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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.

3,613 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,613
Reviews: 1,476
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 12.84%
Wants: 65
Gots: 254 | 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: 3,613 | Reviews: 1,476 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jkbusman
3.83/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - pale golden amber with a short off-white head

S - heavy grain and yeast presence with notes of citrus

T - similar to the nose; prominent grain presence with notes of lemon

M - a crisp and refreshing mouthfeel due to the fairly heavy carbonation

D - not the best beer SN makes, but a flavorful lager, with a refreshing crispness to it; perfect for summer cookouts and for dispensing to unsuspecting macro drinkers

jkbusman, May 01, 2009
Photo of elniko
4.1/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from bottle into pint glass.

A: Light amber coloring with nice head and rather substantial lacing. High carbonation apparent. Good looking brew.

S: Nice pilsener tones, mostly grassy and malty tones with just a hint of the hops as well. Solid.

T & M: This is my go-to summer brew that I never got around to reviewing last year. Nice maltiness up front with crisp nicely bitter finish. Mouthfeel is not thin but not overbearing either, some slight buttery tones as well. Carbonation does not overwhelm.

D: Super drinkable, I could drink Summerfest all day long.

elniko, May 01, 2009
Photo of PintOHops
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance/Smell - Appears ultra clear golden amber with medium carbonation and almost an inch of frothy, fluffy head. Head retention is decent, and it leaves some spotty lacing as well. Some nice little strings of carbonation, kinda like champagne. Smells of lite citrus orange peel, hints nutmeg & grapefruit, raisins & dates. Wonderful bouquet of hops, pretty floral, spicy and pine like, and some nice sweet undertones of malt. Wonderful!

Taste/Mouthfeel - Tastes of sweet malt, nice citrus orange peel, grapefruit & hints of nutmeg. Wonderful roasted, toasty and almost burnt biscuit like hop bitterness is plentiful! Hop bitterness lingers well, and the hop bitterness is pretty well balanced with the wonderful, thirst quenching citrus flavors, very crisp & refreshing! Mouthfeel is thin & crisp, and lite-medium bodied.

Drinkability/Final thoughts - I could definitely enjoy 2-3 pints of this on a warm day, so crisp & refreshing, so balanced & hopy! I absolutely love this beer, and everything about it, I really enjoyed the toasted hop bitterness coupled with the lite citrus orange peel and grapefruit flavors. Thirst quenching, and highly drinkable! This is a very nice summer lager, and I recommend everybody give it a try when they can. Cheers!

PintOHops, Apr 30, 2009
Photo of BeanBone
4.13/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: A clear, golden-straw colored body with a generous and bubbly white head on top that leaves good lacing. This certainly looks the part.

Aroma: Grassy, herbal, and lemony Saaz hops over pale malt. Quite crisp.

Taste: Much the same story here. Classic Saaz hop character over a pale malt body with some wheat-like flavors added to the mix. The aftertaste is not long lived, and tastes of pale malt.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light bodied with moderate carbonation. Crisp and clean with a dry finish.

Drinkability: Quite the quencher, this would be excellent on a Summer's day.

Verdict: Summerfest is just a solid, tasty American version of the classic Czech Pilsener. I'd love to slip one of these to one of my macro drinking buddies and see what they thought of it.

BeanBone, Apr 29, 2009
Photo of alpinebryant
3.33/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a pint glass with dinner at Mohegan Sun

Looked pale yellow in color, small white head lacing the glass. Smelled of Pilsner malt, and citrusy hints. Taste of strong pilsner as expected and nice citrus notes. I thought the play of the citrus and Pilsner flavors had a light licorice like taste when together. Medium bodied - definitely not your average pilsner lager , nice thickness to it. Had one with dinner and then off to a comedy show, but I would have had another.

alpinebryant, Apr 28, 2009
Photo of Foolmonkey
3.78/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I decided to pick up a 6-pack of this today. It felt wrong on a day this hot to buy the early spring beer. The mouthfeel and drinkability are Superb, smooth, and very drinkable on a hot day. Just what I wanted.

The pour was a good solid gold color with a small lacing up top. Both the smell and taste were light and not imposing. Good beer but overall did not provide enough depth for me to choose it over other summer lagers in the future.

Foolmonkey, Apr 28, 2009
Photo of bkilpatr
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. 04/27/09. 2009 Version.

Pours a bright clear straw-yellow color with a good inch of soft whitish head. The head disappeared rather quickly. Aroma is faint with pils malt, a biscuity character, and floral European hops.

Taste starts with a grainy pils malt and sweet biscuit flavor. Nice spicy and floral European hops provide a pleasant bitterness that lasts throughout. Very crisp and clean finish, which is helped by just the right amount of carbonation. Light bodied enough to make it super-easy to drink. Almost sessionable, just a touch lighter and it'd be great.

