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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.

2,873 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2873
Reviews: 1409
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: 2,873 | Reviews: 1,409 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of mzwolinski


4.55/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Crystal clear and golden in appearance, with a very thin head. The aroma is led by a lovely graininess, and a clean, lager-like hoppiness. Deliciously tasty, too. A bit spicy, with a lightly bready malt body, a husky grain flavor mid-palate, and a snappy, floral/lemon peel hop finish. Light and crisp in body and eminently drinkable. Good stuff!

Serving type: on-tap

08-25-2003 05:18:07 | More by mzwolinski
Photo of edchicma


3.88/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beautiful golden appearance with a monumental head. Smell was light as to be expected in a summer offering. Tatse was smooth, with very little aftertaste. Mouthfeel was medium and somewhat smooth, but not overly so. Drinkability ws good, with very little bite back.

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2003 01:40:59 | More by edchicma
Photo of BeerBuilder


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

Pours to a brilliant clear golden color with a thick white head. The aroma is grainy, crisp, with a light hoppiness. The flavor is clean, with a nice light maltiness and hoppiness. It has a very light bitterness in the finish. It is light in bodied and easy drinking. A very clean, smooth beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-15-2003 19:25:00 | More by BeerBuilder
Photo of beerinator


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

Appearance: Very clear light golden, with a nice white rocky head.

Aroma: Hint of metal in the aroma. Smells clean, fresh, outdoorsy. A slight bit of hop smell lingers in the aroma.

Taste: Upfront sharpness, bitter in the middle, leading to a clean aftertaste. Crisp and clean beer, with a dryness that quenches the thirst yet begs for more beer.

Notes: Easy to drink beer. Nice summertime thirst quencher. Much better than most breweries summer seasonal offerings.

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2003 10:43:14 | More by beerinator
Photo of tavernjef


3.95/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Color of light golden pale yellow with a fluffy white head that fades to a ring and lots of whispy lacing.

Smell is faint, crisp, yeast & wheat notes and soft fresh malts, a bit of musty grass or old water logged wood also noted in the aroma.

Taste is more of the same, smooth at first, clean, fresh, soft pretzeled bready malts, picks up some light hops of herbal quality near the middle and ending with a short crispness that holds some feathery dusted yeast & wheat-like features through into the finish along with peppery hoppyness; which is very nice. Solid finish.

Feel has a smooth start, quick and crisp, lighter bodied with a medium fullness that picks up in texture midway and into the finish. Fairly fuller in carbonation at first and rounds off as it warms.

This is a pleasing, simple, easy drinkin' beer. Perfect for a summer refresher.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2003 03:01:36 | More by tavernjef
Photo of Quaffer


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

Appearance: The was a golden-yellow beer with a nice bead. The head rose up big, white, and fluffy and dissipated very slowly, especially for a lager. The was a lot of lace left clinging to the side of the pilsner glass.

Smell: The smell was crisp and light right after the pour. As the head settled down, malt aromas started to emerge, along with some hops and the light smell of charred woods.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied and crisp.

Taste: The flavor began with a hint of malt and quickly delevoped into a floral hops bitterness. This lingered into the finish and the aftertaste and was soon joined by some sweet, grassy flavors.

This wasn't a bad brew, but the flavor wasn't quite as clean as I like my pilsners to be.

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2003 21:42:06 | More by Quaffer
Photo of shirfan

New York

3.9/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

King of the lawnmower beers?

Pours a rich golden with a fair-sized white head, fine bubbles.
Aroma is a mellow grassy caution that pilsner lays ahead.

Taste is mild, biscuit-like malt and a healthy dose of pilsner-style hops, without any of the off-tastes that can often overtake such a beer. Lemon, a slight sour zing, and as usual for the style, I pick up a touch of seaweed... luckily the lemon aspect prevails.

Not a bad choice for a hot summer day.

