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Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada Summerfest LagerSierra Nevada Summerfest Lager

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,524 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,524
Hads: 3,946
Avg: 3.67
pDev: 20.44%
Wants: 105
Gots: 490 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

Style | ABV
Czech Pilsener | 5.00% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-17-2001

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.
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: 1,524 | Hads: 3,946
Photo of Hibernator
4.04/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this out of a 12 oz bottle with a twist cap. I didn't notice a freshness date marked on the label.

This is a bottom fermented beer. Nice pour with a good head for a lager. The color is somewhere between a light orange and yellow.

This beer had a refreshing smell and a modest hop aroma.The hop smell and taste was very much a classic Sierra Nevada staple. A clean lager with crispness rolling off the tongue.

I had the Summerfest with a salad with balsamic vinaigrette dressing. Both worked very well together...nice pairing.

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Photo of ColForbin
3.7/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Summerfest is Sierra Nevada's only lager, I believe. It pours a clear, light, golden color with small bubbles and a thin white head that fades to a mere coating on the surface of the beer. Smell is bready and with a hint of spicey hops. Taste is very light, with some wheat flavors and a slightly tart and dry finish with a very small hop bite. Mouthfeel is also light making this an extremely refreshing and incredibly drinkable beer. A very well-crafted lawnmower beer.

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Photo of shapudding
3.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

As soon as I opened the bottle, foam came frothing out all over, so I expected to have trouble with the pour. When I did start pouring into the pint though, there was no trouble. Tons of carbination rising throught the golden lager leading up to a small amount of tiny bubbles at the top where it stayed as mostly a light, white layer. Scents of hay, fresh and light. Very balanced. Crisp tasting, medium bodied with alot of carbination that holds well throughout. The finish is dry and leaves a very nice bitterness with you. Good drinkability. I am usually not one for lagers but will drink them if they are there- just not my first choice. But this one is nice.

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Photo of necoadam
3.81/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2004 Verison

Poured out a golden color with a nice amount of carbonation that was visible and left lacing around the glass. Hop aromas hit the nose with some slight malts left in the background for good measure. Some grassy aroma can also be detected. Spicy hops hit the palate first and then combine with some malts towards the end. Some grainy flavors are in the aftertaste along with those spicy hops that seem to last forever. It's not over the top but it sure does last a while. Overall this isn't a bad choice for a summer cookout. Goes down easy, that's for sure.

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Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
3.6/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Capital Ale House.

Poured a sparkling clear yellow-golden in color with not a bit of head. Miniscule white head does a nice attempt at lacing the glass, but with token success. Aromas are quite clean brisk. Hoppy, but not overly so. There is a hint of malts there as well. Flavor is more of the same. An interesting mix of hops and that "lager" flavor. Not quite macro, but more mainstream than I'd expected. Maybe that's why it was so popular with the crowd at CAH. Brisk and snappy flavor, starting with a mildly bitter front, fleeting sweetness in the middle, and dry/acidic on the tail end. Moderate carbonation and decent mouthfeel. A good beer for the summer, no doubt, but I think I'll stick to my hefe's to quench the Richmond heat.

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Photo of ZAP
3.38/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clean, super clear looking golden color...big fluffy head....nose is grassy with some lemon grass notes...taste is grainy and spicy with noble hops present in bunches...some spritzy lemon notes too...lighter side of medium bodied....finishes dry and crisp....almost a slight bitter finish...feels like a Pilsner...not bad but not one I would personally seek out...One of bigHugey's pool party's featured a keg of this and after awhile (say after 12 or so) it was hard to drink for me....I think Summer beers should be easy drinking up to 30 or so....

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Photo of connecticutpoet
3.23/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This poured a standard pilsener yellow with a rather large head that dissipated after a few minutes to a ring of lace.

The aroma was of aromatic hops, mostly Saaz, with borderline hints of skunkiness. Not too bad, but not spectacular.

The taste was of bittering hops on the foretaste, with hints of pine and minimal citrus. Possibly coriander as well. It was about average, IMO.

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Photo of PSUDREW
3.04/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Meh, not a fan of the hype. Medium gold in color, some head, and moe then enough lace. smells is so so, something didn't seem right, dunno. This isn't overly malty, like most lagers, but something didn't seem right. I mean the hops were adding a pecular taste. It's mouthfeel is OK, but all in all, this isn't very special IMO

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Photo of EagleTalon
4.2/5  rDev +14.4%
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 JackTheRipper
3.98/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Clear golden in color. Smallish head which dissipated quickly. Some lacing can be seen on the glass.

