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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.
BA SCORE
83
good

3,657 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,657
Reviews: 1,483
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 13.11%
Wants: 66
Gots: 274 | 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: 3,657 | Reviews: 1,483 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Gruntlumber
3.63/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'm amazed at how varied the reviews are for this beer. Some call it "too heavy", even though it's one of the lightest micros I've ever had. Some say "too bitter, hoppy", even though there is barely a trace of hoppiness in my opinion. Some say it tastes like Bud. Some say it tastes like SN's Pale Ale. Maybe this brew varies a lot from year to year, because I disagree with many of these comments.

This is definitly a pilsner-style lager: pours very light and has a nice refreshing aroma with a hint of hoppiness. If I tasted this blind, I would say it tastes like Pilsner Urquell, one of the best lagers out there. I want to taste the two side-by-side because the similarities are many. Summerfest has a fresher, cleaner taste however, probably because it IS fresher than the imported PU. I thought this was a great brew. Lagers are never really high on my list because they are all so similar, but given the choice I'd take this anyday over most other lagers.

Photo of acrawf6
3.18/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a nice golden. not much head in this one, but good lacing. this one is, like other sierra navadas, bitter and hoppy. The mouthfeel is good, nice carbonation, maybe a little oily. Its a decent beer, and tastes like it would be nice on a hot summer day, but its not great. honestly if you miss this one, you wont be missing much.

Photo of pikemark
3.65/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a single at Gorodon's.

Poured a clear golden, looks like vegetable oil. Little head and moderate lacing. As I poured it I could smell the yeast coming of it, like frsh bread, very good smell.

The actual tasting was not as promising. Pretty dry and went down easy, but tasted too light for me. Carbonation helped it go down, but not much to the flavor.

Its good for a summer day but not one I would buy again.

Photo of PhillyMonk
3.78/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours clear, straw-colored with very little head. Smells surprisingly malty, but clean. Taste is crisp, carbonated and a bit astringent at first, giving way to a fair amount of hops. I'm not a huge lager fan, but even so I would have expected a little more out of Sierra Nevada, which I'm a big fan of in general. If you like hoppy lagers or pilsners, this one might be worth a try. This wouldn't be a bad barbecue beer and would pair well with some grilled chicken and veggies.

Photo of whartontallboy
3.4/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Gold orange pour with a medium sized white head. Hoppy scent that you'd expect from these guys with a little bit of gruit and grass. Flavor is okay, but nothing to write home about. It's got a light hop profile, and the malt comes to the surface with some real sweetness and a little bit of a crisp finish. This one's okay, but I thought it was a bit overpriced and not quite there to be a nice refreshing lager. But Bigfoot was good.

Photo of GolgiIPAratus
2.38/5  rDev -35%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Sampled: 4.13.05

Medium pour produces a dense, one & a half inch head that fades at no speed above abnormal, and fades at no speed below abnormal. The liquid is transparent, offering a clear view of my fingers on the other side of the glass through a golden filter. Lacing is average, nothing special.

The smell is malty caramel, which is strange for a summer time offering. Tangy tidbits twist in the nostrils as well. Nothing here whetting my desire to get into this beer.

The first taste is dominated by that Sierra Nevada Pale Ale flavor. A caramelized malt whip pushes those overwhelming hops aside, however. A light, light bitterness peeks through upon the swallow. I'm not impressed with this flavor. Not sure why this is their version of a "summer" beer. It's just too thick. The mouth is creamy and lightly carbonated.

Drinkability depends on how much you actually enjoy the beer (obviously) . I didn't enjoy the flavor, so drinkability wasn't good for me.

Photo of pjwilson
3.98/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

2005 Edition... hmmm why is a West Coast lager listed under Euro lager... Tastes more like Bud than Heini...should be american lager..anyways
Pretty damn good drinkable lager. With the hot weather i was starting to go crazy drinking bitter beer... I literally ran to the corner store to get either a lager or wheat beer... went with this 'cuz guy said it came today so it must be fresh...which is so important with lagers....
Pours straw color/ nice head that sticks/ smell ...well there isn't really much....
The taste is much more malty than bitter...this is no Czech Pilsner...
Drinkablitly is off the charts

Final Notes: Some may crucify me for this to me this is like Budwieser done right. There's no cringe and it's tastes great...goes with any food and anybody would like it... In an ideal world this beer would be Budwieser and cost 7 dollars a 12er but it's actually 7 dollars a 6er.... the price the only negitive I guess... ps i do live about an hour from Chico and it got shipped today so it is very, very fresh...might not be as good on the east...but just a guess
cheers.

