Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada Summerfest LagerSierra Nevada Summerfest Lager

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3,645 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,645
Reviews: 1,480
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 12.84%
Wants: 65
Gots: 262 | 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: 3,645 | Reviews: 1,480 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of CHSLBrew
3.43/5  rDev -6.3%
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
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%
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
2.88/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- golden yellow, very clear, with minimal head

S- slight hops, slight 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
3.98/5  rDev +8.7%
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
2.88/5  rDev -21.3%
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
3.45/5  rDev -5.7%
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
4.18/5  rDev +14.2%
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
3.65/5  rDev -0.3%
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
3.88/5  rDev +6%
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
3.8/5  rDev +3.8%
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
4.08/5  rDev +11.5%
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.

Photo of Ottertude
4.05/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I usually enjoy most anything that Sierra Nevada puts out. I was pleased to find a couple of 12 packs left at the local Kroeger store.

The beer looked more lemony yellow than golden. The pour into my pint glass bought out a large head that looked like merangue on a pie that then disappeared. It left some nice lacing on my glass. The smell was very tangy with hops and a touch of citrus.

The taste is rather pleasant, some cracker-like malt with plenty of bitterness from the hops. The mouthfeel was not too thin.

I liked this beer quite a bit. Easy drinking, I could have several of these easily on these hot summer days.

Photo of Arbitrator
2.98/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Chilled 12oz bottle into a glass.

A: Pours a sparkling golden color with 1.5 inches of off-white head that quickly vanishes completely, leaving no trace of lacing.

S: Some biscuit, a light floral hop, and pilsner malt. Really lacking in the aroma department.

T: Pilsner malt, crackers. Some light floral hop and biscuit follow. It's a pretty clean flavor.

M: Light-bodied, with low carbonation. The label promises crispness. The beer most definitely isn't. A weak presence and not particularly refreshing as a result.

D: I think I'll get something else for a summer brew.

Photo of KTCamm
3.1/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Nice looking decorative label - the beer itself is kind of uninteresting. Pale yellow color with active white foam that dies down quickly and leaves no evidence.

Smell is unimpressive - just a smell of beer, really. Maybe some citrus buried below, but not much.

Taste is very clean. There's a hop about 1/3 of the way through that lingers - maybe even a tad too long. Definitely like a pilsener. Not your typically "summer" brew.

Its clean, its drinkable, its from a well reknowned brewery. Its just not great.

Photo of soulgrowl
4.08/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Not a particularly attractive beer, golden with large bubbles and an active, fizzy, short-lived ivory head. Smells pleasant enough, biscuity in the malt department with a buttery sweetness and a crisp, citric-floral hop aroma. Delightfully bitter and snappy on the palate, with a mild malt profile of caramel and crackers that defer to a firm, tight, grapefruity grip of lemony-leafy hops with a hint of pine. Consummate dryness adds to the decisively clean and refreshing character, making this extremely flavorful (if simple) and thirst-quenching. Well done, SN.

Very good with aged Cheddar and Gouda and amazing with Shropshire Blue. Not so much with Camembert.

Photo of BedetheVenerable
3.25/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: On tap in a Guinness 20 oz pint

Appearance: Rich golden beer with a medium white cap which fades to a thick steady film

Smell: VERY clean, crisp, with a touch of lemon and grain

Taste: Again, very crisp, with plain popcorn graininess and sharp grassy hops on the finish

Mouthfeel: Light, crisp, and very refreshing

Drinkability: Medium-high

Conclusion: Meh...I've had much better Czech Pils...there's nothing WRONG with this per's just very plain and honestly pretty boring.

Photo of KBrady487
4.18/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- A 1 inch bubbly head, quickly dissipated to ring around the beer, left no lacing on the glass. Color was golden and crystal like.

S-Strong pilsner smell, slightest bit of sweetness.

T-full bodied taste of pilsner. Great balance of hops for a summer beer, not to strong but has a presence in the beer. Hops and pilsner give the beer an earthy tone.

M-well carbonated, smooth after bubbles dissipate

D-easy beer to drink. perfect for a hot summer day tailgating at the ballpark.

Photo of katan
3.65/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

the 2009 edition into a pint

A - Very neutral gold color - very clear, filtered. No hazing. Light bubbling. Head formation is initially quite strong, up to 3mm, but breaks down to a film quickly.

