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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.

3,645 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,645
Reviews: 1,480
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 12.84%
Wants: 65
Gots: 261 | 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: 3,645 | Reviews: 1,480 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Photo of SwillBilly
3.25/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle

Appearance: SN Summerfest pours crystal clear and golden in the my glass with a nice 2" foamy white head. Sheets of lacing line the glass as the head dissipates. Tiny bubbles stream upward from the bottom of the glass.

Smell: Herbal, with hints of spicy Saaz hops.

Taste: Starts rather clean and crisp with hints of the Saaz making their appearance with a slight bitterness towards the middle. Herbal and dry to the finish with a lingering hop bitterness on the tongue.

Mouthfeel: Thin, crips and dry.

Drinkability: Summerfest isn't bad for a summer thirst quencher. Nothing really stands out, not all that hoppy for Pils, in fact its rather innocuous. Would be a good crossover beer for your BMC drinking buddies. Not bad, but there are better summer Pilsners out there. Worth a try but I'll stick with Troegs Sunshine Pils or Tuppers Hop Pocket Pils for my summer time Pilsners.

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

A nice golden color, with a heafty head on top of it. A bit of malt on the nose, and a fairly large amount of skunk. Suspect my pack was abused in some way before I got around to buying it.

A pretty decent lager, tastewise, not too heavy on the malts, and with a decent, but not overwhelming amount of hops. A tad astringent on the mouthfeel, but not enough to keep it from being quite drinkable. Not astonishing, but a solid, drinkable, uncomplicated lager. Worth a try.

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

12. oz. bottle poured into a mug.

Appearance: Pours a very clear, pale gold color. White frothy head is fairly small and dissipates rather rapidly, leaving a thin lacing.

Smell: Aroma is hardly noticable, but when you can get a whiff it's mostly light grains and mild florals. Nice, but not complex and not strong enough.

Taste: Very clean and crisp. Hops with a bit of lemon flavor, together with some grains towards the aftertaste. Overall a very mild flavor and maybe a tad bit too sweet, but pretty nice.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied, but still with a good bit of substance. Mild carbonation that gives a nice tingle as well.

Dinkability: Certainly very drinkable -- moderate ABV, together with the nice taste (although mild) makes it possible to have more than a few...

Overall it's a nice American-brewed pilsner that's commonly available (when in season). There's nothing spectacular here (it's hardly my favorite Sierra Nevada beer), but it's certainly worth trying.

Photo of Derek
2.63/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Clear, golden yellow, fluffy white head, some retention & lace.

S: Acidic, soapy/floral hops.

T: Slightly sweet, slight soapy/floral hop flavour. Needs some more bready maltyness and bitterness. It's just too light for a Pils.

M: Light to moderate body, moderate carbonation.

D: Approachable & quite quaffable, but it doesn't bring me back for more.

Photo of beermanbrian
3.68/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Golden yellow crystal clear color. Big white foamy head that drops to a thin film. Smell of light floral hops and a crisp maltyness. Taste of sweet maltyness with just the faintest of a bitter finish. Very typical pilsner taste. The smooth crisp finish puts the final note on this nice summer brew. A really good summertime beer.

Photo of mdagnew
3.8/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle bought from Sainsbury's...

Poured a light golden yellow colour with some straw hints...White head poured pretty small and faded quickly to light layer... light carbonation and very sparse lacing...

Aroma - Light biscuity malts, nice fruitiness (lemons, apples, pears and light grapefruits), pine notes, nice floral / spicy hops, fresh grass and hay, very light toastiness...

Taste – Light juicy tart fruits - maybe slightly watered down (lemons, green grapes, light grapefruit hints), light biscuitiness, grassy / floral hop bitterness, some toasted bread hints, thyme traces...

Feel - Quite sharp and dry. Light body.... Very very refreshing and drinkable - would make a good session beer...

Overall - A very good pilsener.. very drinkable. Definitely worth a try...

Photo of Tang07
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great hot weather summer beer.

Crisp and clean great pilsner. Great example of the variety.
It pours a nice light gold color with an OK head. Marginal lacing.
Light smell of hop. Crisp pislner taste, with a great finish of hop.

Very drinkable, I look forward drinking more or tasting it on tap somewhere.

Photo of Gritsak
3.8/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- light pale hazy color. sticky white head

S- grain, yeast, slight hop presence.

T- grain, straw, subtle hop presence. Overall slightly bland but pleasant tasting.

M- light, good carbonation.

D- very easy to drink.

overall- refreshing and very easy to drink. great for the summer.

Photo of Billolick
3.98/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ouncer, twist top, no freshness/dating info given. Pours light golden and clear, near white head and just a tad o' fine lacing left behind. Spicy nose of lemony, grassy hops. Crisp, flavorful lager, subtle notes of light lemon/lime/gin. Grassy and floral hops. Fine warm weather brew. Underated member of the SN line up

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

This is certainly a good beer. But I have always been a bit more partial to the "Sierra Nevada Pilsner" which is only available in select locations on draft. But... when it is a warm Northern California day, an ice cold Sierra Nevada Summerfest is certainly a good choice.

Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.93/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Initially pours a crystal clear yellow golden with a short-lived 1/4" head of seriously active bubbles. The head fell within about 20 seconds to nothing. There are only a few bubbles rising, but they don't maintain the head.

Aroma: At first I get a decent amount of Saaz hops along with a bit of a citrusy variety in the nose, but this doesn’t stay dominant for too long. It settles to end up with a bit of a toasty malt presence to challenge the hops. The beer gains more of a sweet buttery (almost British) malt aroma as it warms up some. The hops are still a big player, but it is warming to be more balanced.

Taste: The flavor tracks the latter part of the aroma profile pretty closely. There is a noticeable hop presence that lends a slightly spicy and somewhat citrus presence, but the malt is also a big player in this beer. It is not big in any way, but both elements are distinct and noticeable. The finish is slightly balanced toward the malt with a hint of sweetness to linger. There is a mild floral contribution from hops and what I would guess are mild esters in the finish (unusual for a lager), but this makes it rather refreshing. There is no real alcohol noticeable in this beer except that there is a mild warming after drinking about half the bottle.

Opinion: This is a pretty good and absolutely refreshing beer. The beer is balanced to not overwhelm your palate so that it remains drinkable. I wouldn't put it in the Czech Pils category, but I am not sure where it would fit better. It is definitely a Pilsner style beer, but the hops are out of place for that style too. Suffice it to say that this beer doesn’t fit a category well, but it is undeniable a drinkable beer and one that I am sure that I will partake on again in the future.

Photo of blitz134
3.78/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Crystal clear yellow body, inially had a fizzy 1" white head that reduced down a thin bubble layer.

Aroma is quite pungent, moreso than expected. Nice floral and citrus hops with a kick of grass and straw. Light clean malts work in well. Flavor is a bit light initially but then some stronger hops come in at the finish. Typical lager flavor to start with, light malts with a bit of grain. Finish has some bitterness with some earthyness.

Flavor lingers on for a while but the mouthfeel is still leaning a bit towards the thinner side of things. Decent carbonation. Overall drinkable enough, its just a lighter beer than what most of us BAs usually shoot for. But regardless its good overall, could be one for the masses

Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 3,645 ratings.