S: Mildly hoppy, the predominant smell is a light malt aroma with some quick hints of lemon grass and fruit. Smells are a bit subdued overall, and even letting it warm for a few minutes didn't really help much.

T: Nice pilsner taste. Mostly a malty sweetness, finishes a bare hint of hops which leaves a nicely subtle bitter aftertaste.

M: Crisp and oh so clean on the palate. Carbonation and ETOH are quite nicely done.

D&N: A supremely drinkable beer. Tasty, not too strong, this one has me wishing I had bought a few more. If the smells were a bit better, this would be a five. Highly recommended.

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Photo of hobbes2112
3.48/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle

I had this on a hot June day and it hit the spot. Pours a nice golden color with lot of white head and lace. The head retention was good. Smell was of floral hops, grain and a little yeast. Taste is clean with lemony sweetness and a long mildly sour hop finish. The mouthfeel was pretty average, nothing really stood out for me.

This is a good beer and is nice on a hot day. I would buy this again, but not likely as a first choice.

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Photo of beertaster13
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sierra Nevada never fails to dissapoint. The 2004 edition of summerfest is excellent. The beer pours a dark/yellow with a white head that is very impressive, lacing is also great. The smell is rather clean with grain upfront, other than traces of floral it is very clean to the nose. The taste is excellent, light bodied, refreshing and crisp. Floral hops are the first thing you notice in the taste, some sweetness from the malts, slight melon tastes as well. A perfect summer beer. I highly recommend for camping trips, get togethers, BBQ's etc.

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Photo of jed
3.67/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: Comes in a brown, 12 oz bottle with normal Sierra Nevada labeling and a little blurb about the beer. Oddly enough I don't see any brewing codes or freshness dates on the bottle.

Appearance: Pours a light, dull yellow color with about one finger's worth of head. Solid head retention, lots of fluffy lacing as the head disappears. Still, the color of this beer is underwhelming, very average.

Smell: Very nice yeasty nose, with some floral hop notes lingering. Comparisons to "Euro aroma" are not off base, there are some definite similarities.

Taste: Summerfest has an extremely distinctive taste. Lager nose, but duller, with mild carbonation and a dry, sour flavor. Things pick up a little, with a hint of hops, but none of the Cascade punch I'd expect from one of Sierra Nevada's beers. Sweet grainy flavors in the finish, with a nice cooling herbal presence. Grassy flavors linger, with more cooling herbal notes.

Mouthfeel: Again, a little bit disappointing. Mild carbonation combined with the herbal flavors give this beer a slightly thin mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Summerfest's distinctive flavor and the hop/herbal notes disqualify this as a session beer, but it's not really a sipper either. Not something I can imagine drinking with sitting on the porch battling Baltimore's humidity.

The only beer in Sierra Nevada's lineup where I've come away disappointed. Not a bad beer, and certainly an interesting change from the normal summer hefe/wheat options, but the flavor is ultimately a bit of a let down. I'll enjoy the rest of my six pack, but this isn't a beer I'll be coming back to.

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Photo of merlin48
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2004 Summerfest pours a clear, sparkling, medium yellow body that has thousands of bubbles streaking to the surface. Attractive head is white and cumulus cloud pillowy, climbing to about an inch in height. Patchy lace is quite abundant.

Aroma is dominated by dry, herbal hops and pale malt. The hops tend to be of a noble nature, and are far from being "eurohop skunky".

Mouthfeel is average, with good carbonation and light body.

Taste is well balanced, with a mild herbal hop bitterness melding into soft and slightly sweet malt flavors.

Crisp and refreshing, overall. A very drinkable example of a well done American effort at a German pale lager or Pils.

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Photo of Salpta
3.22/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

As a rule i'm not impressed with lagers. This one is not really an exception. There is hops there, there is malt there, but the overall flavor profile is just like a macro. Only more forceful. As a lawnmower, i'd say its passable, but has too much hops for a thirstquencher, which is what i want in a summerbrew.

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Photo of kmo1030
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

crystal clear golden with a white head that sticks around for a bit. smells floral and citrusy with a eurohop backbone. fresh hops and fruit dominate the taste along with a light malty balance. not at all watery, with an appropriate amount of carbonation. a good drink for a hot day, but nothing really special for sierra nevada

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Photo of afatty
3.23/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours light amber with compact white head that leaves nice lace in a clean glass. Faint hop aroma and smooth mouthfeel. Very light hop flavor and little bitterness from Saaz and Perle hops. Sweet malt flavor is balanced to the hops. Quite good for a pilsner style light lager. Not a favorite style for me and I would stick to the ORIGINAL pilsner if I were going to drink more. It does a good job of quenching thirst which is important in a summer beer. It will not take the Pale Ale's place in my summer line-up.

