Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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Pilsner - Bohemian / Czech
Ranked #158
Ranked #39,673
3.7 | pDev: 12.43%
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States
Notes: 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.
Reviews: 1,672 | Ratings: 4,464 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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Shelbs90 from Montana

3.98/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

light crisp and refreshing. definitely would drink again. not heavy at all. perfect light craft style beer. perfect for casual easy drinking. i love it a lot. one of my faves

Oct 04, 2020
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RDWHAHB_Tom from Maryland

3.34/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: Straw/pale gold, brilliant clarity. Head an opaque white with mid-size bubbles, lasts about 5 mins.
Aroma: White bread, toast. Light and quick.
Taste: Malt: White bread, oats/wheat, nutty, very light caramel. Hops: Floral/lemony.
Mouthfeel: Light-bodied, slick-ish feel.
Overall: Light, sessionable summer lager. Poolside beer. A little extra hop bitterness/bite than your typical. Lemony, goes well with pasta. Good by itself, inoffensive.

Aug 25, 2020
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1009 from Massachusetts

3.24/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

As I sit on a rock in the shallow waters of the Pemigewasset River, I can't help but to sit an enjoy my fleeting moments of Summer with this years Summer Fest Lager. It has a pleasant golden glow that glistens like the water that runs over the white rocks. It is crisp like the brisk water that cool you off from the sun's August rays. Some earthy notes tickle your nose and you then taste this beer's lemony, malty goodness that ends with a slight bitter after taste. All in all a solid summertime lager, but nothing too fancy.

Aug 25, 2020
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CDBeerDisappear from Ohio

3.96/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: Lovely clear gold just what a pilsner should look like. One finger head that dissipated quickly. Slow rising bubbles but not a lot.
Smell: Earthy spicy noble hops over a nice bready malt
Taste: Surprisingly sweet at first. Bold and hoppy (like a pilsner of course, not hoppy like an IPA). Great balance between hoppiness and maltiness. And between sweet and bitter, obviously leaning more toward bitter.
Flavor: Tastes like a sunny afternoon in a Prague café. Herbal with lemon zest. Bready malt with a softer peppery bitterness.
Feel: Medium mouthfeel, clean crisp with just the right amount of carbonation. Dry bitter finish.
Overall: I have tried to steer myself away from drink all IPA’s all the time, so this is another in a stream of pilsners that I have tried. American Brewers are nailing pilsners, Everyone I taste is as good or better than the last. Looks great in the glass smells like what I used to think was a pilsner that was of European origin. When I was in Europe in 1980, I was embarrassed of behalf of American beer. The beers I drank in Europe inspired me to drink European beers for all of the 80’s and well into the 90’s. We obviously gained a lot of ground when IPA’s swept the beer landscape. I don’t know when American brewers began to equal the great pilsners of Europe, but they have.

Aug 08, 2020
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highdesertdrinker from Arizona

4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light gold, pretty clear and a slight amount of head with some lacing. On first whiff you notice bready malts with that ubiquitous Sierra Nevada aroma that runs like a thread through most of their lighter ales and lagers. The taste is a nice peppery hop snap with a smooth malt backbone, biscuity, and a little herbal. It’s also well carbonated and super easy to drink on a warm day. This was from the second batch in June so there is no “fade” in this bottle.
In closing, what can I say that hasn’t been said before; it’s old reliable, SN, easy to find, the price is always right and they always do a nice job of coming close to the style they’re brewing with their own stamp on it. One bottle left in the second sixer and I do believe I’ll spring for a third with a heatwave coming this week, cheers!

Jul 29, 2020
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Ahypercube from California

3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I've only had this a few times, since I'm usually not drawn to lagers (except pilsners). But it really is a nice go-to beer when you want something simple and don't have much selection to choose from.

Pours with a transparent golden body and white head. Specks of lacing decorate the glass, but it's nothing to write home about. Great can art.

Biscuit, lemon, lime and white pepper notes grace the nose, bringing a slightly funky malt base reminiscent of the kolsch style. Hints of basil and yeasty pizza dough on the finish. Simple, but nice.

