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Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Sierra Nevada Summerfest LagerSierra Nevada Summerfest Lager

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,868 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2868
Reviews: 1408
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 13.11%

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: 2,868 | Reviews: 1,408 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of BeerAficionadoMCMXC


3.13/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

It appears a golden yellow. Carbonation is good. Smells a of cereal and barley with a hint of citrus background. The flavor follows the nose with regards to cereal like quality. The finish is slightly sweet with a balanced bitter finish. A nicely balanced lager on the palate and a light body characteristic to lagers. Being the third year I've had this beer in a row, I feel as though this year's batch is a little more bitter than before, but the balance is there, it lacks complexity. A fine lager nonetheless.

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2013 06:27:16 | More by BeerAficionadoMCMXC
Photo of TheFightfan1


3.4/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a NCBC pilsner glass. Crystal clear yellow color with a fluffy two fingered heading. Little lacing throughout, doesn't really stick around very much.

Extremely lemony citrus blast in the nose with a nice medicinal hop in the background. Heavy earthy yeasty notes in the finish. Very feint aroma of sweeter cracker like malts.

Taste is pretty much the same. A citrus blast with a little touch of grassy hops and very medicinal - earthy finish.

Light bodied with decent carbonation. Very crisp and clean finish.

A damn good pilsner. I am not a to big a fan of Czech pilsners and have always shyed away from them. This one is an exception though. I will drink these over any mainstream brew any day of the week. Flavor,crisp, and satisfying.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2013 12:41:42 | More by TheFightfan1
Photo of archyquaffer


3.59/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a Shaker pint glass. A halfway aggressive pour produces one-quarter inch of bubbly white head that dissipates quickly but coats the top of the beer. The bubbling stays lively for awhile. The color is a moderately pale golden.

The beer has that lovely aroma and taste that I associate with a good `Pilsener, and is crisp and fairly clean on the palate. The bubbles help with lots of pungent burps, which waft through the nose. The hops are of just the right intensity for a beer of this style- a pleasant surprise since some of the beers from this brewery are just a tad too hoppy for my taste (but still quite good nonetheless).

I give this beer a good grade because I think they capture the style well, without going totally overboard with the hops.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2013 23:53:57 | More by archyquaffer
Photo of Andrew041180


3.64/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A - Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass. The beer is a clear gold with about a finger's worth of head. The head holds for a while, then dissipates into a thin covering which leaves a small amount of lacing on the glass. I am impressed.

S - The thing that I don't dig so much about lagers, and pilsners in particular, is that malty funkiness that I associate with European style beers. However, there is something about the blend here that is encouraging.

T - I still taste that funkiness that I'm not a huge fan of, but I also taste a sweeter malty note that really causes me to reflect. The finish is very clean and leaves me wanting more, not because I'm trying to cover up an unpleasant finish, but because I like the way the taste develops.

M - I like the bubbles. Very smooth and clean tasting.

O - I happened to have this beer on a relatively cool night while grilling up some BBQ chicken, but I've also had it playing lawn games on a hot afternoon. I find it to be a refreshing break from my IPAs and always look forward to this one, despite my hangups on the style.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2013 11:00:12 | More by Andrew041180
Photo of BeerDocT


3.51/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Served in an Imperial pint glass.

-Appearance 3.0: Light golden in color; perfect lager color. Lots of CO2 bubbles, but very little head and no lacing to speak of. Just looks like your typical lager.

-Smell 3.25: Nice bouquet. Typical notes of adjuncts (although I think that in lagers, these smells may be linked to the lagering process) and grains. However, the level of this bouquet is deeper than your average macro brew.

-Taste 3.75: Front is light and somewhat dry. Middle is smooth with slight alkaline hoppiness. Finish is where big waves of barley and deeper hop smoothness come in. Aftertaste is of medium length and is somewhat dry, but very refreshing.

-Mouthfeel 3.25: Hits the nail on the head for the style and gets extra points for the dry and smooth finish.

-Overall 3.50: One of the better lagers I have had in a long time. I like lagers but am certainly not enamored with the style. However, this beer is thirst-quenching and a delicious representation of what a lager can be.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2013 04:24:45 | More by BeerDocT
Photo of thecheapies


3.8/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Looks a pale gold with fine bristling carbonation suds supported by little bubble streams. Laces not so much. The head hangs a bit, then slowly leaves behind a thin cap.

