Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada Summerfest LagerSierra Nevada Summerfest Lager

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

1,511 Reviews
THE BROS
89
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,511
Hads: 3,884
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 12.23%
Wants: 94
Gots: 435 | 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
Reviews: 1,511 | Hads: 3,884
Photo of thepassingofdays
2.38/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

a- fluffy head, typical light blonde lager coloring

s- very plain smell... like bud light or one of those semi-generic beers

t- boring, and a tiny bitter aftertaste to round it out. nothing special, not much to like about this one.

m- the fluffy head was pleasant, the rest was unimpressive

d- not something I'd have again, but I'm not going to throw it away either. (370 characters)

Photo of TexIndy
2.39/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle (no dating info) into a pint glass. It was a clear pale gold color. It had an average fizzy white head that quickly dissipated. Good carb and a little lacing.

I've never been a fan of the aroma on these. Smell like wet dog to me which doesn't exactly work up a thirst. Taste was good for the style but again this isn't one of my favorites. Has a crisp bite to it and finishes with a strong bitter taste.

Overall, not a beer that I'd try again. The label didn't specify the style and I mostly like SA beers so I thought I'd give it a try in my mixed 6ixer. Just another one to mark of the list. (622 characters)

Photo of tai4ji2x
2.39/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12oz bottle. 2009 release. tasted in early may 2009.

pale straw color. clear with faint chill haze. 1-finger head, fades to wisps and ring. lacing is sparse, thin, and rarely sticks.

aroma: faint malt, hint of esters? slightest hint of hop? wtf? there's almost nothing here!

taste: again, weak malt, faintly bready, but watered down. light esters mingle with fusel or phenol or even diacetyl hint. meanwhile the hops are crisp and boldly bitter, but are totally lacking in flavor - unlike how good saaz or noble hops should be.

light body, with very fizzy, prickly carbonation. resins in the finish, but of no help.

c'mon guys! what happened? i tried two bottles of this from the sixer, and i had to go back and return it. i might as well have been drinking soda water... (776 characters)

Photo of GolgiIPAratus
2.4/5  rDev -34.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Sampled: 4.13.05

Medium pour produces a dense, one & a half inch head that fades at no speed above abnormal, and fades at no speed below abnormal. The liquid is transparent, offering a clear view of my fingers on the other side of the glass through a golden filter. Lacing is average, nothing special.

The smell is malty caramel, which is strange for a summer time offering. Tangy tidbits twist in the nostrils as well. Nothing here whetting my desire to get into this beer.

The first taste is dominated by that Sierra Nevada Pale Ale flavor. A caramelized malt whip pushes those overwhelming hops aside, however. A light, light bitterness peeks through upon the swallow. I'm not impressed with this flavor. Not sure why this is their version of a "summer" beer. It's just too thick. The mouth is creamy and lightly carbonated.

Drinkability depends on how much you actually enjoy the beer (obviously) . I didn't enjoy the flavor, so drinkability wasn't good for me. (978 characters)

Photo of cbgVT
2.41/5  rDev -34.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Not impressed with this. I a big Sierra Nevada fan, their Pale Ale is what turned me on to better beers, and their Killerweiss is my favorite Hefe to date over several Germans I have tried. I was excited to try their Summerfest and was expecting a taste similar to Sam Adam's Summer Ale - crisp & somewhat citrusy. I took 1 sip of this beer and was disappointed. It iis a decent beer but it tastes like all the other mass produced crap.

Appearance is pretty standard, golden color, transparent with a slight head that reduces quickly.

Smell - not getting too much on the nostrils, but I am still new to reviewing beer....smells like the classic "beer" smell

Taste - slightly bitter and sour at the beginning and finishes with some malt. I am a fan of IPAs and like bitter, hoppy beer but this bitter isn't complex or floral.

Mouthfeel - medium body, not too thick, not too thin. Highly carbonated.

Drinkability - I honestly think this beer sucks but a lot of it is because I had high expectations of what I wanted it to taste like.

I usually will have 3-4 beers a night when I drink, but I am done after one of these and don't want anymore. I am going to try another one tomorrow and see if I come to the same conclusion. I may have gotten an old/bad batch as this is definitely not 'crisp' or 'refreshing.' (1,315 characters)

Photo of mrasskicktastic
2.42/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Pale urine yellow with about three fingers of off white head. A bit of lacing clings to the side after the head disappears, which takes about three minutes.

