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Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

1,559 Reviews
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Sierra Nevada Summerfest LagerSierra Nevada Summerfest Lager

Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

Style: Czech Pilsener

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
There's something about a warm summer day that calls out for a cold glass of great beer, and this classic Czech-style lager is sure to fit the bill. Crisp, golden and refreshing, Summerfest is the perfect choice for soaking up the sunshine. Summerfest is a Czech-style lager featuring a slight malt sweetness, a spicy hop flavor, and the crisp finish you want on a hot summer day.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 06-17-2001

User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,559 | Ratings: 4,058
Photo of zhooker
3.13/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Just bought a sixer from down the block. Poured from a bottle into a pilsener glass. Extremely light in color, slightly golden and very clear. A finger's worth of head builds and quickly dissipates. Persistent bubbling action.

Light nose to match the color. Pilsener maltiness and a floral hoppiness. Maybe a tad of citrus-y spiciness.

The smell does not belie the taste. A crisp and refreshing mouthfeel compliments a light, tempered malt taste that doesn't veer too far from your standard mass market Pilsener/lager. The hops, however, are more pronounced than the usual, which is welcomed. Hints of citrus spice, reminiscent of some hefeweizens, float in and out.

Even during the hottest of summer days, Summerfest, a "crisp summer lager," is a bit too light for my taste, and the flavors too unpronounced. However, this kind of inoffensiveness and neutrality is perfect for friends and visitors just looking for something pleasantly drinkable and refreshing.

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Photo of acelin
3.13/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass

This beer is pretty clear,although hazy for a lager. Has a non existant head.

Smells of hop aroma and faint pale malt. Some yeast character.

Taste is lager like, yet very hopped, and not in the usual pilsner fashion. Very west coast. Just "ok."

Mouthfell is average.

Overall an average offering from SN.

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Photo of sevenarts
3.13/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A: Bright, clear yellow, well carbonated. Small white head with a little bit of clingy lacing.

S: Wheaty, bready malts with just a hint of fruity hops.

T/M: Bready malts dominate, with some mild spiciness and a bit of hop flavor, and a slightly bitter aftertaste. Very mild and straightforward. Mouthfeel is on the thin, watery side.

O: A pretty good pilsener, nothing special or amazing, but it's crisp and refreshing and good for a hot summer day.

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Photo of Kadonny
3.13/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 ounce bottle into a lager glass.

A: A light golden color with a one finger fluffy white head. Nice glass lacing.

S: Grainy, lemon, grass, sweet malt and floral hops.

T: Fresh fruits come first with lemon and a bit of banana coupled with some fresh cut grass, grains and a bready sweetness that keeps the floral hops in check. Finish ends a bit bitter with some dryness but the sweetness lingers too. It just seemed to be an average pils to me, and that won't cut it.

M: I was disappointed in the mouthfeel. It does not linger, its a bit light as the beer is quickly forgotten once swallowed.

D: Good, they are very easy to drink.

Overall I was a bit disappointed in this beer. I thought it just lacked any excitement or any remembering qualities. Is it drinkable? Sure, but it can't hold a candle to any PA pils nor even the new Noble Pils by SA. I see people rating this beer a 4 or better and I just don't get it, it's an average beer and a below average pils. PS, tap is a bit better.

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Photo of corby112
3.12/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From notes:

On draft at The Bishop's Collar. Pours a pale golden yellow that is completely clear with a thin white head that quickly settles into a thin lasting ring. No lacing at all and not very impressive looking at all.

Bland aroma with very faint earthy hops along with a pale malt presence. Hints of yeast, bread, pilsner malt, grass, stra and faint light fruit.

Fuller bodied than expected with a nice crisp hop bite up front that lingers throughout over the sweet malt body into a slightly dry, refreshing finish. Dry bitter hops up front countered by sweet pale malts and crisp light fruit notes, especially apple and pear. Slight bready yeast with faint grassy straw notes. Very quaffable especially in hot summer weather.

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Photo of ski271
3.12/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Light orange-gold with a small, white, foamy head that hangs around for a little while before diminishing to a thin film. Moderate speckled lacing.

Smell: Floral and herbal with a light soft-pretzel-like bread & yeast to it.

Taste: Malty, bready, floral, and a little musty. Lemon, grape and earth. The finish is short, crisp and dry

Mouthfeel: Medium body, dry texture, moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Refreshing but not very interesting. Nothing is really all that special here, which was a big disappointment coming from Sierra Nevada. Not bad, but not worth seeking out.