Pale malts that are a touch on the sweet side. Pretty mild. Light spiciness, almost in a mustard-y. The aromatic hops are a little citrusy and a little grassy. Very light in the nose.

Nice affirmed bitterness that doesn't linger. Washes clean with good and clean pale malt grains. On the bright side. Maybe a tinge of toast. More citrus and grassy flavors from a happy hop. Overall, a clean and simply flavorful summer lager.

Smooth and a little spritzy. Carbonation is fine and right around medium. Simple and clean. Clean is the word. Clean and summery.

This is a go-to for the warmer months. A beer interesting enough to enjoy, yet simple enough to have more than one in a session.

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2013 14:52:06 | More by thecheapies
Photo of STEELERFAN2390


4.23/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

this beer is an excellent summer brew..
my version of lawnmower beer seeing how i'd never even consider drinking an American lager of any type.
not the greatest Czech pils ive ever had ,but its up there with a slight sierra Nevada hop twist.
overall , im liking it a lot. pick it up at your local grocer for 13.99 a twelve I you can!

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2013 22:46:09 | More by STEELERFAN2390
Photo of roundthewaygirls


3.23/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

poured into a wine glass

A: a crystal clear light yellow color. looks like champagne. very bubbly. half a finger of frothy white head dissipates instantaneously.

S: lemon. light floral hops. clean. pale malts.

T: bready character. lager yeast. crisp hop finish.

M: very well carbonated. light bodied.

O: a crisp, refreshing offering from sierra nevada. doesn't blow my mind, but it's a very well done summer lager/pilsener. excellent to drink with food. good day-drinking session beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2013 21:32:00 | More by roundthewaygirls
Photo of raynmoon


3.79/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Looks average, super crystal clear yellow, slight orange to it.

smells like some light lemon/lime citrus, some bready malt.

The taste is similar but has a nicer hop bite to it. It is very refreshing. Similar to an adjunct lager but then upon the taste gives you a nice bitter hoppy bite that covers up any unpleasant bready malt.

Not my favorite from Sierra Nevada, but appropriate for the summer.

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2013 02:44:01 | More by raynmoon
Photo of Roman5150


2.88/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 1.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Bottle poured into tulip glass

Appearance: Piss yellow... typical light pils color, large white bubbly head

Smell: light bready yeast, water, some malt presence

Taste: A pretty tasty pilsener, but that's sort of an oxymoron. It's a great light beer, a classic czech pils, and that also means it doesn't have much flavor. But for the style, and in the right instance (hot summer day), this would be extra amazing.

Mouthfeel: Some carbonation, watery

Overall: A decent pils, but to be honest they all taste the same to me. If you want a great czech pilsener, nothing will beat a Staropramen, straight from Prague. I would buy one of those of this or any other light lager/pilsener anyday. With that said, this is a well balanced brew that I would drink after mowing the lawn.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2013 04:40:51 | More by Roman5150
Photo of CloudStrife

New York

3.93/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Bottled January 8th 2013.

A: Pours a clear golden yellow with a half finger white head. Average amount of visible carbonation. Dissipates to a thin covering in a minute or two leaving some spots of lacing.

S: Aroma matches what one would expect from a lager. Light maltiness with a touch of hop bitterness. A bit of a crackery aspect as well as some spicy notes.

T: Mild blend of pale malts, light hops and lager yeast. Great bread like cracker taste that really rounds this out. A good deal of spiciness in this too.

M: Crisp, clean and refreshing. As expected this is a great brew for the summer. Ample carbonation.

Overall a tasty pilsner that is as the name suggests perfect for the summer. A lot more spice than I had anticipated, seems to come from both the yeast and the hop.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2013 20:24:37 | More by CloudStrife
Photo of justintcoons


3.08/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a shaped pint glass.

Pale straw color with 2 fingers of white, fluffy head that dissipates quickly. Excellent clarity with low carbonation.

Lemongrass, Pilsner malt and bubblegum.

