Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

1,540 Reviews
For Trade:
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,540 | Ratings: 3,988
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.

 419 characters

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.

 718 characters

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.

 792 characters

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.

 1,182 characters

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

 286 characters

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.

 719 characters

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.

 477 characters

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

Poured a 2" white head. Clear pale lemon yellow color. Really not much of a smell at all at first and as it warmed all I got was grass. Fairly standard BMC taste. In fact I don't even detect any of those common attributes of spice or citrus so often worked into summer brews, this really is just typical BMC. Crisp finish but not a standout. I expected more from Sierra Nevada.

 377 characters

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

Reviewed on 6/28/08. Bottle. Pours a clear golden yellow with a small white head. Aroma and flavor of light fruits, wheat, with a spicy kick in the swallow. A little skunkiness as the beer warms. Decent lager.
Aroma: 6/10
Appearance: 3/5
Flavor: 6/10
Palate: 3/5
Overall: 12/20

 283 characters

Photo of feelmefoam
2.99/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Saw this at the local beer store still on the shelf, a single was only a dollar so I figured I'd give it a shot, even if it has been a few months since its best by date.

The beer pours a very clear lemon drop yellow with lots of lively carbonation running up the glass. The beer pushes up a nice one inch ivory-colored head that has a pretty long retention, then leads to some nice sticky lacing on the side of the glass.

This is where the age comes in a bit. I can smell a slight sourness/skunkiness in the beer, but beneath it I can still make out some pale malts.

Same thing with the taste. Where some nice clean, grassy hops might once have been (I imagine), I now taste a slight sourness that makes the flavor of this beer unfortunately similar to a Miller High Life with some pale malts added.

The mouthfeel is good, especially for a summer beer. It's nice and light with a refreshing amount of carbonation and a crisp finish.

I definitely need to get this when it's in season. I can see the potential now, because it isn't a horrible beer right now even when it's a bit skunky. I'll give it another shot and re-review later.

 1,139 characters

Photo of dlcoblen
2.99/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Summerfest started with a decent head but recedes within minutes, still lacing is somewhat nice. The color is golden yellow which resembles straw.

S: The aroma is tough to gather any sort specific elements. To me there was a heavier yeasty smell, maybe some lemon but other than that Im not getting much from the smell.

T: Honestly all I really taste is a grainy/biscuit flavor through out the whole gulp. There a hop presence at the beginning but the rest is malt. For this reason I think the drinkability is easy, nothing complicated here and is quite refreshing.

M; Light body, carbonation is refreshing, not thick or thin it has a nice balance.

O: The name summerfest suits this beer perfectly. Its easy to drink, has flavor and is light. It was nice to try but I will stick with Sierra Nevada Southern Hemisphere for the summer season.

 847 characters

Photo of slassy
2.99/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Pours a very light and marigold yellow. Hardly any foam, just some traces on the top that fade quickly.

S: Mainly malt mixed in with some floral tones...which almost smell like freshly mown grass.

T: Not as malty as I anticipated. Some mild sweetness, but no other flavors are too pronounced to this tongue.

M: Extremely light and 'fluid'. Carbonation level is perfect- enough at the beginning of a sip to be interesting and reminiscent of soda but not annoyingly strong like you get with many beers.

O: Very refreshing, and not by bad by any stretch, but certainly forgettable. Wouldn't be a bad session alternative to drinking megabrews.

Serving type: bottle

 672 characters

Photo of risendragon
2.98/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

From a 6 pack bought with surplus grocery money. I've tried Sierra Nevada's Extra IPA and Winter varietal in the past and was rather impressed with both. This one, not so much so.

A- Light honey color, head dissipated quickly.

S- Grassy, hay, some floral notes, some citrus. Not as bold as advertised.

T- Similar to smell but again, not as bold as advertised. I get a nice citrusy, hoppy note at the finish and that is quite frankly this beer's only redeeming quality.

M- Crisp, refreshing, the kind of brew I would drink after working in the sun all day (if it were not for the sub-par taste).

O- I was expecting more from this brew, thus the lower scores. As a fan of Sierra Nevada's IPA styles I think I will stick to those from now on. But, this is a good summer beer after a long day's work. I guess one could call it a "starter" beer for someone looking to get into microbrews.

 888 characters

Photo of Sixpoint
2.98/5  rDev -19%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Without a doubt, this is the weakest offering I've ever had from Sierra Nevada. Was the goal with this beer just to make the least offensive beer as possible?

My sample poured a clear straw color that left a fizzy white head that lingered for about 20 seconds. No lacing.

The aroma was a dry maltiness with just a faint hint of hops, they seemed of noble origin.

The taste was balanced yet weak, not too much delight in the senses.

The mouthfeel was light to medium, and carbonation was high. Was intendend to be a volume beer, and although drinkable, the last time I ever try this one on-tap.

 606 characters

Photo of sauron681
2.96/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear golden with low carbonation, good head but dissipates very quickly. Lite lacing slightly fizzy.

