1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada Summerfest LagerSierra Nevada Summerfest Lager

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

3,657 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,657
Reviews: 1,483
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 13.11%
Wants: 67
Gots: 274 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,657 | Reviews: 1,483 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of troobie
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2007 Summerfest, 12oz. bottle from a 12 pack featuring the NEW "pry off" cap!

Pours a golden yellow. Lots of carbonation bubbles rising from the bottom of the glass. Smell is very malty and sweet, not the usual Sierra Nevada hop smell I expected. Reminds me of their Pale Bock. Sweet taste with some bitterness initially, which leads to a very strong yeast-like bread taste, and then finishes bitter. Very carbonated, which is a good thing to me. Very clean and enjoyable, although not something I would buy frequently. The easiest drinking SN product I've had...just not my favorite.

Photo of Duster72
4.1/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2006 bottle getting on the old side. Pours a golden color with little head and active carbonation. Smell is sweet malts, some fruit, and yeast. Taste is a nice grainy malty sweetness with some citrus and floral hops. Gets better around 45 degrees as bitterness dies down a little bit. Refreshing, crisp finish. Nice summer beer, very drinkable and sessionable.

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

this summer offer presents a nice hazy yellow color, there was a foamy head that died right away, not much lacing. nice clean taste, not much inital flavor but finishes with a light hoppy floral taste, good summer beer for those hot days, not to carbonated good mix. i would drink again

Photo of Roderick
2.95/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

It poured light gold with a very thin white head,
The smell was very light with of hops and a hint of citrus.
Taste was a little sweet with a hint of lemon. It went down smooth but had a bit of an aftertaste.
It was ok but I'm not sure I would purchase it again .
Paid $.99 for 1 bottle at the Liquor Barn Hurstbourne

Photo of shivtim
3.3/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

2006 bottle.
Pours mostly clear, slightly hazy golden yellow, with a foamy white head. Looks like beer in a cartoon would. Nose is sweet grains and hops. Taste is surprisingly empty up front, then some hops come in with malts in the finish. Mouthfeel is average, drinkability is above average.

Not bad, but fairly non-descript.

Photo of terrabyte
3.38/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly hazy light-yellow, with a medium white head that disappears quickly.

Aroma consists of lemon, spice and floral. Also a yeasty bread smell with a straw mustiness.

Flavor is similar to aroma. A slightly sweet and sour lemon, bready middle, and a dry finish. The light citrus, grass and flowers help make this light and enjoyable.

Mouthful was slightly grainy, giving this beer some weight. Otherwise, well carbonated and ending dry.

Drinkability is good. Plenty of flavor in this Pils. It’s not my style, but could be a welcome treat to those that do like ‘em.

Photo of billybob
4.88/5  rDev +33.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

poured a slightly opaque straw yellow color with a head equal to your pour style and leaving fair lacing on the glass. spicy hop smell. taste slight bread, spice hop. mouthfeel medium, smooth, very well balanced. very easy beer to drink very enjoyable put it on your list.

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

A- straw colored with a fluffy two finger white head, good retent and lacing, head settles to ring of foam

S- sweet and crisp malts, clean, lemony fresh

T- sweet and crisp malty flavor, then the hops bring it home and throughout the aftertaste. good balance. simple yet tasty

M- crisp, good carbonation, full bodied light lager

D- sessionable, good pilsner, a good alternative for the summer especially for macro drinkers. good brew but not my favorite

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

Picked this up recently on special for $5.99 for a twelve! Color is a yellow gold with a thin white head dissipating fairly quickly. Not much character on the nose but some hints of lemon stand out more than anything else. Some sour apple and honey flavors are noticed as I drink it down with a mellow but crisp mouthfeel.

Overall a very drinkable beer if you aren't looking to challenge your tastebuds and just want some cool refreshment.

Photo of msubulldog25
3.58/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

'Helping out' my local favorite, Beaumont Market, by picking up this bottle from their clearance bin: at $0.95 for a 12 oz. I thought it was worth a try. It was a rainy, breezy mid-November Oregon evening, so summer's a distant memory.

A: Crystal clear pale wheat yellow. Less than 1-finger of white head which fades to a sparse lacy film. A few streams of lively carbonation.

S: Pure lagered maltiness. Dry and bready with a clean & fresh hoppy balance.

T: Full & sweet maltiness, grain-based certainly without that nasty adjunct/filler flavor. Nice hops which are grassy and have some citrus sweetness.

M: Crisp and clean. A typical pilsner bite in the dry finish. Light to medium mouthfeel with only a little lingering sourdough bitterness.

D: A nice surprise, a refreshing "lawnmower" beer in the waning days of autumn. Sessionable with its low abv...good clean flavors. Pilsener is not my style of choice, but I'd get this one again.