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2003 20:40:47 | More by shirfan
Photo of freed


3.9/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'd like to give this beer all 5s, and reorder the "american pilsner" style so it was more like this beer, but that's just wishful thinking. This was Sierra's entrant at OBF this year, and it was a perfect beer for the venue.

It looked bright and golden, with a nice, tight head. The aroma was of slight malt and somewhat more pronounced hops, but it didn't stand out as much as advertised. The taste was a crisp mix of mild old-world hops and standard pale malts. A simple mixture that left a good, solid, pilsner with a clean finish.

Serving type: on-tap

07-30-2003 15:27:20 | More by freed
Photo of Tballz420


3.55/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer is a nice crisp, clear-golden color, looks very refreshing. Theres a big white head on top, with lots of lacing down the sides. Also present are lots of little bubbles rising to the top. This is a very crisp tasting lager, with a nice bitter hop character present as well. Not the best beer in the world, but damn fine for a nice hot day.

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2003 20:26:24 | More by Tballz420
Photo of alexgash


3.6/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear golden yellow, with a big, wet, white head. I'm picking up graham cracker sweet malts, and slight hops. The taste is buttery smooth and apple-y sweet malts, with a quenchingly crisp bittersweet finish. Pretty refreshing summer brew. Not my favorite SN product.

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2003 02:17:23 | More by alexgash
Photo of Dogbrick


2.68/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

I was really not too impressed with this one. Pours a rich golden color with a medium and fizzy off-white head. Very bubbly with thin lacing. Aroma is mild hops with a pinch of citrus. Light and crisp but ultimately uninspiring in the flavor department. It tasted about a 1/2 step better than the rest of the bland Lagers out there. The finish is decent but I honestly found my interest waning way before the end of the glass.

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2003 17:56:12 | More by Dogbrick
Photo of Running4beer


4.22/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a pale golden/orangish type color with a medium white head that vanishes completely. Aroma is that of citrus and grassy hops some malt but not that noticeable. I enjoyed this summer brew, citrus hops and sweet malt taste a slight lemon flavor also. Had a little bit of carbonation giving it a slight crisp mouthfeel, but it was rather smooth. Very good, easily drinkable definetly a beer to enjoy while outdoors relaxing by a pool or at the beach.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2003 17:54:05 | More by Running4beer
Photo of pezoids


4.35/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured out a pale golden yellow color with a decent amount of carbonation. The white head quickly dissipated. The pleasing aroma is strong on grains with a citrus hop tang. The taste is very dry and has little aftertaste, even after the beer warmed up. Hop aroma and bitterness is there but does not overwhelm. A very light and drinkable beer. I would like to have more of this.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2003 01:52:52 | More by pezoids
Photo of aaronh


3.75/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep golden color shows great clarity. The beer pours with a tight, white head that displays excellent retention. A mild peppery aroma with a hint of sweetness greets the nose. Also a touch of grassiness in there as well. The taste is crisp and clean, with a lingering bitterness on the finish. The slightly sweet malt up front is swept away nicely by the hops. The mouthfeel is very rewarding for this mildly flavored beer. Drinkability is also good. You wanna talk crossover beer? This is a good candidate to serve at your next summer party. Just a well done lager.

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2003 23:44:26 | More by aaronh
Photo of Boilermaker88


4.08/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I got this as part of a mixed-bag six-pack as part of my weekly beer-buying time (read: end-of-the week therapy). Came in a 12oz. brown bottle.

Appearance: poured a deep yellow-gold with a deep white head that quickly faded. No lace but a constant flow of carbonation from the bottom of the glass was noted.

Smell: well balanced but subdued aromas of malt and hops. Nice smell of some citrus fruits - lemon or grapefruit, I thought.

Taste: Started off with a good malty flavor before a restrained hops taste became present at the end. Faint taste of the citrus fruit.

Feel: medium body. Not as dry as expected and carbonation gave it a rather fizzy feel.

Drinkability: I was well beyond halfway done before I realized it. A real good session beer for those days by the pool, standing over the grill, etc.