Typical european hop aroma and aftertaste. Lightly sweet and tart, yet has a flat taste to it. Finishes harsh and bitter/dry. Crisp going down. Long linger in the mouth and light hints of malt.

This is your typical true pilsner

 340 characters

Photo of Roderick
2.95/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

It poured light gold with a very thin white head,
The smell was very light with of hops and a hint of citrus.
Taste was a little sweet with a hint of lemon. It went down smooth but had a bit of an aftertaste.
It was ok but I'm not sure I would purchase it again .
Paid $.99 for 1 bottle at the Liquor Barn Hurstbourne

 321 characters

Photo of earthboundagain
2.95/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I normally loathe doing these types of reviews, but I think it is appropriate. The 2010 SN Summerfest to me tastes like a watered down version of their SNPA. I must say this is my least favorite SN Beer to date.

A- Light yellow, no head to speak of.

S- Not getting much, but weak hops

T- SummerFest= SNPA + Water

M- water, water, and water

D- This is not hard to drink, but is too watery for me.

SN has yet to let me down as a brewery, i will try another batch of this, just incase I got a pack of duds.

 510 characters

Photo of rking
2.94/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Color was a nice gold, the smell was not very impressive and the taste was not what i was expecting from Sierra Nevada. When i took the first smell and taste of Summerfest it reminded me more of my freshmen year and going to busch light kegs, easy to drink but not an impressive tase. The after taste that is left is a bit bitter for the flavor that the beer does have. Like i said not really what i was expecting coming from Sierra Nevada which i tend to enjoy most of their other beers.

 488 characters

Photo of Anthony1
2.92/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear, golden yellow, fluffy white head, some retention & lace. Acidic, soapy/floral hops. Slightly sweet, slight soapy/floral hop flavour. Needs some more bready maltyness and bitterness. It's just too light for a Pils. Light to moderate body, moderate carbonation. Approachable & quite quaffable, but it doesn't bring me back for more.

 337 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
2.91/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a clear golden color lager with a medium creamy white head with great retention. Aroma of medium sweet floral malt is quite enjoyable. Taste is very refreshing with a nice dose of sweet malt with some crisp floral hops. Body is a bit too thin to make this truly special but still very enjoyable.

 310 characters

Photo of urwithdave
2.91/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Figured I'd give it a shot on a hot muggy night. Poured into a standard pint glass.

A- pours a yellow golden color. A small white head that disappears as fast as it showed up.

A- some grain or hay smell. Maybe some corn.

T- have to admit that I'm fairly dissapointed. Not getting much other than grain. There is a bit of spice from the hops but they are almost nonexistent.

M- on the thinner side of thin.

D- It drinks like water. I guess if I wanted to drink a very light craft brew I would think about grabbin one. There are just so many others that I would go for before this. Honestly, I don't see myself revisiting this one. With all the good reviews that this beer has I guess it's possible that I just got a bad batch. Maybe I will pick up another bottle next time I hit up a shop where I can buy a single.

 822 characters

Photo of Hobbz
2.9/5  rDev -21.2%
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.

 746 characters

Photo of PeatReek
2.9/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a golden straw color with a thin, bone-white head. Smells cool and floral, with a slight metallic twinge. Actually very flowery, the more I smell it. First sip is very crisp, dryly malty; floral hops make a huge appearance here, too, with a prominent bitterness. Body is rather thin, and the alcohol kind of shines through, surprisingly. The taste kind of reminds me of a so-so champagne, honestly - floral and bitey in that way. I'm not sure how "Czech style" this pilsner really is, and I probably won't seek it out when I'm in the mood for that kind of beer.

 567 characters

Photo of SamN
2.9/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Ridiculously clear and light. Indistinguishable from a Corona Light. Decent head, fluffy and light, slight rockiness on top and with great retention. Lively carbonation streams.

S- Musty! Like dust, literally. Smells like the back of an old computer store. Doesn't even smell like a liquid, it smells dry! I've never encountered such a smell before. After the initial shock wears of, I can find apricots and other light fruit esters from the hops. Very faint maltyness in there providing a dab of sugary sweetness. But wow, it still smells like old dust to me. Weird.

T- Slightly tangy hops and malt balance, fades to macro-like metallic hops twang, slightly bitter finish. Mostly a mustier pilsner, nothing too terribly exciting here. Easy flavor, no overwhelming tastes in either direction. Meh, what can I say? Kind of boring.

M- Light body, fair carbonation and more than decent smoothness of pulls. The best part of this beer, by far.

D- No real reason I would drink this beer again. Boring and faceless with a weird mustiness to it. Not the biggest hit with me, but I wouldn't complain if it was at a BBQ. Can go down without noticing it's lesser qualities.

 1,170 characters

Photo of Pleepleus
2.9/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle to a pilsner glass, a clear yellow with a white bubbly head and moderate lacing. Smelled like corn, lawn clippings and lemons. Tasted bland with a trace of lemons. Not much flavor in this one at all. Goes down easy with light body and crisp nothingness. I could drink a bunch of these but there are lots of better choices out there.

 351 characters

Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 1,540 ratings.