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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: 4,060
Photo of JerseyPaul
3.06/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Slightly hazy, straw yellow color with good carbonation; small white head dissipates quickly, leaving barely any lacing

Smell: Faint aroma that yields light, sweet malt & grain notes

Taste: Lightly sweet malt body that gives way to slightly bitter hops; smooth, dry finish

Mouthfeel: Light body; good carbonation; clean, crisp finish

Drinkability: Low ABV & light body make this a good choice for a session beer

Overall, Summerfest is an average, but not exceptional, pilsener. It goes down easily, with a dry, crisp finish. As the name suggests, this is a good choice for the summer, but there are better alternatives out there, as this is slightly better than average.

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Photo of KTCamm
3.05/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Nice looking decorative label - the beer itself is kind of uninteresting. Pale yellow color with active white foam that dies down quickly and leaves no evidence.

Smell is unimpressive - just a smell of beer, really. Maybe some citrus buried below, but not much.

Taste is very clean. There's a hop about 1/3 of the way through that lingers - maybe even a tad too long. Definitely like a pilsener. Not your typically "summer" brew.

Its clean, its drinkable, its from a well reknowned brewery. Its just not great.

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Photo of codynevels
3.05/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Purchased May 12, 2011
Consumed May 12, 2011

Bottled poured into a SA Perfect Pint

This beer poured clear yellow and fizzy. Tiny carbonation bubbles float up to a foamy white head that dissipates into a very thin layer coating the beer that doesn’t stick around for the duration. Smell is dominated by bready biscuit malts with a small amount of citrus, mainly lemon, and some earthy bitter hops. The taste is similar, malty, with some bitter hops, more than the smell. Taste also has a slight citrus characteristic. This beer is light bodied, dry, and refreshing. It doesn't coat your mouth.

Overall this beer is nice and refreshing, however I personally enjoy a little bit more bitter hop characteristic in a Pilsner than this has to offer, but I after buying a six-pack I wont be disappointed to have this again on a hot summer day.

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Photo of MuddyFeet
3.05/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This might be a "Good in the right time and moment beer." Pours very pale with a fuzzy head on top. Nose is all bu non-existent. Flavor is more of the same. Malts are there at first, but vanaish quickly and are replaced with a slight hop bite. But not much a mutuality between the two in this beer. Mouthfeel is crisp and refreshing. Also, very drinkable because there is not much "Bam" to the taste buds. Just smooth drinking.

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Photo of mwa423
3.05/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours a clear straw yellow with a ton of head once it hits the glass. I was surprised at how much head immediately filled the glass and how long it took to die down. However, it did leave an impressive lacing.

S - Light grainy malts make up most of the aroma with a slight bit of hops. Very similar to the better macro lagers or craft pilsners.

T - Taste is very grainy with maltiness, a tasteable amount of hops but that's about it and some citrus notes. While this is a good example of a Czech Pilsener, it's on par with a beer like Miller Lite or many other macro lagers that reviewers slam. Simply, this beer is on par with those.

M/D - Mouthfeel is good and thick but is easily swallowed (making this a great lawnmower beer) and very drinkable. However, unless you're trying to make a statement unless a far less expensive macro, I would just purchase those instead of this.

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Photo of BeerBishop
3.05/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Scored a case this summer for the first time. (Lots of tasting, little review follow through. 2009 resolution, folks.)

Hoppy nose right off the crack of the cap. From Sierra Nevada, who'd have thunk it?

Beyond that, the coloring seemed okay, a bit lighter than Yuengling, the quintessential lager for those born and bred in PA. But we consumed straight from the bottle on a golf course and didn't have the opportunity to pour one into a pint glass to surmise color, head, etc.

Taste was... grassy. Yeah, grassy. A bit of an odd sensation I must admit. Not overtly offensive, but unexpected for a cold-fermented lager.

No trouble polishing off the case, so I'd call it rather sessionable. Likely won't buy it again this summer. For a hot day spent on the golf course this year, I'll likely go with BitBurger for something crisp and altogether refreshing.


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Photo of FlyingKneeStrike
3.05/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Pours a bright yellow color. Minimal head retention. I expected it to taste a bit better, but definitely good for a lager. I was expecting more citrus notes but I can't detect any, it's a tad bit watery but I guess that is to be expected of this style. Found at Trader Joe's for 7.99 a 6 pack so a fair price. A good beer but don't think I would get it again.

