Summerfest | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: Bohemian 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.

User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,637 | Ratings: 4,368
Photo of Alexc11
3.84/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Clear, light gold color with almost no lacing. Grain and malt drive the aroma. Low carbonation, hint of hops and light bitterness but polished off with semi-sweetness. Very light and crisp with smooth. Lives up to its name as a summer beer.

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Photo of Mitchster
5/5  rDev +36.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Brewed with two-row Pale, Munich, and Pilsner malt. Hopped with Perle, Saaz, Spalter Select. Fermented with lager yeast. 5% Alcohol by Volume, 28 Bitterness Units, 12.2° Original Gravity, 2.8° Finishing Gravity.

Pours crystal clear pale golden, forming a tall rocky white head with beautiful retention and lacing, carbonation is moderate, ~2.5 carbs or so. The nose is delicately floral and lightly grassy, classic Saaz with a little german kick of Perle, sitting on top of a deicate pils malt base. No off aromas, slight grass and very mild DMS, the way I like it. The mouthfeel is crisp, clean, refreshing, lightly dry and is very very drinkable. I really want another. Goes down very easy. The taste is delicate and nuanced with a nice pils malt husk/grain cracker like malt, mild-moderate bitterness and a clean finish. No off flavors.

This is one of my favorite beers. Of course when I first got into craft beers, it was all about big rich flavors...Dopplebocks, Rauchbiers, Russian Imperial stouts, DIPA's, barleywines. As I've been drinking and brewing over the last 25 years, I've found myself falling back onto well brewed simple beers like Kolsch, Czech Pils, German Pils, Dortmunders, and also recognizing the skill that goes into brewing a great example of each. This is one of those beers. I look forward to getting it every year, and it was $7.99/6 pk at Luckys. Drank fresh, it's just a wonderful experience. Highly recommended.

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Photo of hoppity
3.94/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Summer Fest is one of my favorite lagers. Every year I anticipate its spring arrival and it never disappoints.

It has what so many Sierra Nevada beers have which is just a great balance of flavors, mouthfeel, look and fragrance. SN was there at the beginning of the craft revolution and they are masters of consistency and balance IMO.

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Photo of beersampler6
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Very nice Pilsner that would be great to drink on a hot summer day. Clear golden color with just a little lingering head and lacing. Smells of malt, grain and just a touch of lemon. Tastes similarly, along with some trace hoppy notes. Clean finish and mouthfeel, not too much of that “lager” aftertaste. Good carbonation.

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Photo of AlfaMale
4.6/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very crisp and clean. Great for a hot summer afternoon or evening relaxing on the deck. Pours smoothly with very little head. Very reminiscent of a true German lager as found in-country (not imported or brewed over here in the USA). Slightly sweet, but with just a hint of spicy undertones. Beautiful light amber color. This could quickly become one of my favorite lagers.

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Photo of drtth
4.26/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The clear light golden yellow colored beer pours out into a Duvel glass with a 3/4” white head that slowly but visibly recedes while leaving some rings and a spider web of leggy lacing on the sides of the glass. Eventually the head becomes a thin cap that then becomes an irregular thin island of foam with a thick ring around the glass. Sipping leaves a couple of arches along with patches and legs of lacing on the sides of the glass.

The aromas are light and mostly about the floral and spicy hops with their grassy, herbal hop character. There’s also a bit of crackery malt.

The flavors are much as expected from the nose with a nice mix of spiciness, floral and herbal bitter hops backed up by crackery malts that bring along a slight sweetness. The balance, however, is a bit different than expected from the nose in that the herbal, spicy bitterness is more forward.

The mouthfeel is on the light side of medium bodied, clean and crisp with the moderate, slightly prickly carbonation. The finish begins as the malt character and it’s light sweetness fade away to leave a slightly spicy and herbal dry finish.

Overall this is an enjoyable and easily drinkable beer that has some nice light spicy, grassy, herbal and floral character that makes it very refreshing and dry in the ending. A really good beer for the warm summer evening and relaxing on the back porch with friends.

