Dismiss Notice
Microbrew Invitational
Join us June 3 + 4 in Boston and help us drink 300+ beers, ciders, kombuchas, meads, sakes and more!

TICKETS: beeradvocate.com/micro/

Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

1,551 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: 1,551 | Ratings: 4,019
Photo of RoamingGnome
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out of a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass

A) inviting pale yellow with 1/2 inch of head that disappeared pretty quickly, trace amount of lacing.

S) light malt, grainy, wee bit of hops on the nose.

T) Nice refreshing pilsner. Good picnic beer. The taste was like the smell, but better.

M) Crisp, refreshing, light on the palate, adequate carbonation. I think they hit the mark here.

O) I could see myself enjoying this one on the patio all summer.

 456 characters

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

Poured from a 12oz stubby bottle into a Sierra Nevada pint glass:

Appearance: Pours a beautiful light gold in color, nice thick rocky head, very dense, excellent retention, good lacing as well.

Smell: Grassy like hop elements emerge beautifully, a huge boquet of citrus merges nicely with a small amount of malt spice. A bit of orange creeps in the backdrop.

Taste: Very pilsner like in the front, small bits of hoppiness are here, a bit of orange again from the aroma, slick & buttery, some earth like maltiness is small and subtle, very crisp and refreshing. The finish consists of a small amount of alcohol bite which is very enjoyable. End notes carry on from the aroma with a touch of toast from the malt and some earth like flavoring.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation isn't too big on this beer, which helps out the overall mouthfeel, again it's slick in some spots, but holds up nicely on the tongue. Light bodied and leaves a nice crispness on the palete.

Drinkability: Summer beers can be hard to like, everybody loves a bigger beer but when it's 90 degrees and sunny you need something to quench your thirst and at the same time keep your interest. This beer does it. SN provides all the drinkable characterisitcs to make this a go-to summer beer for the craft beer drinker or the BMC head. I can see lounging on the shore with a few of these or even cracking one open after a long day of work in the sun. Very drinkable and refreshing. Well done!

 1,452 characters

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

Clear pale golden colour with a thick, fluffy, rocky white head. Good head retention.

Light pilsner malt aroma with a touch of spicy hops. Classic pilsner.

Crisp, light pilsner malt with a sharp bitter edge. Very nice, crisp bitterness with a touch of spicy noble hop character. A very good pilsner.

Light body with moderately-high carbonation. Crisp, refreshing and appropriate for the style.

An excellent lager with plenty of crisp, refreshing bitterness and a nice malt-hop balance. Very good.

 500 characters

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

I'd poured this right after I had had an Iron City and the difference between the two is great that I feel the entire city of Pittsburgh owes me an apology.

Dark gold with a slight haze and a fantastic head.

Big odor of wonderful, deep bread malt mixed with very lights hints of fruit.

Bitter malt taste upfront, nice, and it moves into a sweet malt in the middle and ends with chewy bread dough. Hops are present only in the aftertaste--just bitter enough to keep this lager as easy-drinkin' as can be.

Sierra Nevada can do no wrong. This is as perfect an example of a Euro Pilsner as I can imagine.

 615 characters

Photo of yuenglings
4.21/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Has a very foamy head that stays around untill ya finish the beer and it leaves some good laceing. The color is a very clear light golden yellow.

S: Thers is a strong sweet grainy/grassy smell up front with some lemon or citrus in the back ground.

T: Slightly sweet grassyness up front with some sour ness at the end.

M: Good and smooth with a good lightness to it. Good carbonation , it leaves your mouth slightly dry but still a thirst quencher.

D: This is a very drinkable summer beer with a good taste that i would buy agian and i could see me taking this out on the golf course for sure.

 604 characters

Photo of SunDevilBeer
4.22/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I have been a big fan of this beer ever since it switched to a lager.

