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Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada Summerfest LagerSierra Nevada Summerfest Lager

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,522 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,522
Hads: 3,932
Avg: 3.67
pDev: 20.44%
Wants: 99
Gots: 480 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Czech Pilsener |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-17-2001

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager Alström Bros
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Reviews: 1,522 | Hads: 3,932
Photo of bewareOFpenguin
1.3/5  rDev -64.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

This beer was just brutal. I bought a six pack and tried three days in a row to "give it another chance". Nothing doing. A yellow colur, I could taste a bit of hops. But it is just harsh, and I mean harsh. Every sip is a challange. It grinds down your throat. This is not a summer beer. I don't know what it is.

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Photo of brandonlovesbeer
1.33/5  rDev -63.8%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

I got a growler of this yesterday. It was fresh and the keg was just hooked up to the tap. No more than 20 minutes old.

My first response after tasting this for the first time was that it was a Budweiser clone. So the next day, I did a side by side tasting of the Budweiser and Summerfest. The difference were so minimal that if someone were to switch these two, I would not be able to tell a difference. The only differences were in the appearance and slight bitterness. The head on Summerfest stuck around proving that it used malt instead of corn and rice. There was only a slight more bitterness. So slight that I am just digging for things to differentiate it. But the Aromas and Flavors were identical. There was absolutely NO hop character whatsoever. No Pine. No citrus. No, nothing that is described on their website.

This is what I would consider an epic fail on Sierra Nevada’s part. If they were looking for a way to make a more expensive version of Budweiser, then they have succeeded.

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Photo of sstackho
1.82/5  rDev -50.4%
look: 1 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12oz bottle purchased from Charles Street liquors in Boston. Pours light straw with little head or carbonation. Hardly any aroma. First taste fills the mouth nicely, but unfortunately not the throat. Goes down too easily without enough flavour. Little aftertaste. Not much to enjoy or offend. This one will be offered to non-beer-geek guests.

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Photo of Onenote81
1.89/5  rDev -48.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

This beer pours a crystal clear pale gold with a huge frothy white head on top. Excellent retention and great sticky lacing on the glass. So far so good. But wait a minute...

Smells slightly skunked. Aromas of grass and big time lemon zest waft out. Not too bad. I sort of expected this I guess. Now the mouthfeel...what in the world?! Water. That's what this feels like. I tall glass of water. This is so slick and wet I wonder if there's any carbonation left. A quick glance tells me that there is, as I notice a moderate amount of bubbles rising up. Hmm. Weird.

This is one of the worst lagers/pilsners I've ever had in respect to flavor. This is extremely watered down and weak. It tastes like lemon water, light on the lemon. I would drink any BMC lager over this one, if this is the true representation. I am sorely disappointed. I have enjoyed every other offering from SN, but this is an atrocity.


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Photo of beerhan
1.91/5  rDev -48%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

perhaps it was just where i had this beer but it was disgusting. it tasted lile bud light with lemon. this was straight up awful and makes me want to hurl. there was little to no flavor and I saw almost now carbonation. The after taste was like urine and cake. I cannot exactly figure out what they were going for with this but I am thouroiughly disappointed. The absence of flavor saddened me because of SN's standard of quality but two of us ordered pints and were subject to this. I was told it is supposed to be better but I am not convinced

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Photo of EwaldEichstaett
1.94/5  rDev -47.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Ok, let me start off by saying that this beer is not a Czech Pilsner. I have been to the Czech Rep. twice and have tried a number of beers there.... This is an adjunct. It tastes like a crappy American adjunct. I cannot understand how this has such high reviews...

Appearance is decent, light color with a nice head. Smells like adjunct grains with a tiny hint of hops. The taste was similar to any number of fizzy watered down adjunct beers. Just some grains added in there for flavour.

It was rather crisp tasting, perhaps that's because (after trying the first one) I decided to keep the last 5 as cold a possible. Fizzy and light mouth feel. I gave the last few away to some friends who don't really like good beer. Even they said it wasn't great.

SN is a great brewery, but stay the hell away from this one!

