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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.

3,590 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,590
Reviews: 1,474
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 12.84%
Wants: 64
Gots: 248 | 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: 3,590 | Reviews: 1,474 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of jed
3.7/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: Comes in a brown, 12 oz bottle with normal Sierra Nevada labeling and a little blurb about the beer. Oddly enough I don't see any brewing codes or freshness dates on the bottle.

Appearance: Pours a light, dull yellow color with about one finger's worth of head. Solid head retention, lots of fluffy lacing as the head disappears. Still, the color of this beer is underwhelming, very average.

Smell: Very nice yeasty nose, with some floral hop notes lingering. Comparisons to "Euro aroma" are not off base, there are some definite similarities.

Taste: Summerfest has an extremely distinctive taste. Lager nose, but duller, with mild carbonation and a dry, sour flavor. Things pick up a little, with a hint of hops, but none of the Cascade punch I'd expect from one of Sierra Nevada's beers. Sweet grainy flavors in the finish, with a nice cooling herbal presence. Grassy flavors linger, with more cooling herbal notes.

Mouthfeel: Again, a little bit disappointing. Mild carbonation combined with the herbal flavors give this beer a slightly thin mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Summerfest's distinctive flavor and the hop/herbal notes disqualify this as a session beer, but it's not really a sipper either. Not something I can imagine drinking with sitting on the porch battling Baltimore's humidity.

The only beer in Sierra Nevada's lineup where I've come away disappointed. Not a bad beer, and certainly an interesting change from the normal summer hefe/wheat options, but the flavor is ultimately a bit of a let down. I'll enjoy the rest of my six pack, but this isn't a beer I'll be coming back to.

jed, Jun 15, 2004
Photo of merlin48
3.63/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2004 Summerfest pours a clear, sparkling, medium yellow body that has thousands of bubbles streaking to the surface. Attractive head is white and cumulus cloud pillowy, climbing to about an inch in height. Patchy lace is quite abundant.

Aroma is dominated by dry, herbal hops and pale malt. The hops tend to be of a noble nature, and are far from being "eurohop skunky".

Mouthfeel is average, with good carbonation and light body.

Taste is well balanced, with a mild herbal hop bitterness melding into soft and slightly sweet malt flavors.

Crisp and refreshing, overall. A very drinkable example of a well done American effort at a German pale lager or Pils.

merlin48, Jun 12, 2004
Photo of Salpta
3.25/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

As a rule i'm not impressed with lagers. This one is not really an exception. There is hops there, there is malt there, but the overall flavor profile is just like a macro. Only more forceful. As a lawnmower, i'd say its passable, but has too much hops for a thirstquencher, which is what i want in a summerbrew.

Salpta, Jun 08, 2004
Photo of kmo1030
3.68/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

crystal clear golden with a white head that sticks around for a bit. smells floral and citrusy with a eurohop backbone. fresh hops and fruit dominate the taste along with a light malty balance. not at all watery, with an appropriate amount of carbonation. a good drink for a hot day, but nothing really special for sierra nevada

kmo1030, Jun 02, 2004
Photo of afatty
3.25/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours light amber with compact white head that leaves nice lace in a clean glass. Faint hop aroma and smooth mouthfeel. Very light hop flavor and little bitterness from Saaz and Perle hops. Sweet malt flavor is balanced to the hops. Quite good for a pilsner style light lager. Not a favorite style for me and I would stick to the ORIGINAL pilsner if I were going to drink more. It does a good job of quenching thirst which is important in a summer beer. It will not take the Pale Ale's place in my summer line-up.

afatty, Jun 02, 2004
Photo of DPMomutant
3.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a nice golden brown. The head is great in size, retention, and lacing. Very good looking beer.

The smell is good but not blow-away good. Some nice malt and hops waiting for me.

The taste up front is strangely (for the style) like slightly roasted malt. It is good though. The ending is a nice balanced hop bitterness then the malt came back for the aftertaste. Again, not blowing anyone away but solid.

Like any good summer beer, this goes down smooth and easy. Very thirst-quenching. Might rotate this one around at poolside with a few other good summer beers. Light enough to drink a few and good enough to want to.

DPMomutant, May 30, 2004
Photo of Dubblebock
3.65/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I tried this sample courtesy of one of my BA buddies at work who was kind enough to slip me a couple out of his sixer.

Nice job by Sierra Nevada. The beer looked just outstanding on the pour. Clear straw/yellow coloring, nice carbonation, thick and rich looking head. Not an exceptional nose, but it did relay the message that there was a hoppy beer here waiting to be quaffed.

The taste was slightly bitter at first, as the hops immediately took control of the palate. Vague fruitiness in the middle, followed by a laid-back malt presence. Very refreshing on the old back porch as I watched the kids play on the playscape and the pool.

