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Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada Summerfest LagerSierra Nevada Summerfest Lager

Educational use only; do not reuse.

3,673 Ratings
very good

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Ratings: 3,673
Reviews: 1,485
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 12.84%
Wants: 74
Gots: 297 | 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
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Ratings: 3,673 | Reviews: 1,485
Photo of wcdoyle
3.86/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2007 bottling.

Pours a clear golden color with a near-white, dense head which all but disappears. Good lacing. Sierra Nevada's web site mentions "big aroma" but I found the smell was first a mild grassy hops then a bit of malt filling in after. The taste likewise offers mild hops, then comes a a combined grain with an earthy-fruity flavor (maybe apple-pear). Mouth feel is somewhat creamy and dry with mid to high carbonation. What I like about this beer is that it is crisp and light, but--get ready for the contradiction-- doesn't taste that way. That is, there's good flavor and a mild aftertaste that asks you to take another sip. I might prefer other beer styles but this is a solid refreshing choice. If you have friends who like or prefer (!) macros, let them try this.

Note: Sorry Jason A. I just noticed that you wrote much the same thing about introducing macro-loving friends to this beer.

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

Pours a brilliant pale golden in color, with a solid, tight off-white head. Excellent lacing. Nose is pungent noble hops and a dusting of pale malt; fairly convincing. Sharp hop bite is the first impression on the palate, with a light scrubbing carbonation on the tongue. Dry, biscuity, bready malt qualities are very ably balanced by the hops. Notes of golden pear and grape skin, and light honey are all punctuated by the hops, which themselves add a gentle floral touch to the aromatic qualities. Dry overall, but fairly juicy and creamy on the tongue, really goes a long way for such a light-bodied beer. Truly exceptional drinkability. For years this was the one Sierra Nevada seasonal I had trouble selling-through, and I always felt it a shame as it's so well-done, and is probably my favorite Sierra Nevada offering. Would that this could be my daily beer I'd be a very happy man indeed. I'd put it up there with Prima Pils as one of my favorites of the domestic craft renditions.

Photo of hckyfn9999
3.93/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2007 edition. Pours a clear golden yellow with a nice foamy white head, nice retention, and a bit of lacing. Aroma is of fresh grain, a bit of lemony citrus, a touch of sweet malt, and spicy hops.

Taste is pretty citrusy up front along with some spice in the form of clove i think and just a touch of sweetness and banana are present also. Lemon lingers on the palate afterwords Mouthfeel is medium bodied, pretty smooth and nicely carbonated. This is a nice easy drinker for the summer.

Photo of tempest
4.05/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Oh man, I remembered this just being a light lager, but I've since gotten into pilsners and this one impresses me. The aroma got me first, it's pretty spot-on with the imported pilsner's like Jever or Budvar - slightly sour with a bland grain element. The flavor is surprisingly strong with a burst of citris and grassy hop flavors. It tastes like American hops might be in there. There's a nice white head and lacing to complete the appearance, and like all good pilsners, its quite drinkable.

Photo of bosco7
3.95/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle with new pry off cap!

Pale straw color with champagne like head.

Grass, floral, and spicy hop aromas.

FRESH! Flavor reflects the smell. Lots of floral spicieness with some grassy straw like flavors upfront. Light malt and bready flavors round out the beer. Finishes dry and mildly bitter. Tasty.

This is your answer for a summer BBQ with people who have macro-lager pallates. To tell you the truth I could drink this all year long; it's hard to find an imported Pils that is as fresh tasting and flavorful as this.

Photo of srrn
3.98/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a very clear straw amber color with quickly reducing head. This is a very crisp refreshing beer. First taste is malt and a bit of straw/ grass, nose is the same. The taste is very dry and after swallowing the beer the aftertaste becomes more complex, Seems to cover pney hops, then citrus hops and finally a nice hop bitterness. Refreshing, but oddly does not remind me of German pils much. A fine quaffable simple beer.

Photo of edskirk3
3.86/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Unable to decode freshness information. Pouring into a glass mug.

Clear, bright gold with a healthy white head. Not too much lacing going on. Smells like a freshly mowed lawn, only it doesn't make my eyes itch.

Clean malty palate, grassy, spicy. Very mild bitterness.

All in all quite drinkable. Summerfest could be a year-round offering, so long as they change the name.

Photo of smurphy77
3.95/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this beer on draft. Actually, I had two. Off the tap it was a hazy golden color with a small, vanishing head. Subtle aromas of wheat and malt, but nothing overt.

This beer has a nice body to it, moreso than the typical pilsener. In fact, it was almost reminiscent of a hefe in that it had a sort of grainy feel to it, although much more understated. I found this beer to have a pleasant, light malt taste that finished with a clear tinge of honey flavor.

Nothing sharp, nothing fancy, and utterly quaffable.

Photo of MusicmanSD
3.6/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First time tasting an american version of my favorite style, cant say I'm too impressed, especially because its Sierra Nevada. The appearance is a lil' bit paler than the czech beers, the smell is more malt than hops with very clean sierra water underneath it all.The taste is average, no real hop bit compared to say Pilsner Urquell, which is suprising because SN is "micro". The mouthfeel is pretty heavy for a pilsner, I'll give it that however and I could drink these all day. Whats funny is I quafed all these down on all cloudy days...but a damn good beach beer! Something to give to the BMC drinkers, see what they think. Not as good as the European examples, but still a good-average beer.