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Photo of Knapp85
1.95/5  rDev -46.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

What a bummer, I was so pumped to try this beer when I show it on the shelves at my local shop. Got it home and gave it go after it was chilled. I found myself asking if this was really a Sierra Nevada product. I understand the beer is supposed to be light and refreshing for the time of year but, This was really light and along the weak side for me. There really wasn't a whole lot of hops in this from what I could get from it. The Color was a light yellow and very clean looking. Thin head. I know the style of beer is supposed to be like this but I thought SN would have amped something up just a little to give it a bit more of a punch.

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Photo of TheBeerAlmanac
2/5  rDev -45.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bottle poured into a pint glass

A: Has a fizzy head and is very light yellow, similar to most American lagers.

S: Has a malty aroma and some lemon citrus, but there’s not much else there.

T/M: Taste is extremely light and slightly bitter. There is some orange and bitter rind in there as well, but it’s overall very bland.

If you’re in the mood for something light and crisp in the summer time, you might as well buy any American adjunct in your local gas station. There’s not much else that sets this apart. But they still have a lot of other great beers.

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Photo of viverlee
2.05/5  rDev -44.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I grabbed a six pack hoping to find a new summer fav. This uninspired offering leaves me wanting. If this is illustrative, and I’m not saying it is just to be clear, you might be inclined to ask if Sierra Nevada thinks they can charge $9 for six bottles of anything these days.

STYLE: Czech Pilsner

ABV: 5%

LOOK: Very light straw, nearly clear. Somehow lighter than water. I just put four paint samples on the nursery wall and can see all of them pretty clearly through the glass. Half-finger head and no lacing.

NOSE: Flat breakfast biscuits and generic spices play an unsatisfying prelude.

MOUTH: The first sip smacks like a barrel of hay. Grassy, faint hint of red licorice — the only real balance. Very light and not enough carbonation to get you through a hot summer day. Nice bitter finish, but nothing spectacular.

BA Rating: 83

Hayward Abbey Rating: 72

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Photo of hoegaardenhero
2.06/5  rDev -43.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

a: nice cloudy gold color with good movement; fluffy white head fades pretty fast but leaves sticky lace on glass

s: very, vert faint scent of lighter malts with a teeny bit of hop

t: very little flavor. pretty much just carbonated water; maybe i am tasting a teeny bit of malts but honestly, there are more malts in coors light

m: crisp and carbonated but pretty watery

d: umm....i am pretty dissapointed with Sierra Nevada on this one. it may be the most flavorless beer i have ever had. drink it only if it is super hot and there is no other macrobrewed doody beer there.

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Photo of FtownThrowDown
2.12/5  rDev -42.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Pours a very, very pale yellow in color with only a little froth of a head forming on the pour. Very lagerish on the smell and nothing else to note. It looks very BMC'ish. Taste is prickly and very BMC'ish. I was expecting at least some West Coast hops, but nothing. Really disappointed. Don't waste your time.

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Photo of rattleweed
2.13/5  rDev -42%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

A - bright yellow with a nice big white head
S - faintly floral, pretty nice
T - not bad when it first hits the mouth but turns bad going down and stays bad. watery and sour.
M - not overly carbonated. no squeeze on the tastebuds.
D - not looking forward to the other 5 bottles.

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Photo of jujubeast6000
2.18/5  rDev -40.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Reviewed 6/4/2006 (12oz bottle):

Pours a golden yellow colored body, clear & fizzy. With a huge head, white, and slowly diminishing. Has a strong aroma of malts, and sweetness. An aroma balanced by some hops. Also a very malty taste, and somewhat dry.

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Photo of schlimenhaumer
2.22/5  rDev -39.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass at low altitude.

A: Pours a slightly hazy pale yellow with a pithy white head that dissipates quickly and leaves little lacing.

S: Wheat notes with bright citrus and some faint banana sweetness.

T: Unexpectedly sour. Not sure if this one has gone bad or not. Starts off with citrus peel bitterness, but then very sour grape flavors take over through the finish. Not pleasant.

M: Just like water for the most part. Light-bodied with a very slight hint of dryness at the end...

