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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.

3,660 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,660
Reviews: 1,483
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 12.84%
Wants: 67
Gots: 276 | 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: 3,660 | Reviews: 1,483 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of natasharai
4.12/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Poured with an off white fizzy/foamy head that dissipated fairly quickly leaving a very little lacing at the top of my glass. The beer is crystal clear with a medium toned yellow gold color.

Smell: Light floral, yeasty, slight metallic aroma, and some grassy smell. When it warms it smells like slightly rotten apple juice

Taste: Very refreshing, some citrus hops, bittersweet floral hops, some lightly sweet lightly toasted malt.

Mouthfeel: Light body, crisp carbonation, a small hop bitterness, some sticky film left over but overall a quite refreshing feeling.

Overall: Really drinkable, nice crisp refreshing flavor and mouthfeel. This is the kind of beer you just drink and enjoy on a hot day, not much to really admire in the appearance or smell.

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

Straw yellow in color with a white head that dissipated quick. Has some decent lacing.

I smell some grains with some malts. Not a whole lot to it.

Grainy taste with a touch of citrus to it.

Mouthfeel has a crisp high carbonation content. Light bodied like it should be for a summer beer.

Easy to drink, not a whole lot of flavor like i usually expect from SN, but its a good beer to refresh you on a hot summer day.

Photo of PhillyStyle
3.66/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle

2009 Summerfest (original review 6/1/09):

Poured a straw yellow with a big white fluffy head that was well retained.

Aroma was a little weak, at least from what I have come to expect from SN. Light grain/bread aroma.

Taste is grainy and hoppy with what seemed to be an overly dry slightly bitter aftertaste, until it warms a little (original score: 2.0).

The beer had a light body that was relatively smooth with nice carbonation.

Drinkability is slightly better than average, until the beer warmed a little and then it had a very metallic, very off-putting after-taste, so much so that I did not finish the beer (original score 1.5).

Update 4/2011: I decided to try this one again, since I have been into lagers lately and it appears that the one that I had originally reviewed may not have been a good bottle. The most significant changes come in taste and overall. The appearance, smell and mouthfeel are consistent with the prior review. The beer did not have the same metallic taste to it, so that dramatically improved the taste and overall score of the beer. Overall, a very enjoyable lager and if they are consistent with this 6-pack, I could see buying this brew more often.

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

2009 Summerfest
Pours a crystal clear pale straw yellow color. Very minimal amount of head that disappears in seconds.
Smell is crisp and clean. A bit grainy with some light malts and some light citrus aromas.

This is the epitome of a crisp and refreshing summer lager. Light flavor with some citrus notes. Mainly lemon zest.
Very easy to drink and at 5% it's easy to drink a few.

This is a really good example of a style that's begining to grow on me lately. Maybe I DIPA'd myself out over the winter but I'm starting to enjoy these "summer" type beers for what they are. Refreshing and easy to drink.

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

A - Pours clear, yellow to gold color with an adequate bubbly head that dissipates quickly to a thin ring leaving some lacing on the sides of the glass.

S - Grainy malts and earthy hops.

T - Follows smell with moderate bitterness.

M - Starts smooth, ends with a carbonation bite and a lingering bitterness.

D - Drinkable.

Overall - When in the mood for something lighter with distinct lager characteristics, this is your beer. Much more flavor than the macros.

Photo of Foxtrot
3.88/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I haven't given Pilsener's a try, and thought it would be appropriate to give them a go.

Poured a nice clear tawny yellow with ample fizzy bubbles and a small head with light retention and light lacing.

Nice aroma's of hops with some pale malts. Nice and crisp even in the nose.

Taste is a nice quick snap of hops and prickly carbonation on the tongue. Flavors of grains, lemon zest and spices really deliver midway through the sip.

Mouthfeel was good. Nice carbonation and crisp/light body make this a really good summer beer.

Drinkability is good. Clocking in at 5% ABV. makes this a huge session brew.

Photo of MaxBrews
3.63/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Light amber color. Very carbonated. A mild head that gives way to a thinner lacing.

Smell: Cereal grains, malt, not a very strong or distinct smell.

Taste: A light citrus taste, grainy and grassy in the malt

Mouthfeel: Highly carbonated but smooth.

Drinkability: smooth an refreshing, fits the summer vibe with its citrus notes. A nice smooth, somewhat light easy to drink beer for those hot summer nights. However this beer easily surpasses many other beers in quality and taste.

