1. Extreme Beer Fest tickets go on sale Sat, Sep 27 @ Noon EDT.
  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.

3,541 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,541
Reviews: 1,469
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 12.84%
Wants: 63
Gots: 230 | 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: 3,541 | Reviews: 1,469 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Tballz420
3.55/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer is a nice crisp, clear-golden color, looks very refreshing. Theres a big white head on top, with lots of lacing down the sides. Also present are lots of little bubbles rising to the top. This is a very crisp tasting lager, with a nice bitter hop character present as well. Not the best beer in the world, but damn fine for a nice hot day.

Tballz420, Jul 29, 2003
Photo of alexgash
3.6/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear golden yellow, with a big, wet, white head. I'm picking up graham cracker sweet malts, and slight hops. The taste is buttery smooth and apple-y sweet malts, with a quenchingly crisp bittersweet finish. Pretty refreshing summer brew. Not my favorite SN product.

alexgash, Jul 29, 2003
Photo of Dogbrick
2.68/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

I was really not too impressed with this one. Pours a rich golden color with a medium and fizzy off-white head. Very bubbly with thin lacing. Aroma is mild hops with a pinch of citrus. Light and crisp but ultimately uninspiring in the flavor department. It tasted about a 1/2 step better than the rest of the bland Lagers out there. The finish is decent but I honestly found my interest waning way before the end of the glass.

Dogbrick, Jul 28, 2003
Photo of Running4beer
4.22/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a pale golden/orangish type color with a medium white head that vanishes completely. Aroma is that of citrus and grassy hops some malt but not that noticeable. I enjoyed this summer brew, citrus hops and sweet malt taste a slight lemon flavor also. Had a little bit of carbonation giving it a slight crisp mouthfeel, but it was rather smooth. Very good, easily drinkable definetly a beer to enjoy while outdoors relaxing by a pool or at the beach.

Running4beer, Jul 23, 2003
Photo of pezoids
4.35/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured out a pale golden yellow color with a decent amount of carbonation. The white head quickly dissipated. The pleasing aroma is strong on grains with a citrus hop tang. The taste is very dry and has little aftertaste, even after the beer warmed up. Hop aroma and bitterness is there but does not overwhelm. A very light and drinkable beer. I would like to have more of this.

pezoids, Jul 23, 2003
Photo of aaronh
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep golden color shows great clarity. The beer pours with a tight, white head that displays excellent retention. A mild peppery aroma with a hint of sweetness greets the nose. Also a touch of grassiness in there as well. The taste is crisp and clean, with a lingering bitterness on the finish. The slightly sweet malt up front is swept away nicely by the hops. The mouthfeel is very rewarding for this mildly flavored beer. Drinkability is also good. You wanna talk crossover beer? This is a good candidate to serve at your next summer party. Just a well done lager.

aaronh, Jul 20, 2003
Photo of Boilermaker88
4.08/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I got this as part of a mixed-bag six-pack as part of my weekly beer-buying time (read: end-of-the week therapy). Came in a 12oz. brown bottle.

Appearance: poured a deep yellow-gold with a deep white head that quickly faded. No lace but a constant flow of carbonation from the bottom of the glass was noted.

Smell: well balanced but subdued aromas of malt and hops. Nice smell of some citrus fruits - lemon or grapefruit, I thought.

Taste: Started off with a good malty flavor before a restrained hops taste became present at the end. Faint taste of the citrus fruit.

Feel: medium body. Not as dry as expected and carbonation gave it a rather fizzy feel.

Drinkability: I was well beyond halfway done before I realized it. A real good session beer for those days by the pool, standing over the grill, etc.

Boilermaker88, Jul 19, 2003
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.05/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: A freebie from a Bar I often frequent on a Sunday Night! A 12 fluid ounce squat brown glass bottle. The neck label states “2003 Summerfest Beer”, whilst the main label pays homage to the fact that it is bottom fermented, which tells me to expect a lager. Another one of those bloody annoying twist-off caps that are not labeled as such.

Appearance: Impeccably lucid, yellowy-golden in color, with a fabulous frothy white head, this definitely looks the part when first poured. The head settles, and laces well, but stays around for a while. Looks great!

Nose: Another impressive aspect of this beer is the nose. Wow, I was totally taken aback. Crisp and very clean nasal lines with a bit of a hop punch in the beginning mixed with fresh acidic lemons. Lovely.

Taste: A fantastic hoppy introduction that leads into a lovely soft malty lager finish. Smooth, silky, hops, light malts, some lemon grass and a terrific crisp, clean finish. The hops tend to remind you that this is from California, but it has a fine reminiscent character of the better Lagers that I have drunk in Europe.

Mouthfeel: Average mouthfeel with a cleansing feel on the palate. Crisp, clean and light but flavorsome, quite the brew.

Drinkability: Very high, the small pitiful looking 12 ounce bottle soon disappeared. I could easily see me demolishing a 6 pack of this with no problems whatsoever.

