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Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

1,551 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: 1,551 | Ratings: 4,020
Photo of RockyTopHeel
4.18/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Perfectly golden with a thin white head with staying power and a nice bit of lace. Soft, nice aroma of hops (saaz?) and a crisp, clean, refreshing finish.

Truly a great pilsner, one of the best American versions I've had. Perhaps the perfect summer beer?

At very least, it's in the discussion. Consummately refreshing, and the perfect follow up to a round of golf.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.18/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager has a very thick, egg shell-colored head, and a hazy, yellow appearance with lots of bubbles and fine particulate matter floating about. The aroma is faint, but some slight breadiness is picked up. Taste is, at first, white bread, but hops explode in the mouth at the mid sip. It’s hard to distinguish the various hop varieties here, but the smooth bitterness is delicious. Mouthfeel is light, and Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager finishes crisp, refreshing, and semi-dry. I really liked it. RJT

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Photo of sfsean28
4.18/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a golden yellow colored brew into a tall pilsener glass and left a foamy white head and nice sticky lacing to the glass.
Not a strong smell, only slight aromas of bread

Taste was mostly bready, grainy and some malt.Has a nice clean dry finish which I enjoy very much. Carbonation seems to be just right. I think its well balanced, its not heavy and not light.

This is good tasting beer. I think this is what a regular beer should taste like.Hot summer day beer and a good session beer.

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Photo of neenerzig
4.18/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got a single 12 oz bottle of this recently. Pours a light to medium clear golden color with a thick white head well over an inch when poured. Eventually settles to a very nice thick surface coating. Excellent lacing here. Aromas of malt and hops are present, the hops being quite nice. Not much else smell wise. The taste is pretty much the same, fairly sweet malt along with a nice citrus hop flavor on the back end. Not complex at all but damn good! Has a crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. Very clean finish. A great summer brew! Very drinkable indeed.


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Photo of jokelahoma
4.18/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a can, because cans are awesome.

Pours a lovely clear golden color. Decent head, too.

Aroma is bready, like fresh from the oven bready, coupled with a nice dose of hoppy goodness. There's really not much more to say. That's a great thing, since this is a pils, which should be clean, crisp, and simple, not some overly complex work of evil brewing genius that takes hours to decipher. Very nicely done with just the simple malt and hops in the nose.

Flavor mirrors that beautiful simplicity. It's clean barley malt, with a good charge of hops to give it a kick. Not super bitter, but more so than a standard American adjunct lager, by far. The hops are slightly flowery, a bit earthy, and mix perfectly well with the malt to create a great clean flavor.

Mouthfeel is lightish, and again, what more can you ask? It works for the style

This is a nice pilsner. Refreshing, no overwhelming or out of balance in any way. Still enough oomph to stand out from the BMCs, yet light enough to fit in perfectly well at a barbecue or poolside (hooray, cans!). I've a feeling I'll be drinking plenty of this all summer when not enjoying home brew.

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Photo of becktone
4.18/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Summerfest is a sight for sore eyes when properly decanted into a glass. The staw gold color of this beer is accented by the clarity of this beer. It is crystal clear, can't get any clearer than this. The head is two fingers in width, and is pure white. The craggy appearance of the foam only adds to the presentation of this beer. Head retention is fairly good (starts to disperse once drinking commences), and ohh boy does it have lacing, some of the best lacing I've ever seen (maybe second to Duvel?).

Moving down the face from the eyes to the nose, I notice that this beer has a spicy floral aroma. I also detected some of the skunk character that is appropriate for this style, as it is associated with the Sazz hops. Smells great, just as a pilsner should, and better than Carlsberg (Ibelieve thats the only other pils that I've had). It would be nice if the nose were a bit stronger overall, perhaps my nose has already adjusted to the aroma of this beer.

To the tongue! This beer is clean, refreshing and rounded. Hop character is assertive, its right up front. The spicy and somewhat floral tones of the hops are nicely balanced by the sweet malt that becomes apparent in the aftertaste. A interesting characteristic about this lager is that as it warms up it gets better. Different interesting flavors start to emerge as the temperature of the beer gradually rises. I think that the malt becomes a bit more pronounced.

In the mouth this beer flaunts its light-medium mouthfeel. Tiny and delicate carbonation dances on the tongue as it sits in the mouth, the level of carbonation is low, as to not interfere with the taste of the beer, just a spritz on the tongue. Better than average mouthfeel, but nothing outstanding. Each time I pulled one of these bottles out of the six pack I have thoroughly enjoyed it. This is a beer that I will definitely buy again. I can't say that this is my Pilsner, because I haven't had that many, I will definitely try some more before I come back to this one. It's too bad that it is only available during the summer, but then again its realease is something to look forward to.

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Photo of Running4beer
4.18/5  rDev +13.6%
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.

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Photo of KBrady487
4.19/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- A 1 inch bubbly head, quickly dissipated to ring around the beer, left no lacing on the glass. Color was golden and crystal like.