S - This is like shoving your nose in a bud light. A little grassy with some sweet corn.

T - Foretaste has a grassy kick with some lightly sweet light bodied malt. The aftertaste is sort of grassy and lighty bitter. The bitterness lingers for a while.

M - Thin, watery, lightly refreshing. A few moments after drinking, my mouth goes dry though.

D - Nothing special here. I could drink again, I'd rather not though. It is basically an above above macro lager mixed with a pils. Not my thing. (666 characters)

Photo of John_M
2.44/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I am a huge fan of Sierra Nevada beers, and would certainly place them in the top 10 of my favorite breweries in the US. So I have to say I was a bit surprised by this lackluster effort. Granted, I know it's made to be a light summer thirst quencher, but this is going too far (IMO).

The beer pours a nice yellow gold orange color, but with almost no head and little or no lacing. What little head was evident disappeared completely after a few minutes. I could smell almost nothing, despite my best efforts. Perhaps there is a slight aroma of sweet malt, but not much else. On the palate this is one watery beer. There is a hint of sweet malt, with some bracing dryness from the hops. This beer is not very crisp or refreshing, but on the other hand is certainly very light and drinkable. There is almost no finish, and mid way through my 10 oz. glass I just gave up. If I'm going to drink something with this kind of calorie intake I want it to be something with a bit more flavor.

Very disappointing effort from SN. Calling this a summer beer is no excuse for making something this flavorless. (1,102 characters)

Photo of AndyM
2.45/5  rDev -33.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

2004 Label / Late Summer Seasonal...

Sierra Nevada has burned me for the last time. I said that after their Bigfoot Ale (a Barleywine) this past winter, but decided to give it another go when I saw this one. I will never try one of their seasonals again!

They say this is a lager, but I have a really hard time believing that. There is only the slightest hint of lager yeast flavor here (probably because it is overpowered by the hops), and therein lies the problem: to me, this beer tastes exactly like most of Sierra Nevada's other beers.

It is incredibly hoppy - far too bitter for my taste, and I really like hoppy beers. It is one of the hoppiest pale ales I've ever had - and I wasn't expecting much hoppiness at all, considering all the label says is, "bottom fermented." In fact, it was sitting with the Oktoberfest beers in my local liquor shop. It says "bottom fermented..." what would you think? Poured out into a glass, it even LOOKS like your average lager.

Unfortunately, I get sick of the taste after about 3 good sips. One of the few times I've actually poured out the remnants of a bottle of beer; usually I can at least choke the rest down, but I saw no point in finishing this one. Now I have to find some recipes to use up the rest of the bottles :

I would recommend this ale to someone who would be classified as an "extreme hops addict" (not just a fan of hoppy beers), or if you've never had a bad Sierra Nevada product. Otherwise, I'd make another selection at the liquor store. (1,517 characters)

Photo of DesMoinesMike
2.46/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

I bought this as an experimental sixer from Hy-Vee, and I wish I had read the label first. I'm not a huge fan of pilsners to begin with, and this is an explosion of the classic pilsner taste. There's some hops and grain and that's about it. It actually seemed a bit sour. Call me a hater if you want, but this is NOT going to be in my fridge ever again. (353 characters)

Photo of Naerhu
2.48/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

What the hell is this? I was shocked by this unimaginably unexciting beer. Sure I could taste a mild yet full golden malt flavor. It was lightly wrapped in a floral hop blanket, and this was not a displeasure, but from Sierra Nevada, I expect excitment. I expect to be put in the drivers seat in motor cross. This was lame, like the Porter. If the hops were more pumped up and balanced with the chew (not really the right ward there) malt, this would be a decent beer. should I beer warned and no to stray far from their PA? (524 characters)

Photo of Rosanne
2.5/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

much like a Carlton draft but smoother

Shared a taster on-tap as part of four flights at the brewery; Sierra Nevada Brewing Co, Chico, USA. As part of a six-week West Coast beer tour. I rate to taste, not to style. See my blog for more details: carbeers.wordpress.com (268 characters)

Photo of chicagobill13
2.51/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I love Sierra nevada Beers but this one kind of disappoint me. A nice crisp clear lager. Nice session beer. Barely any head. Perfect on a hot summer day. I believe this beer would grow on me but I remember having this beer last year and loving it. I am thinking they change it every year. Is this true? (302 characters)

Photo of N3rdM3t4l
2.52/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz short bottle into standard pint. fridge temp.