Overall: Why doesn’t SN call this a Lager I wonder? An extremely pleasant surprise anyways. Exactly why I expected a bland offering I do not know, but I did. My prejudice was unfounded, and I was quite simply knocked sideways by the quality of this Lager (oops there I said it). A fantastic beer for a hot So. Cal. night!

TheLongBeachBum, Jul 17, 2003
Photo of Thrasher
4.58/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A very credible lager coming from the aleheads at SN. Pale gold, crystal-clear with wispy, lacey head. Gentle aroma of musty yeasts and flowery hops. Malts are light, sweet and bolstered by big hop quality that lets you know this beer was brewed on the left coast! Otherwise a note-perfect European lager that goes down easy, refreshes the palate, quenches the thirst. The tempered but defiant hop kick is flowery, sweet, and really creates a summer feeling. Drinkability is beyond the pale. This is a unique beer and an excellent one. It's one of the best summer seasonals I can think of, and I enjoy it more than the overplayed currently-shadow-of-its-former-self SN Pale Ale. This beer should be a no-brainer for a BBQ, it's light enough for daytime drinking and should stand up to spicy meats and sauces. Furthermore, everyone will be pleased with it; the more adventurous drinkers have some toothsome hops to wrap their tastebuds around, while the quivering timid masses have a light, pale, cleansing lager that is very non-threatening. Pour it into a tall pilsner glass with a huge head.

Thrasher, Jul 13, 2003
Photo of feloniousmonk
3.68/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sierra Nevada Summerfest 2011, Crisp Summer Lager. "Summerfest is a Pilsner-style lager brewed for enjoyment on warm summer days--featuring a slight malt sweetness, delicate spicy and floral hop flavor, and a crisp, refreshing finish."

Clear, pale yellow appearance, snowy white head, rests at 1/4".

Soft, crisp, lightly spicy/ hoppy aromatics. Perfect pils nose.

Taste: It all comes back to clean and crisp, then the small sweet malt flavor. Tidy hoppiness plays happily on the palate. Expert censurability. Little bit of fruit from the malt, a little apple, a touch of pear.

Tastes great, drinks great, …yeah, this'll do.

feloniousmonk, Jul 09, 2003
Photo of JohnnyDuvel
3.63/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I liked this beer. I had it with my pizza tonight, and it came across as a mildly bitter, refreshing pils. A nice dry hoppiness, clean and refreshing. Tastier than a lot of pilsners, with an interesting balance between the usual micro bitterness and a typical lager smoothness.

JohnnyDuvel, Jul 08, 2003
Photo of SheepNutz
3.68/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada pint glass. It pours a very clear, very pale gold color with 2 fingers of head and some lacing. The smell is a mix of grass and hops, crisp smell. The taste is very light with a faint bit of grassy malt and a good hops balance. Just a little short on taste for me. The mouthfeel is a little light and oily, but the drinkability is superb. Great on a hot summer night.

SheepNutz, Jul 05, 2003
Photo of Zraly
3.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

What a gorgeous, golden elixir. Pours beautifully, bubbly-foamy goodness. A grassy-hoppy smell finishes off the pour. However, I noted that the head disappeared rather quickly.

This is very refreshing drink. The slight grassy-herbal flavor feels good on a warm, summer afternoon. The malt is smooth and friendly, faintly sweet and warming. While crisp and seemingly delightful, there is a lingering of a weird, metallic taste that is just a bit off in the finish.

Overall, I think this is a great BBQ beer. Although, I'm cooking with it right now :D It's integral flavor conjures up the heat of summer and the smell of burgers on the grill.

Zraly, Jul 03, 2003
Photo of Redrover
3.55/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz brown bottle. Nice label!

Beer pours a light golden yellow. Large initial head which quickly settles down. Small amount stays through out. Nice lacing

Beer has the signature Sierra smell which is wonderful. You also pick-up some malt and a hint of fruit.

Taste is very solid. Nice balance of hops and malts with the malt sweetness taking a slight position in the forefront. Very crisp taste which does fade a bit as the beer warms. More alcohol comes through then too, which is the only realy fault with the beer.

Beer is very easy to drink and it is smooth. Not sure why this one is a summer beer. Seems to me like it a would be a good everyday of the year type beer, but nothing in the taste screams out summer to me.

Another very good beer from a very competent brewery!

Redrover, Jul 01, 2003
Photo of WVbeergeek
4.08/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a crystal clear golden hue with a white frothy head, leavs a nice collar of lace that lasts throughout the session with this beer. Aroma is slightly sweet of lemongrass notes mixed with the graininess and nice touch of delicate hop bitterness to complete the aroma. Taste is a refreshing well made crisp clean lager predominantly sweet grassy notes balance out with a light hopping and full bready tone which is very pleasing in the heat great summer beer in all regards. Mouthfeel is lighter bodied but by no means thin or watery one smoothly textured drinkable true lager. I could go fishing with a six pack of this beer any day, truely great for beating the heat.

WVbeergeek, Jul 01, 2003
Photo of DarthMalt
4.1/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

What do you know! A lawnmower beer for beer geeks.

