Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States
Pilsner - Bohemian / Czech
Ranked #156
Ranked #25,015
3.67 | pDev: 12.53%
Nov 27, 2021
Jun 18, 2001
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.
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
3.72 by LesDewitt4beer from Minnesota on Nov 27, 2021
3.5 by NickMunford from Wyoming on Jul 15, 2021
3.75 by aasher from Indiana on Jun 20, 2021
3.25 by Dentist666 from Russian Federation on Apr 30, 2021
3.62 by Bacchaldo from Georgia on Mar 19, 2021
3.94 by DownyIsHungry from Minnesota on Oct 09, 2020
Photo of Shelbs90
3.98/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by Shelbs90 from Montana

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
Photo of Mikemcgrath4
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
by Mikemcgrath4 from North Carolina

Light biscuit and subtle noble hop nose. Light, slight hop and malt on palate. Crisp slightly dry finish.

Aug 31, 2020
3.86 by unclekeith from Alaska on Aug 28, 2020
Photo of RDWHAHB_Tom
3.34/5  rDev -9%
look: 5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25
by RDWHAHB_Tom from Maryland

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
Photo of 1009
3.24/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25
by 1009 from Massachusetts

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
3.5 by Dovers from Wisconsin on Aug 09, 2020
Photo of CDBeerDisappear
3.96/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by CDBeerDisappear from Ohio

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
4.03 by peachy-tay from California on Aug 05, 2020
3.75 by Velivolus1 from Vermont on Aug 04, 2020
4.05 by saymike32 from New Jersey on Jul 31, 2020
Photo of highdesertdrinker
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by highdesertdrinker from Arizona

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
Photo of Ahypercube
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
by Ahypercube from California

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
3.93 by AWA from California on Jul 20, 2020
Photo of Tsar_Riga
3.78/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
by Tsar_Riga from Indiana

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
3.35 by Chuckdiesel24 from Illinois on Jul 13, 2020
3.78 by evostudios12 from Florida on Jul 10, 2020
3.81 by Wisconsin_IPA_Lover from Wisconsin on Jul 01, 2020
3.88 by AElfwine_Nerevar from Connecticut on Jun 30, 2020
3.15 by S-Taylor from Texas on Jun 30, 2020
Photo of BubbleBobble
2.96/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3
by BubbleBobble from New York

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
3.91 by kwlightner from Pennsylvania on Jun 28, 2020
Photo of CraigDeMoss
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
by CraigDeMoss from Kansas

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
3.77 by Avatar113 from California on Jun 18, 2020
3.75 by ajdemma from New York on Jun 15, 2020
Photo of defunksta
3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
by defunksta from North Dakota

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
3.52 by imnodoctorbut from Texas on Jun 11, 2020
3.5 by tgdavis from Tennessee on Jun 10, 2020
Photo of TheBricenator
4.4/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
by TheBricenator from Oregon

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
Photo of Damian
3.86/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.75
by Damian from Massachusetts

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
3.75 by jschott75 from Illinois on Jun 03, 2020
Photo of BJB13
3.48/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5
by BJB13 from Maryland

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
2.75 by mpenske from California on May 31, 2020
Photo of milkshakebeersucks
3.8/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
by milkshakebeersucks from Maryland

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
3.88 by johnhansen from California on May 29, 2020
Summerfest from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 4466 ratings