Overall, a very good beer - great for a hot summer day.

bkilpatr, Apr 28, 2009
Photo of morebeergood
3.48/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a six pack to drink with friends on their deck on a hot Sunday afternoon. Poured mine into a standard pint glass. Bright yellow color. Lots of carbonation. Fairly large head, but that went away fast. Pilsener clarity to the body. A nice looking beer to say the least. Smell was OK, got some hops in the nose. Taste was pretty good but not too strong, which how a summer beer should be I guess. Nice balance of malt and hops, but I did get a bit of a corn-like flavor on the first few sips. Also, I though the aftertaste was a bit sticky at the finish. This beer was not as crisp as I had hoped for. But, it was light, flavorful, and not too high in abv. Pretty refreshing on a warm day. I'd buy this again over some locally marketed summer beers.

morebeergood, Apr 28, 2009
Photo of atsprings
3.65/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Flying Saucer served a nice crisp golden yellow with a nice frothy off-white head. Aroma is a some sweet malts with a mild citrus hop presence. The taste is a smooth subtle blend of sweet malts and crisp citrus hops, not overpowering at all and certainly in tune for summer. The beer is very light and crisp and would make a great lawnmower beer. This one is certainly enjoyable for the style.

atsprings, Apr 27, 2009
Photo of PhiloPsych
3.6/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Light, clear, yellow and bubbly. This is what pilseners should aspire to be: light, crisp, clean, thirst-quenching, palate-cleansing, with enough alcohol to let you know you're drinking, and enough taste to let you know you're drinking beer. I chose this to go with Mexican food and, as it turns out, it is well-suited for that. I recommend serving this at summer parties or barbecues to friends who normally drink macro lagers--they should clearly notice the difference in quality.

PhiloPsych, Apr 27, 2009
Photo of thespaceman
4.2/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz stubby bottle into a Sierra Nevada pint glass:

Appearance: Pours a beautiful light gold in color, nice thick rocky head, very dense, excellent retention, good lacing as well.

Smell: Grassy like hop elements emerge beautifully, a huge boquet of citrus merges nicely with a small amount of malt spice. A bit of orange creeps in the backdrop.

Taste: Very pilsner like in the front, small bits of hoppiness are here, a bit of orange again from the aroma, slick & buttery, some earth like maltiness is small and subtle, very crisp and refreshing. The finish consists of a small amount of alcohol bite which is very enjoyable. End notes carry on from the aroma with a touch of toast from the malt and some earth like flavoring.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation isn't too big on this beer, which helps out the overall mouthfeel, again it's slick in some spots, but holds up nicely on the tongue. Light bodied and leaves a nice crispness on the palete.

Drinkability: Summer beers can be hard to like, everybody loves a bigger beer but when it's 90 degrees and sunny you need something to quench your thirst and at the same time keep your interest. This beer does it. SN provides all the drinkable characterisitcs to make this a go-to summer beer for the craft beer drinker or the BMC head. I can see lounging on the shore with a few of these or even cracking one open after a long day of work in the sun. Very drinkable and refreshing. Well done!

thespaceman, Apr 26, 2009
Photo of grayburn
3.8/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A very pretty beer, summerfest pours a golden crystal clear. There is a 2 finger head and a pretty nice shiny white lace. The retention is pretty good too.

The smell and taste are very clean, there are some minor malt and hop notes, mainly citrus and wintergreen.

The mouthfeel is light, crisp, and refreshing, very nice for a summer beer. This leads to a very drinkable package.

grayburn, Apr 26, 2009
Photo of Kolsch
3.9/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap on home draft system. Kegged date not stamped.

Appearance: Very clear & yellow straw. Nice Pillowy head that stayed as a 1/4 inch cusp throughout drink.

Smell: Cake dough and Saaz hops.

Taste: Doughy up front & slightly sweet. Crisp taste from the hops at the end of the sip. Very smooth and easy to drink. Very sessionable beer at 5% and I can easily down a few after struggling to cut the grass.

Overall: If you are expecting a hopped up pilsner, this is not for you. This is a very well done lager by a brewery that is known for Ales.

Kolsch, Apr 24, 2009
Photo of MisterClean
3.58/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Sac Brew Company's Sierra Nevada night.

A - Poured a straw yellow, with a 1 fingered head, dissipated fast and left little lacing.

S - Light honey and sourness from pilsner grain.

T - A heavier note of sourness and light honey again.

M - Well-balanced, malt dominated, lightly dry and cirsp.

D - Not bad overall, glad to know SN doesn't have to overkill a beer with hops to make it drinkable.

MisterClean, Apr 24, 2009
Photo of mafiasentinel21
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Clear gold. A pretty frothy head for a summerfest beer, reduces quickly.

S- Grainy. Smells like a pils oughta.

T- Pretty good. Extremely crisp; the carbonation bites, there are slight fruit notes and the hops bite a little bit at the end. This is like the light version of SN's Pale Ale, with less hoppy and fruitiness.

