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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: 255 | 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 axisjones
3.48/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This lager was nothing special.
The appearance was clear, with the head disappearing quickly and little lacing to speak of on the way down.
The smell was clean and mild, mostly a faint hop aroma, but definitely not a memorable aromatic one.
The one thing this beer has going for it is that is very refreshing. I had this beer after a walk with a sausage and it did the job just fine. This is easily the lightest and most uninteresting of the SN line, this beer is just plain and uninspired. The taste hardly goes beyond simple hops and a light body.

axisjones, Aug 15, 2004
Photo of woemad
3.88/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased at Huckleberry's in Spokane for $1.19.

Poured a dark gold color, with a big foamy head that dropped quickly. Not much in the way of lace.

Smell is rather mild. The most noticeable trait is it's mildly sweet maltiness. There's also a bit of grassy hoppiness.

Taste is more interesting than the smell. Although the most dominant flavor is, again, a mildly sweet maltiness, there is more hoppiness in the taste than in the smell. In addition to the grassy flavor noted in the smell, the hops provide a mild spiciness that complement the maltiness rather well.

This straddles the line between light and medium bodied. While it's refreshingly crisp, there's more flavor than you'll find in a lot of pale lagers.

This is a very drinkable beer, good for consumption at the end of a hot day. This is the first lager I've had from Sierra Nevada. Not bad.

woemad, Aug 10, 2004
Photo of malthead
3.8/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear amber/gold color, with a big head of really large bubbles that disappears quickly. Not a huge smell, mostly sweet malt, with a touch of grassy hops. Taste is really interesting, some sweet malt, but also with a lot of spicy, but certainly not overpowering, hops and a slightly bitter finish. Nice crisp, clean mouthfeel, good hop presence balanced with good carbonation. Real easy drinkability. I'm impressed, a great, crisp, light summer brew.

malthead, Aug 02, 2004
Photo of Gavage
3.98/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured in a pint glass - golden in color with a 1/2" head. Lacing develops. The aroma is very mild tones of grass, citrus, and hops. The flavor follows suit as the malt and hops are softly balanced with some lemon and grass / hay flavors.

The mouthfeel is crisp as the carbonation is strong. The finish is a little crisp and dry. This is a lighter bodied brew. Extremely drinkable for a hot summer day and the flavor is just strong enough to excite some tastebuds without sending them into overload.

Gavage, Jul 24, 2004
Photo of Beastdog75
3.13/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sierra Nevada beers are a usually above average indulgence, with some of their offerings being mind blowing. This Summerfest beer is definitely not mind blowing, and some would say it is not even near above average. For me, this was middle of the road: a well-made brew that is just terribly unexciting.

Sierra Nevada Summerfest pours a yellowish gold color with a decent foamy head that retains for a few minutes before thinning out. The aroma is crisp and hoppy: those distinct citrus and piney hop notes jump out of the glass and up your nostrils. Although the mouthfeel is a bit thin, it is crisp and bubbly enough to make this a quaffable beverage. There is a light malt presence in this beer, but of course the hoppiness is the most dominant feature, lending the trademark SN citric and piney notes. The dryness in the finish rounds out the brew well enough. The aftertaste has a bit of a bready/cracker like quality to it along with the lingering citric dryness, and there is no alcoholic warmth in the end.

This beer really doesn't bring to mind the dog days of summer. For me, it is just a hopped up fizzy yellow brew. I think SN's Wheat Beer was more interesting than this, and that one previously held the title for my least favorite SN brew. This is still a well-made brew, no doubt about it, but there isn't enough here to keep my interest.

Beastdog75, Jul 18, 2004
Photo of moulefrite
3.03/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A rather average offering that pours a light goden and does proffer up a bit of head and some splotchy lace. Some freshness is noted on the nose, featuring citrus hop, and sweet malt, all way in the background. The mouthfeel is light and mildly brisk, yet not really that refreshing going down. Flavors mimic the aromas with lemony hop notes and a kiss of sweet malt. Not a bad beer at all, but I don't find it too Summery personally.

moulefrite, Jul 18, 2004
Photo of Rio
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a pale yellow color with a decent head that faded to a mist across the top of the beer and a bit hanging on around the outside of the glass fairly quickly. Mix of malt and hop aromas, it seems. The hops seem to hit first in the taste with a bit of bitterness, fading to a smooth maltiness. Not too light or heavy in the mouth.

A good beer, nice summer time brew.

Rio, Jul 15, 2004
Photo of Sixpack595
3.83/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very good summer beer for kicking back and putting a few away. Tast is crisp and refreshing with a light maltiness and touch of spicy hops. Mouthfeel is a perfect balance, light enough to remain drinkable without feeling heavy on a hot day. First beer I actually liked from Sierra Nevada, good job.