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Photo of JayS2629
3.11/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nice light summer time beer. Nothing over the top. Nicely balanced. A clear pale colored beer with a nice creamy head and nice retention and lacing. Faint smell. Be careful not to snort it up your nose trying to smell. Biscuits and earthy, grassy notes. Some floral notes. The taste is pretty average pale ale with a bit more citrus notes than most. Faintly bitter, biscuity and grassy with some earthy notes. Pretty average, but refreshing. light and easy to drink.

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Photo of kculrich
3.11/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Hard pour into a cold pilsener. Clear yellow, maybe a little darker than I expect a pils to be, no head to speak of. No particular smell, really, something sharp, maybe a little hops? Tastes clean and dry but nothing stands out. Over-carbonated to my taste, distractingly so. I don't know, I drank this all last summer and enjoyed the heck out of it but it's not doing anything for me now. I can see myself knocking back a few on a hot afternoon after mowing the lawn, otherwise, meh.

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Photo of newk340
3.1/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: looks like a carbonated translucent. lemonade or Mellow Yellow. lots of carbonation though!

S: hints of lemon and orange zest, summertime!

T: minimal taste, hints of citrus flavor that are quickly gone and a soon afterthought.

MF/D: very thin, carbonation may be one of the only noticable traits of this beer.

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Photo of GeneralZod
3.1/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear golden color. Held average head retention.

Average inviting aroma. Can't quite tell what is it, but it's not bad.

Somewhat bitter. Leaves an aftertaste, but not bad.

Somewhat coarse and carbonated.

It's good beer. I would definitely have another and would not turn one down when offered.

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Photo of Mosstrooper
3.1/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

2010 release. Poured from 12oz bottle into 23oz NY Mets pilsner glass.

Appearance: Deep straw color with a hint of cloudiness. Smaller white head that dissipates quickly, leaving a bit of lace.

Smell: Sweet malt and floral hops, but a weak smell overall.

Taste: Sweet, tea-like flavors giving way to floral hop flavors and hints of herbal bitterness. Fairly light on flavor.

Mouthfeel: Lighter body with medium carbonation and a crisp, refreshing finish.

Drinkability: Not a bad beer, but is fairly bland compared to "real" Czech pilsners. I would be willing to have this again, though not if, say, Pilsner Urquell were another option. Good summer refresher, though.

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Photo of domtronzero
3.1/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very pale golden yellow with a small, fizzy white head that lasts only 30 seconds. No lacing. Aroma is very subtle with hints of corn and a very slight fruitiness. No hop aroma at all. Taste is true to style, but rather lacking. Again, fruitiness noted and grassy herabal hops in the background. Mouthfeel is thin and goes down smooth.Overall, I think Sierra Nevada should stick to top-fermeting ales. A great beer to drink during these hot summer days in SoCal.

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Photo of BrokenEdge
3.09/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Surprised this is ranked so highly, I enjoy lagers but found this one underwhelming and the worst offering I've had from SN yet. Body is bright yellow gold with an initially fluffy head that quickly disappears to a light ring of foam. Almost zero lacing. Smells like apples and slightly spicy yeast. Taste is very sweet, with little hop bitterness to balance it. Lots of corn and grain type flavors, very reminiscent of Coors Light to me. Just a little hint of grassy hops and spicy yeast, but an almost overwhelming buttered popcorn type taste. Flavor is overall lacking and just a half step above a typical macro beer, imo. Feel is thin, watery, and highly carbonated, yet the sweetness makes it feel a lot heavier than it is. By the time I was finished with my glass, I felt like I'd drank a huge and heavy stout. Finish is a persistent sweetness and isn't very dry or crisp at all. I guess this would be a good intro to craft for someone used to drinking AALs, but I just found it to be an average at best lager.

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Photo of Jamesthebrit
3.09/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours light and a hard pour yeilds little head. Nearly yellow in color. Lots of bubbles.

S: Light. Hints of lemon a little yeast... but yes... very light.

T: A little hops. A little citrus. A little yeast. Certainly not heavy on flavors but theres something there.

M: Average indeed.

Slightly above average. An easy drinker that has some amount of flavor to it but nothing to write home about.

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Photo of justintcoons
3.08/5  rDev -16.3%
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.