Nicely balanced and oh so drinkable. SN's experience with being masters of hops is evident, as this beer is crisp without the hops getting out of hand (looking at you, Prima Pils!)

Frankly I can't get enough of this beer in the summer time and is my go-to summer quencher.

 344 characters

Photo of nortmand
4.22/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours lightly amber with a gew wisps of foam, not alot of retention there, though.
Smells very sweet and citrusy, with a very slight, faint background skunkiness.
Immediate sweetness is quickly followed by a floral hop flavor. There is a lingering alcohol presence on the back of the tongue.
Subdued carbonation makes for a nice summery lager. This is followed up by a sticky sweetness on the tongue.
Very tasty and light, a combination that lends itself to drinkability.

 475 characters

Photo of Squelch
4.22/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Slight haze. White head. Golden colored. Good looking beer

Smell: Malty. slight noble hop aroma.

Taste: Tastes like it came from Czech. excellent noble hop and malt flavor. clean and fresh tasting

Mouthfeel: Tingly from the carbs. Medium to Medium light bodied.

Drinkability: Please mass produce this beer! Great break from my usual big beer sessions.

 369 characters

Photo of Umbra
4.22/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear straw yellow with big bubbles. One fingered head with decent retention and lacing.

Light fruity aroma, but mostly grainy and sweet. Grainy malt punch ends with a wheaty finish and crisp hops. Medium bodied, finishing crisp and dry, adding to its drinkability. Would be an awesome addition to the boat for fishing this summer.

 332 characters

Photo of ngandhi
4.22/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2004

Sierra Nevada Summerfest is America's attack on the German pilsener beer. Sufficient grain, especially on the start, with prickly bittering that's subdued by honeyed malt and balanced, yet mouthwatering, herbal hop flavor and aroma. The finish is of lemon zest peeled by someone who just ate an orange. Use a different yeast, and this could be a pretty typical American pale ale, but as a lager it truly shines.

Relax, relax.

 448 characters

Photo of STEELERFAN2390
4.22/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

this beer is an excellent summer brew..
my version of lawnmower beer seeing how i'd never even consider drinking an American lager of any type.
not the greatest Czech pils ive ever had ,but its up there with a slight sierra Nevada hop twist.
overall , im liking it a lot. pick it up at your local grocer for 13.99 a twelve I you can!

 333 characters

Photo of TheBCrew
4.23/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12oz bottle with 2008 date poured into a pint glass. Crystal clear golden color with 2 fingers of white lacing which quickly dissipates leaving minimal lacing. Smell is earthy and somewhat sweet with a hint of lemon. Taste is light and delicate. Very clean with a bright floral beginning, balanced middle and a dry crisp finish. Mouthfeel is light and very smooth. Quite refreshing and highly drinkable on a hot summer day. Great example of an American (i.e. hoppy) version of the style.

 487 characters

Photo of tmitch75
4.23/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Hats off to Sierra Nevada for stamping a pilsner with a vintage date so I know it's fresh. This one is 2008 vintage.

Pours a clear golden color with slight haze in the wider part of the pilsner glass, huge with head with good staying power.

Clean full malt smell with slightly spicy notes.

Taste is what it should be, clean bready malt with lightly floral and spicy hops.

Very crisp mouthfeel makes this quite a refreshing beer. Excellent summer seasonal and a great sessioner for summer BBQ's.

Tasted on 7/24/08.

 518 characters

Photo of steveh
4.23/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Updated for the 2010 offering.

A -- White, sudsy, thick, clingy top -- clear, gold body. This beer defines the color gold.

S -- Spicy, flowery hops with light sweet malt back. Some DMS at first pour, but it dissipates quickly.

T -- Starts with a spicy bitterness that fades into a lightly sweet, bready maltiness. Finish is lightly bitter, even slightly citric, but it's a dry, hop finish overall.

M -- Light and crisp to soft mouth-feel with a light body.