Photo of jsh420
3.98/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours bright clear yellow gold with a 1 finger white head that leaves spotted lacing down the glass

smells of sweet cereal grains and grassy hops with a little lemon

taste/mouthfeel - nice and crisp - a light body of sweet grains with just enough bitter hops on the finish

drinkability is strong - sure i would like more hops (prima pils) but this light drinking pils is perfect for summer

Photo of rgore
3.16/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Nice bronze color with a some carbonation. Pours with about an inch of dense off white head. Nice lacing throughout.

S - Earthy and Malty. Not enough hops for me. The malts smell too sweet off the nose without the requisite amount of bitterness to balance them out.

T - Similar to the nose. My complaints are the same: not enough bitterness in this beer to balance out the overwhelming sweet and earthy malt in the beer. Overly bready, a little too carbonated.

M - Good mouthfeel, it lingers enough and isn't too thick or too thin.

D - The alcohol content makes it seem drinkable but for me its not light enough. Again its too heavy without the hops to balance it out, the sweet malty bread flavor with the carbonation keeps me from enjoying more than one or two.

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

Pours out a nice gold color with a decent amount of head. Smell is definitely hoppy. Nice crisp taste, with some sweetness and some hoppyness. Smooth overall. Something I would definitely drink while sitting out on a patio (which is what I am doing with it now)

Photo of RollingRocker
4.35/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is the first time I've tried this beer and i must say that i am enjoying this beer quite a bit. Not only does it taste awesome it also goes down smooth clean and is very refreshing, especially after a hot days work (like right now).

Pours a golden color which you can see right through with a giant head that needed several minutes to settle, plus a good bit of lacing.

Smells slightly sweet with some hoppy undertones.

Tastes very crisp and clean with an excellent balance between the hops and the sweetness of the malt. Hop flavors linger for a little bit.

Mouthfeel is very nice just the right amount of carbonation.

Very drinkable beer, noticed that one glass leads to another and they go quick. DELICIOUS!

Solid Sierra Nevada beer...one of my favorite brewers.


Photo of Onenote81
1.89/5  rDev -48.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

This beer pours a crystal clear pale gold with a huge frothy white head on top. Excellent retention and great sticky lacing on the glass. So far so good. But wait a minute...

Smells slightly skunked. Aromas of grass and big time lemon zest waft out. Not too bad. I sort of expected this I guess. Now the mouthfeel...what in the world?! Water. That's what this feels like. I tall glass of water. This is so slick and wet I wonder if there's any carbonation left. A quick glance tells me that there is, as I notice a moderate amount of bubbles rising up. Hmm. Weird.

This is one of the worst lagers/pilsners I've ever had in respect to flavor. This is extremely watered down and weak. It tastes like lemon water, light on the lemon. I would drink any BMC lager over this one, if this is the true representation. I am sorely disappointed. I have enjoyed every other offering from SN, but this is an atrocity.


Photo of twiggamortis420
3.95/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a glowingly clear dark yellow color with a fairly stiff white head that has great retention and lacing. A pretty good looking pils here.

A nice spicy saaz aroma greets the nose upon sniffing. Not too much else, maybe a hint of grainy malts and lagerous sulfur. Very clean and fresh smelling brew.

Leave it to SN to brew a refreshing summer lager with a bunch of hops...go figure. Lots of saaz flavor and maybe some other floral varietal as well. Malts could use a bit more presence here, but other than that it is a nice pilsner offering from an American brewer. The Prima Pils is still my favorite, but this is not too far behind.

Photo of JamesS
2.75/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured a nice fizzy, pale yellow beer with some nice initial head, but almost no lacing. Decent malty scent and decent malty taste, although I would have classified this as a macro lager, as there was very little hop presence and there was a bit of a skunky/adjunct flavor and aroma. It went down smooth, but this is by far my least favorite SN beer to date.

Photo of VaTechHopHead
3.67/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a light golden straw hue with a thick white head with average lacing.

S - Balanced aroma of malts and hops, but more on the malt side.

T - It tastes almost like a weak SNPA but with a lot more crisp finish. The hop profile is similar but not as bitter, more flowery, and not nearly as present. Light crystal-like malts are the biggest flavor.

M/D - Has a medium body that is very crisp and clean. Average carbonation.