The beer finished with a tart crispness. Very drinkable, I could easily have kicked both bottles back.

Not a bad take in the pilsner style. Nothing to get overly excited about, but a solid effort overall. A fine lawnmower beer.

Dubblebock, May 26, 2004
Photo of mschofield
4.22/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear medium gold, topped with a four finger pillowy white head, leaves puffy bits of lace.
Wonderfully fragrant, toast, clay, lemon zest, earth and floral hop, bit of spice.
Lemon, a bit zesty/spicy taste, peppercorn note. Citrus zest, biscuit, really hits the German hop taste right, grainy note.
Light, crisp and smooth.

mschofield, May 26, 2004
Photo of Foxman
3.8/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours a crisp, clear golden yellow, carbonated and lively. Three fingers of tight bright white head swell quickly and retain considerably, never really disappearing completely. Tiers of delicate lacing busy the inside of the glass.

The aroma delivers a stroke of light malt sweetness alongside a style-distinct hop bite and a rounded spiciness. A mellow earthy fruit note floats gingerly at the close.

Upon sipping, a very light lilt of malt semi-sweetness is rapidly feathered by a muted grassy note. A slight hint of berry twines through the middle along with a darting hop tang. A mildly sour doughy character proves most distinct toward the end with a well-directed Eurohop-style bitterness lingering at the finish. Overall, the flavor is very pleasant, but a bit more muddled at times than aroma would seem to presage.

Light bodied, it has enough presence to leave a gentle textural memory. A dry hops glow dims slowly at the finish.

It's easy to envision a split camp on this beer. The aroma promises big things, but the flavor comes off a bit diluted, and, well, fluffy. Still, enough of the elements poke their head through the clouds that the palate note an occasional poignancy, and those distinctions are real positives. It's light, and very refreshing, and that along with the flavor pretty much defines drinkable. In spite of some minor palatal ennui, I'm looking forward to drinking the four I have left. So, it's maybe not stellar, but it shines a bit in the vast Atlantic shore sky.

Foxman, May 24, 2004
Photo of NJpadreFan
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sierra Nevada Summerfest

Appearance- light copper orange with a thin head.
Smell- very grassy, earthy hops.
Taste- light and sweet. a weak grassy flavor with a nice little zestiness.

Overall- a decent summer beer. I tend to find must summer beers watery and weak. If Sierra Nevada tryed to pass this beer off as anything but a summer beer it wouldn't fly.

NJpadreFan, May 24, 2004
Photo of Bierguy5
3.58/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2004 Edition. From the bottle pours a crystal clear golden liquid with a white foamy head. The head stayed for a little while. There was not much lace left on the glass. Smell is slightly grassy. Taste is a good combo of pale sweet malt and a fair amount of grassy/herbal hop flavor with a dry finish. Light bodied, but not watery and the carbonation level was where it should be for this style. Overall, not bad. Lagers like this typicall do not appeal to me, but this could be a good thirst quencher. It was pretty crisp and clean, with a nice balance. I would probably be willing to have another one. Could make a good backyard session brew this summer.

Bierguy5, May 23, 2004
Photo of Dithyramb
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A slightly hazy pale yellow pour.
A bready smell with earthy hops on the nose.
A very full-flavors pils. Greatly balanced tangy hops with a malty overtone.

There is a dry/sugary aftertaste that begs for more. I had this for Preakness last weekend. This mixes up quite well with other summer beers and pilsners. Summerfest, burgers, and warm weather is a good time.

Dithyramb, May 19, 2004
Photo of AbePhroman
3.95/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought a six of 2003 yesterday. I remember I had this last summer and wanted to try it again. Clever label with a twist-off cap. Golden color in my class with a thick head that rose to the top. Nice lacing as it settles. Hoppy aroma like most Sierra Nevada beers. Tastes bitter and hoppy and is very enjoyable. The wheat\grain has a noticeable taste which adds to the pleasure of drinking this beer. Very drinkable IMO!! A good buy.

AbePhroman, May 18, 2004
Photo of ngandhi
4.2/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2004

Sierra Nevada Summerfest is America's attack on the German pilsener beer. Sufficient grain, especially on the start, with prickly bittering that's subdued by honeyed malt and balanced, yet mouthwatering, herbal hop flavor and aroma. The finish is of lemon zest peeled by someone who just ate an orange. Use a different yeast, and this could be a pretty typical American pale ale, but as a lager it truly shines.

Relax, relax.

ngandhi, May 15, 2004
Photo of FormatKid
3.93/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I snatched up the last sixer of this from Bi-Lo right here in Cleveland. 2004 is on the label. Sierra Nevada hasn’t let me down yet so I’m curious to see what their spin on a typical American-style lager is.