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Photo of DPMomutant
3.86/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a nice golden brown. The head is great in size, retention, and lacing. Very good looking beer.

The smell is good but not blow-away good. Some nice malt and hops waiting for me.

The taste up front is strangely (for the style) like slightly roasted malt. It is good though. The ending is a nice balanced hop bitterness then the malt came back for the aftertaste. Again, not blowing anyone away but solid.

Like any good summer beer, this goes down smooth and easy. Very thirst-quenching. Might rotate this one around at poolside with a few other good summer beers. Light enough to drink a few and good enough to want to.

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Photo of Dubblebock
3.66/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I tried this sample courtesy of one of my BA buddies at work who was kind enough to slip me a couple out of his sixer.

Nice job by Sierra Nevada. The beer looked just outstanding on the pour. Clear straw/yellow coloring, nice carbonation, thick and rich looking head. Not an exceptional nose, but it did relay the message that there was a hoppy beer here waiting to be quaffed.

The taste was slightly bitter at first, as the hops immediately took control of the palate. Vague fruitiness in the middle, followed by a laid-back malt presence. Very refreshing on the old back porch as I watched the kids play on the playscape and the pool.

The beer finished with a tart crispness. Very drinkable, I could easily have kicked both bottles back.

Not a bad take in the pilsner style. Nothing to get overly excited about, but a solid effort overall. A fine lawnmower beer.

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Photo of mschofield
4.25/5  rDev +15.8%
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 Foxman
3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours a crisp, clear golden yellow, carbonated and lively. Three fingers of tight bright white head swell quickly and retain considerably, never really disappearing completely. Tiers of delicate lacing busy the inside of the glass.

The aroma delivers a stroke of light malt sweetness alongside a style-distinct hop bite and a rounded spiciness. A mellow earthy fruit note floats gingerly at the close.

Upon sipping, a very light lilt of malt semi-sweetness is rapidly feathered by a muted grassy note. A slight hint of berry twines through the middle along with a darting hop tang. A mildly sour doughy character proves most distinct toward the end with a well-directed Eurohop-style bitterness lingering at the finish. Overall, the flavor is very pleasant, but a bit more muddled at times than aroma would seem to presage.

Light bodied, it has enough presence to leave a gentle textural memory. A dry hops glow dims slowly at the finish.

It's easy to envision a split camp on this beer. The aroma promises big things, but the flavor comes off a bit diluted, and, well, fluffy. Still, enough of the elements poke their head through the clouds that the palate note an occasional poignancy, and those distinctions are real positives. It's light, and very refreshing, and that along with the flavor pretty much defines drinkable. In spite of some minor palatal ennui, I'm looking forward to drinking the four I have left. So, it's maybe not stellar, but it shines a bit in the vast Atlantic shore sky.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sierra Nevada Summerfest

Appearance- light copper orange with a thin head.
Smell- very grassy, earthy hops.
Taste- light and sweet. a weak grassy flavor with a nice little zestiness.

Overall- a decent summer beer. I tend to find must summer beers watery and weak. If Sierra Nevada tryed to pass this beer off as anything but a summer beer it wouldn't fly.

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Photo of Bierguy5
3.57/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2004 Edition. From the bottle pours a crystal clear golden liquid with a white foamy head. The head stayed for a little while. There was not much lace left on the glass. Smell is slightly grassy. Taste is a good combo of pale sweet malt and a fair amount of grassy/herbal hop flavor with a dry finish. Light bodied, but not watery and the carbonation level was where it should be for this style. Overall, not bad. Lagers like this typicall do not appeal to me, but this could be a good thirst quencher. It was pretty crisp and clean, with a nice balance. I would probably be willing to have another one. Could make a good backyard session brew this summer.

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Photo of Dithyramb
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A slightly hazy pale yellow pour.
A bready smell with earthy hops on the nose.
A very full-flavors pils. Greatly balanced tangy hops with a malty overtone.

There is a dry/sugary aftertaste that begs for more. I had this for Preakness last weekend. This mixes up quite well with other summer beers and pilsners. Summerfest, burgers, and warm weather is a good time.

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Photo of AbePhroman
3.93/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought a six of 2003 yesterday. I remember I had this last summer and wanted to try it again. Clever label with a twist-off cap. Golden color in my class with a thick head that rose to the top. Nice lacing as it settles. Hoppy aroma like most Sierra Nevada beers. Tastes bitter and hoppy and is very enjoyable. The wheat\grain has a noticeable taste which adds to the pleasure of drinking this beer. Very drinkable IMO!! A good buy.

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Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 1,524 ratings.