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Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada Summerfest LagerSierra Nevada Summerfest Lager

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

3,614 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,614
Reviews: 1,476
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 12.84%
Wants: 65
Gots: 255 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-17-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,614 | Reviews: 1,476 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of maddogruss
3.55/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a 12 ounce bottle into a glass mug.

A: Pours a clear, golden body with a silky, white head with good retention and nice lacing along the sides of the glass.

S: A sweet, grassy smell with some sweet, honey and some other bittersweet undertones.

T: A light, slightly sweet, honey taste. The taste is somewhat faint and just enough to sit on your tongue. Slight earthiness in the aftertaste, but nothing too overbearing.

M: A light, crisp moouthfeel that was nice and refreshing.

D: Nice combination of mouthfeel and taste made this beer a fairly drinkable one. Definitely a nice summer beer.

maddogruss, Aug 09, 2008
Photo of BricksandPorter
3.55/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured one 12oz into an American Pint.

Pour - golden straw with a light yellow, almost pastel hue and crystal clear. Thick, rocky, bone white, one finger head with small and medium bubbles that creates a soapy effect. Lacing was splotchy and turned to a scum-like film after a few minutes. Carb looks good - not too much.

Nose - sweet, almost berry out in front. No hops, but a good combination of corn and malt. Gave a hint of mineral or metallic water. I find this happens with SNBC - not that i mind it, its just distinct.

Taste - a delicate, but distinctive pils feel. Not overwhelming but different in character. Hops are up front and meld well with the dextrin and the munich, and i like the combination of perle and saaz. Notes of banana and a finish that is slightly earthy. Nothing very overpowering here. This is a well balanced and crisp tasting lager.

Mouthfeel - medium-full body with nothing jumping out to define the character. I like the balance in the taste, but the carb might make it too biting in that respect. The bittering makes this enjoyable but overall, its a nice average pils lager.

Drinkability - Defenitely a summer session beer to be paired with light seafood or salad. Better for the end of the day beer drink than the "just got done mowing the lawn" beer in the early afternoon.

BricksandPorter, Jun 02, 2010
Photo of Nesued
3.55/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Was starting to get to the end of the summer and I hadn't tried this offering yet. Figured I'd pick up two six-packs to try it out.

Appearance - Clear, light straw color. An ample amount of carbonation keeps feeding a lively head. A bit of a head formed upon pour and a ring remained. Inviting presentation.

Smell - Yeasty and malty aroma. A bit of a flowerly aroma as well.

Taste - Crisp and tart initial presentation. A very nice residual hoppy bite. The middle seems to lend itself to a bit of a lemon dense body.

Mouthfeel - Suprisingly dense for a pilsner. I was suprised at the body of this one. There is a good amount of presense that continues to remain and transported by the carbonation.

Drinkability - This is well made and a good summer beer to down during the "dog days". I could very much keep this in my "beer fridge" during the summer months.

Nesued, Aug 31, 2007
Photo of randeezy74
3.55/5  rDev -3%

randeezy74, Aug 09, 2013
Photo of donniecuffs
3.55/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into an American pint glass, very yellow/gold, with good carbonation, but a thin white head and no lacing. The smell was lackluster, with just a subtle hint of lemon, and some herbal/grassy notes. The taste was the same, with a slightly more pronounced herbal presence rather than citrus. The mouthfeel was a pleasantly thin, carbonated brew; certainly refreshing for a 'lawnmower' beer, and definitely sessionable. However, it does need some more flavor.

donniecuffs, Oct 06, 2009
Photo of Vigilante
3.55/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Czech Pilsner glass.

A: Light yellow color with one finger of head that fades quickly leaving light lacing. A ton of carbonation.

S: Pale malt, pepper, and hops.

T: Pale malt, hops, grapefruit with a citrus aftertaste. Taste of grapefruit lingers afterwards.

M: Light body mouthfeel which transforms with the bite of the hops. Semi-dry finish.

O: Overall this is a very enjoyable and easy drinking beer.

Vigilante, Sep 20, 2012
Photo of ktrillionaire
3.55/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Review from last summer, out of the Backloghemoth.