Sixpack595, Jul 14, 2004
Photo of RedwoodGeorge
3.7/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Ahhh, silly me... Since the label said "Summerfest" I just figured it was a wheat beer of some sort. When I poured it out to see a bright golden color with a large pure-white head, I thought "odd, it looks quite a bit more like a pilsner..." (Reading SN's website later reveals it -is- a pilsner style lager, which explains a lot!) The head lasted for quite some time, leaving lots of lacing on the glass - a very attractive brew.

The smell was nice and crisp, hop and malt pretty equally balanced and a bit of a light grassy note as well. The taste was pretty complex for a pilsner, many echoes of fruit and a rather sweet note with a very light hop finish. It was light on the tongue, leaving a clean palate for the next drink though as a pilsner I would have expected a bit more fine carbonation leaving a bit of tingle on the tongue to go with a nice hop finish - here it's quite a bit more muted. Pilsner or what, this is a very tasty brew and it's a good light beer for summertime sipping...

RedwoodGeorge, Jul 14, 2004
Photo of usualpulp
3.9/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice golden color with a very fluffy thick white head.

The beer has a nice hop and malt smell with a hint of grain and grass.

This beer is really nice, crisp and easy going down, yet flavorful. Each sip starts with a nice hop bitterness, and finishes with a clean malt sweetness.

There is a slightly bitter aftertaste to this beer, but nothing that another sip doesnt cure.

Overall, this is yet another good beer from sierra nevada, not my favorite from them, but definately a good lager.

usualpulp, Jul 14, 2004
Photo of proc
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Yet another well-crafted beer from Sierra Nevada.

This one pours out to a bright gold in the glass with a wispy, white head. The aroma is light and refreshing and yields the light smell of malt, lemon and fresh baked biscuits. The taste is enjoyable and offers a nice crisp, fresh taste. It reminded me of a Euro-lager, but fresher. Their is a slight hop bitterness that adds to the crispness and a nice, light malt sweetness.

A summer keeper for sure.

proc, Jul 10, 2004
Photo of jimdkc
3.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a bright, golden yellow with a medium-sized pure white head which leaves some fine lacing on the glass. Smell is lightly malty with some grassy hops. Taste is grain and a little sweet malt at first, followed by grassy, maybe a bit piney hops. Crisp, refreshing finish with very good balance. Medium to light mouthfeel with a good amount of carbonation. Very, very drinkable... this is a beer for drinking in large gulps on a very hot day!

jimdkc, Jul 09, 2004
Photo of TongoRad
4.03/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottling date on the case was May, 2004

There's a real nice balance between hops and malt in the nose, but not too aggressive on either front. That impression continues to the palate. An initial burst of sweetness gives way to more dominant malty characteristics, almost grainy, but certainly not in a bad way- almost like a German Pils. The finish is dry and lingering. This beer definitely benefits from a vigorous pour as its aroma is its best quality. It has a nice balance about it as well, though I would wish for a touch more personality.

TongoRad, Jul 08, 2004
Photo of Hibernator
4.05/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this out of a 12 oz bottle with a twist cap. I didn't notice a freshness date marked on the label.

This is a bottom fermented beer. Nice pour with a good head for a lager. The color is somewhere between a light orange and yellow.

This beer had a refreshing smell and a modest hop aroma.The hop smell and taste was very much a classic Sierra Nevada staple. A clean lager with crispness rolling off the tongue.

I had the Summerfest with a salad with balsamic vinaigrette dressing. Both worked very well together...nice pairing.

Hibernator, Jul 07, 2004
Photo of ColForbin
3.7/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Summerfest is Sierra Nevada's only lager, I believe. It pours a clear, light, golden color with small bubbles and a thin white head that fades to a mere coating on the surface of the beer. Smell is bready and with a hint of spicey hops. Taste is very light, with some wheat flavors and a slightly tart and dry finish with a very small hop bite. Mouthfeel is also light making this an extremely refreshing and incredibly drinkable beer. A very well-crafted lawnmower beer.

ColForbin, Jul 07, 2004
Photo of shapudding
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

As soon as I opened the bottle, foam came frothing out all over, so I expected to have trouble with the pour. When I did start pouring into the pint though, there was no trouble. Tons of carbination rising throught the golden lager leading up to a small amount of tiny bubbles at the top where it stayed as mostly a light, white layer. Scents of hay, fresh and light. Very balanced. Crisp tasting, medium bodied with alot of carbination that holds well throughout. The finish is dry and leaves a very nice bitterness with you. Good drinkability. I am usually not one for lagers but will drink them if they are there- just not my first choice. But this one is nice.

shapudding, Jul 05, 2004
Photo of necoadam
3.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2004 Verison

Poured out a golden color with a nice amount of carbonation that was visible and left lacing around the glass. Hop aromas hit the nose with some slight malts left in the background for good measure. Some grassy aroma can also be detected. Spicy hops hit the palate first and then combine with some malts towards the end. Some grainy flavors are in the aftertaste along with those spicy hops that seem to last forever. It's not over the top but it sure does last a while. Overall this isn't a bad choice for a summer cookout. Goes down easy, that's for sure.

necoadam, Jul 03, 2004
Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
3.6/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Capital Ale House.

