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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.

3,495 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,495
Reviews: 1,467
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 12.84%
Wants: 64
Gots: 207 | 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: 3,495 | Reviews: 1,467 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of barknee

New York

3.33/5  rDev -9%

A rather understated lager with a slight lemon essence in the mouth. Prepared more as a summer special brew, the light body and underweight taste and mouthfeel make for decent quaffing but is perhaps a bit lithe for my taste. I have had this brew over the last three seasons and must say that I seem to dislike it more as time goes on. The 2007 "vintage" was the most un-enjoyable while the 2006 was the most satisfying thus placing the 2008 in between. Effusing wallpaper paste like nose from the light malts unfortunately reminds me of some of the abysmal beers from Saranac, but nevertheless this is many notches better than that. A good summer brew that will find comfort with those who prefer a softer easygoing style.

06-20-2008 22:41:59 | More by barknee
Photo of marcpal

New Jersey

3.45/5  rDev -5.7%

Started off a long night of power brews with this light one. 12oz bottle poured into pilsner glass.

A: Light gold pilsner and transparent, moderate bubbling. Minimal head and lace pattern.

N: Smells of the saaz and malty. Breadiness present.

T: The biscuit breadiness is the most apparent flavor coming out of this. The hops provide balance. A tasty combination of lemoniness and bread.

M: Sweet with a malty body. Unlike anything I have come to expect from SN, just different.

D: Not crazy about the style but this one has the hops I expected with the subtle flavors. Breadiness was the best aspect and still remains refreshing.

06-20-2008 01:36:05 | More by marcpal
Photo of albern


3.08/5  rDev -15.8%

This is a rather average pilsner, and I was expecting a tad better. The beer pours a very pale yellow with a decent white head that doesn't last that long. Some retention though. The smell is Saaz hops, corn husk, maybe some cooked veggies, very pilsner-esque. The taste is light, moderate to low carbonation, very crisp, peppery, a tad bit of tangyness, some lemon hints as well. The peppery tang is a bit of a turn off and lasts too far into the finish. The beer is light, refreshing, uncomplicated, and altogether pretty average.

06-19-2008 19:31:31 | More by albern
Photo of Hoagie1973

New York

3.33/5  rDev -9%

Well, it was beer colored and smelled like beer.
Had the typical characteristics of a summer seasonal; light bodied, crisp, refreshing, with a touch of lemon zest. It had a pronounced hop bitterness, which I'm ok with, but it wasn't a flavorful hop character like their Pale Ale, it was just a grassy, extract-like oily bitterness; somewhat unpleasant.
Overall it wasn't bad or difficult to finish, just nothing special.

06-18-2008 22:06:36 | More by Hoagie1973
Photo of clemtig76

South Carolina

3.85/5  rDev +5.2%

Picked a six while vacationing in Myrtle Beach, SC. Pours a golden yellow color with a big billowy white head that clings nicely to the glass after every sip. Aroma is of sweet malt with that great Sierra Nevada hop aroma.The taste is very clean and refreshing, sweet toasted malts with nice bitter hop finish. This beer goes down almost too easy. Can't wait to get some for my next cookout.

06-18-2008 16:33:28 | More by clemtig76
Photo of illidurit


3.65/5  rDev -0.3%

Poured into a pint glass. Gold color with a white head that leaves no lace. Saaz aroma is immediately apparent. Pale malt comes through in the nose too. Flavor is mildly tangy, with lemon and a touch of spice atop a sweetish malt base. Refreshing and drinkable.

06-18-2008 07:52:18 | More by illidurit
Photo of hero27


2.63/5  rDev -28.1%

2008 Vintage
12 oz bottle

Pours a bright yellow color with a surprisingly frothy head of white foam.
Very faint grainy corn-husk aroma..other than that, nothing in the nose at all.
Light bodied with a pale malt flavor up-front and a dash of grassy, floral hops..some light lemon zest as well.
Overall, this is a very light, clean, drinkable beer that is a bit rough-around-the-edges. The flavor is lackluster and honestly rather bland with no standout qualities. It would be alright on a hot summer day to quench your thirst, but probably not one I'd choose to re-visit.

06-16-2008 03:07:12 | More by hero27
Photo of neenerzig


4.18/5  rDev +14.2%

Got a single 12 oz bottle of this recently. Pours a light to medium clear golden color with a thick white head well over an inch when poured. Eventually settles to a very nice thick surface coating. Excellent lacing here. Aromas of malt and hops are present, the hops being quite nice. Not much else smell wise. The taste is pretty much the same, fairly sweet malt along with a nice citrus hop flavor on the back end. Not complex at all but damn good! Has a crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. Very clean finish. A great summer brew! Very drinkable indeed.


06-16-2008 02:18:08 | More by neenerzig
Photo of saintwarrick

South Carolina

3.3/5  rDev -9.8%

Pours a pale gold with a thin white lacy head. Aroma is earthy grains and herbs, some light lemon pepper. Taste is crisp, earthy and malty with a nice citrusy lemon kick from the hops. Balance falls off a little at the end as the beer lacks any distinguishing characteristic to carry it. The malts are there, but the hops fail to keep up and the beer finishes just a bit bland.

