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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.

3,666 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,666
Reviews: 1,485
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 12.84%
Wants: 72
Gots: 291 | 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: 3,666 | Reviews: 1,485 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bonkers
3.8/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a shaker pint. It pours a pale fizzy yellow with a moderate white head. The aroma is a bit grassy, light. The brew is slightly bitter and has a lingering finish, very clean flavors. The beer is light bodied, and easy drinking. A solid Czech pilsner but it is far from the top of the class.

Photo of afinepilsner
3.98/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz brown bottle

Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager was a pale golden color with good clarity. It had a thick white head with decent retention and lacing. The aroma had some grassy and spicy hops. The taste was well balanced between light malt and bitter hops with a dry lightly bitter finish. It was fairly light bodied with medium carbonation. Drinkability was good. It was crisp and refreshing. This is a good summertime beer.

Photo of DannyS
3.53/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A - A very light, clear orange amber with a frothy pillow of head on top, that dissipates into a collar that's slightly thicker than the norm.

S - Lots of grain and floral notes, with that lavender twinge I've come to expect from Czech Pilsener.

T - Crisp, bitingly bitter on first sip with a vibrant hoppy kick. Not much complexity in the hop profile, however. This one is also slightly yeasty and finishes relatively clean and kind of dry.

M - Not watery, as the active carbonation gives a good bit of foamy body to it, but still pretty thin.

D - Absolutely a session brew. The bitterness is not overwhelming and the ABV is modest enough.

Overall - It's a very basic pilsener beer. It's definitely still more substantial and satisfying than BMC light beers, but it's definitely a summer thirst quencher rather than a complex sipper.

Photo of bgreg3
3.21/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

App- light gold very standard looking but it is nice and clear with a white foam head standing about 1/4 " tall.

Smell- typical kolch style beer , malt grain and barely. slight skunk aroma, desirable in the right amount.

Taste-Very grainy break like begginning converts to very sweet malty end on a quick dry finish. Nothing special really , but I expected more from ,my boys in chico CA

MF and drink-Very very light and an incredibly crisp finish leaving me very refreshed on this hot july day drinks very well and should be consumed 2 or 3 at a time in my opinion.

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

A- Poured with one finger of white foam, which slowly dissipated, leaving some lacing behind. The body was a nice honey color with some decent carbonation...

S- Sweet and grassy, with some honey notes on the nose... some low-alpha hops in there too. The hop aroma doesn't seem to be Saaz... despite the fact that Sierra Nevada lists Saaz for this beer... perhaps they have used some Saaz-like variant... curious...

T- Sweet pale malts come through up front with some zesty lemongrass notes. Slightly metallic. Nice dry finish with some pleasant hop bitterness.

M- Highly carbonated, but not overly carbonated. This carbonation works well with the spritzy flavors. The Summerfest has a rather thin body, but it's slightly oily. Again, it kindof works with the style.

D- Very refreshing. Almost the perfect lawnmower beer! Great thirst quencher for hot weather. Very drinkable (in the summer), although I would never consider it in the colder months.

Notes: I would like to see a classification of "American Pilsner"... this brew just doesn't conjure-up the thoughts of a European beer for me...

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

A- clear, crisp straw colored...head quickly disappates...leaves a nice cap

S- lemon rind is the first thing that I notice...some grassy notes sneak in there as well...little bit of a skunky funk, but it somehow seems OK

T- Grassy and earthy...some peppery notes as well

M- sweetness up front...bittering on the back and sides of the tongue...very active carbonation

D- refreshing...a good summer beer

Photo of Clydesdale
4.3/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a bright, clean golden color with some active carbonation. The ivory head is tall, very dense, and frothy, with very good retention. Lacing is fairly nice as well.

S: Fresh herbal hop aromas are most noticeable. A slightly lemony citrus smell is also detectable. Sweetish, mildly doughy malts are also present. Simple, clean, and appealing.

T: A significantly sweet, slightly doughy pale malt backbone makes its presence known. As the nose suggested, assertively herbal and slightly lemony hops provide a nice flavor, with mild bitterness. Light notes of spice.

M: A medium-firm body, with a dry, refreshing crispness. Carbonation is moderate.

D: No bones about it - this is a very tasty summer lager. As I've come to expect from SN, a finely-tuned and refreshing brew that should have wide appeal across the board.

Photo of carsonplunkett
2.86/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

After browsing the beer aisle at Kroger for about 15 minutes, I eventually decided on this.

A: pours a light yellow color with an inch of white, quickly dissipating head.

S: Smells like an average macro to me...nothing special here.

T: Pretty bland. Honestly to me it tastes like an average light beer with a slight hint of lemon.

M: Lightly carbonated and easy on the mouth.

D: Really the only great thing about this beer is the drinkability. I could slam these all night without a problem.

Overall I was pretty disappointed with this beer... id much rather grab the SNPA.

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.

Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 3,666 ratings.