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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.

3,665 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,665
Reviews: 1,485
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 12.84%
Wants: 72
Gots: 291 | 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: 3,665 | Reviews: 1,485 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Photo of msubulldog25
3.57/5  rDev -2.5%
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
3.47/5  rDev -5.2%
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
3.92/5  rDev +7.1%
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
3.36/5  rDev -8.2%
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
4.07/5  rDev +11.2%
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.

Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 3,665 ratings.