D -- Who couldn't love drinking this? The right amount of hop bitterness and good flavor character for those who think Pilsners are lame. The dryness of this beer leans it to a German Pils, and the hop character bears that out. Hard to believe such a big ale brewer can nail the Pilsner style so well.

 763 characters

Photo of Slatetank
4.23/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on tap @ Maewyn's in York, served chilled in a pint.

The color is a pale golden with thick cap of white cream, the clarity is good and the lace clings in ringlets. The smell is good with some gentle floral/herbal hop aromas with mild malt and slight yeast ester which gives a sort of bready backing. The feel is very good, nice hop presence which gives the kind of acidity you want from a pils, plenty of carbonation, but not overboard. I think the malt profile is pleasant adding a bit of sweetness to keep the lager balanced.

The flavor is smooth and malty up front, but mid-taste the flavor of the herbal hop emerges with some nice gentle grassy and tea like flavor, somewhat floral but not too much to be enjoyable with some citrus elements. The taste of the malt is gentle and slightly sweet with a mild yeast that adds some character to the brew and perhaps a tinge of mineral. The overall impression I get from this is it is a great beer, an all around flavorful and quaffable lager which is saying something because there aren't enough of its ilk out there these days.

 1,092 characters

Photo of loftisCT
4.23/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Brewed on the 68th day of 2010 (so early March), and enjoyed on May 2, 2010

A: Pours a crystal clear light straw color. The head is bright white with a nice mix of small and large soapy bubbles. The head recedes quickly but leaves decent lacing. This beer is ALIVE!!! Small bubbles aggressively rise from the bottom to the beers very last drop. This beer is a GLP, or good looking pilsener.

S: The nose reveals a nice exchange between sweet grainy malts and fresh smelling mix of spicy and floral hop aromas, with just a slight citrus hint. I am used to a sweeter, honey-bread malt aroma coming from pilsener but this more grainy malt but still smells very fresh and clean.

T: The sweet graininess of malts is balanced beautifully by the delicate, spicy and noble characters of the hops. The malt wins out for a moment, but its victory is short lived as the hops kick in at the end. The hop finish is not so much bitter as it is drying as a mild earthy spiciness is left on the back of the tongue.

M: The mouthfeel of this beer is amazingly light and refreshing. This beer is very highly carbonated which makes it feel lively on the tongue and provides a delicious crisp finish.

D: I could drink this beer all day. In my opinion this is a great, affordable pilsener. It may not be the most complex beer but it has everything I look for in a pilsner: a showcase of noble hops, a nice solid, slightly sweet malt backbone, and amazing drinkability.

 1,450 characters

Photo of Jsteez
4.23/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a standard pint glass. Also, drank it from the bottle. The date showed 2012, but no month was present.

A-Light, golden straw, and yellow. It came to a soapy head that lasted for a minute. A little white ring around the edges, but not too much.

S-Moderately sweet, light hops, white bread,light malt, a little floral,but not over-the-top.

T-Amazing. Moderately malty sweet (if that makes sense). Slight floral going in. The perfect amount of a light spicy aftertaste.

M-Light, refreshing, perfect balance of carbonation,spice, and sweet malt.

O-This brew is perfect for summer days. I drank this after a long run. Great thirst quencher. It is what the macrobrews wish they were. Refreshing beer to have at a bbq. Some brews need to be consumed from the proper glasssware. However, this brew can be enjoyed right out of the bottle or a glass! Really drinkable. This beer is excellent. Cheers!

 912 characters

Photo of batty
4.23/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

nice clean but tasty lager. as far as pilsners go i'd say this is my #2 (#1 = Scrimshaw).

pours nice golden yelllow, nice white head. head drops too fast, but nice lacing.

smell is pretty clean, little grassy malts.

taste also pretty clean, no off flavors noted, light malt and bit of hop presence, just the right amount of bite at the end.

not overly carbonated, which is nice, but a good refreshing fizz. pretty light and beautiful summer beer, good for pounding on a hot summer day.