Taste is exactly as expected from the aroma. Just enough bitterness to call itself a beer. The hops are quite restrained and the lager yeast and malt shine. Farmy hay notes on the finish.

Smooth and light texture. It could stand to be lighter, but not by much. It still tastes like food to me, which I consider essential.

Really good for the style, appropriate for the weather and widely available. SN always delivers. Cheers!

Jul 21, 2020
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Tsar_Riga from Indiana

3.78/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours a clear golden body, fat white head.

S - Grassy spice hop, with just a touch of honey on the nose.

T - Nice bright open with the honey note prominent, cracker malt middle, and a sharp bitter bite in the finish.

M - Brisk carbonation, light weight, dry close.

O - I pleasant summer drinker, as advertised.

Jul 18, 2020
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BubbleBobble from New York

2.96/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Brief bright white, pillowy head that recedes to a thin line; not much retention. Clear yellow straw, perhaps a bit darker.
S: Dominant smell is lemon, and a bit on the soap/polish side. Metallic as it continues to warm.
T: Hay, lemon up front. Does have some bitterness, but in an almost acrid kind of way. Rather unpleasant.
F: Very round and full mouthfeel.
O: Wish I was getting some of the yeastier/breadier notes others have mentioned, but as is, this one is a disappointment.

Jun 28, 2020
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CraigDeMoss from Kansas

3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Super clear gold with one finger head.

Barleycorn and wheats, lil hoppy, faint feet.

Feels pretty good, semi dry/semi sweet. Balanced bitterness and malt fullness.

Pretty good, it’s a beer.

Jun 19, 2020
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defunksta from North Dakota

3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a completely clear, medium-golden color with a strong white head that sits quietly for a while. SRM of 6. (4.25)

Aroma: Light aromas of orange citrus, apple, grape. Some bread dough sweetness. The aroma is subdued and subtle, but it has that classic SN orange citrus/nectar aroma. (3.75)

Flavor: Initial flavors of yeast and grainy upfront. Followed by an orchard fruit quality. There's sweet orange & apple juice. A slight bitterness comes through on the end, but the yeast finishes it dry. Again, the classic SN orange citrus/nectar flavor. Even a little bit of pine. (3.75)

Feel: Light, crispy, well-carbonated. Good carbonation and yeast finish it dry with nothing left on the palate. Goes down extremely light. (3.75)

Compared to Alaskan Kolsch 6/14/20: Pours a lighter color. More orange/nectar and apple juice flavors. Less malty sweetness and cherry. Overall, lighter and cleaner.

Compared to Zipline Brewing's Kolsch 7/5/20: Pours a darker color. Stronger fruit and hoppy aromas. Less malty bread. A bit more of a citrus and crispy bite.

Compared to Trader Joe's Josephbra Czech Pilsner 8/14/20: Pours a slightly lighter color. More orange dish soap on the aroma. Less bread. Dryer, crisper.

Compared to Oberon 8/23/20: Pours a similar color. More nectarine/apple/bread on the aroma. Less dry orange. Overall, sweeter.

Compared to SN Oktoberfest 2020, 8/23/20: Pours a lighter color. More pale malts and orcharfruit aromas. Less resinous orange/nectar. Slightly more tart and less bready. Overall, these are quite similar. I think we all know who copied whose homework.

Overall: A pretty good summer drink. Not exactly a Czech-style pilsner. Not really in hardly any aspect except slightly bready. It's got more fruit and yeast, with little signs of any noble hops. I actually mislabeled this as a Kolsch. It has more Kolsch orchard fruit flavors. Lots of nectarine/peach/apple. It actually has classic Sierra Nevada orange soap flavors too. Finishes on the dry side, with less malts for a Czech pils and more classic and resinous Sierra Nevada orange pine. (Final Rating: 3.83)

*Compare to a dense Kolsch*

Jun 14, 2020
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TheBricenator from Oregon

