1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.

3,535 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,535
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,535 | Reviews: 1,470 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of josiahschlender
3.7/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I have a lot of respect for Sierra Nevada putting out great, easily accessible beers. The Summerfest Lager is no exception.

Having been raised on ales, my tastes tend toward appreciating them more, but lagers like this and a few other definitely are opening my mind to the world of lagers.

Standard looks for a pils... A solid white cap with decent lasting power from a vigorous pour. Clear and golden in color, but maybe a little pale. Not quite as wholesome and rich golden that I've seen in some others recently. Lively little bubbles streaming to the top look nice, too.

I think I'm getting to know the aroma of Saaz hops better. That was my guess before looking the beer up, which other reviewers seem to confirm. Nice and spicy, grassy hop-dominated aromas. Just a little bit of faint malts.

Flavor is balanced more, but still tends toward the Saaz. Very clean and pleasing with subtle bready malts, but mostly grass and spice with a lightly bittered fininish. Mouthfeel is clean, just about adequate but maybe a bit thin for me.

I picked this up really cheap on sale, for less than six bucks. At that price, combined with the easy-drinking tastiness, makes for a pretty drinkable brew in my book. At that price though, SN Pale Ale seemed a better deal, like I was getting more flavor and enjoyment for my money. This beer is good, but I wouldn't mind if everything was notched up just a little bit.

josiahschlender, Aug 08, 2008
Photo of PatrickJR
3.43/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into pilsner glass.

A - Pale, clear yellow with a small quarter inch head that quickly falls to a very fine collar. Minimal lacing.

S - Slight spicy hop in the nose, but nothing much else. Very faint.

T - Fairly uninteresting grainy character prevails for the most part. Faint hops kick in late palate and provide some mild bitterness, but there is little flavor contribution from the hops save for a distant lemon pith note.

M - Crisp, light bodied, not watery. High carbonation but not prickly and artificial. Refreshing.

D - Easy drinking, if bland. This might not be a bad brew for hanging with friends outside, but overall it's kinda boring.

PatrickJR, Aug 04, 2008
Photo of thisisshsas
2.78/5  rDev -24%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

A-Clean golden yellow coloring, a finger of foam. About what you would expect from a pilsener.
S- smell not very exident, not a good sign.
T- light crisp taste that shows a no bite.
M-light taste that becomes watery the longer it stays in your mouth. A very one dimensional taste.
D- goes down as light as any beer I've had in recent memory, the best characteristic of beer.

What more can I say, the beer is fairly tasteless, and I drink beer in park for taste. If I was at a bar and it was either this or macro lagers, I'd probably take the macro lager because the price doesn't add up to the taste. Very disappointing.

thisisshsas, Aug 04, 2008
Photo of jeffthecheff
3.48/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Being a fan of summer beers, I decided to try as many as I could this summer. This was one of the first. I bought a six pack of bottles.

Appearance- I poured it into a pilsner glass, it had a good head, but overall it was not a great appearance. It looked much like a Budweiser in color, not anything impressive.

Smell- The smell was good, it created an appetizing feel.

Taste- The taste here was just average. I didn't taste anything much different from a regular lager. Towards the end of the beer and 15 minutes later, it had that flat, light taste that resembles the warm, bottom sip of a macro lager.

Mouthfeel- Good carbonation, had that extra kick and complexity that slightly separates it from another macro beer

Drinkability- Had a very good drinkability. It was light and refreshing like a summer beer should be. You could easily have many of these. This is where the main appeal of this type of beer comes from, and it was good here. I didn't love the beer itself but after one I immediately opened another because it was very drinkable.

jeffthecheff, Aug 02, 2008
Photo of zerofear13
3.78/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I think it's odd that one of the labels for the 2008 said "European Pale Lager," which made me think of the likes of Becks and Heineken and that horribly dry taste it leaves sticking to your mouth.

I was glad to find that this was not that type. The label was a bit misleading. I think this was Sierra Nevada's twist on a lager. It reminded me more of an IPA with its hoppy flavor. It leaned more towards the bitter side.

I enjoyed this beer. It was refreshing and a great summer beer, unlike the many, many summer ales that flood the market this time of year - it was a bit heavier and not so big on extra flavors like citrus, fruit, etc.

Great summer beer. Only 5.0% ABV means downing a few with barbeque wouldn't be a bad idea. If you want a refreshing summer beer with more flavor and extras, this isn't for you.

zerofear13, Aug 01, 2008
Photo of MNJR
4.55/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I read the label on the bottle twice and read the entire packaging very carefully before buying this, so I wouldn't get another flavored "summer" beer as in Anchor, or a summer wheat (like an Oberon - not a style I care for). Thankfully, this is just a great, simple beer that is what a "summer" beer should be - refreshing, thirst quenching, not too strong or full-bodied, and goes down easy. I should note that I had the 2008. I was surprised to see reviews going back to '06 - I'd never found this in Chicago before today.

Nice golden color, very light aromas of a vaguely malty honey, and light orange citrus. But, what you taste is just damn good beer. Hops arrive on the tongue after the swallow with no bitterness, but the classic lager malt flavor is not compromised. Very clean and nearly "light," except for the more medium body, and fine, smooth carbonation. The head remained 1/2" high down to the bottom of the glass. Truly enjoyable, and ridiculously drinkable. Seems like the perfect beer for seafood in the summer.