A - It pours a somewhat drab straw hue with tinges of caramel, and it is capped with a moderately sized and polite looking white cap. I am surprised that this beer does not have more radiance and eminence, SN usually crushes it on appearance.

S - The nose is equal parts mineral-y pale malt and flowery, lemon-y hop notes. The hop bouquet is a bit perfume-y for me, but it is not very assertive, so it is a minor quibble.

T - The taste is just about in-line with the nose. There is not very much depth of flavor, just vague pale malt and faint flowery/lemon-herbal hops. Some honey sweetness becomes apparent as I start taking larger sips of the brew. There are no off-flavors or aromas here; even if it is not terribly exciting, it is tremendously solid.

M - Feels good man.

O - I can't really knock this brew for any specific element, because it is pretty good. That said, I am not crazy about it.

ktrillionaire, May 14, 2011
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!

Redrover, Jul 01, 2003
Photo of AmishT
3.55/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a brilliant golden-yellow with a nice white head that doesn't retain for very long. Some nice champagne-like bubbles rise to the surface.

S - Bold, bready, malty sweetness is the most prevalent aroma, with some faint spicy hops in the background. A very pleasant and inviting character one, which is good because this is a Summer Seasonal. Interesting nose, for sure. I was expecting a stronger hop character.

T - Well the flavors aren't nearly as bold as the aromas; not very complex either. Right off the bat, a feeble balanced malt and hoppy flavor is overwhelmed by the strong carbonation of the brew. Some lemon flavor is present. A nice earthy hop finish is present, but I would definitely enjoy stronger hop flavors.

M - As mentioned before, very strong carbonation. Light-medium bodied. Not watery, but not much flavor. Pretty smooth. Some dry earthy hop flavor coats the palate after swallowing.

D - While it isn't the most flavorful beer, the light body and nice earthy hop finish bolster its drinkability. Definitely a crisp and refreshing summer brew.

AmishT, May 17, 2008
Photo of JISurfer
3.55/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Very refreshing beer. Light on the palate, clean finish, no bad aftertaste. This could easily be used as a crossover beer. It had a solid malty backbone, but still had an ever so slight tinge of the hops. I could seriously sip a few of these after a hard days work outside, which is something I'll be doing plenty of this summer.

JISurfer, May 31, 2006
Photo of Durge
3.55/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A light yellow golden brew with a nice head and well laced. Smells crisp and bready with an apple highlight. An interesting blend of creaminess and more peppery tones. There is a wheat taste that becomes more evident as you go, and it is very smooth with a fine carbonation. Pretty drinkable stuff, should be a popular choice for those looking for a pleasant summer time refreshment. I would drink it again for sure even though this is not my favorite style.

Durge, Jul 20, 2007
Photo of AWolfAtTheDoor
3.55/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Kind of overdosed on IPAs this year, so I've been enjoying some lagers of late.

Crystal clear bright yellow with a rock foam head that subsides relative quickly. Lacing is decent.

Hint of bitter hop aroma on the nose. Maybe some bready notes if I concentrate real hard.

Bitter hops come through, with some lingering grassy notes. Little bit of biscuity malt flavors in there as well. A bit of a borderline sour/bitter aftertaste in this beer. Flavor hops kind of poke their head out, but then recede just as quickly.

Mouthfeel is OK. Might be a hair undercarbonated. Light and crisp.

Overall I can't say I'm that impressed. I've had other 5% ABV pilseners that blow this one out of the water. Might even be too bitter/sour for non-craft drinkers.

AWolfAtTheDoor, Apr 25, 2011
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.

Tballz420, Jul 29, 2003
Photo of mithrascruor
3.55/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12. oz. bottle poured into a mug.

Appearance: Pours a very clear, pale gold color. White frothy head is fairly small and dissipates rather rapidly, leaving a thin lacing.

Smell: Aroma is hardly noticable, but when you can get a whiff it's mostly light grains and mild florals. Nice, but not complex and not strong enough.