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Photo of craigmorris74
4.75/5  rDev +29.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I have been obsessively trying American lagers over the last couple of years. In my opinion, most American micros are either making a variant of American Adjunct/Pale Lager or, if they attempt to get more flavor, are simply making a session IPA or watery APA.
Sierra Nevada Summerfest is the single exception that I've encountered. This beer has all the complexities of great German or Czech lagers. Dry, with awesome malt/hop/yeast complexity, this is truly a special American beer-one that can stand with the best lagers in the world.
I'm guessing the reviewers that scored this beer low or said that it was bland aren't fans of the world's great lagers.

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Photo of Glider
4.29/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a roughly six week old 12 oz bottle. Nice clear golden straw color with a foamy white head. Smell is bready malts with some hop spiciness. On the palate, I get some lightly sweet doughy and bready malts that are balanced by a nice snap of spicy hops with a touch of grassy and floral and just a dab of fruitiness. A beautifully balanced pilsner, this beer has quickly made it onto my favorites list for lagers. Lots of flavor, while at the same time really easy drinking and refreshing.

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Photo of nicholas2121
4.43/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sierra Nevada Summerfest brewed by Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. With an ABV of 5.00% This Czech Pilsner pours out a nice golden amber color with a nice nice white head. There is also some nice lacing to this brew, it sticks to the side of the glass well. The smell of summerfest is rich with sweetness, grains and malts. You also pick up on some nice hop bitterness in the smell as well. Now for the taste it is Bold with flavors. You first pick up on a spicy sweetness then smooth grains and malts. There is a lot going on in this brew. You also pick on a good amount of hops in the taste of this brew. The body of summer fest is a solid medium. There is nothing overpowering about this brew, it has a super nice balance to it. I love how smooth this brew goes down. This brew would go nice a hot summer day. The mouth feel is Bold, Spicy, Sweet, Clean Smooth and Refreshing. Overall I'm going to give Sierra Nevada Summerfest a 4.50 out of 5. I would definitely look this brew up again giving the opportunity to. Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. Did a real nice job with this brew.

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

This one is rated a bit lower than I expected. But to each their own, you know? I mean, I totally think that Aubrey Plaza chick is worth cooking breakfast for, but a friend of mine just ain’t into it.

The beer though, yeah, the beer. Light and crisp like a ballerina that just purged her supper, and bright and tasty after she licks it back up.


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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.01/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.25

On tap at Das Biergarten. Clear golden. Smells of spicy hops and a touch of grain. Tastes of fruity hops up front and the spicy hops are lost. A bit of sweet bready malt. No bitterness. Light body. It's fine, but kinda bland.

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Photo of tucson_brewson
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass.

L - Pours a slightly hazy golden straw color with about a finger of soapy, white foam that dissipates fast and leaves a thin lacing throughout. A pretty steady stream of carbonation/bubbles flow up through the glass. Clean-looking.

S - Citrus, honeysuckle, orange blossom, bready malt, cereal grain, corn, wet grass, nothing overpowering, similar to a blonde ale.

T - Starts sweet with a biscuit malt flavor, some floral hops and spice, orange and honey, a slight astringent alcohol bite, sour lemon and citrus. Very balanced.

F - Light-to-medium bodied, moderate carbonation, slightly dry finish, very drinkable and refreshing.

O - A nice summer brew good for a hot day. Fits the style very well and has a nice balance of fruity, sticky sweetness with a nice floral hoppy bite. Another solid offering from Sierra Nevada.

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Photo of EMH73
3.93/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear golden color with a one inch white head that dissipates quickly and leaves decent lacing. Smells of sweet malts and citrus fruits. Tastes of sweet malts, grains, grass, slight lemon flavor and floral notes.A nice but not overpowering hop bitterness. Light bodied, medium carbonation, clean and crisp, extremely drinkable.

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

A: Bright straw yellow. One finger head dissipates almost immediately. Carbonation bubbles makes this a pretty sight.

S: Sour lemon right off the bat. Straw-ish malt and yeast

T: Nice clean malty with just enough flowery hops to balance it out. Light mouthfeel. Doesn't finish as clean or crisp as you would like for a summer beer.

O: A flavorful light beer, what a concept. Everything you would look for in a refreshing summer drink. Not spectacular in any one regard, but no missteps across the board.