Follows the nose. Pilsner malts and caramel covered grains. Lemongrass and bubblegum.

Light bodied, crisp and clean.

Nothing special to speak about. A sub-par Czech Pils.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2013 00:10:56 | More by justintcoons
Photo of DerAtomsmasher


3.68/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Best way I can describe this is as lemony (hops) corn Pops (subtle grains). I mean this in the best way possible. A good refresher and a good alternative to a thicker Sam Summer, or something else with too much hoppy dryness making the refreshment just out of reach.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2013 03:33:34 | More by DerAtomsmasher
Photo of lsummers


3.78/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a golden yellow with a great two finger white fluffy head.

Smells of citric buscuty hops and hay.

Tastes of sweet buiscut nutty barley sugar with some grassy almost apricot like hop notes to end on. Very pleasant and light, maybe a touch too light.

Mouthfeel is fairly round actually yet still retains it's sharpness from the carbonation.

Overall, this is a great lawnmower beer. Perfect for those hot days out in the sun. If your looking for something that is going to be brimming with taste, this one is a little subdued. Can't wait to try it again though.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2013 01:23:18 | More by lsummers
Photo of cjnuxoll


3.55/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

here's a strong, flavorful lager that makes me forget how much i really don't like everyone else's favorite pale ale. summerfest reduces the bitterness of SNPA and adds the wheaty flavor that should be common to a lager. i know i'm comparing a pale ale to a lager, but i'm just qualifying my preferences so you know where i am coming from in my beer tastes in this review.

it's lightly carbonated and full bodied. the alcohol content is slightly higher than that of a normal lager, so you know from the stronger flavor you're getting a micro brew from a company that is quickly becoming one of the largest distributors in the country. it's not a sell-out beer - it still has the uniqueness that tells you it's a sierra nevada without overwhelming or offending. just a solid contribution to give you some additional options at the beer store.

[edit] had a few more since the review. It's growing on me. The Summerfest is pretty good; but I've found, that like a fine wine, you need to let it "breathe," so the yeast oxigenates and mixes. It's lightly carbonated, but as the yeast dissolves when opened, it maintains the bubblieness and stays sharp.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2013 01:19:09 | More by cjnuxoll
Photo of bennetj17


4.46/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Clear, pale straw, with lots of effervescent carbonation, but little head. Mild, yet inviting aroma of grainy malt with a light citric hop note. Clean and crisp flavor with a proper grassy bitterness kicking in early and lingering nicely on the tongue. The malt backbone is bready and dry without any residual sweetness. Carbonation is very nice. The body is light but never thin. This beer just goes down so smoothly, and the alcohol is not discernible at all.

This beer is damn near perfect and is just a fine example of a proper Pils. It's drinking very fresh right now and for 6.99 a sixer it is unbeatable. Way underrated in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2013 06:13:12 | More by bennetj17
Photo of jjboesen


4.36/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This is Sierra Nevada's version of a crispy Czech pilsner; you know, a refresing beer that one would sip after a heavy day of traipsing around Prague - maybe enjoyed at a table on the Old Town Square (perhaps with fried cheese?). I digress ...

The appearance is one of such a classic style: light gold in color, a translucent body brimming with rushing carbonation bubbles on their way to the top. There are pleasant notes of grass on the nose; the palate is inundated with subtle hops, crisp and clear and crispy on the bite; there is subtle sweetness at the fade. The mouthfeel is somewhat dry.

This is the ultimate sessional quaff, be it in lovely Prague, or not-so-lovely Arlington, Virginia, where I enjoyed it. Ahh... Prague .... ahhh Sierra Nevada!