4.4/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Look: Light golden in color, clear and a vigorous pour brings on a good head that recedes leaving good lacing
Aroma: Pilsner malt, cut grass, slight lemon notes, and earthy and spicy hops
Taste: Biscuit and cracker-like malt up intermingles with herbal, earthy, and slightly spicy hops in good balance. Finishes very clean and crisp
Mouthfeel: Clean, balanced, and light but not watery. Medium carbonation and a huge depth of flavor but not at all so that it leads to a heavy feel
Overall: Awesome stuff. Crisp, balanced, and full of flavor. This has always been a beer that doesn't fit into typical style boxes IMO - somewhere between a Czech Pilsner, an American Lager, and a Kolsch for my palate. Honestly though, who cares - all I know is it is tasty and a regular occupant of my fridge during its seasonal release.

Jun 08, 2020
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Damian from Massachusetts

3.86/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.75

Drank from a 12 fl. oz. can purchased at Craft Beer Cellar, Belmont, MA
03 30 20
Served in a Willi Becher

Crystal clear, pale golden yellow appearance. The body was capped by a fluffy, bright white, two-finger tall head that quickly dissolved. No lacing whatsoever.

The nose was super yeasty and dry. Big, crisp, powdery yeasty notes dominated. As the head receded, some crackery malts appeared. Bit of lemony tartness. Later, the yeasty notes continued to subside and the malt presence intensified.

The flavor profile was quite hoppy for the style. Like in the aroma, crisp, dry, powdery yeasty notes came through strong. Some crackery malts were noticeable up front. Tart lemon notes appeared in the center and on the back end. The beer finished with more lemon, bitter lemon peel and a crisp, peppery hoppiness.

Fantastic light and fluffy mouthfeel. The liquid contained a super fine, fairly zippy effervescence that turned pillowy soft and plush on the palate.

Like most of Sierra Nevada’s offerings, Summerfest is a hop-forward take on a classic style. Although the hops seemed both excessive and overly bitter initially, this beer grew on me with time.

Jun 06, 2020
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BJB13 from Maryland

3.48/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle poured into a tumbler.
Bottled 4/15/20

I was a bit disappointed with this. It is crisp and refreshing but mediocre. The head was thin and short lived and it had a fruity overripe banana aroma on the nose. My biggest issue was mouth-coating astringency that was enough to be an annoyance. Perhaps it's chemistry and mine don't mix so well.

Jun 03, 2020
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milkshakebeersucks from Maryland

3.8/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bright gold appearance, large white head, modest lacing. Biscuit-like aroma set in a hay field. Crisp edge to the taste, a bit spicy, tangled with herbal hops. Slightly bitter dry aftertaste adds to a balanced light-to-medium bodied refreshing mouthfeel.

May 30, 2020
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German-Helles from Wisconsin

3.93/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This 12oz. bottle poured into a 20 oz. weizen looks very nice, a full 3 fingers of pure white foam, a nice straw yellow, slightly hazy, but plenty clear to watch the carbonation parade to the top. After a couple of minutes the foam settled to under a half inch with very little lacing.
There is a mild aroma of malt, smells fine!
The taste is bready, sweet, with just a touch of crisp bitterness to the finish. This is very good!
The feel is thicker than it looks, along with a nice feel from the carbonation.
This is a good one, thanks Kevin. I think I will have some after splitting wood tomorrow!

Dec 09, 2019
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EMV from Pennsylvania

3.77/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2019 edition. Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Dogfish Head tulip

L: Clear light golden pour with thick fluffy white head. Great retention and lacing.

S: Grassy hops and toasted malts.

T.F: Follows the nose. Sweet toasted grains up front... light lemon citrus and grassy hops. Faint spice. Smooth and crisp... light bodied and well carbonated. Clean... a bit of citrus at the finish.

O: A very drinkable summer lager. Solid flavor... not quite a Czech pilsner, but a good beer nonetheless. One I'd definitely have again.