Very refreshing and not one I would turn down if offered, but as for buying, there a lot better examples of the style.

06-15-2008 05:46:54 | More by saintwarrick
Photo of nasty15108

New York

3.7/5  rDev +1.1%

Poured from a Growler filled by KD at Pawling Beer and Soda. Poured into a pilsner glass.

A - A light golden color. Pour produced a head of white foam and decent lacing.

S - Crisp smell of cut grass and light lemony citrus. Also detected a light aroma of malt.

T - Slightly malty up front followed by a grassy citrus hop bite.

MF&D - A good summer choice. Light, crisp and refreshing.

06-15-2008 01:11:53 | More by nasty15108
Photo of objectivemonkey


4.18/5  rDev +14.2%

Pours a bright but pale gold, crystal clear with lots of bubblies and a solid whitish head with nice stringy chunks of lacing. The Saaz aroma hops come out and shake your hand, some nice citrus and grainy malts in there. The taste is refreshing as can be, with crispy clean herbal and citrus hop giving it a good start with a backbone of slightly sweet malts. The body is a just-right medium, good carbonation, its a thoroughly drinkable beer, an excellent session buddy to pair with a beautiful summer day. I'm not sure this reminds me of 'Vienna lager', its more like SNPA's kid brother.

06-14-2008 19:35:25 | More by objectivemonkey
Photo of righlander


4.2/5  rDev +14.8%

Pours a straw yellow with a nice head that dissipates in to a thin lace from a 12oz bottle to a pint glass.
Smells nice, light malt with a subtle yet present hop.
Taste is good. Very refreshing for the summer. goes nice and easy on a hot Florida night. A very flavor filled lager. nice easy malt show with a very well balanced hopped finish. Extremely crisp and clean. Perfect for summer.
Mouth feel is excellent. nicely carbonated with a mildly, yet dry hop finish.
Drinkability is insane. you can pound these all night.
I'm glad I bought A six pack!

Notes: A very drinkable crisp clean brew. Lighter bodied with A lot of personality. Excellent summer beer. Blows away Czech beers in my opinion.
Perfect hot weather brew.

06-14-2008 04:42:50 | More by righlander
Photo of PiecefulToker


3.85/5  rDev +5.2%

Too bad we can't get this year-round in the South...

A: I gave this a pretty vigorous pour in a standard pint glass, which formed a nice 2 finger head that dissipated after a few minutes, leaving decent lacing. It is crystal clear, and a pale honey straw color.

S: Not too much to offer here... no dominant hop or malt presence to speak of. Pale malt, straw, grain.

T: This is what I expect from a Summer Lager: cool, crisp, refreshing, and quenches my thirst. There are subtle hints of citrus (grapefruit?), and the pale malt gives at an excellent cleanness on the palate. I really like this beer, especially sitting out on the balcony on a warm summer night (like tonight).

M: Smooth. Decent body that is not too watery and not too thick.

D: I could drink these all night, and they are almost dangerously difficult. A great session beer.

06-14-2008 04:22:49 | More by PiecefulToker
Photo of genog


3.43/5  rDev -6.3%

poured a golden yellow color with just a good amount of faint white soapy head that fades away shortly after it was poured. Smell is heavy with the corn, and grain aromas. Taste is somewhat like a hefe with a little banana and clove tastes. The mouth feel was a little light, but that was to be expected for this style. I definitely had this as a session beer.

06-13-2008 12:40:38 | More by genog
Photo of joekfsu


3.48/5  rDev -4.9%

12 oz bottle. Pours golden with 2 cm of off white head, mostly diminishing. Aroma of lemony hops. Malty start, slight hop finish, balanced and light in the middle. Some lacing, light carbonation, light body, and light on alcohol. Overall drinkable as a summer beer, if you need something light and like the style.

06-12-2008 00:53:18 | More by joekfsu
Photo of bigdeuce


3.43/5  rDev -6.3%

Pours a very light color, almost like an american macro..but that is par for this style. Foamy head, disappates quickly. Smells of some fruit, like lemon zest. Easy to drink, nothing offensive..a bit of hoppy twinge on the sip. Not much on the nose. A bit watery, not sierra's best. I will get it again, a nice lawnmower beer, but I've had better.

06-10-2008 22:25:16 | More by bigdeuce
Photo of yemenmocha


4.6/5  rDev +25.7%

**sampled first week of release in my location, early Summer 2008

Pours a luminous pale gold, very slight haze, and stark white head that retains a thin head for the duration of the pint.

Nose is Saazy right off the bat, some citrus, and grainy malt aromas.

On the palate this beer starts off a little malty sweet but an incredible crispness & dryness takes over and dominates. Herbal & metallic hops take over, and finish is dry and very crisp.

Immensely drinkable, refreshing, and certainly better than the imported Czech lagers on most of our shelves.

06-10-2008 04:42:00 | More by yemenmocha
Photo of Getinthevan


3.8/5  rDev +3.8%

Pours a nice bright amber yellow, very clear for a lager and a nice shade too.