A: pale apple juice colored VERY clear. Tiny thin white bubbles made a "head" that disappeared right away. The it was like watching lemon lime soda fizz up in a glass. Lots of tiny bubbles streaming to the top and disappearing into nothingness. No ring to speak of.

S: Bit of pale malt on the nose and faint hops. Smells a little astringent (but that seems to be common among cezch pils). Smells a little sweet. Pretty lackluster here too.

T: The malt backbone of this one is pretty noticeable, surprising since it the smell of it was only enough to say "this is beer, it is made with malted barley" which is something even poor quality macro's can say to an extent. After the bit of dank malt flavor passes it becomes a tad metallic before the hops really shines. No real bitterness but an alright hop presence. I expect some hops from something calling itself a pilsner. A little floral, like dandelions. The end of the drink is so far the best part but not redeeming.

M: As it should be; thin, light, and crisp. The carbonation is soda like, you can feel it give a little bite on the tongue. Refreshing to drink.

O: Not impressed with this, it is refreshing though. It delivers on the promise printed on the label "crisp summer lager." Good thing the label doesn't say "outstanding pilsner flavor, like you have never seen before!" because then it would be lying. It tastes fine but isn't anything special. Easily sessionable and if I went to a friends house and they offered me one I wouldn't turn it down. (1,566 characters)

Photo of JayTheFinn
2.55/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

There's very few lager beers that I like. While this isn't the worst by far, I wasn't all that impressed.

Pale gold body with a 1 finger white head. Smells like corn mostly. Not very pleasant. Corn, hops and grassiness is all I taste. But overall, the flavor is better than most standard lagers. Highly carbonated to the point where it interfered with my enjoyment. I don't like belching a lot. Slightly below average drinkability for me, again cuz I'm not a big fan of the style. But I can see other's digging this one, especially at a summer bbq with some chicken wings...mmm. (581 characters)

Photo of gmfessen
2.55/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, beer is a clear golden-yellow color, with a thin bubbly head. The smell is rather non-distinct like most pilsners, but there is hints of pale malts and a slight hoppiness to it. The taste is rather bitter, only a slight graininess otherwise, could be much better balanced and overall not that enjoyable. The mouthfeel is light bodied with a bubbly carbonation comprised of many fine bubbles. Drinkability suffers due to the fact that this beer just doesn't taste very good. All around "average" describes this beer at best. (565 characters)

Photo of GPF
2.6/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I read a bunch of the reveiws here and I feel like the kid in "The Emperor's New Clothes" wondering why this is one of the worst tasting lagers I've had in a long time but everyone else is singing it's praises. I love good lagers and I drink a lot of them and I always like to try new ones. I picked a couple bottles up at Trader Joe's because you can purchase by the bottle there and I figured I'd give it a go. I had to literally choke the beer down. A good lager should not be bitter like an ale and give a bad after taste. It should go down smoothe and have a pleasant aftertaste to the pallette. This did neither, it was very hoppy and more characteristics of a Pale Ale.

I really like Sierra Nevada's Pale Ale and it is my go to beer when I want something with a little bite and bitterness. I think they should stick with what they know how to brew and stay away from doing a Lager in the future. I am still perplexed though at what so many people find appealing about this lager. (987 characters)

Photo of robocrouch
2.6/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Poured into my pint glass from the bottle. A clear golden color with almost no head and plenty of carbonation bubbles.

S: Really no smell to be smelled has a very macro feel to it.

T: Very grainy and watery. The body is so light that it tastes so much like a macro that I kept looking at my bottle to make sure I was drinking a Sierra Nevada beer. Almost no flavor.

D: Overall this is the worst Sierra Nevada beer that I have had and was shocked, honestly at how low quality this is. (498 characters)

Photo of tjwarren
2.61/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle to a pint glass after trying it out of the bottle (to see if it is a worthy picnic beer.)

Pale straw color little to no head, not impressed at all.

Smell, I felt it was a little skunky. Not what I was hoping for. I kind of had Sam Admas Summer Ale on my mind and I felt this was a disappointment.

Taste, not a whole lot there. A little skunk with almost a grassy finish. Not bad for what they were going for but not really the bite I was expecting. It was crisp and clean like a summer beer, it just didn't do anything for me. Did not jump off the page at me.

