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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.

3,534 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,534
Reviews: 1,470
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 12.84%
Wants: 63
Gots: 226 | 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: 3,534 | Reviews: 1,470 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Kromes
3.53/5  rDev -3.6%

Pours a straw yellow with thick fluffy white head. Good carbonation can be seen in the glass. Good clean crisp hop and malt aroma. Nice crisp malt backbone with a large earthy hop flavor and bitterness. The malt flavor ends and only the bitterness remains in the finish. Good mouthfell and drinkability.

Kromes, May 12, 2009
Photo of brow1901
3.85/5  rDev +5.2%

A- Crystal clear bright golden straw color. Fizzy bright white head, the head is gone before you can say summerfest. Zero retention and no lacing. Not a pretty beer, I've seen better looking bud lights.

S- The smell isn't overly inpressive either. Very earthy tones for a pilsener, some yeast scents that remind me of a saison. No hops, very light malt hints.

T- Nice taste though, again the yeast really reminds me of a belgian. Very enjoyable. The malt adds a faint sweetness that is washed over by the perfect amount of hop bitterness.

M- Light and bubbly, nice mouthfeel. Doesn't leave dry but not overly wet either.

D- Pretty drinkable, especially on a warm summer day. A decent session beer too.

brow1901, May 11, 2009
Photo of david131
3.95/5  rDev +7.9%

A- A clear yellow beer with a lot of streams of carbonation that keeps the white head well retained.

S- Biscuit malt, and sharp hops. Clean and simple without being skunky.

T- Slightly biscuity with a slight fruitiness and some nice clean hops. Not nearly as sharp as most Czech Pilseners.

M- Extraordinarily clean and not sharp like many beers of this style. It has an almost creamy aspect to it and a great carbonation level. Very well done.

D- An enjoyable session beer and a nice take on the style. This goes down easy and is smooth.

david131, May 11, 2009
Photo of GreenCard
3.58/5  rDev -2.2%

The 2009 release...

Appearance: pale yellow to light gold, sparkling clarity, sudsy white foam that collapses to a thin film

Aroma: very light perfumey scent of wild flowers honey and grain husks

Flavor: light malt profile with a hint of elderflowers and fresh-cut grass; slight citrusy note before the semisweet dry finish with a mellow hop bitterness

Mouthfeel: light body, sparkling effervescence, crisp texture; refreshing

Other comments: A very clean lager with a gentle, summery personality. If it was a woman, it would be a quietly beautiful girl-next-door that you would frollick through a field of flowers with (but not one you marry).

GreenCard, May 11, 2009
Photo of showell
3.6/5  rDev -1.6%

I'm starting to get quite partial to Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. I have yet to try one that I didn't like and this one was no exception, even though I'm usually not too much on lagers. This one poured a standard golden color, and what scent it had was malty with a touch of citrus. I was thinking at the time, well here goes Sierra's perfect run with me. I'm not going to like this one. The taste really caught me off guard though. It was a really nice citrus flavor, with quite a lot more hoppiness than I expected from a lighter beer. It was carbonated more than I typically like... but it was still quite drinkable. Good on a hot day when you're really thirsty. All in all, if I want a lager, I'll definitely get it again.

showell, May 10, 2009
Photo of yuenglings
4.25/5  rDev +16.1%

A: Has a very foamy head that stays around untill ya finish the beer and it leaves some good laceing. The color is a very clear light golden yellow.

S: Thers is a strong sweet grainy/grassy smell up front with some lemon or citrus in the back ground.

T: Slightly sweet grassyness up front with some sour ness at the end.

M: Good and smooth with a good lightness to it. Good carbonation , it leaves your mouth slightly dry but still a thirst quencher.

D: This is a very drinkable summer beer with a good taste that i would buy agian and i could see me taking this out on the golf course for sure.

yuenglings, May 10, 2009
Photo of bsp77
3.88/5  rDev +6%

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Pilsner glass.

Appearance: Bright and clear gold. Very active but not much head.

Smell: Primarily smell Saaz - pepper, grass, floral and some bitterness.

Taste: Peppery hops and relatively dry malts. More spicy than bitter at end, although there is some bitterness.

Feel: Medium body and carbonation, semi-dry.

Drinkability: Fairly mild and balanced Pilsner. Easy drinking.

bsp77, May 10, 2009
Photo of BarrelO
3.9/5  rDev +6.6%

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Clear golden body. Big frothy head, but it quickly fades.

S: Crisp hops with a bit of malt. A few skunky notes.

T: Big bready maltiness merges well with clean hop bitterness. Very refreshing.

M: Light and crisp. Nice carbonation.

D: I wish this was a year-round offering. It's not jaw-droppingly good, but it'd be nice to have more quality pilsners widely available.

BarrelO, May 09, 2009
Photo of philipquarles
3.58/5  rDev -2.2%

12oz bottle. Pours clear straw yellow with a small white head that disappears quickly--a bit like a macro. Smells lightly of citrus initially, followed by sweet graininess and some grassy hop notes. The hop character is stronger in the flavor, giving it a mild bitterness overall, with the grainy malt bill in the background. Light body with medium-high carbonation. Pleasant overall.

philipquarles, May 09, 2009
Photo of Magpie14
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

Magpie14, May 08, 2009
Photo of Brenden
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.

Brenden, May 07, 2009
Photo of biggred1
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.

biggred1, May 07, 2009
Photo of djeucalyptus
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.

djeucalyptus, May 06, 2009
Photo of Lambstrong
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.

Lambstrong, May 05, 2009
Photo of Amalak
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.

Amalak, May 05, 2009
Photo of BeenJammin
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!

BeenJammin, May 04, 2009
Photo of StarlightSeraph
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.

StarlightSeraph, May 04, 2009
Photo of wiseguy142
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.

wiseguy142, May 02, 2009
Photo of AgingWarrior
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.

AgingWarrior, May 02, 2009
Photo of ericj551
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.

ericj551, May 02, 2009
Photo of stuckonhops
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..

stuckonhops, May 01, 2009
Photo of jkbusman
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

jkbusman, May 01, 2009
Photo of elniko
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.

elniko, May 01, 2009
Photo of PintOHops
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!

PintOHops, Apr 29, 2009
Photo of BeanBone
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.

BeanBone, Apr 29, 2009
Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 3,534 ratings.