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Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

1,535 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: 1,535 | Ratings: 3,976
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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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Photo of JoshuaJ
4.25/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a clear, very light yellow with a two fingered head and nice lacing the whole way down. This is hell of a lot lighter in color than I expected.

Smells grassy, hoppy. Not picking up much else. Smells very clean and crisp. So far, we're on the right track for a summer beer.

Tastes very herbal. The hops have a light citrus quality. The malt ends up being quite sweet. The carbonation is high and the crispness and dryness is extraordinary.

At 5% ABV, I could session this all day long. Truely a fantastic summer beer.

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Photo of surfmeister
4.25/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: golden, not yellow, impressive, sturdy head with beautiful lacing
Smell: quite subtle I thought, could have used a little more oomph of malt or hop
Taste: aaahhhh, big burst of malt with floral hops balancing. The important point here is wonderful malt AFTERTASTE, which really makes you want to drink more
Mouthfeel: fuller than your average pilsner, SN has successfully added a more substantial feeling to this beer
Drinkability: Exceptional, this will probably become my fridge pilsner
Comment: I am going to email SN to beg them to make this a year around brew

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Photo of redzone3120
4.25/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - A pale golden yellow color that is very clear with fine bubbles drifting up from the bottom. Light foamy head that dissipates quickly like a soda though tastes smooth.

S - Hoppy notes with a little lemon zing in the background, maybe some grain? Overall has a great fresh beer smell though hints that it is going to taste a little bitter.

T - Not as bitter as I expected at the start though I can taste it after a few seconds. Good flavor with the bit of lemon and some light blended hops and malt. Flavor is stronger than typical summer brews but not heavy. Has a nice dry clean finish.

M - Has a very crisp and semi-refreshing feel with lots of fine carbonation. Feels a bit heavier than similar summer styles.

D - Drinkable though not a lot on a hot summer day. Just a little bit too heavy for a casual beer but well balanced and flavorful.

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Photo of lweaver18240
4.25/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Deep golden straw color with two finger head and good retention.

S- Smells like a lager, but the trademark hops of sierra nevada are present. Smells delicious and well balanced.

T- Tasted like it smells, good balance of malt and hops. A step above the Yuengling that I'm used to I must say.

M- Light and carbonated, almost fizzy. Smooth and slightly dry, perfect for a cold refreshing lager.

D- Amazing, perfect in my opinion. Would love to see this sold by he case in my area.

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Photo of mschofield
4.25/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear medium gold, topped with a four finger pillowy white head, leaves puffy bits of lace.
Wonderfully fragrant, toast, clay, lemon zest, earth and floral hop, bit of spice.
Lemon, a bit zesty/spicy taste, peppercorn note. Citrus zest, biscuit, really hits the German hop taste right, grainy note.
Light, crisp and smooth.

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Photo of MattBrooks
4.25/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Cool. A lager from Sierra Nevada. I had the chance to try this at an in-store tasting in Stow, MA; and was so pleasantly surprised, I picked up a 12 pack on the spot. All of the friends I shared it with over the weekend agreed that it is a top notch selection from SN.

The color is amber (sort of a cross between yellow and orange), with a minimal head. It smells good enough; but the catch is the easy drinkability and clean, pure taste.

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Photo of Yoonisaykul
4.27/5  rDev +16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this one for breakfast with some Bleu Lescune, Pavée de Hervé, some Dom Villas and a croissant. Not really a pairing thing more of a I love beer and cheese thing.

A- Looks crisp just like hey say on the bottle. Beautifully pours a very yellow golden easily topped off by a white as white can be, mushy, airy head.

S- Open bottle smells very good and different. A soft grain and hop that together reminds me of an unripe watermelon. In glass is a similar grain and hop. Smells like a lot of euro laers but without the chemical/adjunct dirtiness. Smells pure. A bit of fresh oyster water. Can't wait to taste.

T- Very good. Grain dominates and hop touch is delicious. I'm leaning towards Hallertau more than Saaz but this is a totally uneducated guess. I get a bit of apple juice through aeration. Not waterybut you can kind of taste the water. Great after-taste.

M- Actually not that crisp. Very full mouthfeel. Medium carbonation that goes a long way - just comes alive in your mouth.

D- High. As drinkable (and very possibly even more than a Grolsch, Wernesgrüner etc.