Mouthfeel was somewhat absent, a little watery but if I was drinking it on a hotter day I think I would have liked it more.

If you are looking for a summer refresher, plain and simple and the little bit of skunk does not get in your way this is probably a winner.

For me as a summer beer I don't think this quite cut the mustard. I think the SA mentioned and Anchor Steam summer or Bell's Oberon would do better. In fact I would pick a Corona and lime over this. To be fair though you should try it on a hot summer day. Might improve then. (1,124 characters)

Photo of hero27
2.62/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2008 Vintage
12 oz bottle

Pours a bright yellow color with a surprisingly frothy head of white foam.
Very faint grainy corn-husk aroma..other than that, nothing in the nose at all.
Light bodied with a pale malt flavor up-front and a dash of grassy, floral hops..some light lemon zest as well.
Overall, this is a very light, clean, drinkable beer that is a bit rough-around-the-edges. The flavor is lackluster and honestly rather bland with no standout qualities. It would be alright on a hot summer day to quench your thirst, but probably not one I'd choose to re-visit. (571 characters)

Photo of Derek
2.64/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Clear, golden yellow, fluffy white head, some retention & lace.

S: Acidic, soapy/floral hops.

T: Slightly sweet, slight soapy/floral hop flavour. Needs some more bready maltyness and bitterness. It's just too light for a Pils.

M: Light to moderate body, moderate carbonation.

D: Approachable & quite quaffable, but it doesn't bring me back for more. (364 characters)

Photo of whtguitarguy
2.64/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This one was likely a little old when I got it (I have my comments in a notebook). Pours a yellowish color. Aroma was rather skunky, so I am guessing light got to it. The flavor was much like the smell. Caramel malts within the brew are a little heavy, but I have come to expect that of many micros. (299 characters)

Photo of HabaJohn
2.64/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Not my type of beer, my brother gave it to me. I'll drink it, have had much better lagers. I'm all about hops, but I think it's the hop flavor that ruins this beer for me (170 characters)

Photo of daliandragon
2.65/5  rDev -28%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Picked up a sixer of this (2006 edition) for the Kentucky Derby last Saturday in anticipation of clinking a few bottles in victory (and financial gain). Unfortunately, I'm still waiting for my horse to finish and the beer didn't impress too much either but let's give it the official taste test.
Color is golden and features a snowy cap of head that is ably supported by an armada of carbonation bubbles. Hops are evident in the nose but are overshadowed by a grainy quality in the nose that doesn't do it for me. Not real stellar so far.
Initial taste is fairly decent but astringencies and a negative bitterness take it downhill from there. The mouthfeel is watery and thin, even for a Euro lager. Decent hop tones in the aftertaste but that's about all to recommend it.
I know everyone loves Sierra Nevada but I think this is sub par at best. I won't look for this one again, especially not for nine bones plus tax and deposit for a sixer. There are many better summer beers for my cash. (999 characters)

Photo of JackStraw22
2.66/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

2005 vintage

Appearance: Crystal clear golden body, nice crisp white head that stuck around. Lots of bubbles up to the top. Good lacing too.

Smell: Very earthy and herbal hops, crisp and refreshing aroma. A little one dimensional, though.

Taste: One of the only lagers I've had that's a real hop assult. In my opinion, it doesn't work. It reminds me a lot of tonic water unfortunately. Very dry too, not refreshing.

It was off to a good start with it's appearance and aroma, but didn't quite hold up. Oh well. (522 characters)

Photo of sacfly
2.7/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz twist off. $1.71/bottle (about .50 more than average local beers) 2005 on the neck band.

Pours a clear, light straw color. Thin white head of small bubbles. Smell is grassy and herbal. Light fruity notes… strange for a lager.

First taste comes with an astringent grassy flavor. Uhg. Lawn clipping aftertaste. The aftertaste is killing me. Long, lingering grass bitterness.

Hold on a minute… As the beer warms, the malt actually makes a bit of an appearance. Very odd. I still hate the aftertaste, but this has become palatable now that it has warmed up. Lager eh? If I were to drink this again, and that is a big if, I would start it chilled, but not cold. Drinking cold was a disaster, drinking cool made this an average beer.

Not sure how to score this one. For cold, go half a point lower, for cool, half a point higher. (845 characters)

Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 1,511 ratings.