Jul 29, 2019
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Buckeye55 from North Carolina

3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Great hot weather pilsner. On first taste, I was taken back to my high school/college days of working outside all day, heading to a bar and having that first mouthful go down. Looks like a pils, smells like a pils, tastes like a pils only better. I had a craft brewing buddy tell me that when trying a micro brewer, try their pils or lager, if it's no good, neither are they. SN is obviously top notch and this brew is too.

Jul 19, 2019
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gustation_beer_hound from Wisconsin

3.91/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tastes like summer beer. I recommend putting a bottle in the freezer on a hot day. Lest stand for about an hour but don't freeze it. When you open it there will be a bit of slush. I would say this is optimal refreshment.

Jul 18, 2019
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DFred from California

3.65/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a nice golden straw color--consistent with lagers. Good carbonation with a little more bitterness than I expected. Good beer for a hot summer day!

Jul 06, 2019
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DragonsMilk from Kentucky

3.38/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Loved this beer in 2018, minimum 4 star beer last summer version

As of 2019 had it in both the cans and bottles the flavor is reminiscent but not as good (drank my last 2018 within a week of buying the 2019, was still awesome) i think they cheapened it up, dialed something back, had a bit of that raw PBR/Bud rasp that I get from standard lagers. Still very good though, will buy again.

2020 A fine return to form, this brew dipped last year but it's back to firing on all 8 cylinders. I can't put my finger on it but my taste buds know what's right. 4 stars.

Jul 03, 2019
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donspublic from Texas

4.04/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into can, good 1+ finger cream colored head, good retention and lacing. Crystal clear pale yellow in the glass. Smells of cracker, grass and a hint of lemon. Sweet malt on the front, followed by some grassy/herbal hop, slight lemon twang and a good crisp finish. Carbonation keeps it lively on the palate. Great drinking beer, full body.

Jul 02, 2019
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jzeilinger from Pennsylvania

3.99/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Medium gold color with light carbonation, thin lacing, and beautiful clarity.

S - Graham cracker honey malt, light earthiness, and light lemon citrus.

T - Sweet honey malt base with earthy citrus over the top and ends crisp and balanced with a lingering earthy citrus.

M - Thick for a Pils, lots of sharp, sprightly bubbles on the tongue, and a dry finish.

O - Very refreshing and perfect for the warm weather without breaking your wallet.

Jun 25, 2019
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Wattie83 from Pennsylvania

4.09/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Really enjoyed this pilsener. Poured a clear light gold, yellow with a nice white head that fell to a fine cap on the beer. Lively carbonation rising to the top. Smell is bready malt, herbal hops, and a nice lemony scent. No one smell overpowers though. Sweet, bready malt on the entry. Hop bitterness and fruity flavor (not overly hopped though) cut through at midpoint. Finish is crisp, clean, and gets you ready for next sip. Medium body shows a well-balanced beer. Enough carbonation to clear palate and provide a little know the beer is there. Overall, I'm a fan. This is a nice pilsener that has enough of everything and not an abundance of anything. Balance is the key.

Jun 21, 2019
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hopsputin from New Jersey

3.65/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: clear straw yellow color with a 1 finger white fluffy head

S: sweet grains, grass, pepper, lemongrass, pilsner malt, and a crisp lager spice

T: sweet grains, grass, hay, and lemongrass. Crackers and a hint of sweet berries behind that. A little herbal pepper spice with that lager crispness at the end. Definitely able to pick up the Sierra Nevada house yeast in here as well

M: lighter mouthfeel with mid-high carbonation

O: an ok Pilsner. Nothing great about it. It’s not off, but it just doesn’t pop as much

Jun 19, 2019
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MaltyMagic from California

4.04/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Solid pils. Clear gold. Crackery malt, slight euro skunk, grassy/lemony hops, slight honey. Best served as cold as possible and consumed quickly. Better out of the bottle than poured. This was one of the first micro's I enjoyed drinking, nearly 20 years ago. Very refeshing on this rare 90 degree day on California's Lost Coast.

Jun 12, 2019
Summerfest from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 4464 ratings