A nice "plain vanilla" lager made by a microbrew...nothing too special but a good alternative to a refreshing summer beer.

Photo of br3wmeister
4.04/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Medium sized bubbly off white head that dissipates quite quickly. Bright golden colored beer very normal for a lager.

S- Light grains and some hops nothing to aggressive.

T/M- Grainy and light bodied with a nice crispness. A moderate amount of hops present as grassy flavors . Pretty good tasting lager.

Overall this is a pretty good lager great for a nice hot summer day.

Photo of tjwarren
2.61/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle to a pint glass after trying it out of the bottle (to see if it is a worthy picnic beer.)

Pale straw color little to no head, not impressed at all.

Smell, I felt it was a little skunky. Not what I was hoping for. I kind of had Sam Admas Summer Ale on my mind and I felt this was a disappointment.

Taste, not a whole lot there. A little skunk with almost a grassy finish. Not bad for what they were going for but not really the bite I was expecting. It was crisp and clean like a summer beer, it just didn't do anything for me. Did not jump off the page at me.

Mouthfeel was somewhat absent, a little watery but if I was drinking it on a hotter day I think I would have liked it more.

If you are looking for a summer refresher, plain and simple and the little bit of skunk does not get in your way this is probably a winner.

For me as a summer beer I don't think this quite cut the mustard. I think the SA mentioned and Anchor Steam summer or Bell's Oberon would do better. In fact I would pick a Corona and lime over this. To be fair though you should try it on a hot summer day. Might improve then.

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

This is an all around good Czech style Pilsener. Superior to the macro American lager styles with a fruity, citrusy taste and dry finish. The aroma is a little lacking compared to say a Staropramen but clean and effective nonetheless. The color is a rich gold compared to the straw gold macro lagers.

Photo of HopEnthusiast
3.76/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of miket163
3.8/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a golden straw with small white head into a pint glass. Good lacing.

smell: Malt and hops. Crackery with a faint fruit like scent.

taste: Nice hop bitterness, very crackery malt character . Clean grassy, bitter finish.

Very nice summer lager! Very good gateway into the craft world.

Photo of GeoffFromSJ
3.55/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a straw with minimal head which doesn't stay too long. Nice refreshing pilsner was my first thought.

Gave a sip to my wife. "Tastes like lemon Pledge. I can't taste anything but lemon." I didn't have the same reaction, but I started to notice the lemon flavors more and more. And as I did, I didn't care for it.

But, to be honest, it was alright. I didn't find the lemon flavors too strong. But there are much better pilsners out there, esp. in the Philly area.

Photo of n00tz
4.05/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - White head slowly diminishes revealing a trickle of carbonation and a golden body.

S - Piney hops, spices, maybe even some grassy and yeasty bread notes?

T - Moderately spicy bitterness, like pine needles were rolled in peppercorns and dropped into the process. Typical refreshing hops from any Sierra Nevada I've ever met, absolutely perfect pilsener.

M - It's not going to leave your palate alone for a bit, and the body isn't particularly heavy either. It's a very respectable palate. Burps somewhat bready/yeasty

D - I'll get it while I can. This is a great brew to enjoy after mowing the yard while the burgers/steaks are cooking. I almost wish my family reunions were held where alcoholic beverages could be distributed. Great summertime beer.

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

A - straw with lots of little bubbles minimal lacing.

S - grains and typical pilsner aromas. I smell some west coast hops - not weird considering it's SN

T - smooth as ever. Grains and goodness. A nice tasty pilsner. with a bit of hop bite.

M - not as carbonated as I would like.

D - Crisp summer beer perfect for a summer day.

Photo of racer2k
3.3/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Light yellow lager pour with a rather small head and very little retention.

S - A malty kick up front with bread, biscuits, pine, and wheat notes.

T - First taste leads with malt but then transitions nicely to a hoppy lemony flavor. A malty bready finish to the beer.

M - Very light and tangy mouth feel that is refreshing

D - Decent light alcohol hot weather beer that is good for new craft beer recruits

Photo of bum732
3.95/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a crystal clear yellow, decent head that dissipates quickly. Smells of sweet spicy malt, some grassiness. Tastes of mellow sweetness with some grassiness finishing with a nice grainy mouthfeel. Nice crisp mouthfeel, very clean.

A very good beer, great on a hot day, better than any adjunct beer. A little weak though, i would love some more flavor.

Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 3,660 ratings.