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Photo of HoppingMadMonk
3.62/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Medium body and carbonation. Aroma was cittus,grain, and malt. Taste had a bitterness to it that seemed to mask everything else. It's an ok beer but I probably would have enjoyed it more had they not cranked up the bitterness

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Photo of JustLikeMyDad
3.8/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Tastes and smells like the beer style it is, reminds me more of a helles but who am I to know the difference? Pretty tasty. Good cold on hot summer days.

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Photo of MamashieldsMeow
4.25/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a very drinkable easy summer beer. Crisp and light, not sweet or sugary. As advertised, nice for sitting on the porch cooling off after mowing the lawn.

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Photo of Icedog
4.54/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Beautiful golden color with a quick start to the nose; like: what did I just experience? That set my curiosity in motion and found a slice of lime to swim in it. That let me feel relaxed into this lush ale. Enjoy cold...

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Photo of craigbelly
3.93/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pale golden straw color. Smooth & Crisp. Sweet malts upfront. Fruity citrus, grassy hops. Surprising hoppy bitterness that is extremely evident in the aftertaste.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
3.79/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From the 12 oz can in a snifter. This rather nice pils pours a pale golden
color with a nice head of white foam that settles to a thick ring, thin light pool,
and shows some nice light lacing. Nose of moderate grain notes with honey malts
and subtle herbal hops. Flavors exceed the nose by balanced presentation of light
grain and light breaded malts mingling nicely with a crisp and smooth hop flavor
that is not brash but balanced with light herbal overtones. Nice mouth feel; light body,
medium carbonation, and a crisp finish.

Everything one wants after a hot day. Beats most of the more common
offerings from the bigger macro guys out there.


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Photo of superwho24
4.64/5  rDev +26.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is for the 2017 Summerfest. Another great beer by SN. Looks tasty. Smells tasty. It is tasty. Mouthfeel is crisp and very slightly spicy. Puts Busch light to shame. I do love a Busch light though.

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Photo of Dr_Gonzo
4.5/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very clear, but with depth, blond color with a small head and moderate carbonation.

Smells grainy and kind of a "grassy" sort of hoppy smell, with light floral and malty hints.

The hops taste spicy but there's also an incredible crisp bite and texture to it. A cracker flavor is present and a fine bitterness in the aftertaste.

This is a great beer!

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Photo of ikapaMK
4.21/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Summerfest 2017. Bottled 1 June 2017. Opened 27 July 2017

Poured chilled into white wine glass

A - Clear gold, effervescent with a thick, loose, white, 1 1/2 finger head, dissipates moderately quickly to a ring. Slight lacings on the glass
S - Crackery, with a bright hop aroma (makes me think of citrus flowers)
T - Semi-sweet, crackery at the front of the mouth, with a grassy hop note, followed by a crisp, dry, slightly bitter taste on the end
F - Fairly full - much more so than I expected. Lightly effervescent on the tongue with a lingering residue

O - I should know better than to expect something run-of-the mill from SN. This definitely isn't your mass-market Euro pilsner. Very well-crafted with an excellent body and a light, crisp taste. I may just have to go back to the store and get myself another...

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Photo of ManapuaMan
3.84/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I always grab at least one six pack in May or June. It's consistently delicious, crisp and emanantly drinkable. Straw gold pour with good clarity under a soapy white head. Lively carbonation speaks to the crisp snap of the sip ahead. Aroma is toasted malt, cracker and earthy hops. Taste is cracker, sourdough bread, lemon zest, barley and grassy hops. Smooth throughout and finishes with a crisp snap. Seasonal reflex purchase that I don't plan on changing.

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Photo of BWED
3.93/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into willibecher.

A- Straw in color with great clarity. Head is white, but not strong. Lacing is okay.

S- Grainy and grassy. Very light toasted malt. Hops are a bit floral and spicy. Fresh.

T- Toasty malt comes through more creating a backbone for the mild floral and spice hops.

M- Light body and crisp. Light linger of bitterness in the finish, otherwise clean.

O- Really easy drinker. More flavor and depth than an average light lager/ale.

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Summerfest from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.67 out of 5 with 4,368 ratings