1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.
BA SCORE
83
good

3,574 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,574
Reviews: 1,473
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 12.84%
Wants: 64
Gots: 243 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,574 | Reviews: 1,473 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of HardTarget
3.3/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

2004, no date.
Aroma: Smells like a Pils, a bit grassy, but acceptable
Appearance: Bright, clear deep yellow, swear I caught a hint of green, but was using the window for light. No real head, no lacing.
Taste: A honey like pils. Hint of rice or corn adjunct.
Mouthfeel: light body, mild alcohol numbing
Overall: A fine session, and if I'm going to drink a watery, low flavor beer, this would make a fine one. That's probably a bit harsh, and I acknowledge this isn't a prefered style, so I won't slam the ratings. This was quite drinkable, and beats the snot out of BMC, but just not a thriller.

HardTarget, Apr 26, 2004
Photo of abcsofbeer
3.53/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pale amber with a nice off white head. Lace is nice all the way to the bottom of the glass. Smell is abundantly hoppy and very pleasant. Mouthfeel is excellent with carbonation. One of the better of the brews by Sierra. Definitely will buy as long as in season, a good beer.

abcsofbeer, Apr 17, 2004
Photo of MobBarley
4.43/5  rDev +21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A fine, bitter pils in the Sierra Nevada tradition.

Pours a straw-golden color with ample carbonation and a thick, white head that lasts long and laces thick.
Smells deep and bready with an underlying hoppy greenness bordering on herbal/metallic. Some citrus notes come up in the aroma as well.

The taste, while peculiar for the style, is, in a word, delicious. A big, biscuity maltiness roars out of the gate and joins forces about midway with a nice, not-too-bitter hops flavor that is slightly sweet and ultimately refreshing. The finish is dry and bittersweet...almost grassy as well.

Mouthfeel is a little chewy, nice and dry at the finish, and perfect for hot-weather quaffing. Drinkability is high, and I may just have to have this on hand for the 4th this year.

MobBarley, Apr 12, 2004
Photo of palma
4.1/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Gold body with a fluffy white head.
Aroma is hoppy and grassy with a light citrus lemon essence.
This is a great tasting lager. Moderately hopped with herbal and fruity notes. Malty flavor really shows up as the beer warms. Great grainy/bready aftertaste but still with a crisp finish. Makes you want another sip. Far better than the other common summer brews out there (samuel adams, petes). A great tasting lager in my opinion. Very easy drinking. I was pleasantly surprised by this brew and will probably pick them up again this summer.

palma, Apr 09, 2004
Photo of RootedFool
4.1/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle purchased at the North Coast Co-op in Eureka, California.

2004 edition.

Pours a luminous gold. The head rises aggressively -- overflowed, just a little -- frothy, cloudy bright white, and leaves a pretty collar of detailed lace around the glass. I've never seen a lager with a head this substantial.

The nose is a pillow of fresh, light malts wrapped in a thin sheet of fresh grassy hops.

Taste opens with a perfectly balanced amount of bitterness -- lemon grass, refreshing -- and a bready sweetness. Aftertaste is a crispy bitterness, very clean and palate cleansing.

Why can't all American lagers taste this good?

Nevermind. I (think I) know the answer.

RootedFool, Apr 06, 2004
Photo of SeanChouffe
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is a straw gold color with a white head, light carbonation and some residual sticky lace. The aroma is hoppy and grassy. Taste is of hops (grassy) with some background sweetness and a tangy, crisp finish. Mouthfeel is light and crisp with some effervescences.
I tried this same six-pack a few moths ago and really did not like it. It seemed overwhelmingly imbalanced. It seems to have mellowed well.

SeanChouffe, Mar 03, 2004
Photo of chilidog
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I found this 03 Summer in febuary of 04 in the singles section. I bought two. I'll look for some fresh 04 when its more the season. It was warm today for febuary, so I tried it.
It pours a very nice clear straw gold. The head is large, fluffy and white. Lace is web-like all glass long, very nice. Though a moderately carbonated beer, the fireworks under the head put on a tornado like show. Very active. The aroma is slightly sweet and grainy. The taste also carries over some sweetness, perhaps the malt. Hops play a citric roll toward the tale of the taste. The mouth is left with a little hop oil feel while a slight dryness settles in.
A good summer brew to be had and a good smooth bud convert tool.

chilidog, Feb 29, 2004
Photo of UncleJimbo
3.63/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz short brown bottle, capped, no freshness date, but 2003 on the neck label.

This lager poured a light amber yellow color with creamy, white foam that coated the glass well. There was nice, persistent bubbling. The smell had notes of citrus and floral hops on top of light lager malt. The taste was mild : malty and hoppy. There was a hint of floral hops and a touch of citrus. The finish was nicely hoppy. The mouthfeel was crisp with medium body and good carbonation. There was a touch of sweetness in the aftertaste, along with some hops. This was a light, refreshing pilsner.