Photo of John_M
2.44/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I am a huge fan of Sierra Nevada beers, and would certainly place them in the top 10 of my favorite breweries in the US. So I have to say I was a bit surprised by this lackluster effort. Granted, I know it's made to be a light summer thirst quencher, but this is going too far (IMO).

The beer pours a nice yellow gold orange color, but with almost no head and little or no lacing. What little head was evident disappeared completely after a few minutes. I could smell almost nothing, despite my best efforts. Perhaps there is a slight aroma of sweet malt, but not much else. On the palate this is one watery beer. There is a hint of sweet malt, with some bracing dryness from the hops. This beer is not very crisp or refreshing, but on the other hand is certainly very light and drinkable. There is almost no finish, and mid way through my 10 oz. glass I just gave up. If I'm going to drink something with this kind of calorie intake I want it to be something with a bit more flavor.

Very disappointing effort from SN. Calling this a summer beer is no excuse for making something this flavorless.

Photo of Redwood21
3.6/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Not the best beer from sierra nevada, but one i really loved last summer.

re tasting the beer this summer led to some mild dissapointments, but its still a good beer.

A; The beer is a golden color with a white foamy head with poor retention
S: floral hops aroma, with some heffe notes as well and a slight sulphur aroma
T that semi "skunked" taste is present. This is by no means a skunked beer, and its not bad its just present. there is also some spicey floral hops taste and some crisp hefffe type flavors, minus bannana
M: a well carbonated somewhat light beer which is par for the style
This is a good summer beer, and i enjoy drinking it, from what i recall from last summer its better on tap, but i enjoy it in a bottle just the same

Photo of beeragent
3.84/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle. The beer pours a light hazy gold. 1/4 inch head that faded quickly, with light spots of lace. The aroma is light hops and grain. The taste is light hops, a hint of malt thickness, and a slight grassy finish. Light mouthfeel and smooth finish. Overall, this is a very easy crisp pilsner. High drinkability. I'm looking forward to having a few of these on one of those hot Texas summer days.

Photo of arguemaniac
4.6/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Just the right amount of residual malt sweetness blends perfectly with a delicious, smooth caramel grain character and it’s all balanced by a firm, leafy Saaz hop spice. Slight apricot malt fruitiness and more of that assertive hop bitterness in the surprisingly lengthy finish.

I think this is my favorite Sierra Nevada beer (besides perhaps Celebration, but even that one isn’t as drinkable) and it’s certainly my favorite summer seasonal. This exceedingly refreshing brew is exceptionally drinkable with balanced, flawless flavors. I only bought the six-pack a day or so ago and I’m already on my last bottle. Guess I’m gonna have to go out and get some more…

Highly recommended.

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

Served on tap at Friscoe's Grille, Columbia, MD.

A- Very light gold in color, with a thin white head, which dissipated quickly.

S- Citrusy and hoppy.

T- Balanced, malty with a slight flowery hoppy flavor in the finish, hint of lemon.

M- Not overly carbonated, medium-light on the tongue.

D- A good beer for the upcoming warm weather.

Photo of DogFood11
4.77/5  rDev +30.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

What a difference a couple of years makes. Not to this beer but to my palate. As I sit here enjoying my first summerfest of 2007 I decided to take a glance at my original review. What a load of crap it turned out to be. Either this beer got incredibly better or my palate changed drastically because this is an excellent Czech Pilsner in the elite class. Lawnmower beer at its finest.

Poured into a pils glass it forms a Ivory white 2 finger head that falls to a solid cover. Yellow body with medium carbonation.

There is a nice earthy backbone throughout this offering. Plenty of snappy saaz hop bite and also adds a soft dryness to the backend. There is an underlying wheaty/grainy taste but it stays right there in the background. Tremendously smooth and drinkability is off the charts.

Notes: The best American made Czech Pils I've had to date.

Photo of BretSikkink
3.58/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Extremely clear light golden brew, quick head jumps up and holds tight which indicates that it isn't in fact a macro lager. Decent lacing at first but by the end the glass is as clear as the beer.

Plenty of pilsener grass and herbal hop, slightly medicinal with some sweet grain notes.

Good hop presence, fairly dominating for such a light lager. Good spicy crispness but the mouthfeel might be a little big for the style (which I'm not really complaining about). Quite floral for a while, nectary sweet taste. I found it fairly refreshing, and it's light enough for a serious heat wave. Big grain husk mouthfeel, ever so slightly medicinal.

This one could easily be served to any American lager fan without any trouble. Not too complex, slightly sweet, and light of body. Good accompaniment to potluck-type dishes and fruit salad.

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
4.03/5  rDev +10.1%
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
3.32/5  rDev -9.3%
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
3.35/5  rDev -8.5%
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
4.85/5  rDev +32.5%
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
3.67/5  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.

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Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 3,673 ratings.