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2003 05:31:45 | More by Boilermaker88
Photo of TheLongBeachBum


4.05/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: A freebie from a Bar I often frequent on a Sunday Night! A 12 fluid ounce squat brown glass bottle. The neck label states “2003 Summerfest Beer”, whilst the main label pays homage to the fact that it is bottom fermented, which tells me to expect a lager. Another one of those bloody annoying twist-off caps that are not labeled as such.

Appearance: Impeccably lucid, yellowy-golden in color, with a fabulous frothy white head, this definitely looks the part when first poured. The head settles, and laces well, but stays around for a while. Looks great!

Nose: Another impressive aspect of this beer is the nose. Wow, I was totally taken aback. Crisp and very clean nasal lines with a bit of a hop punch in the beginning mixed with fresh acidic lemons. Lovely.

Taste: A fantastic hoppy introduction that leads into a lovely soft malty lager finish. Smooth, silky, hops, light malts, some lemon grass and a terrific crisp, clean finish. The hops tend to remind you that this is from California, but it has a fine reminiscent character of the better Lagers that I have drunk in Europe.

Mouthfeel: Average mouthfeel with a cleansing feel on the palate. Crisp, clean and light but flavorsome, quite the brew.

Drinkability: Very high, the small pitiful looking 12 ounce bottle soon disappeared. I could easily see me demolishing a 6 pack of this with no problems whatsoever.

Overall: Why doesn’t SN call this a Lager I wonder? An extremely pleasant surprise anyways. Exactly why I expected a bland offering I do not know, but I did. My prejudice was unfounded, and I was quite simply knocked sideways by the quality of this Lager (oops there I said it). A fantastic beer for a hot So. Cal. night!

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2003 02:55:26 | More by TheLongBeachBum
Photo of Thrasher


4.58/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A very credible lager coming from the aleheads at SN. Pale gold, crystal-clear with wispy, lacey head. Gentle aroma of musty yeasts and flowery hops. Malts are light, sweet and bolstered by big hop quality that lets you know this beer was brewed on the left coast! Otherwise a note-perfect European lager that goes down easy, refreshes the palate, quenches the thirst. The tempered but defiant hop kick is flowery, sweet, and really creates a summer feeling. Drinkability is beyond the pale. This is a unique beer and an excellent one. It's one of the best summer seasonals I can think of, and I enjoy it more than the overplayed currently-shadow-of-its-former-self SN Pale Ale. This beer should be a no-brainer for a BBQ, it's light enough for daytime drinking and should stand up to spicy meats and sauces. Furthermore, everyone will be pleased with it; the more adventurous drinkers have some toothsome hops to wrap their tastebuds around, while the quivering timid masses have a light, pale, cleansing lager that is very non-threatening. Pour it into a tall pilsner glass with a huge head.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2003 15:26:36 | More by Thrasher
Photo of feloniousmonk


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

Sierra Nevada Summerfest 2011, Crisp Summer Lager. "Summerfest is a Pilsner-style lager brewed for enjoyment on warm summer days--featuring a slight malt sweetness, delicate spicy and floral hop flavor, and a crisp, refreshing finish."

Clear, pale yellow appearance, snowy white head, rests at 1/4".

Soft, crisp, lightly spicy/ hoppy aromatics. Perfect pils nose.

Taste: It all comes back to clean and crisp, then the small sweet malt flavor. Tidy hoppiness plays happily on the palate. Expert censurability. Little bit of fruit from the malt, a little apple, a touch of pear.

Tastes great, drinks great, …yeah, this'll do.

Serving type: bottle

07-09-2003 20:53:59 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of JohnnyDuvel


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

I liked this beer. I had it with my pizza tonight, and it came across as a mildly bitter, refreshing pils. A nice dry hoppiness, clean and refreshing. Tastier than a lot of pilsners, with an interesting balance between the usual micro bitterness and a typical lager smoothness.