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

Gold color medium , clear – frothy medium white head –nose is cinnamon , apple , wheat , citrus ( lime / lemon zest ) , grassy , wet hay , slight hopps , and slight malts - taste mild hint of malts , grainy , grassy , and red apples – creamy sweet mouth feel – aftertaste
cereal , grass , slight hopps

Photo of Lancer211
3.95/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a stein. 2006 edition.

A - Golden yellow, immediate slight head that settles into a white ring around edge of mug. Average for a pils.

S - No adjuncts here, a real pilsener. Hoppy, almost floral. Very appetizing, and not a hint of skunk. (Thank you, Sierra Nevada, and your brown bottles)

T - I couldn't have imagined giving a pilsener a 4.0 on taste until this one. Hops at the forefront, with a supporting performance in malts. A drying finish, a little bit sweet in the middle.

M - Extremely smooth and refined, no complaints.

D - Low alcohol content and excellent while not overpowering flavor?? Jackpot....

Easily the best pils I think I have ever had. Thank you, Sierra Nevada. Now... if only I can wait another 9 months for when the 2007 batch comes out.

Photo of TheBierBand
3.8/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I've always had good experience with Sierra Nevada.... so I thought I would give this one a try... It did not disappoint me.

Poured from the 12 oz bottle into a pint glass the head was nice and frothy but did not hang on which is more typical of the lighter summertime brews.

Nice medium amber colored appearance but not cloudy like an unfiltered wheat.

The taste was clean and crisp but held on for a rich aftertaste which was satisfying.

The carbonation was appropriate and the overall drinkability was above average. Summary: good summer brew

Photo of Cresant
4.97/5  rDev +35.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured this 12 oz. 2006 brown bottle into a pilsner glass. Clear, pale yellow body topped with two fingers of head. Modest head faded with no lacing.

Smell was WOW. Clean, crispy, spicy. Floral with slight metal. Perle and Saaz hops. Yum.

Taste was fantastic too. Nice interplay of Two Row Pale, Munich malts and grinding fresh hops. Malts ride in the backseat (where I like them). Slight hints of alfalfa sprouts. Nice biting dry finish. This provides all I want in a pilsner (one of my favorite styles) and seems to be a benchmark for the style.

Mouthfeel was coarse and raspy, just as I like in a Czech Pilsner. Medium bodied. I will return again, and again.

Photo of dblinkhorn
3.35/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a twist-off 12oz bottle into a flute glass.

Appearance - Pale straw-yellow colored brew that is crystal clear. Two finger creamy white head that, surprisingly, has decent retention and lacing. A frenzy of carbonation constantly rises from the bottom to replenish the head.

Smell - Bitter and slightly souring hops on the nose. A raw and weak malt character is also present. Slight alcohol warmth also.

Taste - Pretty much the same as the smell. The hops are bitter and start to have a sourness toward the finish of the taste, with a peppery spiciness. The malt character comes through a bit stronger in the taste, but barely. Again they are raw and light, with a slight earthy character. Not a horrible pilsener, this one is actually bearable.

Mouthfeel - Very light-bodied with a crisp level of carbonation, perfect for this style. A decent smoothness in the beginning, but the liquid becomes "messy" toward the finish.

Drinkability - I would give it a perfect score if it had some decent flavor. Almost as easy to drink as water.

For the style, probably a decent beer, but I really can't stand lagers or pilseners much at all. They are practically flavorless and very bland. If I was forced to drink from this style, though, this would be one of my choices.

Photo of garymuchow
4.08/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2006 version purchased at the end of summer.

Pleasant, light and refreshing floral hops with hints of spiciness and a base of a sweet water malt.
Brilliantly clear yellow/gold. Head can be poured quite big and has a steadiness once it settles some.
Malty sweetness up front and lasts long enough to be enjoyed before the bitterness kicks and grows in taste and intensity to the strong/bold finish with a bit of dryness. All very flavorful and pleasing. Nicely blended. Buttery quality presents in time (as warms).
Very refreshing. Carbonation is sharp and prickly which (fortunately in this case) prevents quick drinking. Medium overall feel.
I like lagers and this is a well made one. Nice flavors and good drinking qualitites. Many west coast breweries don't make that many lagers, but the ones that do I appreciate the quality of the effort. I like how close it is to Pilsner Urquell.

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

2002 Summerfest with a gold cap.

Found this lonley single 12oz. bottle of 2002 in the cooler of my favorite liquor store, it had been stored cold. It poured a deep gold with the slightest haze (not from chill) and nearly two-fingers of white foamy head. Lots of carbonation and a plenty of initial lacing, the head eventually settles to a ring and some surface lace...looks a bit darker than fresh Summerfest.

The smell is sweet and pale malty, kind of syrupy, followed by some grassy hops. The sweetness is citrusy and mostly that of oranges, definitely different aroma than when it's fresh...it smells really good but hardly that of a pilsner at this point.

