citrus.

overall better than most pilsners.

Photo of mikedashg
3.43/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4


A- White fizzy kind of head, pours a very clear yellow. Yellowest beer I've had in a while.

S- Interesting, lemon citrus, yeast

T- Similar to nose, with an addition of bread like

M- Light to moderate carbonation, very crisp

D- Lots of drinkability in this one. Wouldn't want too many myself. But would probably satisfy your "average" beer drinker in the summer time.

Photo of LittleDon
4.17/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Crystal clear and light yellow with plenty of carbonation and a small white head. Pleasant malt aroma with a hint of hops. Light mouthfeel with a somewhat bitter middle and finish. An excellent very drinkable beer when you have to live through a Texas summer that has already been too long.

Photo of donkeyrunner
3.63/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear gold with a pleasant white head. Pretty standard looking lager but for some reason it really seems to be saying "drink me."

Smells like hay and fresh, chilled wort. Tastes crisp, clean and...inoffensive? Nothing outstanding but so perfectly rounded. Lightly grainy, this is what I think of when I hear the word "beer."

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

I love SN. Had this in my fridge for ages though before I actually tried it.

Poured a golden yellow with a small white head. Fast dissipation, but nice lacing all over the glass.

S - mild hops and citrus

T - more bitter than I expected, but well-balanced with the mild malts, biscuity, light citrus flavour

MF - fairly crisp
D - good. Could definitely be a session beer.

Not the most amazing beer ever, but definitely a decent light summer beer from SN.

Photo of Lerxst
3.77/5  rDev +3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Golden yellow with a billowy white head that fades fast and leaves just a little lacing.

S-biscuits, hints of citrus and hops. Not bad at all, but not overly impressive either.

T-very clean, crisp pilsener, with traces of malt, citrus and hops. Again, not bad at all, but hardly knocks my socks off either.

M-crisp and clean with a bite of carbonation.

D-This is light enough to easily be a session beer. But there are better selections out there.

SN doesn't do anything badly, and this is no exception. It just doesn't "wow" me.

Photo of ThreeWiseMen
4.02/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ordered a pint of this at The Endzone in Chico a few nights ago. Review written from notes.

Served in a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Clear, pale gold body with a small, sticky, white head on top. Moderate carbonation can be seen within. Pretty lousy head retention but good stringy lacing.

Smell: Honey, crackers, and pine. EDIT (06-30-09): Had this on-tap tonight in Danville and leafy hops, honey, spice, other sweet components, and dry alcohol. Smelled good, not anything special however.

Taste: Spicy Saaz hops, honey, lemon, bread, and pine. The overall taste is light, but the flavor profile is enjoyable and that bitter hop zing is fantastic. Sadly, I don't think this is as good as the bottled version. EDIT (06-30-09): Just had this again at Piatti in Danville. Went perfectly with the spicy Hawaiian swordfish I ordered! Pizza dough, spicy hops, and light buttery sweetness were the main compnents I noted. Solid bitterness to boot.

Mouthfeel: Spicy, bitter, and light-medium bodied. A bit oily with a good amount of chewiness and lots of bite. EDIT (06-30-09): not as harsh and biting the second time around. Carbonation plays with the palate; doesn't assault it. Malty and oily - nicely balanced.

Drinkability: I love the bottled version of this beer, but this tap version (could just be the place I was getting it from) was a little disappointing. The flavors and aromas felt a bit worn down, and there was a particularly strong bite at the end of each sip. I'll have to revisit this one - most likely at the brewery. EDIT (06-30-09): Went great with that swordfish tonight. I would've had another, but I decided it would be better to hold back. That's the Summerfest I remember! Will definitely order again.

Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 3,659 ratings.