 490 characters

Photo of FatSean
4.23/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Just another great beer from Sierra Nevada. A Chech Pilsner in a sea of ales :)

A quality take on the style, although I found the malt flavors a bit harsh in the finish. Absolutely drinkable, I'm glad I can get them in the 12-pack at a slightly better price.

 259 characters

Photo of leantom
4.23/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Great Pilsner lager. Here goes:

A: Pours a beautiful, clear gold with a large, fluffy head. Also leaves adequate lacing.

S: Generic Pilsner hops: grass, hay, white pepper, etc. Not much malt.

T: Hops are omnipresent, but the malt better makes its presence known. Lots of grassy Pilsner hops interspersed with grainy, cereal malt. Good

F: Very crisp and refreshing.

O: A very good summer lager.

 408 characters

Photo of Morris729
4.23/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours golden amber in color with a massive rocky white head that leaves thick sheets of lace on the sides of the glass as it slowly dissipates. Nose is dominated by floral hops and perfume with some additional grassy herbal notes. Light to medium in body with a moderate amount of active carbonation. Taste is lightly spicy hops and bitter grain husks up front followed by just a touch of sweet malts and then some lemony notes and citrusy hops. A very refreshing beer and one of the best summer brews on the market.

 516 characters

Photo of TheRealBigC
4.23/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Love this beer in the summer time. Golden color, light & crisp hoppy aroma - nothing special upfront - but a true delight to drink. It's got a mild hop kick to save it from being an ordinary pilsener and goes down nice and easy. A fantastic session beer for those summer nights with friends.

 291 characters

Photo of woodychandler
4.24/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This showed up recently at The Fridge and went into my fridge awaiting furtherance of The CANQuest (TM). Reviewed 08-14-2013.

It was a long day of paranoia and I was jonesing for a beer, so I executed a quick Crack and an inverted Glug, resulting in two fluffy, foamy fingers of French Vanilla-colored head with good retention. Color was a sunshine yellow with NE-quality clarity. SRM = 4 to 5. Nose had a great Noble hop grassiness underlain with a light biscuit maltiness. Mouthfeel was thin-to-medium and man, this really hit the spot! The Saaz hops commingled beautifully with the malt to create a light, easy drinking lager in the form of a Pils. Finish was crisp, dry, refreshing and I may have found a new CANdidate for the summer cooler.

My original bottle review from 07-07-2005 with scores of 4.0; 2.5; 3.0; 4.0 and 3.5 follows:

This poured with a decent white head, but it just evaporated to wispiness. I had a light malt smell, but even that was tough to discern. It had a nice tang in the mouth, but no taste that really jumped out. The finish was lightly grainy, not so much of malt, but more like wheat, or (heaven forbid) corn. It just reminded me of being out in the fields behind my maternal grandparents' house as a kid. It was a decent beer, but I'd like something with a bit more flavor, even in the summer.

 1,332 characters

Photo of Kearneytheking
4.24/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

What a great summer brew! Wow, good to find a summer brew with no overwhelming lemonade, fruit, or gimmicky flavor profile to make it "refreshing"

Appearance: Beautiful yellow gold lager

Nose: Hoppy, lemony scent to it

Taste: Nice crisp lightly bitter hops, good citrus zest, and a bit of spice.

MF: lightly carbonated, good body.

Overall - my favorite summer lager of the year thus far (Still June, however.)

Highly Recommend!

 433 characters

Photo of clint1019
4.24/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Straw colored with a thin head. Some lacing,but not much.

S - Crisp, clean malt aroma. Kind of a lemon-grass aroma with some spicy hop aroma added in.

T - Clean, crisp, soooo refreshing malt flavor followed by a slight hop bitterness

M - light bodied,very dry on the palate & very bubbly.

O - The perfect thing for a hot summer day. Very light, refreshing and overall a pretty nice beer.

 395 characters

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