If only this was a more official standard when it came to pilsners/lagers.
Very good beer.

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Photo of davidaubrey
4.27/5  rDev +16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a pint glass. I like a good pilsner and this one is. Hops are balanced well against a malty dry taste. The color is slightly deeper yellow other pilsners. This beer is very refreshing, though I have a difficult time justifying paying mirco-brew prices for a pilsner. Nevertheless, this one is just as good as any of the quality German imports, such as Spaten.

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Photo of devinoconnor
4.27/5  rDev +16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is an awesome summer choice for cookouts and the warmer weather.

Pours a golden yellow color, a little darker than a light beer. Lager and pilsner mix.

Smell is very fresh- nice aromas of citrus, pine, and earthy river water.

Taste is crips and smooth, citrussy. Has that element of pilsner, a little carbonation, but the added hops make it a more complex lager.

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Photo of GossageBrewery
4.27/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served this Pilsner on tap in a pint glass. Poured a nice gold clear color, nice thick white head, poor retention, decent lacing. Aroma smells of fresh cut grass, nice amount of piney hops! The taste of this pilsener is light in body, smooth, malty, dry, has a nice amount of piney hops. Surprise for a Summer Brew. Overall, awesome session beer, high marks for drinkability, great gateway beer, very nice on a hot summer day. Crisp, finish's dry.

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Photo of GilsonPNWBL
4.27/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

My 12 oz bottle was created on 3/28/16 - Standard pub glass

Look - Nice golden color with a good looking white head after pouring that stays through about half of the beer.

Smell - Sweet and aromatic. Not too much to get excited about here. Nice light honey smells and sweet yeast smells.

Taste - Great for a pilsner with awesome flavors of hops and crisp golden finish. Sweet malt is the prevalent flavor in this beer. Very smooth and easy to drink with a light bitterness.

Feel - Refreshing on a hot day, one of my go to summer beers. Love the effervescence on the back of the palette. Easy to drink and the feel is really awesome.

Overall - One of my favorite beers for the summer. Nice hops but easy to drink. Go to when the sun is out in Seattle. Which it isn't today, but i'm still drinking it!

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Photo of MaineBrewing
4.27/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - poured a clear straw color with brilliant white 2 finger head. Left good lacing and always appeared lively.

S - smell is a citrus forward and slight piney hop with cereal grains and a nice peppery bouquet.

T - taste is close to the aroma, nice hop flavor profile dominated by citrus notes with a little piney and resinous character in the background. The hops are well balanced with the light malt character with notes of toast and cereal grains. Finishes very dry with a slight bitterness and a nice clean lager yeast character.

M - very light and carbonated, easy drinking perfect for the style.

O - overall this is a nice flavorful summer lager. Looks great and smells great, the flavor is very balanced and it is quite drinkable. I would session this easily on a hot summer day.

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Photo of afordney
4.27/5  rDev +16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Golden straw color, clear and crisp,light head and no lacing on the glass.

Smells sweet and malted, balanced hops

Tastes like summer, crisp and clean, sweet malts are followed by slight hoppy bitterness

Very full and balanced mouthfeel, a little carbonated to play on the palatte.

A fantastic summer beer, very refreshing and light will definately drink again.

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Photo of adamette
4.27/5  rDev +16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

006920550 stamped on the right side of the label.

Live review. Poured from the 24 oz. bottle that I bought at Save-On Tobacco & Beverage in Mentor, Ohio for $2.99 a few days ago into my Cooperstown Beverage Trail pint glass.

A Meringue like white head overa a slightly murkey but translucent straw yellow body. Visible in the bottle before opening was some sediment...perhaps the yeast (?). This is a better than average looking lager. 3.5

S Pleasant, interesting lager smell and much "stronger" than that of, say, Budweiser. 4.0

T Very tasty, tangy lager tastes that remind me of the organic Samuel Smith Lager which was very good or perhaps an offering from Rogue whose name escapes me. I liked both of those lagers so believe me this is a compliment! There is a nice tartness bordering on citrus (could this be from the yeast and barley?). 4.5

M "Crisp" as suggested on the label but also a nicely rounded aftertaste too. Quite good. 4.0

D Very, very easy to drink this interesting beer that has a very manageable ABV. 4.5

Notes: Very good price for a well crafted beer!

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Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 1,535 ratings.