Poured a sparkling clear yellow-golden in color with not a bit of head. Miniscule white head does a nice attempt at lacing the glass, but with token success. Aromas are quite clean brisk. Hoppy, but not overly so. There is a hint of malts there as well. Flavor is more of the same. An interesting mix of hops and that "lager" flavor. Not quite macro, but more mainstream than I'd expected. Maybe that's why it was so popular with the crowd at CAH. Brisk and snappy flavor, starting with a mildly bitter front, fleeting sweetness in the middle, and dry/acidic on the tail end. Moderate carbonation and decent mouthfeel. A good beer for the summer, no doubt, but I think I'll stick to my hefe's to quench the Richmond heat.

OldFrothingSlosh, Jul 02, 2004
Photo of ZAP
3.38/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clean, super clear looking golden color...big fluffy head....nose is grassy with some lemon grass notes...taste is grainy and spicy with noble hops present in bunches...some spritzy lemon notes too...lighter side of medium bodied....finishes dry and crisp....almost a slight bitter finish...feels like a Pilsner...not bad but not one I would personally seek out...One of bigHugey's pool party's featured a keg of this and after awhile (say after 12 or so) it was hard to drink for me....I think Summer beers should be easy drinking up to 30 or so....

ZAP, Jul 01, 2004
Photo of connecticutpoet
3.25/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This poured a standard pilsener yellow with a rather large head that dissipated after a few minutes to a ring of lace.

The aroma was of aromatic hops, mostly Saaz, with borderline hints of skunkiness. Not too bad, but not spectacular.

The taste was of bittering hops on the foretaste, with hints of pine and minimal citrus. Possibly coriander as well. It was about average, IMO.

connecticutpoet, Jun 30, 2004
Photo of PSUDREW
3.03/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Meh, not a fan of the hype. Medium gold in color, some head, and moe then enough lace. smells is so so, something didn't seem right, dunno. This isn't overly malty, like most lagers, but something didn't seem right. I mean the hops were adding a pecular taste. It's mouthfeel is OK, but all in all, this isn't very special IMO

PSUDREW, Jun 28, 2004
Photo of EagleTalon
4.22/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of my favorite domestic lagers. Pours to a generous white head and clear golden color. Aroma is very hoppy--like smelling hops freshly added to the brewpot. Malty sweetness is apparent in the aroma. Flavor is dry, pleasantly bitter/hoppy and good malt backup. Finishes dry and refreshing. A fine beer that deserves year-round production.

EagleTalon, Jun 24, 2004
Photo of JackTheRipper
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Clear golden in color. Smallish head which dissipated quickly. Some lacing can be seen on the glass.

S: Mildly hoppy, the predominant smell is a light malt aroma with some quick hints of lemon grass and fruit. Smells are a bit subdued overall, and even letting it warm for a few minutes didn't really help much.

T: Nice pilsner taste. Mostly a malty sweetness, finishes a bare hint of hops which leaves a nicely subtle bitter aftertaste.

M: Crisp and oh so clean on the palate. Carbonation and ETOH are quite nicely done.

D&N: A supremely drinkable beer. Tasty, not too strong, this one has me wishing I had bought a few more. If the smells were a bit better, this would be a five. Highly recommended.

JackTheRipper, Jun 19, 2004
Photo of hobbes2112
3.48/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle

I had this on a hot June day and it hit the spot. Pours a nice golden color with lot of white head and lace. The head retention was good. Smell was of floral hops, grain and a little yeast. Taste is clean with lemony sweetness and a long mildly sour hop finish. The mouthfeel was pretty average, nothing really stood out for me.

This is a good beer and is nice on a hot day. I would buy this again, but not likely as a first choice.

hobbes2112, Jun 19, 2004
Photo of beertaster13
3.95/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sierra Nevada never fails to dissapoint. The 2004 edition of summerfest is excellent. The beer pours a dark/yellow with a white head that is very impressive, lacing is also great. The smell is rather clean with grain upfront, other than traces of floral it is very clean to the nose. The taste is excellent, light bodied, refreshing and crisp. Floral hops are the first thing you notice in the taste, some sweetness from the malts, slight melon tastes as well. A perfect summer beer. I highly recommend for camping trips, get togethers, BBQ's etc.

beertaster13, Jun 18, 2004
Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 3,613 ratings.