Photo of Goldorak
3.53/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Found this hidden in the back end of my Beerfridge...

Appearance: Clear, golden yellow with a little off orange hue, with only a hint of ring around the glass.

Smell: Decent hoppy smell, that must be Saaz, or a close cousin.

Taste: Most definately grassy, with the aftertaste of baby radish shoots, or maybe those wheatgrass shots you can get in those yuppie juice bars. Ok maltyness, aftertaste lasts long, and sticks to your tongue, I like that.

Photo of dauss
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: short stubby 12 oz. brown twist top bottle. 2004 on the label around the neck.

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy golden straw yellow. Big fluffy white head forms with good retention and a ton of lace.

Smell: floral noble hops, a little fruitiness, and grassy.

Taste: Good dose of flavoring hops, very floral. Sweet malt start up front, with a very light bitterness. Light carbonation, medium-full body, clean fruity finish.

Notes: Another good beer from Sierra Nevada. This beer seems to have a lot more hops, but I like it.

Photo of clvand0
3.3/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear golden color with a small white head that leaves a little lacing on the glass. The aroma is malty and has some hints of grassy hops. The flavor is much the same. Quite a bit of graininess, and a little hops. Something about this one just didn't sit right with me. It's just ok for a summer lager. The drinkability was ok, and the body was moderate.

Photo of donnebaby
3.73/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Today was a very warm day in Philadelphia for Halloween, so why not review a Summerfest...

Thick gold color body, filled with slow bubble streams. Tactile and lasting cream top that drifted up and laced well against the glass. Nose was light and held some sweet wheat and faint citrus.

Taste, too, was full of wheat and cream--with ample sweetness. Soft medium carbonation went nicely and helped to give this beer a real light feel despite the obvious body. A great after-the-fact sharp bitterness keeps things interesting. Very much drinkable with an excellent feel.

Photo of Skidz
3.4/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out pale straw and sits bright gold in the glass with a big fluffy white head with some big lacings.

Smells largly malty with hints of lemon and orange rind. Light notes of apples and a nice herbal dose of hops.

Tastes sweet and malty up front with bits of spicy and herbal hops pushing their way through. Orange peel and a little twang of grapefruit oil in the back of the mouth. Finish is nicely bittered with lingering herbs and malty sweetness.

Crisp and full of light carbonation in a medium body. Nice and refreshing.

I think I'd enjoy this beer more if it has a better dosing of hops. It seems a bit dumbed down to me, but, as the style goes, it works, just my preference. Still, it's nice an refreshing and quite easy to put back.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I fail to see how a beer brewed in California, U.S.A. can be called a Euro Pale Lager. Yeah, I know, if it fits the style... blah, blah, blah. But still, this beer deserves better. I therefore dub Summerfest a Yankee Pale Lager.

Pellucid bright amber with an impressively large, creamyfirm, French vanilla head that looks like it belongs on an IPA. The foam displays remarkable persistance and eventually lays down generous amounts of lace in vertical streamers.

The aroma is unmistakably of aromatic Saaz hops with very little else muddying the waters. I'm not a big fan of that particular hop, but it's actually somewhat pleasant here, both in the nose and on the palate. Its oftentimes sharp, pungent nature is blunted to some extent by a fair amount of sweetish pale malt.

A subtle clove and white pepper spiciness increases marginally with warming. I prefer more citrus in my summer beers, but I won't complain too loudly. The body is solidly medium, yet is still well within the bounds of easy drinkability demanded by the summer seasonal designation.

Summerfest is a pretty good Saaz-hopped pale lager, even if my lack of affinity for that particular hop variety keeps me from loving it. That said, this Yankee Pale Lager kicks the crap out of the vast majority of its Euro counterparts.

