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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.

3,541 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,541
Reviews: 1,469
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 12.84%
Wants: 63
Gots: 230 | 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: 3,541 | Reviews: 1,469 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of nem2006
3.4/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a hazy golden with a nice head that did not last for very long. There was good carbonation visible.

It smells of citrus. Orange, maybe lime.

Taste is citrusy (like the smell would suggest) and finishes like a mild IPA. I was surprised by this beer. I am not normally a fan of Sierra Nevada.

nem2006, Jul 08, 2008
Photo of cracgor
4.3/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This is a great little lager though I think it's a bit over priced. It is a golden straw typical lager, but it is much more aromatic. It has a full flavored nice pine needle like hop kind of characteristic of the brewery. This is a great beer that is widely available. Not quite the level of victory or anchor steam, but it is worth a try and good in its own right.

cracgor, Jul 08, 2008
Photo of Reagan1984
3.68/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle and was greeted with a nice creamy head about 2 fingers in thickness. The head did remain on the scene longer than I had anticipated. Some nice visible carbonation and a very high amount of lacing remained.

Aroma was very nice and fresh. Could smell the hops and also a nice grassiness. Again, "fresh" aroma.

Taste was very nice and clean. Very crisp and seemed to highlight the hoppiness of the Pilsner.
Good balance and a nice finish with some hop lingering flavor.

I know that Sierra is marketing this as a Summer beer, but if they want some Pilsner market share this is a very nice effort.

I met the Sierra Nevada guys at the Beerfest in Boston, and they indicated that this would all be gone shortly after the 4th of July. Glad I got myself a six pack to enjoy over the next couple of weeks.

Reagan1984, Jul 05, 2008
Photo of ccrida
3.8/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into my Yuengling pils glass, summerfest is clear gold with tons of streaming bubbles forming a medium sized white head that is pretty dense and leaves an impressive amount of lace.

Smell is bright, sweet cereals, very clean, with not of the diacetyl and sulfer that plagues most pilsners. Very nice at first, I tired of the sweetness.

Taste is good, again very clean, almost pushing blandness. A nice bitter hop bit keeps it semi-sweet at best. Not much too it though, a bit of graininess.

Mouthfeel is crisp and snappy, with a medium light body.

Drinkability is pretty good, for the style it's well made and very clean. I'd prefer a bit more character, it's not really my style, but well done.

ccrida, Jul 04, 2008
Photo of bort11
3.2/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle, 2008 dated. Poured into a traditional pilsener glass. The initial head jumps to the lip of the glass. Takes a few smaller draws to get the full bottle in the glass. Head quickly recedes with no real lacing to speak of. Color is clear golden yellow. Not much carbonation.

Smell is a grassy hops with a mild spicy malt balance. Taste is also quite grassy. Bit of lemon and a toasty biscuit notes.

Mouthfeel is a bit of a disappointment for me. Generally I like a lager to be pretty crisp and clean with the carbonation, and this is almost flat. It is still pretty drinkable, I was able to put three down without noticing much. I just had higher expectations.

bort11, Jul 04, 2008
Photo of Lepley
2.85/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Dark yellow in appearance, with mild carbonation, and very little head. Has a light grainy smell and is sweet to taste with a slight bitterness and citrus to it's aftertaste. A pretty watery and light beer. I would say it's very drinkable though not overly impressive.

Lepley, Jul 03, 2008
Photo of lpayette
2.2/5  rDev -39.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

I'll just cut to the chase here and state that I was very disappointed in this one. Sierra Nevada typically puts out great stuff, but this one is way off the mark.

Appearance- Typical yellow pilsner look with an average head. Not much to speak of with regards to retention and lacing. Overall just very average to me.

Smell- Not much going on here, but more character than... the average beer in this style? Maybe? I expected more from SN. Smells kind of like cornbread to me which is not to suggest that I think there's corn in it- just that it has that smell. I like cornbread but- well, meh.

Taste- Surprisingly, dare I use the term? "Macro-like." Yep, I did it, but it's true. Taste is pretty minimal and perhaps not that bad if ice cold. But as it warms into the 50's off-flavors start poking their nasty little metallic pitchforks into your tongue until finally subdued by the grainy and slightly lingering finish. There is a respectable hop bite that is worth mentioning, and the balance is actually pretty good. But this simply isn't that refreshing or tastey for that matter either.

Mouthfeel- Is pretty much on target for the style with ample carbonation and a light body. Metallic flavors in the middle muddle it up however.