D: Judging by the other reviews, this one almost certainly went bad...

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Photo of RickS95
2.23/5  rDev -39.2%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Worst looking beer I can think of. Clear with hardly any color. Looks like someone took a leak in my glass.

Smells like summer, a malty, flowery scent.

Hard to taste anything thru the bitterness.

It's so carbonated and bitter, it just stings in the mouth...I guess some might call it crisp.

This beer has no redeeming qualities and is Sierra Nevada's worst effort I've seen so far.

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Photo of lpayette
2.23/5  rDev -39.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

I'll just cut to the chase here and state that I was very disappointed in this one. Sierra Nevada typically puts out great stuff, but this one is way off the mark.

Appearance- Typical yellow pilsner look with an average head. Not much to speak of with regards to retention and lacing. Overall just very average to me.

Smell- Not much going on here, but more character than... the average beer in this style? Maybe? I expected more from SN. Smells kind of like cornbread to me which is not to suggest that I think there's corn in it- just that it has that smell. I like cornbread but- well, meh.

Taste- Surprisingly, dare I use the term? "Macro-like." Yep, I did it, but it's true. Taste is pretty minimal and perhaps not that bad if ice cold. But as it warms into the 50's off-flavors start poking their nasty little metallic pitchforks into your tongue until finally subdued by the grainy and slightly lingering finish. There is a respectable hop bite that is worth mentioning, and the balance is actually pretty good. But this simply isn't that refreshing or tastey for that matter either.

Mouthfeel- Is pretty much on target for the style with ample carbonation and a light body. Metallic flavors in the middle muddle it up however.

Drinkability/Final Thoughts- This has got to be the most disappointed I've been with a beer in a while. I guess I just took it for granted that all Sierra Nevada products were worth the price and a good representation of the style as well. Honestly, I wouldn't have minded the lack of flavor and character so much if it weren't for the off flavors. I'm sorry for such a negative review SN, but after paying $9.75 retail for a sixer of this, I must say I would have rather spent a couple more bucks and got a 30 rack of PBR. At least that I can say I actually enjoy every once in a while on a hot day.

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Photo of Kooz
2.24/5  rDev -39%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Sorry for abbreviated notes, but I was in a crowded bar.

Golden yellow, okay color for a summer.

No discernible smell.

Tastes slightly too bitter, which keeps it from being smooth. Unfortunate.

Despite the bitter taste, there isn't a lot of bite and those usually go hand-in-hand. Mouthfeel is really good--creamy.

Overall, not a great summer, but okay.

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Photo of semihobo
2.27/5  rDev -38.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Pale yellow color, almost like Keystone Light, but acceptable for the style. Thick puffy head with tiny bubbles, lots of staying power -- ten minutes later there was still a good layer of foam all the way across. Excellent head, I wish more beers could be like this.

Faint smell, nothing distinct, just some funkiness (not in a good way).

Taste is like the smell, mediocre. Grains, maybe some corn type taste, and some hops coming through in the end. A little sour, not very interesting. Compared to all beer, this taste is very unimpressive. However, it's okay for the style.

Standard mouthfeel, decently carbonated beer. Back of my mouth feels a little sticky for a few seconds.

I choked this one down, but it got difficult toward the end and I don't want another. I don't think the beer was old or gone bad in anyway, but it kind of tastes like a skunked beer or a bad adjuncty macro in a lot of ways. If you are into lagers or kolsches, you might like it.

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Photo of jantonius
2.29/5  rDev -37.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Yellow to amber with slight haze, very thick head

S: Very earthy, slight grass and citrus

Taste: Little bitter and slightly malty

Mouthfeel: Too nuch carbonation, overpowers the beer

Drinkability: Ok summer beer, does not fit my choice in So Cal. Probably works in Chico, I am good for one of SN Summerfest.

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Photo of BeerManDan
2.3/5  rDev -37.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

After pouring this beer and seeing the medium yellow color. I tried to pick up the aroma, but could'nt find any. Don't know if this was a bad bottle, but, this was a no nothing beer. Maybe a slight citrus feel in the mouth, but that was it! Save this brew for a junkyard dog! Not for me!