Pours out an exemplary image for the style. Clear and pale golden in color, a nice thick head rolls up quickly 2 ½ fingers high and sticks around. Streams of tiny bubbles cruise their way to the top along with individual fat bubbles by themselves. Lacing clings on nicely for the style.

Earthy hops are highly evident to me on the nose. This is backed by a soft breadiness which I’m assuming is the malt. Lager yeast smell is there as well.

Taste is very light, quickly rolls over my tongue…tart, then sweet, then lightly bitter…in a flash without anything standing out too strongly. Slightly biscuity through the middle. Carbonation is a little lighter then I would like as well. Saaz hops are nicely evident in the after taste. Highly drinkable and refreshing.

All together, this one is redeeming to the style in my opinion. When compared to the swillish brethren available in abundance it is a shining star. Still not my favorite style, but a solid contender none-the-less.

FormatKid, May 15, 2004
Photo of ElGordo
3.35/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a pale golden hue with a sizeable foamy white head. Nice nose of yeast and light hops. Palate begins with a light floral hoppiness that builds to a slightly bitter finish. Nice, clean, light body. Could be balanced a little better, but overall still a very nice summer ale.

ElGordo, May 13, 2004
Photo of avylover
4.53/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is a great summer offering. It is refreshing, light, and has great subdued taste. Pick this one up

Pours a very clear yellow, with a tinge of orange. Aroma hits you with some grainyness, and a subtle scent of citrous hops. Taste is clean and refreshing. There is a good laid back maltiness, much like a budweiser, but a slight dose of flavoring hops spices this up a bit. Fruity, yet still very light. this is not cascade crazy like many SN products. Just hopped well enough to balance and add some taste to a clean lager. Clean mouthfeel, good dry finish, with a refeshing aftertaste. This is a great lighter offering - the perfect summer - or session - brew

avylover, May 12, 2004
Photo of filabrazilia
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a glorious clear pale gold with a pillow-like white head. Fluffy clouds of lace float on the glass.

A mildly sweet malt aroma migles with the tangy hops.

A nicely balanced beer that is pleasantly hoppy and sweet. A grain flavor lingers in the finish.

This beer is thin, light and crisp in the mouth with a sharp dry finish.

I really enjoyed this beer and will make it a regular this summer when we are hanging out in the backyard.

filabrazilia, May 11, 2004
Photo of Southernbrew
3.38/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big name lager gold with a small head.

Mild sweet aroma with a little graininess.

Medium body, fairly smooth. Not much hops presence here but plenty of sweetness and grain.

Decent summer lager, I'm sure it's refreshing, but I'd rather not spend my beer money on this.

Southernbrew, May 11, 2004
Photo of bigjohn
3.03/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer poured a golden yellow color, with a thick white head. Smell is faintly hoppy, with a grainy undertone. For me, the taste was dominated by the grainy flavor. The mouthfeel was fine, but nothing spectacular. I could drink these all day, and it is certainly a fine summer brew. However, all in all I would say it is a disappointment, I just expected something more complex and exotic. Reminds me too much of Pilsner Urquell.

bigjohn, May 08, 2004
Photo of lackenhauser
3.58/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice deep golden color-minimal head,decent carbonation level.Aroma quite floral and hoppy.Being a Sierra product goes without saying.Malty flavor with an upfront hoppiness.Quite bitter actually.Almost a grain flavor lingering.Nice full mouthfeel-again bitter but also quite smooth overall.A good effort from Sierra considering they dont do lagers-dont know if id call it a pils,kolsch or what but nice none the less.

lackenhauser, May 02, 2004
Photo of surfmeister
4.25/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: golden, not yellow, impressive, sturdy head with beautiful lacing
Smell: quite subtle I thought, could have used a little more oomph of malt or hop
Taste: aaahhhh, big burst of malt with floral hops balancing. The important point here is wonderful malt AFTERTASTE, which really makes you want to drink more
Mouthfeel: fuller than your average pilsner, SN has successfully added a more substantial feeling to this beer
Drinkability: Exceptional, this will probably become my fridge pilsner
Comment: I am going to email SN to beg them to make this a year around brew

surfmeister, Apr 29, 2004
Photo of RockyTopHeel
4.18/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Perfectly golden with a thin white head with staying power and a nice bit of lace. Soft, nice aroma of hops (saaz?) and a crisp, clean, refreshing finish.

Truly a great pilsner, one of the best American versions I've had. Perhaps the perfect summer beer?

At very least, it's in the discussion. Consummately refreshing, and the perfect follow up to a round of golf.

RockyTopHeel, Apr 27, 2004
Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
81 out of 100 based on 3,590 ratings.