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Photo of BeerWithMike
3.05/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.25

Sampling right now on 4/28/15. Bottle chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured in to a 14 ounce glass Texas Boot (Big Tex-State Fair of Texas).

Pours a straw-yellow in color with a good 2-finger foamy white head. Some spotty lacing is seen in areas. The aroma is of yeast, grains and some citrus. Pretty much the same is said for the taste. No surprises here. Slightly dry with a mild floral hop finish. Not as hoppy at other Sierra nevada brews though. Overall it was OK. Medium-bodied with good carbonation.

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Photo of heygeebee
3.04/5  rDev -17.4%
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

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Photo of PSUDREW
3.04/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Meh, not a fan of the hype. Medium gold in color, some head, and moe then enough lace. smells is so so, something didn't seem right, dunno. This isn't overly malty, like most lagers, but something didn't seem right. I mean the hops were adding a pecular taste. It's mouthfeel is OK, but all in all, this isn't very special IMO

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Photo of KajII
3.04/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

[Best served in a Lager Glass]

Poured a clear pale yellow in color with a nice frothy head that dissapated slowly.The aroma was that of grass and citrus. The flavor was mildly bitter with a nice hoppy aftertaste. The mouthfeel was creamy and refreshing. Overall a nice summer brew but nothing special. Would be good on a hot day!!

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Photo of Golden2wenty1
3.03/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a single at Woodman's West here in Madison.

Pours a crystal clear golden yellow with a few fingers of white foam that melt to a light skim.and spotty lacing. Nose is a bit off-puttingly musty/skunky/adjuncty with a hint of light fruit in the background. Taste starts of with the musty malt husk, a hint of skunk and spicy "fruit" bringing up the rear. Mouthgfeel is crisp and smooth, with a summer-like drinkability one might say. Nothing special here, a slightly above average micro/macro lager.

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Photo of moulefrite
3.03/5  rDev -17.7%
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.

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Photo of anchie
3.03/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Poured into a pilsner glass

A) Golden yellow with two finger quickly dissipating head
S) wheat with a metallic note
T) Malts with bitter metallic finish
M) Dry, prominent carbonation
O) Uncharacteristic of Sierra, would not buy again, but overall a typical pilsner

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Photo of mountdew1
3.02/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into shaker pint glass. Had a nice head, made of large bubbles, that dissolved very quickly. Color was a very light amber. Smelled slightly bitter, slightly hoppy, slightly grainy. Tasted a little like sweet rice. Tingled the toungue, but still went down smoothly. Made a nice summer beer on a hot night.

2007 Edition According to the Label

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Photo of DuncanIdaho86
3.01/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

After seeing this fly off my shelves at work I finally decided to take a step back from "researching" more esoteric beers and try one. Overall I was happy I did.

Right after the first hiss of popping the cap I poured it into an tall old fashioned pilsner glass. The silly tall one.

The Summerfest fell nice into my glass, complete with modest foamy head resting on an almost transparent golden yellow body. Anyone would be a happy camper seeing this on a summer day.

The aroma was muted - kind of smelled like a rolling rock or a pilsner.

The taste was something I admired. A surprising bitter bite rarely attributed to summer lagers. The aftertaste lingered but was enjoyable.
Enjoyable enough to crack open a second.

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Photo of dwarbi
3.01/5  rDev -18.2%
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.

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Photo of steve8robin
3.01/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle...

A: A perfect crystal clear light golden color with a small 3/4 inch light white head that fades quickly to minor lacing. Light an airy head. Decent.

S: A nice traditional malty scent throughout. Eh.

T: A very light corn like malt upfront followed by a mild breadiness. Blends in a watery taste on the back. Ok.

M: Light body with a great carbonation. A malty backend. Good.

O: All in all, I'll start by saying, I'm not the best for judging these styles. I'm just not used to hunting for the subtle flavors that are characteristic of this type of style. I love bold flavors, so these subtle flavors kid of throw me off. I'm sure, according to stylistic standard, this is a great pilsner. However, according to my standards, I'm not really impressed. If you like lighter beers, you will enjoy this. You can pound this beer!