I have no idea how this would taste to a "regular" beer drinker, but to me, it reminds me of "the first time." You remember? Hamburgers and hot dogs. The 4th of July. And then, suddenly, without warning, Dad says, "Here! See what you think of this."

Was it the paternal camaraderie?
Was it the fact that this might be something cool to do while your tee-totaler teenie-bopper friends looked on in jealousy?
Was it the thirst-quenching refreshment of the bitter, cold, fizzy, yellow beverage after a day of carnivorous bingeing?
Or was it just the heat?

Whatever it was, it was something special, and your taste buds will never forget it.

Thank You, Sierra Nevada.

PS - This is a freaking addictive session brew (e.g. fruit lambics). Remember, there's water too.

DarthMalt, Jun 30, 2003
Photo of Stubbie1
4.13/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a nice golden colored beer. It gave off a frothy whitehead and left a patchy sticky lace to the end of my beer. The aroma was light and refreshing. Hints of pepper and citrus are noted with a light malt aroma left behind. The taste is refreshing; mainly malt to start with a nice flavor of the hops coming in at the end for the finish. Another beer that I will keep on hand and another r fine brew form the folks from Sierra Nevada. Thanks to Scooter77 for dropping this one off while taking my old beer bottles to his house for his oatmeal stout.

Stubbie1, Jun 28, 2003
Photo of aracauna
3.33/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pale gold with a slightly hoppy aroma. There is a nice, slightly spicy, hoppy bitterness in the flavor followed by a dry maltiness. Slightly citric. Not a bad beer actually. A lighter lager that actually has a little flavor. I'm kind of surprised that a brewery that's known for it's big in your face ales could make such a delicate lager (although it is hoppier than the typical lager.)

aracauna, Jun 23, 2003
Photo of Naerhu
2.42/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

What the hell is this? I was shocked by this unimaginably unexciting beer. Sure I could taste a mild yet full golden malt flavor. It was lightly wrapped in a floral hop blanket, and this was not a displeasure, but from Sierra Nevada, I expect excitment. I expect to be put in the drivers seat in motor cross. This was lame, like the Porter. If the hops were more pumped up and balanced with the chew (not really the right ward there) malt, this would be a decent beer. should I beer warned and no to stray far from their PA?

Naerhu, Jun 21, 2003
Photo of dwarbi
3/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Looks real nice. Thick, creamy, bubbley, white head. Settles to a moderate size. Provides very good lacing. The beer itself is colored a plain yellow. Smells a little spicy. Also a little chemical. Similar taste. Feels a bit unpleasant on the mouth, but not too bad. A little chewy. Not the worst beer. Very mediocre.

dwarbi, Jun 17, 2003
Photo of bewareOFpenguin
1.25/5  rDev -65.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

This beer was just brutal. I bought a six pack and tried three days in a row to "give it another chance". Nothing doing. A yellow colur, I could taste a bit of hops. But it is just harsh, and I mean harsh. Every sip is a challange. It grinds down your throat. This is not a summer beer. I don't know what it is.

bewareOFpenguin, Jun 16, 2003
Photo of BrianOfMayberry
3.65/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

nice hop characteristic for a lager... head dissappears pretty quickly when poured from the bottle, but that can be forgiven. some "herbal" / grassy notes in the flavor profile. Drinkable and just the right level of alcohol. Actually it's a good Spring beer if you live in California. But it should hit the spot when the weather gets hotter, too.

BrianOfMayberry, Jun 11, 2003
Photo of Hobbz
2.9/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Well, not sure about this one; not what I would produce as a summer beer myself, but then again I am not in charge here. I will have to sample this one again at a later date to reconfirm how it tasted to me on this one, as it fell on me taste quite harshly. Draft beer poured golden-light with puddles of thin foam, esp. around the edges of the glass. Somewhat fragrant smell of hops. Taste was quite tart and hoppy, but I would have liked this one better with balancing malt profile. I never had this beer before but am familiar with their pale ale and use of hops, so I was rather expecting a fair amount, but overall the taste did not hit me right (this time). My non-affection for this one surprised me: I love their other beers I have tried.

Hobbz, Jun 11, 2003
Photo of mickeymac
4.1/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It's about 90 degrees today, so I decided to test the Summerfest. It pours a clear yellow with a nice foamy white head that's very inviting. The smell is surprisingly nice for a summer lager: floral hops and a very nice hop smell that has undercurrents of bread/biscuit. The malt smell is more than backed up by the flavor and the hops lend a slight bite while contributing a nice tropical flower taste. Drinkability? I'm still trying to figure out where it went.

mickeymac, Jun 01, 2003
Photo of cokes
3.65/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Archetypal pils looks. Gleaming gold with a bountiful white froth.
Lemon and herbal aromatics above a bready malt.
Begins with a dry-ish pils malt base. Saltine crackers fading into crusty sourdough bread. Lemon pepper hops enter and take control. Simple and effective.
Lacking some of the snap I want. Though it is refreshingly light bodied and drinkable by the gallon.
While not a juggernaut of pils flavor, it is enjoyable and worthwhile.

cokes, May 29, 2003
Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 3,541 ratings.