Drinkability/Final Thoughts- This has got to be the most disappointed I've been with a beer in a while. I guess I just took it for granted that all Sierra Nevada products were worth the price and a good representation of the style as well. Honestly, I wouldn't have minded the lack of flavor and character so much if it weren't for the off flavors. I'm sorry for such a negative review SN, but after paying $9.75 retail for a sixer of this, I must say I would have rather spent a couple more bucks and got a 30 rack of PBR. At least that I can say I actually enjoy every once in a while on a hot day.

lpayette, Jul 01, 2008
Photo of jeremyd365
3.23/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a light copper, mostly clear, and slightly bubbly. Smell was nothing out of the ordinary and the taste was only slightly less boring. Nothing partiularly distinct about this one, but not bad. Drinkable but extremely average. I'd much rather celebrate summer with some flavor.

jeremyd365, Jul 01, 2008
Photo of Yesac
3.25/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours clear applejuice yellow. No head.

Bitter zesty smell

Taste is sweet grainy/malty, and could use more hops in my opinion. Slight spice and carbonation.

This is a great session beer, good mouthfeel. Crisp stuff, but I'd rather have another lager over this.

Yesac, Jun 29, 2008
Photo of Stoneman78
4.15/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Appearance is a translucent dark yellow hue, thin layer of white frothy head sustains, moderate lacing on the glass

Smell is clean crisp pale malts, lager yeast, bread and grains, light hops, touch of citrus

Taste is initially bread malts and cereal grains, transitions to subtle lemon and orange zest, earthy herbal hops enter midway, finishes clean and crisp

Mouthfeel is light-bodied, watery but smooth texture, carbonation is amped very high and biting

Drinkability is high, I drank these all night along at a recent concert (The National @ SD HOB), there is something about the grain and citrus intermix that really does it for me, even though this is a simple and straightforward beer, I love this for my summer session needs, pleasantly surprised here

Stoneman78, Jun 26, 2008
Photo of beerthulhu
3.83/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured a very clear, maize yellow with a ½ finger soft, creamy off white head that lasted a few minutes after the pour. Visible carbonation was light-medium.

S: lemons, grains that were fairly light but provided a clean aroma.

T: The flavor was nice opening with a fresh grain sweetness with lemon hints and a soft herbal hopping. Nice lemony tang, a light grassiness with a very crisp finish. Overall a nice crisp summertime drink that is sure to please and keep you coming back.

M: light, oily, and softly carbonated providing for a nice feel in the mouthful and as good as any per style.

D: A nice summertime quencher really, crisp and clean and will keep you coming back for more. Enjoyable in multiples.

beerthulhu, Jun 24, 2008
Photo of thepassingofdays
2.35/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

a- fluffy head, typical light blonde lager coloring

s- very plain smell... like bud light or one of those semi-generic beers

t- boring, and a tiny bitter aftertaste to round it out. nothing special, not much to like about this one.

m- the fluffy head was pleasant, the rest was unimpressive

d- not something I'd have again, but I'm not going to throw it away either.

thepassingofdays, Jun 23, 2008
Photo of vladimerjr
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Not at all what i was expecting when I bought it as i did not read the bottle or box or anything.

Light refreshing lager. High carbonation with lots of flavor and lightly hopped at least for a Sierra Nevada beer anyway. Good BBQ beer where you want a good beer but it does not need to be the center piece.

vladimerjr, Jun 22, 2008
Photo of scaaven
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Overall average, I wanted to try something different. Pours a pale yellow/brown with a small head. Taste is crisp and carbonated, but refreshing. Up front you can definitly taste the malt and a slight bit of hops (i was surprised there weren't more hops from SN!). Not a very complex taste going on here, but there's nothing really bad about it. Aftertaste is a pleasant bread / yeast flavor. I think I'm a little biased because I'm such a fan of Pale Ale and this one is quite different. I probably won't buy this again, in favor of new excursions and old favorites (pale ale!!!) thanks for reading.

scaaven, Jun 21, 2008
Photo of UA8
3.65/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Straw colored brew with pale white foam

S- Heavy grain scent with light citrus notes

T- Mostly grains with s light hop and citrus back notes

M- Crisp and heavily carbonated

D- Summerfest is a fairly light beer, with a refreshing crispness to it. It could have a slightly bold flavor profile subtle is the name of the game here. Something you could have on you porch our at a bbq.

UA8, Jun 21, 2008
Photo of barknee
3.33/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

barknee, Jun 20, 2008
Photo of marcpal
3.45/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

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.

marcpal, Jun 20, 2008
Photo of albern
3.08/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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.

albern, Jun 19, 2008
Photo of Hoagie1973
3.33/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

Hoagie1973, Jun 18, 2008
Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 3,541 ratings.