D- Pretty high. This is a light beer, and great on a summer day. One of the bros. said this was a good beer to show to a macro drinking buddy and I couldn't agree more.

mafiasentinel21, Apr 24, 2009
Photo of scottyshades
3.7/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear, completely transparent, straw color. The head is tiny, dissipates quickly, no lacing

S: Wheaty, earthy, grainy nose. Hops are present, but a little too subdued.

T: Again, same as the nose. The flavor profile is a little subpar for me and for Sierra Nevada. Unbalanced, and a little too carbonated.

MF/D: I will say that this is a great session beer for the summer. Lacks flavor in my book (as well as balance), but very smooth and refreshing.

Worth a try, don't get your hopes up.

scottyshades, Apr 23, 2009
Photo of originalsin
3.98/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The pour is a very clear gold. There's a pretty clean fruity hop smell up front. It tastes great-very crisp and simple up front witg citrus hops lingering on the back of the tongue well after the fact. Altogether its very clean up front with a light mouthfeel-this is a very drinkable summer brew.

originalsin, Apr 22, 2009
Photo of KarlHungus
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a clear golden color. The head is one inch in height, and recedes into moderate lacing. The aroma is full of loads of spicy noble hops with bready malt underneath. The taste is just as spicy and crisp as the aroma. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with lively carbonation, and a velvety texture. Overall, this is one easy drinking pilsener. I will certainly drink this again.

KarlHungus, Apr 18, 2009
Photo of FuzzyGuy84
4.68/5  rDev +27.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Clear, golden color with a big fluffy white head. Excellent lacing and consistant carbonation.

S - Fruity hops come through easily. Balanced is the key word here.

T - Like a transformer, there's more than meets the eye here. What seems clean and simple at first reveals an underlying complexity as you drink more and more. Clean beginning and a pointed hop finish with a range of subtle tastes throughout. I love this beer.

Mf/D - Complex and drinkable? Holy cow.

FuzzyGuy84, Apr 18, 2009
Photo of swizzlenuts
4.22/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a pale yellow/straw colour with a great big fluffy white heat. Lots of carbonation. Looks great. The nose on the beer is grainy/bready with a spiciness from the saaz hops; it smells great. The beer has a spiciness from the saaz and a nice grainy/bready flavour to come through. The beer is quite bitter and spicy. I love it. The only thing from keeping this from a 5 on the taste is that it's not a completely clean lager. The mouthfeel is aqueous, thin and watery, but in a great way. This beer is incredibly drinkable.

swizzlenuts, Apr 17, 2009
Photo of aschwab
2.73/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Had it at the flying saucer in Austin for their fire sale.

Not the biggest fan, tasted like most pilsners, not much flavor in my mind. Pours clear in color, with not much head. The smell of it is not all that strong. It was carbonated about right for a pilsner, but did not impress.

If it was a warm day, and wanted something to quench my thirst, I can see grabbing one of these. Other than that, it doesnt seem to give off much flavor.

aschwab, Apr 17, 2009
Photo of ocelot2500
3.78/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear golden color with plenty of white head. Enough lacing on the glass.

Smells of a little hops and some malt sweetness.

Taste is of the malt sweetness with a little floral hop. Pretty good flavor, just wanted more hop taste.

Mouthfeel is a nice medium, maybe a little too creamy, but the finish is clean.

This is very drinkable.

ocelot2500, Apr 14, 2009
Photo of atis
3.9/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours clear golden with dense half finger head that dissipates to form a transparent layer and filled with small slowly rising carbonation bubbles. Aroma is herbal hops with some fruity esters.

Taste is moderate herbal hops with sweetish honey-like malt with clean finish and bittery aftertaste. Mouthfeel is light with average carbonation.

Overall very refreshing and nicely made Pilsener.

atis, Mar 19, 2009
Photo of SickBrew
4.05/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Upon cracking this brew i got a hint of fresh hops which is not standard with most lagers.

It pours yellow with gold highlights and with some fine particulates floating about. Head is good, fluffy white and leave some fine lacing behind. Nose is a nice balance of aromatic hops and and pale malts.

Taste is good and a sweetness is what comes to mind first, more than I was expecting, almost honey-like. Macro lagers taste nothing like this beer that for sure. Mouthfeel is soft and somewhere in the middle but leaning light. This is a good lager that is definitely worth a spin.

SickBrew, Mar 01, 2009
Photo of jujubeast6000
2.15/5  rDev -41.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Reviewed 6/4/2006 (12oz bottle):

Pours a golden yellow colored body, clear & fizzy. With a huge head, white, and slowly diminishing. Has a strong aroma of malts, and sweetness. An aroma balanced by some hops. Also a very malty taste, and somewhat dry.

jujubeast6000, Jan 19, 2009
Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 3,613 ratings.