S - A strong hit of pilsner malts - light sweet and refreshing. A small amount of yeast notes. No hops to be noticed.

T - Starts off with those familiar pilsner sweetness notes - light and smooth. Bitterness does build mid-stream, but hopping is very restrained. Starts to roll to a bit of bitter bite and a grainy edge in the final. Aftertaste is a bitter cloying flavor. Fairly monolithic in its flavors.

M - Moderate to heavy for a pilsner - lots of fermentables here. Not at all biting, smooth texture.

D - Very easy to drink as a summer beer should be. ABV is quite manageable. Flavors are light and well integrated.

Just a bit boring - but then what are pilsners most of the time anyway.

Photo of strengthdoc
3.45/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Just tried the 2009 version. There is a very strong lager yeast aroma. The color is light golden. The mouthfeel is light which is typical for the style. The taste is much bolder than I expected. There is a mild malty sweetness in the beginning that gets progressively hoppy through the mid taste and finish. The beer is fairly refreshing, but the after taste is too strong and musty for me.

Photo of bamadog
3.8/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I always find it interesting when a beer bottles says one thing in terms of style, but then BA says another... The bottle says lager, the website says Czech Pilsener... Oh well. Que sera sera.

Appearance: Pours a very pale yellow straw color with a big 2 finger head that fades quickly to an even and full skim that is slightly off-white; solid carbonation bubbling through and not much in terms of lacing; body is very clear.

Smell: Sadly, a bit of a skunky presence that seems to dwindle as it sits for a bit; a toasty graiiny smell comes from a slight maltiness and is reminiscent of a wheaty type of scent; there is a very slight hoppy bitterness that is fairly weak in the nose, but it's about what I would expect.

Taste: Different than what I thought it was going to be -- a mild lemony/citrusy hop presence is thoroughly mixed with the slight toasty grainy malt aspect; not much is hidden here and there's not a lot to search for -- a pretty straight forward beer in the long and short of it.

Mouthfeel: A wet and light body with solid carbonation; clean finish. Again, nothing special but nothing wrong with it either.

Drinkability: Quite high -- not something I would choose to drink a lot of but all in all, it's not an awful choice that is refreshing enough and would be easy to session.

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

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A - Yellow with a quickly dissipating head and minimal lacing.

S - Grassy hops with a hint of mustiness.

T - Sweetness hits the tongue but is quickly followed by a big dose of crispness. Very dry, almost white grape juice-like. A tad too bitter in the finish in my opinion.

M - Lively carbonation and a light body that fits the style well.

D - Low abv and a wonderful crispness make this a great session beer. However, the dryness seems a bit out of place. I've had pilsners that were more balanced and more enjoyable. Still a very worthy buy if you're a fan of lagers.

Photo of MDekker
3.78/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A light, golden color, topped with a little head. Looks...fine.

S: Not a potent smell - it's brisk, has a straw/hay aroma, some faint fruit.

T: It's crisp! It's summer! It's a pilsener! It's a good quality brew, but doesn't wow me into needing to say more.

M: Crisp, fine, all that.

D: Yep, goes down easy. Good summer beer.

Photo of avalon07
3.18/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a mug. Had a golden yellow color and a slightly cloudy consistency. There was a small amount of foamy head and some decent lacing.

S: Malty, with traces of citrus, but not much else.

T: Like the smell, there was some malt and some citrus, with a trace of hops, but mainly it was a little on the thin side.

M: A decent amount of carbonation and a dry finish. Light-bodied.

D: Overall, this is a drinkable beer, but hardly an outstanding one.

3.9/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Crisp, easy drinking beer. Good beer!
This beer is full of some clean flavors. With a nice after taste. Not a real powerful beer but still very tasty. I have to say its in my top three favorite Sierra Nevada beers. I Love the Torpedo and the Pale Ale is also delicious. Great for a grilling companion. Time to go throw a steak on the BBQ.

Photo of CampusCrew
2.65/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A poorly done SN job. I expected so much. it wasn;t awful but not up to their standards.

appearance: golden

smell: not much there. had a pilsner distinct aroma

taste: Like a classic pilsner but with a dirty macro aftertaste

mouthfeel: good carbonation and drinks thin

drinkability: there's better pilsners out there. worst SN beer in the lineup

Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 3,645 ratings.