Taste: Very clean and crisp. Hops with a bit of lemon flavor, together with some grains towards the aftertaste. Overall a very mild flavor and maybe a tad bit too sweet, but pretty nice.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied, but still with a good bit of substance. Mild carbonation that gives a nice tingle as well.

Dinkability: Certainly very drinkable -- moderate ABV, together with the nice taste (although mild) makes it possible to have more than a few...

Overall it's a nice American-brewed pilsner that's commonly available (when in season). There's nothing spectacular here (it's hardly my favorite Sierra Nevada beer), but it's certainly worth trying.

mithrascruor, Aug 16, 2006
Photo of amstelcat
3.55/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Picked this up recently on special for $5.99 for a twelve! Color is a yellow gold with a thin white head dissipating fairly quickly. Not much character on the nose but some hints of lemon stand out more than anything else. Some sour apple and honey flavors are noticed as I drink it down with a mellow but crisp mouthfeel.

Overall a very drinkable beer if you aren't looking to challenge your tastebuds and just want some cool refreshment.

amstelcat, Nov 30, 2006
Photo of nota
3.55/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Gold color filled my glass. Nice white frothy head that dissipates into lacing. Good hop presence, grain, grass taste. Dry bitter finish. Soft carbonation, medium body. I wish I would of bought more than one. Easy drinking without sacrificing flavor.

nota, Aug 14, 2005
Photo of axeman9182
3.55/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my Duvel tulip. Pours a beautiful clear pale yellow, with an initially good sized creamy head that is too brief and doesn't leave behind much lacing. The smell is largely of bready malts, with a hint of spiciness from the Saaz in the background. Summerfest tries to walk the line between lightly hopped and under hopped, and just misses the mark for me. The nose hinted at it, but a few sips confirm that this beer is a little bit lacking in the hops department. Yes it's supposed to be subtle and an easy drinking summer brew, but I'm not asking for a hop bomb here, I'm just asking that I not have to strain to notice the spicey Saaz flavor. It's a shame too, because this beer is incredibly drinkable, not too carbonated and not too heavy, I found it disappearing from my glass rather quickly. If Summerfest had a little more hop presence it might be one of my go to summer beers, but I doubt I'll be revisiting it again as is.

axeman9182, May 20, 2010
Photo of StonedTrippin
3.55/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a very refreshing summer beer with a little more flavor than its peers. pours a see through blonde color with a very prominent thick foaming white head into a pilsner glass. smells like a traditional pils, bready malts and balanced earthy hops. this one has a little bit of fruit in the nose and in the taste too, but without being sweet or even distracting. its almost like lemongrass in it, but its not quite strong enough to place exactly. love the malt profile on this one, its got plenty of flavor, some zest, and gives a medium body to an otherwise very light beer. great carbonation makes it down easy. a great summer session beer for those who need a bit more happening.

StonedTrippin, Apr 25, 2012
Photo of Jadjunk
3.55/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Sierra Nevada's Summerfest is a Czech Pilsener-Style Summer Seasonal Lager. It has been Sierra Nevada's Summer seasonal for many years. According to the label: "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 taste."

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to a Sierra Nevada pint glass. Served at 48º Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Beer pours a frothy white head that thickens as it recedes gradually. Body color is a pale yellow with a very slight haze. Carbonation is light but spritely. Overall a nice appearance for the style. 3.5

(Smell) A 50/50 blends of Pilsener pale malts and a mild, grassy and floral hop. Yeast tones are slight, with some cracker and a clean, crisp aroma. Other sweetness may come from a hint of honey or honey malt which adds a slight depth of flavor to this beer. Potency is medium. Mild but approachable aroma overall. 4

(Taste) Flavor starts up with a crisp mild malty profile first with a lasting sweet mild dry cracker and honey finish paired with a bit of hop resin. Balance is nearly there, although the beer is a touch sweeter than the average Pilsener. It lacks potential hop flavor and bitterness. Largely enjoyable but there's some minor tweaks to be made to the flavor profile to optimize the potential this beer has. 3.5

(Mouthfeel) Sweet, slick texture with a bit of froth. It perhaps could benefit from a more pronounced crispness throughout. Body is light and alcohol presence is mild. 3