Photo of AndyM
2.33/5  rDev -36.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

2004 Label / Late Summer Seasonal...

Sierra Nevada has burned me for the last time. I said that after their Bigfoot Ale (a Barleywine) this past winter, but decided to give it another go when I saw this one. I will never try one of their seasonals again!

They say this is a lager, but I have a really hard time believing that. There is only the slightest hint of lager yeast flavor here (probably because it is overpowered by the hops), and therein lies the problem: to me, this beer tastes exactly like most of Sierra Nevada's other beers.

It is incredibly hoppy - far too bitter for my taste, and I really like hoppy beers. It is one of the hoppiest pale ales I've ever had - and I wasn't expecting much hoppiness at all, considering all the label says is, "bottom fermented." In fact, it was sitting with the Oktoberfest beers in my local liquor shop. It says "bottom fermented..." what would you think? Poured out into a glass, it even LOOKS like your average lager.

Unfortunately, I get sick of the taste after about 3 good sips. One of the few times I've actually poured out the remnants of a bottle of beer; usually I can at least choke the rest down, but I saw no point in finishing this one. Now I have to find some recipes to use up the rest of the bottles :

I would recommend this ale to someone who would be classified as an "extreme hops addict" (not just a fan of hoppy beers), or if you've never had a bad Sierra Nevada product. Otherwise, I'd make another selection at the liquor store.

Photo of blitheringidiot
3.83/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Snaggle-toothed this Summer offering at the end of Summer on tap at UJ's in North Hills. Clear filtered straw hued tight clingy head hued cover. Excellent head retention as the brew went South.

Fruity citrous notes in a [guessing] Lager style.

First swigs: Lemony notes and crisp light body. Well balanced, dry short nearly apple twinged finish. Tangy hops, ease over light malts. Orange slices.

Feel is light for a lager even. Lasting crispness.

High drinkability for being an easily flavored and well carbonated brew.

Last swigs: As Enya's Orinoco Flow poured from the juke box, an last Summer minute enjoyable hoppy lager and red apple noted brew went back. Bring on the Fall colors.

Beer is good. Happy beering.

Photo of WesWes
3.63/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a pale gold color with a thick frothy white head that fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a nice malty scent that boasts of pale malts and lager yeast. It has a dry aroma. The taste is decent. It has a crisp pale malt flavor with a slight hop bitterness and a very dry lager yeast finish. The mouthfeel is good. It is a low bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a decent lager. It has excellent aroma and smooth flavor; a good drinker.

Photo of Truh
3.38/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pinned a tail on the donkey with this one on 7/12/2004. 16-oz. pour at the Joshua Tree in Davis Square, nee Somerville, MA. Lord knows why I was there instead of Redbones…

Light, tight head at start. Clear, light gold hue with bubbles buzzing about as if in a pinball machine, or perhaps more descriptively, a pachinko machine, only balls were ascending, not descending. Wheat, white wine bouquet, and slightly sour on the nose. Some hoppiness, which was surprising, and for me it almost beat out the wheat base. Quite astringent to taste, yet also oddly smooth and clinging. Overall, a shochu-like acidity to the offering.

Photo of nortmand
4.2/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours lightly amber with a gew wisps of foam, not alot of retention there, though.
Smells very sweet and citrusy, with a very slight, faint background skunkiness.
Immediate sweetness is quickly followed by a floral hop flavor. There is a lingering alcohol presence on the back of the tongue.
Subdued carbonation makes for a nice summery lager. This is followed up by a sticky sweetness on the tongue.
Very tasty and light, a combination that lends itself to drinkability.

Photo of inebrius
3.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Yet another beer poured into a Holiday Inn tumbler. I either need to get a set of travel glassware or take up a different hobby.

Summerfest pours (a colorful descriptive) with a (descriptive) head. The (fancy word for smell) is all fruity cereal flakes, matchsticks and dead lawn. Summerfest inspires me about as much as the tumbler I'm gulping it from. It's really a decent brew though. I imagine if I lived in a house and mowed my own lawn I would drink water afterward, but after the water and maybe a sandwich or something this might be good. It seems a bit heavy grain on the attack but a nice bunch of herbal greens takes over quickly enough. I like it better really cold.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 3,657 ratings.