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Photo of cwps48
2.31/5  rDev -37.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Poured into a weissen glass (half-broke college student, forgive me). Golden yellow. Mostly transparent. Head of approximately 1.5 fingers, disappears quickly with minimal lacing.
S: Hoppy, obviously. A little bit of malts. Kinda has that Natty Lite smell to it.
T: I see that it's a Pilsner. I'm not a huge fan of the pilsners, I find the hops too crisp, but this is toned down a bit. It's got this malty sweetness to it, maybe some spices in there. Nothing really to write home about. It has a good crisp finish that eventually leads to this nasty tangyness with a tinge of a metallic bite.
M: Decent carbonation. Dry.
D: I won't be getting this again. For the price of $8.50 for a six pack, it's not worth it. Beer pong beer is only $0.50/beer, not $1.42.

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Photo of jpkoch1962
2.32/5  rDev -36.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

I truely believe this beer has not been put into the correct category. BA has it as a Czech Pils, SN has it a Summer Lager. What to do? I was hoping for maybe something approaching a Kolsch, or maybe just a plain north German Export.

Pours a nice deep Golden Yellow into a Pils glass. Once into the glass, a thick head explodes. It is long lasting and leaves a nice lace behind. Unfortunately things go to hell. No hop aroma, and absolutely no malt aroma. This lager begins and ends with nothing. I mean Bud has as much body and mouth feel, and Coors Light as much flavor. The one saving grace is there is none of the astringincy that American Lagers have due to the use of 6 row barely and copious adjuncts. That and the appearance.

SN's only attempt that I know of into pale lagerland is a bust. This thin watery gruel is going into the fish bowl. At least my goldfish will be happy. Very disappointed in SN. the question I have: why bother?

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Photo of hdofu
2.35/5  rDev -36%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

I guess I just don't like this style at all because it was one of the worst beers I have ever gotten from sierra nevada and I'm not a fan of there flagship apa either. The best way I could describe this brew is imagine an ideal coors. The color was pale yellow. The smell reminded me of olive oil and the taste was rice cake like blandness. The mouth feel was slick and oily. I could not drink more then one of these. Drinking it ice cold out of the bottle only barely made it drinkable.

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Photo of Averwo
2.37/5  rDev -35.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Pours with a golden body. Goldish yellow color with one finger of head.

Smell is grassy and weak. Not very strong notes of anything.

Taste is very watered down. Lemon and grain. Not very impressive.

Mouthfeel is decent but watery.

I can see this trying to be a BBQ or "summer" beer but I'd go with other choices for that.

It's just not very pleasant or enjoyable.

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Photo of boatshoes
2.38/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Had this on tap when I was up at the Jersey shore staying courtesy of a friend in a nice condo in Margate. Beer accompanied a nice coconut porkchop with dinner.

Appearance- Can't say this beer came out from the bar looking very attractive, but it isn't completely its own fault either. No head whatsoever with just a small ring around the edge off a lousy pour by bartender. The beer itself is a pale straw yellow and combined with the nonexistent head, this beer came out looking like any other macro.

Smell- Very little going on here for me with just a faint bit of graininess and hay coming through in the nose. Perhaps a mild whiff of citrusy hops in the background as well, but nothing really coming through very strongly here.

Taste- Have to say that I wasn't terribly impressed here right off the bat. Didn't pick up much on the first couple sips, but as it warmed a bit, I detected some of the grains present in the nose along with a more prominent hop bitterness and citrus than came through in the smell. Still not overly impressed however and I'm left with the sense that I'm drinking a weak SNPA. A bit of a disappointment considering how much I've liked the other Sierra Nevada beers I've encountered.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- I found this beer (out of this particular tap anyway) to be thin and poorly carbonated. I suspect that the beer would have been a bit thin anyway, but the minimal carbonation really increases its watery-ness. The watery body and lack of flavor don't make me want to drink much of this beer.

Overall, I'm not very impressed. I'd rather have one of the other many fine Sierra Nevada beers. Perhaps I should give this one another try in the bottle as I was a bit surprised.

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Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 1,522 ratings.