The taste is rather sweet and malty with a citrus tang in the middle that ends with a slight bitter, more watery than dry finish. Kind of a malt syrup with that stays sweet into a citrus, going quickly to grassy flavored hops that bitter at the last second. Aftertaste is quite clean with a tinge of orange peel. Much different tasting than the 2006 fresh.

Solid medium body with a smooth and cream-like mouthfeel...not crisp at all, yet somewhat refreshing. The alcohol is mild, could drink a bunch of these with ease.

Believe it or not, this is the most I've enjoyed a Sierra Nevada Summerfest and if you come across a 2002, I recommend you buy it and try it. I'll keep an eye out for it myself...cheers.

Photo of jhollick
3.88/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

2006 Edition:

Presentation/Appearance: Poured a deep but clear gold/straw color, with lots of carbonation rushing to the surface. 1" head that lingered for a while.

Smell: Faint hint of lemon and spice, but mostly grain and hop.

Mouthfeel: Light and slick, but as expected for the style; lots of carbonation.

Taste: Crisp and refreshing. This is a pretty highly-hopped Pilsner. It has a very refreshing flavor. Lemon and grapefruit mix with the grains and hop flavors. There is little to no malt presence. There is a little bit of a barn-ish flavor/smell, which reminds me of some flavors from a Saison. There is a fusel smell and taste that comes out a bit as the beer warms.

Overall: I'm not a pilsner expert, but I like this. The hops were a welcome treat. I guess I haven't had too many Czech Pilsners. This is also a VERY drinkable beer. The rest of this six pack could easily be gone soon, but I'll get into trouble if I do that. Nice effort from Sierra Nevada.

Photo of
3.05/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

12oz. bottle. Poured a clear straw yellow with a medium size white head. Aroma was hoppy and of the grass variety. Malt was AWOL, but a tiny bit showed up as the beer warmed. Flavor was mainly hops - citrus. Some malt contribution as sweetness in the middle. Aftertaste was a little unpleasant, but only started to show about 1/2 way through the beer. Body was light, with medium carbonation and slightly drying. A hoppy pilsener, refreshing and a good summer beer. Only complaint is the aftertaste, because of which I wouldn't drink this again.

Photo of sstackho
1.85/5  rDev -49.5%
look: 1 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12oz bottle purchased from Charles Street liquors in Boston. Pours light straw with little head or carbonation. Hardly any aroma. First taste fills the mouth nicely, but unfortunately not the throat. Goes down too easily without enough flavour. Little aftertaste. Not much to enjoy or offend. This one will be offered to non-beer-geek guests.

Photo of arnulfooxblood
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle.

Appearence--Golden strawlike color, 2cm. head with good rentention. Lots of carbonation rushing up to the top.

Smell--faint grains

Taste--richer than most pilsners I've had, nice hoppy bite at the end. Crisp and refreshing.

Drinkability--Pretty good, I could definitely have a few.

Photo of Deconstructionis
3.43/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This is a good pilsener but not up to the levels of the SN pale ale or stout. Pilsener is one the toughest beers to brew well because there is no hiding and no margin for error. They often fall a bit short on the character side or otherwise simply don't have that delicate balance. Brewing a good subtle beer is a true test of craftsmanship. this passes the test but doesn't excel.


It's a rather typical looking pale gold with a nice stiff head and faint but pleasant aroma of yeast and malt -- not much in the way of hops beyond the citrus. .

The flavor is very well balanced but a little thin and more sweet than crisp as I prefer.

Of course, it's a relatively light bodied beer and it has substantial carbonation It's as drinkable as can be and very thirst quenching but it is just missing "something."

Photo of BradBLR
2.88/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This beer poured a very light blonde color with a white head that lasted almost the whole beer with a failry good amount of lacing. The smell was very light with just a hint of a light malt.

The taste was very crisp malty flavor with a hint a lemon. The mouthfeel was fair, with the C02 being a little too strong and the beer being very thin.

All in all a fair beer, not my favorite from Sierra Nevada. But as for it being a Pilsner not bad.

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

Pours a clear golden with one finger white short-lived head and persistent lacing.

Citrus aromas and trace of noble hops dominate the nose.

Taste is clean with prominent citrus note balanced by a mild sweetness. Finishes clean and dry.

Mouthfeel is light with balance of creaminess and tight carbonation. Very drinkable.

In a craft beer world dominated by big hoppy ales, Pilsners sometimes don't get the respect that they deserve. It's nice to see Sierra Nevada give this style some props. One of my favorite hot Summer day beers.

Photo of veech
3.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a solid lager that screams drinkability. It is smooth, crisp with enough body to distinguish itself from most lagers. The beer pours a light golden color with good carbonation, head and light lacing. Aroma is mainly grain with light hopped finsh. Taste is smooth and understated but not wimpy. This is a lager that packs some substantial beer taste. Mouthfeel and drinkability are both high and I wouldn't mind to session this beer anytime of year, but it is perfectly suited for the summer. Another nice job by Sierra Nevada.

Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 3,657 ratings.