The head is magnificient, especially from a lager. I've enjoyed Sierra Nevada's line of beers for a long time and the Summerfest Lager is no exception. The head is at least a half an inch thick with wispy bubbles and fruitful carbonation.

The smell is enticing and delicious and carries a faint smell of strong barley.

Upon first sip, it tastes delicious. The best part is the aftertaste; there's a sharp kick right at the end as it goes down the gullet. Truly a great summer lager to behold and wonderful with salmon for dinner.

This is the type of beer that you can drink just one and be completely satisfied, much like Sierra Nevada's other brews. The summerfest here is not only just a beer, but a great creation and wonderful thing to experience as well.

06-10-2008 00:04:59 | More by Getinthevan
Photo of Gehrig


3.9/5  rDev +6.6%

Lemon-golden body with two dense fingers of bone-white froth. Ample lacing on the Yankees mug--all well-presented. Fair amount of Saaz hops with a dash of pepper, along with modest citrus. Bitter heads the flavor, both from the hops and the spice. Lemon and orange peel emerge, but this lacks a sweet component. There's citrus, but it's not nearly as citrusy as I expected, or wanted for a summer brew. It's rather good, however. Very smooth texture, the mouthfeel is easily one of the best aspects of Summerfest.

Worth trying, and one I'd recommend. It is not, however, to summer brews as Bigfoot is to Barleywine.

06-09-2008 02:07:54 | More by Gehrig
Photo of mooseisloose


3.38/5  rDev -7.7%

2008 release-Smell is crisp as they state with a nice tart hop smell. Not much head when poured into a glass. Color is a bright golden yellow. I thought I detected a pine smell and this is more evident in the taste. Mouthfeel is highly carbonated almost sparkly but not in a bad way. Flavor is a steady subdued flat bitterness that finishes clean and dry. This beer is refreshing and really quenches the thirst. The king of lawnmower beers? A good sampling of a hugely enjoyed classic favorite. Not a favorite style of mine but another good brew by Sierra Nevada.

2011 release- Upgrade!

06-08-2008 02:56:49 | More by mooseisloose
Photo of Pleepleus

New York

2.85/5  rDev -22.1%

Poured from bottle to a pilsner glass, a clear yellow with a white bubbly head and moderate lacing. Smelled like corn, lawn clippings and lemons. Tasted bland with a trace of lemons. Not much flavor in this one at all. Goes down easy with light body and crisp nothingness. I could drink a bunch of these but there are lots of better choices out there.

06-06-2008 20:07:49 | More by Pleepleus
Photo of scubahood


3.95/5  rDev +7.9%

Presentation: 12 oz bottle poured into pint glass.

Appearance: Nice lacey head with the perfect amount. Beautiful light yellow color with nice carbonation.

Smell: Subtle smell balanced of hops and malt. Clean smell.

Taste & Mouth Feel: Medium-Light mouthfeel. Nice hop taste that was not expected from the smell.

Drinkability & Notes: Not a huge fan of summer seasonal beers but this is one of my favorites. Very drinkable, very tasty, and easy to find in stores!

06-06-2008 19:42:13 | More by scubahood
Photo of TheBCrew

New York

4.22/5  rDev +15.3%

12oz bottle with 2008 date poured into a pint glass. Crystal clear golden color with 2 fingers of white lacing which quickly dissipates leaving minimal lacing. Smell is earthy and somewhat sweet with a hint of lemon. Taste is light and delicate. Very clean with a bright floral beginning, balanced middle and a dry crisp finish. Mouthfeel is light and very smooth. Quite refreshing and highly drinkable on a hot summer day. Great example of an American (i.e. hoppy) version of the style.

06-05-2008 12:54:22 | More by TheBCrew
Photo of Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

12 oz bottle picked up at Premier Gourmet in Buffalo.

Pours a clear golden, medium white head forms, quickly settles down to a thin ring, not really any lacing. Smell is sweet and grassy, some honey, biscuit, lemon, very clean herbal/floral aroma. Taste is lightly bready/biscuits, citrus, some grassy hops, quite a dry grainy finish, balanced, not a whole lot of flavour but solidly drinkable. Mouthfeel is light bodied with medium carbonation, very refreshing. I could keep this around for the summer indeed.

06-04-2008 01:44:38 | More by Viggo
Photo of Portertime


3.2/5  rDev -12.6%

I think I have enjoyed past summerfests by Sierra Nevada but if they are chamging the recipe each year like their Celebration Ale I certainly do not like this summer's recipe. It had it chilled in a pint glass. Poured a nice bright, lucid golden color with a decent head and hardly any carbonation. The smell was okay with some some malt sweetness and pilsner notes. The taste was of a typical lager but not much complexity. Reminded me too much of a Corona which turned me off because I certainly don't want to put a lime in my Sierra Nevada. I guess I could do a side by side comparison but I'm just not feeling the macro lager taste. I stick to the pale and Celebration ales.

06-03-2008 19:47:33 | More by Portertime
Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 3,495 ratings.