UncleJimbo, Feb 21, 2004
Photo of bigchris1313
3.98/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is my first review, so please bear with me. This is the greatest beer I have ever had. Before trying this beer, my favorite beer had been Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Tonight, I picked up a single bottle at my local liquor store. Wow. The color is a light gold and the smell is fruity. I can't really describe the taste, other than that it seems hoppy, and although strong, it is more mild than the SN Pale Ale. The mouthfeel is thin and smooth. This beer is simply perfect: much stronger than any macro, yet just a small step below the Pale Ale. Again, I can't really the flavor in any great detail, but was simply great.

Update: 4 Months later I had a Stone IPA and never looked back. After following the path to hop-enlightenment, this beer is now merely a great pilsner.

bigchris1313, Feb 16, 2004
Photo of grynder33
3.48/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Local retailer must be trying to get rid of these as they were in the single bottle area. It poured a nice golden color, had a light fruity hop aroma , had a clean light taste, nicely bubbley and refreshing, flavors were bold and complex. Hope to get this sooner next year. A couple of these on the beach, hey where am I going?

grynder33, Oct 30, 2003
Photo of GeoffRizzo
4.1/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Transparent golden hue, large rocky head, awesome lacing throughout. Nice aroma of hops, appears to be thin yet crisp off the cuff. Tingy hop taste throughout, some spice and lemon peel with a decent light malty backbone. Grainy flavoring pushes through; highly quaffable, for a summer session brew, this one is off the charts!

GeoffRizzo, Oct 26, 2003
Photo of Rumrunner
3.33/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle.

A definate thirst quencher.

It pours a transparent gold. A decent white fluffy head starts off but it quickly dissipates. Not much lacing at all. The scents are crisp wet grass and pine. Heavy grain and some spice. Scents are basic.

The flavors are very tangy. An earthy grass and pine hop flavor. Slight grain and bread but these flavors are weak and bland. Not much malt to this ale. A minor bitterness but nothing to get excited about. All in all not a favorite of mine. No real balance and too tangy for me.

It has a definate carbonation bite in the mouthfeel. Crisp and refreshing it will quech a persons thirst on a hot day. A very easy drinking beer. Overall it is pretty good. Not great. The tangy taste and after taste left me with a sour overall finish which I particularily did not like.

Rumrunner, Sep 23, 2003
Photo of beerguy101
3.38/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Light gold color, large white foamy head. Aroma is grassy, grainy and sweet. A medium bodied light and refreshing summer beer.Mildly hopped, slightly malty. A mild flavored beer, slightly spicy. Mouthfeel is full. Finish is mild. Aftertaste is slightly bitter and mild.

beerguy101, Sep 22, 2003
Photo of Gueuzedude
4.22/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is a bright clear gold color with a nice white head. There is a nice hop aroma accompanied by a slight lemon aroma and some floral grassy notes. There is a sharp carbonation which gives a sense of acidity up front. Nice and clean tasting with a hop bite finish. This lager has a very clean bitterness from the hops. There is a nice amount of body, but it is still quite quenching. This clean beer is a vehicle for the hop aroma and bitterness that the brewers have seen fit to add.

Gueuzedude, Sep 20, 2003
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.2/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out with a big pillowy head, making some craters as it bubbles down to a half-finger head. Standard pilsener yellow.

Grainy, slightly lemon aroma with light spiciness. Smells like a pilsener ought.

I've had a few pilseners this summer, my first real attempts to learn and basically just identify the style. This is a very good attempt at combining the Sierra Nevada hop hallmark and still keep it recognizable as a pils. A grainy, light malt start moves briskly to a pleasant hop finish. Not overkill at all, but you know Sierra had to throw those hops in there. Good solid character, a little too balanced to the hop side, but I believe it to be intentionally so. Toasty yet hopped aftertaste. Perhaps my favorite pils so far. Bonus points given for balancing the style with their penchant for distinctive hoppage.

Great carbonation level, enhances the appeal as a summer choice. Clean enough, plenty of flavor to keep it from tasting watery yet still be thirst quenching.

Great session beer, probably better suited for relaxing after the participatory event, not during. Solid beer, to be enjoyed in multiple bottle quantities.

brewdlyhooked13, Sep 10, 2003
Photo of RoyalT
4.33/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – Light yellow with a monster head that laced the glass quite nicely.

Smell – Typical hop aroma with a tinge of sweetness.

Taste – Americans seem to have great difficulty in producing the German pilsner style of ale, but this one nails it. The clean, slightly bitter, refreshing flavor of the neutral hops is lightly complimented by a touch of sweetness. The beer is dry and refreshing, which is just right for the summer.

Mouthfeel – Some nice carbonation and the traditional dryness make this one a stand out.

Drinkability – This went down just like it is supposed to: clean, crisp, and refreshing.

Comments – I have to part with the (current) 3.62 rating of by BA Buds (on average). This offering from SN nailed the style, IMO.

RoyalT, Sep 02, 2003
Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 3,574 ratings.