Serving type: bottle

07-08-2003 19:44:05 | More by JohnnyDuvel
Photo of SheepNutz


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

12oz. bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada pint glass. It pours a very clear, very pale gold color with 2 fingers of head and some lacing. The smell is a mix of grass and hops, crisp smell. The taste is very light with a faint bit of grassy malt and a good hops balance. Just a little short on taste for me. The mouthfeel is a little light and oily, but the drinkability is superb. Great on a hot summer night.

Serving type: bottle

07-05-2003 20:32:16 | More by SheepNutz
Photo of Zraly


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

What a gorgeous, golden elixir. Pours beautifully, bubbly-foamy goodness. A grassy-hoppy smell finishes off the pour. However, I noted that the head disappeared rather quickly.

This is very refreshing drink. The slight grassy-herbal flavor feels good on a warm, summer afternoon. The malt is smooth and friendly, faintly sweet and warming. While crisp and seemingly delightful, there is a lingering of a weird, metallic taste that is just a bit off in the finish.

Overall, I think this is a great BBQ beer. Although, I'm cooking with it right now :D It's integral flavor conjures up the heat of summer and the smell of burgers on the grill.

Serving type: bottle

07-03-2003 16:41:35 | More by Zraly
Photo of Redrover


3.55/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz brown bottle. Nice label!

Beer pours a light golden yellow. Large initial head which quickly settles down. Small amount stays through out. Nice lacing

Beer has the signature Sierra smell which is wonderful. You also pick-up some malt and a hint of fruit.

Taste is very solid. Nice balance of hops and malts with the malt sweetness taking a slight position in the forefront. Very crisp taste which does fade a bit as the beer warms. More alcohol comes through then too, which is the only realy fault with the beer.

Beer is very easy to drink and it is smooth. Not sure why this one is a summer beer. Seems to me like it a would be a good everyday of the year type beer, but nothing in the taste screams out summer to me.

Another very good beer from a very competent brewery!

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2003 17:10:39 | More by Redrover
Photo of WVbeergeek


4.08/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a crystal clear golden hue with a white frothy head, leavs a nice collar of lace that lasts throughout the session with this beer. Aroma is slightly sweet of lemongrass notes mixed with the graininess and nice touch of delicate hop bitterness to complete the aroma. Taste is a refreshing well made crisp clean lager predominantly sweet grassy notes balance out with a light hopping and full bready tone which is very pleasing in the heat great summer beer in all regards. Mouthfeel is lighter bodied but by no means thin or watery one smoothly textured drinkable true lager. I could go fishing with a six pack of this beer any day, truely great for beating the heat.

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2003 12:25:30 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of DarthMalt


4.1/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

What do you know! A lawnmower beer for beer geeks.

I have no idea how this would taste to a "regular" beer drinker, but to me, it reminds me of "the first time." You remember? Hamburgers and hot dogs. The 4th of July. And then, suddenly, without warning, Dad says, "Here! See what you think of this."

Was it the paternal camaraderie?
Was it the fact that this might be something cool to do while your tee-totaler teenie-bopper friends looked on in jealousy?
Was it the thirst-quenching refreshment of the bitter, cold, fizzy, yellow beverage after a day of carnivorous bingeing?
Or was it just the heat?

Whatever it was, it was something special, and your taste buds will never forget it.

Thank You, Sierra Nevada.

PS - This is a freaking addictive session brew (e.g. fruit lambics). Remember, there's water too.

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2003 10:17:31 | More by DarthMalt
Photo of Stubbie1


4.13/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a nice golden colored beer. It gave off a frothy whitehead and left a patchy sticky lace to the end of my beer. The aroma was light and refreshing. Hints of pepper and citrus are noted with a light malt aroma left behind. The taste is refreshing; mainly malt to start with a nice flavor of the hops coming in at the end for the finish. Another beer that I will keep on hand and another r fine brew form the folks from Sierra Nevada. Thanks to Scooter77 for dropping this one off while taking my old beer bottles to his house for his oatmeal stout.

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2003 18:04:24 | More by Stubbie1
Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 2,873 ratings.