MNJR, Jul 29, 2008
Photo of pweis909
4.13/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear yellow lager with a 1-inch foam cushion that recedes to lace glass. Smells initially of honey, floral nectar and spicy hops. Malt contributes to initial sweet taste sensations but the beer finishes with a crisp dry bitterness. Sierra Nevada shows some versatility, branching out from their cascade-hopped ales to nail down a pilsner!

pweis909, Jul 26, 2008
Photo of Chugmonkey
3.78/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light gold color, nice white head, minimal lacing, carbonation is right on. Wonderful spicy hop notes in every sip. Extremely drinkable. Hell yeah, this is what summer is all about. Has a nice clean and crisp finish that is very refreshing. This beer would go well with anything.

Overall a nice light beer with enough flavor to put it well up above average. Great summer brew.

Chugmonkey, Jul 24, 2008
Photo of bbeerman
4.25/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was very pleasantly surprised by this terrific summer brew from Sierra Nevada; not because this company produces bad beer (they don't), but I was expecting something much like Bud Light, or any of another hundred "light" or "summer" beers.

The label advertises it as "Crisp Summer Beer." This is one of the few times in life something is advertised as it is, because this beer is crisp (mouthfeel and taste were very good), and definitely intended as a summertime session beer. You can have several (at 5%) and not feel completely hindered; it is quite easy to drink and tastes great. I really enjoyed having a few of these in the morning after I had just mowed my lawn. Really hit the spot on a warm and humid day.

I look forward to this beer again in the coming years. Excellent find.

bbeerman, Jul 24, 2008
Photo of MattBrooks
4.28/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Cool. A lager from Sierra Nevada. I had the chance to try this at an in-store tasting in Stow, MA; and was so pleasantly surprised, I picked up a 12 pack on the spot. All of the friends I shared it with over the weekend agreed that it is a top notch selection from SN.

The color is amber (sort of a cross between yellow and orange), with a minimal head. It smells good enough; but the catch is the easy drinkability and clean, pure taste.

MattBrooks, Jul 21, 2008
Photo of ectomorph
3.48/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A - Crystal clear gold in color, very light head and carbonation noticed.

S - Very malty and clean. Lots of bread in the nose.

T - Again, some bread and a little fruit, but very clean. The sign of a nice lager.

M - A little watery in feel for my taste, but not bad.

D - Great on a hot Sunday afternoon for sure.

ectomorph, Jul 20, 2008
Photo of HalfFull
3.7/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a pale yellow color with minimal head/retention. Smell is rather weak, not much going on. Definite lager yeasts on the nose, but very one-sided.

Taste is rather bland in my opinion, not very impressive. In fact I find this to be a disappointing offering from Sierra Nevada. Reasonable finish and drinkability but rather bland.

A fairly decent example of a not preferred style...Or perhaps not....

Edit: May 2011 with a fresh bottle. Pour remains clear and bright straw with a slightly improved retention. Nose offers nice Saaz like hop notes. Flavor is improved and crisp, yet still a bit nondescript. A moderate approach overall and perhaps my original bottle was a bit old. Score updated from

HalfFull, Jul 20, 2008
Photo of FtownThrowDown
2.08/5  rDev -43.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Pours a very, very pale yellow in color with only a little froth of a head forming on the pour. Very lagerish on the smell and nothing else to note. It looks very BMC'ish. Taste is prickly and very BMC'ish. I was expecting at least some West Coast hops, but nothing. Really disappointed. Don't waste your time.

FtownThrowDown, Jul 19, 2008
Photo of redneckchugger
3.23/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured straw clear into a pint glass
almost no smell at all.
tastes pale and fizzy, slight bit of hops.
crisp mouthfeel, goes down easy.
i am the first to admit i don't have the pallate of some peope, i did smoke for years, but i don't get this beer, i tastes like a macro, a good macro, very good and i would drink it again, but its not what i expect from a pilsner.

redneckchugger, Jul 18, 2008
Photo of babaracas
3.43/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear gold with fast fading fluffy white head. Smell: grassy, spicy, somewhat muted bready malt smell. Taste: salty wheat cracker malt, spicy, grassy hops, hint of lemon. Mouthfeel: fairly standard, sort of a salty drying finish. Fairly refreshing.

babaracas, Jul 17, 2008
Photo of ralree
3.63/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Golden, pretty clear, alright head, but recedes pretty fast and the lacing is non-existent.

S: Malt smells pretty bready and good. Light fruit smells dominate, with some light hops in the background. Some grain present.

T: Hops are present and pretty flavorful. Malt is bitter and bready. This one is very clean, and would be good with a meal, but it's a little weak on its own. Alcoholic fruit taste up front which goes away quickly. This would kill with a burger...

M: Feels good in the mouth - pretty dry. It's a little over-carbonated. Just a tad astringent, which is perfect.