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Photo of albern
3.08/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This is a rather average pilsner, and I was expecting a tad better. The beer pours a very pale yellow with a decent white head that doesn't last that long. Some retention though. The smell is Saaz hops, corn husk, maybe some cooked veggies, very pilsner-esque. The taste is light, moderate to low carbonation, very crisp, peppery, a tad bit of tangyness, some lemon hints as well. The peppery tang is a bit of a turn off and lasts too far into the finish. The beer is light, refreshing, uncomplicated, and altogether pretty average.

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Photo of xnicknj
3.08/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

on tap at manny browns in philly

Pours a clear golden yellow with a layer of white head, fades into some filmy retention and patchy lacing.

Scents of bready lacing and butter with lemon peel and citrus. Fairly bland overall.

Some floral hops with citrus juice. Grapefruit and orange with rind and pith. Biscuit and bready malt with some faint hints of caramel and honey. Finishes with honey and sweet hops.

Medium body, higher carbonation, easy on the tongue. Drinks okay, but pretty boring flavor and forgettable overall.

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Photo of BrewCrew2010
3.08/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a lightly hazy corn-yellow body with a small white, pillow-like, head.

S: A sweet and delicate nose with nothing too complex, but an aroma of sweet pale malts, grains, & yeast. No real hops to speak of.

T: A simple flavor of sweet malts, grains, cracker-like yeast, maybe a hint of hops, and finishes dry. Nothing too impressive.

M: A light body with medium-light carbonation. Light and refreshing.

D: I didn't think this was all that amazing. Great for the summer time and one could definitely drink a lot of these. However, it just seems like an amp up version of a BMC.

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Photo of masonacoats
3.08/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Not sure if I got a bad bottle. Some skunkiness detected.

A: Beautiful golden color with good retention and carbonation

S: Skunky, grainy, and piney

T: Follows the nose but the skunkiness is more prevalent. A little more hop flavor than the nose leads to believe.

M: Nice medium body with good carbonation.

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Photo of zhanson88
3.08/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Summerfest pours a pale, clear straw color with about a finger of white head. Lacing and retention are okay. Lots of carbonation is present.

Smell: Pale and biscuity malts are prevalent. Light citrus, and noble hop character as well.

Taste: Pale and biscuity malts, a bit of nuttiness, citrus, and light hops round it out.

Mouthfeel/Overall: Light bodied but pretty smooth drinking. High carbonation, but not too high. Overall a drinkable, non-offensive pilsner, but nothing outstanding.

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Photo of MillRat
3.07/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Looks like a pretty standard pils, clear straw yellow with an active carbonation that is hard pressed to maintain any sort of head. First whiff says american macro-lager, but then a hoppy aroma lingers that sets it apart from that ilk. It lacks, though, the decoction-built malt body that would put in the same league as the czech lagers. This is a solid effort, and certainly worthy of lawnmower-class refreshment. This is what the big three (or is it two, now?) would be making if they had respect for their customers. If one of the big US macros had brewed this, I'd be quite pleased at their progress, but that's the glory of low expectations. I had higher hopes for SN.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.07/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beer is served in a stange. Beer is yellow and completely clear. Carbonation is moderate and made up of medium bubbles. Forms a white broken head that clings to the glass interface but doesn't leave any lacing on the glass. Looks fine.

There is nearly no aroma, slight grainy smell. Faint. I know aroma is not a big part of this beer but its not appetizing.

Beer has a grainy taste to it but it finishes nicely. Overall just a plain, blank slate, almost a palate cleanser. There is nothing special or interesting about this beer. Its bland. Easy to drink though.

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Photo of bigjohn
3.06/5  rDev -16.8%
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.

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Photo of
3.06/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

12oz. bottle. Poured a clear straw yellow with a medium size white head. Aroma was hoppy and of the grass variety. Malt was AWOL, but a tiny bit showed up as the beer warmed. Flavor was mainly hops - citrus. Some malt contribution as sweetness in the middle. Aftertaste was a little unpleasant, but only started to show about 1/2 way through the beer. Body was light, with medium carbonation and slightly drying. A hoppy pilsener, refreshing and a good summer beer. Only complaint is the aftertaste, because of which I wouldn't drink this again.

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Photo of jethrodium
3.06/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap. Pours a clear light amber with a small white head that has good lacing and retention. The aroma is biscuit, bread, a light mineral note, some grassy hops, and a bit of earthiness. The initial taste has a light sweetness. It is bready with earthy notes as well as some light floral hops. The finish is a bit doughy, but clean and dry. Light bodied. Medium-high carbonation.

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Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 1,559 ratings.