S-Strong pilsner smell, slightest bit of sweetness.

T-full bodied taste of pilsner. Great balance of hops for a summer beer, not to strong but has a presence in the beer. Hops and pilsner give the beer an earthy tone.

M-well carbonated, smooth after bubbles dissipate

D-easy beer to drink. perfect for a hot summer day tailgating at the ballpark.

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Photo of Dmann
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is a great warm weather brew from Sierra Nevada. If you are kicking back on a hot summer day, this is definantly a great choice. It poured a clear golden color with a nice white head that lasted awhile, leaving a decent lace down till the end. The malty characteristics really stood out in the smell, with some grassy and hoppy smells as well. The taste was a great summer balance between malt and hops, with the malt being the dominant flavor. As the beer warms a bit, the hops come through a bit more, and it tasted more balanced. All in all a great summer brew.

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Photo of WCBCFrank
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sierra's Summerfest Lager pours a crisp, golden straw-yellow that leads to a nice cloud, off-white head. Good carbonation and nice notes of floral, herbal hops. Refreshing and delightfully each sip - classic pilsner taste of grains, grassy, and floral notes.

For the novice: Leave the Miller Lite and Stella; buy this and impress your friends.

Personally: I really love this stuff, one of the best pilsners made in the US.

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Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is the summer beer to end all summer beers. Bottom fermented, consumed on a wonderfully beautiful Cape Cod afternoon. This beer seems to be a bit more edgy than other summer, has the lemon zest but is also a little bitter, with a Pils undertone. This is an amazing example of this style.

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Photo of EagleTalon
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of my favorite domestic lagers. Pours to a generous white head and clear golden color. Aroma is very hoppy--like smelling hops freshly added to the brewpot. Malty sweetness is apparent in the aroma. Flavor is dry, pleasantly bitter/hoppy and good malt backup. Finishes dry and refreshing. A fine beer that deserves year-round production.

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Photo of Tdizzle
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Purchased at BevMo! Orange. Bottled on March 14th, 2008. Consumed on April 2nd, 2008.

A- Poured into an imperial pint glass, this beer pours a clear gold color with a moderate bubbly head that quickly settles to a thin layer, leaving sparce lacing on the glass.

S- Crisp hops with lots of grain and fresh cut grass.

T- A mild hop bite is quickly overtaken by that same grainy malt character that the aroma posseses. A bit grassy and lemony on the finish, which is very clean, leaving almost no lingering flavors on the palate. Very light and refreshing.

M- A medium-bodied feel with lively carbonation.

D- Exceptional. I can't wait until summer to really appreciate how drinkable and sessionable this beer is on a hot day in July. This is the quintessential lawnmower beer, in my opinion.

A very refreshing and drinkable lager. This beer is a staple in the my fridge over the summer months; I just wish Sierra Nevada had waited a little closer to summer to release it. Highly recommended.

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Photo of cdrogers
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is and would be a very good session beer. At 5% ABV it's not overwhelming and I could recommend it to anyone, even those that can't seem to crack away from the large-scale brewers. It's got a nice hay color, maybe a little more golden, and had a pretty good head poured from the 12 oz bottle around 40-45 degrees. To me it had a citrus aroma, more like a red grapefruit. First drink was slightly bitter, but overall very smooth. As I stated in the beginning the drinkability of this beer is exceptional and I would highly recommend it to anyone wanting a good session brew.

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Photo of KnoxBrew1
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Very clear golden color with nice carbonation. Finger and a half white head that falls quickly, good lacing

S- Grassy and mild, scent of sweet malt and citrus, lemon being most prominent

T- Grassy lemon with good carbonation, very crisp lemony hops makes way to semi-sweet malt, but comes back through at the end...earthy hops and yeasty. A tad more malt to balance out the lemon and this beer would be the perfect pilsner

M- very drinkable, refreshing, light, and crisp

O- An extremely good summer beer, perfect for a hot summer day. Great beer for BBQs and another great beer from SN!

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Photo of righlander
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a straw yellow with a nice head that dissipates in to a thin lace from a 12oz bottle to a pint glass.
Smells nice, light malt with a subtle yet present hop.
Taste is good. Very refreshing for the summer. goes nice and easy on a hot Florida night. A very flavor filled lager. nice easy malt show with a very well balanced hopped finish. Extremely crisp and clean. Perfect for summer.
Mouth feel is excellent. nicely carbonated with a mildly, yet dry hop finish.
Drinkability is insane. you can pound these all night.
I'm glad I bought A six pack!

Notes: A very drinkable crisp clean brew. Lighter bodied with A lot of personality. Excellent summer beer. Blows away Czech beers in my opinion.
Perfect hot weather brew.