(Overall) I enjoyed this beer although I found some criticisms that differentiate it from the average pilsener, most notably the sweet profile with a dry honey cracker flavor and a smooth, slick texture that doesn't excite the flavor much. In this regard, this may be a beer worth trying due to some original flavors. 3.5

Sierra Nevada Brewing Company's
Summerfest Crisp Summer Lager

Jadjunk, Jul 18, 2012
Photo of Bookseeb
3.55/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is a light golden with a crisp head that laces nicely. Aroma is crisp and clean with light malt. Taste is bready with simple malts and the hops that leave a cloying bitter aftertaste. mouthfeel is light - medium and the body is not too bad, but I wouldn't pay the price I paid again for it.

Bookseeb, Jul 20, 2007
Photo of DannyS
3.55/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A - A very light, clear orange amber with a frothy pillow of head on top, that dissipates into a collar that's slightly thicker than the norm.

S - Lots of grain and floral notes, with that lavender twinge I've come to expect from Czech Pilsener.

T - Crisp, bitingly bitter on first sip with a vibrant hoppy kick. Not much complexity in the hop profile, however. This one is also slightly yeasty and finishes relatively clean and kind of dry.

M - Not watery, as the active carbonation gives a good bit of foamy body to it, but still pretty thin.

D - Absolutely a session brew. The bitterness is not overwhelming and the ABV is modest enough.

Overall - It's a very basic pilsener beer. It's definitely still more substantial and satisfying than BMC light beers, but it's definitely a summer thirst quencher rather than a complex sipper.

DannyS, Aug 01, 2009
Photo of GeoffFromSJ
3.55/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a straw with minimal head which doesn't stay too long. Nice refreshing pilsner was my first thought.

Gave a sip to my wife. "Tastes like lemon Pledge. I can't taste anything but lemon." I didn't have the same reaction, but I started to notice the lemon flavors more and more. And as I did, I didn't care for it.

But, to be honest, it was alright. I didn't find the lemon flavors too strong. But there are much better pilsners out there, esp. in the Philly area.

GeoffFromSJ, May 24, 2009
Photo of dasenebler
3.55/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a good beer-- who cares if it's a seasonal or how it compares to other sierra nevada offerings. This is a real lager, and you could probably convert several bud/coors/miller/pbr drinkers with this brew. Pours a rich gold, with a good size head. Smells crisp and somewhat hoppy-- tastes hoppier than expected. Mouthfeel is good-- light but you know its there, and it forces you to really taste rather than swill. This beer redeems the american lager category.

dasenebler, Jun 03, 2008
Photo of letsgopens
3.55/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

What a formidable looking lager! When decanted hastily it displays a full two fingers of frothy, pearl white foam that holds its ground for a few minutes and then recedes to multiple chunks and wisps of lace. The color an extremely clear, dim yellow with some bright, thinning highlights. Certainly displaying all the characteristics you'd expect of a quality Czech-style Pils.

Bready and floral with toasty buttered biscuit and some spicy, crisp hops. Lots of husky, dry yeast and a well balanced overall character. Makes me wish I had a hammock.

Bright and floral up front and quickly melting in to a buttery, toasty, browned English muffin flavor. Spicy with some cornmeal and a nice mellow, yeasty character that helps to balance out the whole situation. Some phenol character with just mild note of warmth in the finish.

The initial, characteristic crispness is there but surprisingly there is a relatively low level of carbonation. It definitely helps the buttery notes to be retained but the crisp lightness is mellowed. However a nice, spicy hop character does a good job of brightening of the brew just enough.

In terms of drinkability I'm feeling just ok about it. Although the ABV is low and the brew is definitely lively enough to keep my attention, I feel like the very mellow, buttery feel may get monotonous after a couple. In this case I think a more assertive carbonation level would help the drinkability. Still a great summer brew that I enjoy often.

letsgopens, May 25, 2010
Photo of RyanCrawford
3.56/5  rDev -2.7%

RyanCrawford, Sep 22, 2014
Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 3,614 ratings.