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Photo of Jericho7x
3.01/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

I am still considered a novice at beers, but I did not like this much. After the initial taste, I got kicked by a sharp peppery? taste. Did not even come close to the reviews I see listed. However, I tried this on 5/14/15, and most of these reviews are older. Maybe they changed the formula. They did change the look of the bottle. Notes on wrapper say it is a Czech pilsner, but it also says it is a lager. Don't know.

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Photo of Jeffreysan
3/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a golden yellow color with a finger and a half of white head that quickly dissolved into a thin lacing of foam that covered the entire top of the beer.

Aroma: Malty with some slight citrus notes as well as some floral notes of freshly cut grass and clover.

Taste: Like the aroma this beer is malty, with some slight citrus notes finished by floral hop bitterness, that’s balanced with some sweetness from candied sugar.

Mouthfeel: crisp and clean with some good carbonation to tickle the taste buds.

Overall: Nicely crafted beer with some good citrus and hops that provide a good, refreshing beer, but there are other summer beers that I like much better.

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Photo of MaGno
3/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: pours a light golden color with small to medium head.
Has medium to large bubbles present from initial pour to finish. The head pours to about 1/2" and dissipates within 30 seconds to a light lace.

Smell: Light smoky malts with herbal, grassy and citrus hops. Very clean smell. No alcohol smell to speak of.

Taste: As expected, grassy and citrussy with a slight alcohol finish.

Mouthfeel: Smooth light carbonation turns to a bitter dry finish. Almost a slight metallic taste at finish.

Drinkability: I enjoyed this lager for what it was, a nice summer seasonal. Good for a hot summer day although it may become too bold after just a couple of beers. I would probably have this one again but would not go out of my way to hunt for it. Just a nice average summer lager.

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Photo of SometimesIfart
3/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sierra Nevada Summer fest.

A Sierra Nevada lager..? Guess we shall see how this one turns out eh.

Look - Pours a murky shade of yellow with a small head that disappears as quickly as it comes and only leaves a slight amount of cloud formation. Carbonation appears to be pretty low. 3.

Smell - Alright maybe I'm just not getting the joke here. It smells like a cleaner version of insert generic adjunct lager name here but there isn't anything else. 3.

Taste - Well it is certainly a clean beer. Bit of creamed cornyness with a very apparent and dominant grassyness and the finish is a touch bitter to my surprise. But overall it isn't much different than a typical lager. Rather boring actually. 3.

Feel - Body is fuller than expected with an extremely high dose of carbonation. No creamyness and feel predominantly watery. 3

Overall - With Sierra Nevada I at least expected some hop presence but I guess they couldn't pull it off. This would go over fine with an average beer drinker but from these guys I expected more. Would I have it again? Meh I guess, but a Budweiser product could do the same thing for less money. Where is the spicy hop presence the label promises? 3.

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Photo of abgba121
3/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: pours a very clear yellow, with thin head that is very quick to dissipate

S: clean malts, slightly fruity almost banana and very faint hops

T: Crisp, dry and malt. I do not detect any hops whatsoever, finishes dry

M: average beer and carbonation

O: decent beer, refreshing, crisp

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Photo of JWU
3/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a curved pint glass.

A- straw yellow, with a half finger of fizzy, slightly soapy head. Looks like an average pilsner.

S- smells like a middle of the road pils as well. Slightly grassy, some hay, and a hint of sweetness likely from the pilsner malt.

T- Follows the nose, but is quite heavy on the grassy hop notes, and not in a particularly good way. The bitterness just lingers a bit too much and gets a bit metallic on the end.

M- light bodied as it should be, and quite dry on the palette. Again, pretty middle of the road.

O- Meh. I wouldn't buy it, but wouldn't turn it down. Certainly many other pilsners out there I would rather have. One of the few efforts from SN that underwhelms.

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Photo of jettjon
3/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From a 12 oz bottle into my Sam Adams glass (thanks, guys!). Pale yellow color with minor head of tan foam. Nose of bready malt and a touch of crisp hops. In the mouth, a bit more bready than expected along with subdued hops yields ho-hum flavor. Crisp and quenching but nothing special. Drinkable? Sure, but after one there's little to bring me back for more. Discovering that this is a "Czech Pilsner" is even more off-putting; it's a rather weak interpretation of the style.

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