D: This drinks well, but it's not too good on its own. Have it with a meal for sure.

ralree, Jul 16, 2008
Photo of SpecialK088
3.73/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a snifter

A-Crisp light gold with a nice head that lingered pretty well

S-Fresh hops, lemon, orange as well as some sweeter fruit like a pear or apple

T-Great crisp summer flavor, notes of lemon orange and very fresh hops, finish is smooth and carbonation level very good

D-As a general rule im not the biggest fan of lagers but this one is an exception ill grab it again before the summer is out but its not gonna be something i always have

SpecialK088, Jul 14, 2008
Photo of smanders
3.95/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is what Heineken should taste like if it didn't have to be subjected to the trans-Atlantic voyage in order to be imported to the U.S.

Summerfest is a refreshing light, crisp lager meant to be enjoyed after mowing the grass or possibly playing badminton. From the short, brown bottle it pours a golden honeyed glass with a fine head that quickly disappears upon consumption.

You'll experience scents of grass and a little hops whilst you bring the glass up to enjoy the clean, easily drinkable, yet slightly dry flavors of this lager.

Drinkability of Summerfest is high especially on humid days or during stints of physical exertion. To be safe, have at least a case available in anticipation of friends stopping by...

smanders, Jul 14, 2008
Photo of Cyberkedi
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an appetizing, semi-transparent honey-golden with a little white head. Aroma is fairly strong, malty, wheaty and inviting. Flavor is mainly malty and wheaty with a hint of hops and a whisper of fruit, not too complex but still pleasing and refreshing. Texture is smooth so it goes "down the hatch" easily.

Cyberkedi, Jul 13, 2008
Photo of jeremy13586
3.68/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a frothy white head in to my pint glass, dissapearing quickly, but leaving some nice lacing and a very thin layer of foam. The color was a crystal clear gold, pretty much the same hue as a Miller High Life. The aroma wasn't too complex. Mainly picked up the maltiness, with some spicy notes from the hops. Not overly complex in the taste catagory, but very solid. Just as the aroma suggests, there is a nice malt back bone with the perfect amount of bitterness. It is crisp and smooth with a nice sharp finish with an after taste that hangs around for the perfect amount of time.

It would be my perfect lawnmower beer if I only had a lawn.

jeremy13586, Jul 11, 2008
Photo of Rayek
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Very clear straw color with tiny carbonation bubbles. Thick foamy white head has great retention. Leaves a lot of lace.

S: Nice balanced combination of oak, pepper, lemon and grass.

T: I really liked this beer. Malt is dry and woodsy like several other SN beers I've had. Balanced hops come on with a lemon and pepper bitterness that has a slight grapefruit background. Finishes relatively clean, with a faint bitterness.

M: Medium light body with just the right amount of fizz.

D: I have yet to be disappointed by a SN beer. Nice summer session beer alone or with food.

Rayek, Jul 10, 2008
Photo of DoubleJ
3.63/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From the bottle into a stange, it's frothy white head floats on top the clear straw colored body. Aroma is grassy. In taste, it's more of a helles lager than a pilsner to me, as there isn't much hop profile, which is surprising given this is a Sierra Nevada brew. Somewhat like drinking saltine crackers with grassy notes to it. It's still a pretty good hot weather beer.

DoubleJ, Jul 10, 2008
Photo of SIRIUS2
3.8/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint pint glass.

Pours crystal clear light golden in color. Very thin head of white soapy bubbles that dissipated very quickly to nothing. No lacing to speak of.

The smell strikes me as a slightly more malty version of your run of the mill American macro lager. There are some hops, some malts, but mostly it just has that generic 'beer' smell.

The first pull on this was light, refreshing and satisfying. There is a terrific balance between the light flavored malts and the grassy to citrus flavored hops. There is also just the slightest touch of yeasty fresh bread. The carbonation is quite light and the general disposition seems just a touch watery but still rather flavorful. There is just enough malt coming through that I would hesitate to call this 'dry' but it certainly isn't sweet. The finish is relatively quick and there is just a little bit of hoppy linger.

I found this to be incredibly drinkable. It just isn't too much of any one thing - just light and refreshing with just the right amount of flavor for the recipe. By the time I got to the bottom of the glass, I was really digging this brew.

SIRIUS2, Jul 09, 2008
Photo of KeefD
3.95/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

An all-around good lager. Nothing over-the-top special in appearance (standard straw-yellow) or aroma, the standard grainy, husky malts and a minute amount of hop character reminiscent of their Pale Ale, only in much smaller amounts. Exceptionally refreshing and very easy to drink. A fantastic session beer for the summer months.

KeefD, Jul 09, 2008
Photo of pvsob
3.65/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a crystal clear, pale straw color with a two finger head that lasts forever and leaves decent lacing.

S- Earthy/Spicy hops, grass, hay, and grain.

T- It starts off with a bread flavor then shifts to a crisp/spicy hop bite and finishes with a combination of grain/hay and hops.

M- Thin, dry mouthfeel with plenty of carbonation.

D- A nice little Czech pils that is nice and refreshing on this hot and humid PA day. It's not going to blow your mind, but it's worth a try if you haven't tried it yet. Cheers!

pvsob, Jul 09, 2008
Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 3,535 ratings.