Serving type: on-tap

02-19-2013 01:44:58 | More by jjboesen
Photo of Samp01

New Jersey

3.2/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours a hazy golden yellow with a good medium fluffy lasting white head. Aroma and Taste of biscuit malt, grass and grains, some yeast and lemon citrus flavors with some mild bitter and tangy notes. Palate is medium crisp body with moderate carbonation. Finish is biscuit malt, grassy and grains, yeast with some lemon citrus flavors. Overall a good crisp and refreshing summer crew

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2013 23:34:21 | More by Samp01
Photo of tectactoe


3.73/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a straw-yellow color with a silky white head; tame, yet vibrant, no apparent lacing left on the glass. Aroma is crisp with some grains in the background, playing secondary to a nice helping of bitter, earthy hops. Some lemon zest pulls through and plays tertiary as well. Lots of carbonation on the initial sip; this was to be expected - it gives a nice, clean, crisp taste on the palate and brings out the strength of the hops. The hops make up a good percentage of the taste here, but make no mistake - this beer is far from "bitter", even compared to pale ales. Malts and grains come through in around the edges, again followed by a lemon-orange-citrus like sweetness that shows up for a moment and washes away. Some clove and light spice shows up once the beer is significantly warmer, although this isn't typically a beer that takes too long to put down. Thin body, crisp, clean, dry finish.

I'm not extremely well versed in "Czech Pilseners", so I don't know how this differs from the American type, but it certain makes for a refreshing beer to drink on a hot summer day. Hits the spot after mowing the lawn in 95 degree heat for hours.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2012 12:54:39 | More by tectactoe
Photo of danreitz

New York

3.88/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a mason jar. Appears a slightly cloudy gold with a foamy, quick-dying head. Aroma is bright and malty. Immediate hop flavor followed by a slinky citrus flavor. Finishes lightly bitter with a bite that gets stronger after you've taken a sip. The citrus flavor gets slightly less prominent as the beer warms. It's very bubbly on the tongue and light-bodied.

An easy-drinking, bright-tasting lager. Complex enough to please my palate, but refreshing and light enough to throw back a few. Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2012 19:23:46 | More by danreitz
Photo of Vashtar


3.5/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 2 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice lacing, Average head retention, pale rotting fingernail color.

The smell is inviting, especially as it loses its cool.
Not only is the smell nice, but this beer literally has a nosefeel. It's almost frothy.

The taste gets better as the beer looses its chill.

The mouthfeel runs from the base toward the end of the tongue, like a slide. It froths at thr back of the throat. The froth is more enjoyable in the nose.

To be continued

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2012 01:36:42 | More by Vashtar
Photo of Flounder57


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

12 oz bottle was poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: This beer poured a small dismal head that has reduced to nothing. It is a golden straw yellow with great clarity and signs of carbonation coming through the glass.

Smell: Bready and sweet malts with some pepper and grassy notes mixed in there.

Taste: spicy, bready, sweet, bitter, grainy and spicy.

Mouthfeel: smooth, medium bodied, medium carbonation, lingering bitterness, crisp, and easy to drink.

Overall: not a bad pilsner, but the bitterness lingered around way too long. Still enjoyable and definitely a warm sunny day beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2012 06:35:49 | More by Flounder57
Photo of heygeebee


3.03/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

From Leura Cellars.

Pours pale straw, very clear and light, very little lace.

Lovely aromas of pineapple and floral hops.

Taste is in lager territory firmly, but an astringent aftertaste suggests poor transport.

Mouthfeel not quite carbonated enough.

Ok beer but not a great one - drink fast

Serving type: bottle

10-04-2012 10:18:51 | More by heygeebee
Photo of Vigilante


3.3/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a Czech Pilsner glass.

A: Light yellow color with one finger of head that fades quickly leaving light lacing. A ton of carbonation.

S: Pale malt, pepper, and hops.

T: Pale malt, hops, grapefruit with a citrus aftertaste. Taste of grapefruit lingers afterwards.

M: Light body mouthfeel which transforms with the bite of the hops. Semi-dry finish.

O: Mouthfeel is a little weak when the drinker is confronted with the fairly bitter hop character. The beer doesn't seem to have the malt backbone to stand complement the bite of the hops. There are certainly better Czech style pilsners out there. I am slightly disappointed by this one as I am usually very impressed by Sierra Nevada's brews.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2012 08:27:11 | More by Vigilante
Photo of williamjbauer

West Virginia

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

Served in a weizen glass

A - Light hay amber with 1 finger white head with good lacing and good retention

S - Playdoh, wheat

T - Pretty earthy, herbal and fairly bitter. My palate does not enjoy this composition but I respect it.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation.

O - Good summer beer, just not for me.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2012 21:32:08 | More by williamjbauer
Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 2,868 ratings.