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Photo of swizzlenuts
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a pale yellow/straw colour with a great big fluffy white heat. Lots of carbonation. Looks great. The nose on the beer is grainy/bready with a spiciness from the saaz hops; it smells great. The beer has a spiciness from the saaz and a nice grainy/bready flavour to come through. The beer is quite bitter and spicy. I love it. The only thing from keeping this from a 5 on the taste is that it's not a completely clean lager. The mouthfeel is aqueous, thin and watery, but in a great way. This beer is incredibly drinkable.

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Photo of uwmgdman
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This summer lager pours a clear golden color topped by a thcik bright-white head that holds well and leaves a bit of lace. The aroma is both hoppy and malty, spicy and citrusy hops with some cracker like malts, very nice. The flavor is much the nose, soft, bready malt balanced by moderate hop bitterness and moderate spicy hop flavor. The beer finishes nicely balanced and just dry enough to make you want more immediately. The carbonation is moderate and body medium. Overall a very well crafted, one of the best summer offerings IMO.

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Photo of Lauthaha
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a dinner glass.

Appearance: Beer is a pure, light golden color with gentle carbonation visible. The head is a thin-yet-frothy pristine white color and it leaves erratic lacing on the edges of the glass as it recedes. Maintains at about 1/3 finger.

Smell: Spicy, floral hop flavor reminiscent of grapefruit/lemon and some gentle fusel alcohol flavor to the nose.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Beer has a soft oiliness as it enters the mouth, and some subtle carbonation reveals an intriguing malt profile (which borders on sweet). A little heavier than light-bodied. In the end, however, the hops definitely have the final say here, being very floral. Aftertaste is very good, mellow.

Overall: Not the best beer on earth, but a truly remarkable example of a Czech Pils. Sierra Nevada continues their tradition of tasty brews.

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle, 2007 edition, served in a pint glass.

A - clear yellow/gold color with a nice 2 finger head that thinned out after a while, even though little bubbles kept rising from the bottom of the glass, good glass lacing.

S - bitter, saaz hop aroma.

T - tangy tasting brew, hop bite is good classic example of a pilsner brewed right.

M - light bodied, good continuous carbonation, refreshingly smooth beer.

D - a good summer beer, at the beach, at the park, or in your own backyard, good tasting and highly drinkable.

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Photo of bbeerman
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was very pleasantly surprised by this terrific summer brew from Sierra Nevada; not because this company produces bad beer (they don't), but I was expecting something much like Bud Light, or any of another hundred "light" or "summer" beers.

The label advertises it as "Crisp Summer Beer." This is one of the few times in life something is advertised as it is, because this beer is crisp (mouthfeel and taste were very good), and definitely intended as a summertime session beer. You can have several (at 5%) and not feel completely hindered; it is quite easy to drink and tastes great. I really enjoyed having a few of these in the morning after I had just mowed my lawn. Really hit the spot on a warm and humid day.

I look forward to this beer again in the coming years. Excellent find.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is a bright clear gold color with a nice white head. There is a nice hop aroma accompanied by a slight lemon aroma and some floral grassy notes. There is a sharp carbonation which gives a sense of acidity up front. Nice and clean tasting with a hop bite finish. This lager has a very clean bitterness from the hops. There is a nice amount of body, but it is still quite quenching. This clean beer is a vehicle for the hop aroma and bitterness that the brewers have seen fit to add.

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Photo of Star80
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A -2012 bottling. Pours out a golden yellow color with white fizzy head.

S - Smell is grassy, herbal and malty. Spot on for the style.

T - Taste is somewhat dry, but with a nice slightly spicey kick from the Czech hops. Crisp, but a slight malty sweetness coming through.

M - Mouthfeel is a bit prickly and carbonated but still very drinkable.

O - Overall a refreshing beer for those summer days when you want to have some good brews but not overdo it. These would pair well with your typical BBQ fare, chicken, ribs, etc. To me this is what the macro's would brew if they actually cared. Or better yet, what most American's would want from their beers if *THEY* actually cared and the Pilsener style really was the beer of choice. Maybe in 100 years everybody will be drinking pale ales or something.

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Photo of grittybrews
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a pale gold into a Duvel tulip (how casual and summery, right?) with around a finger of loose white head that receded to a thin film.

Light grainy aroma with just a touch of lemon. Moderate carbonation and a nice light mouthfeel. Very smooth, crisp flavor with a further hint of lemon and a slightly sweet caramel malt profile. Very tasty, easy-drinking summer pilsner.

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Photo of Natural510
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a classic golden-lager color with immense head which retains in the glass.
Smells of fresh yeast & hops, with a zing of lemon.
Again, very fresh-tasting, I must've gotten this early. Yeast & barley strike first, with a stronger hop kick than most pilsners. Bread, cirtus and a light grassiness make out the flavors apparent.
No lingering effects in the mouth other than the hops, but the carbonation remains strong throughout.
Overall an extremely drinkable summer beer, one of the best I've had. Doesn't need to overdo itself to shine.
It's refreshing to see a West Coast brewery (other than Trumer) attack the classic pilsner style and do it well. This is also one of the more balanced beers put out by Sierra Nevada.

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Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 1,551 ratings.