Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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Bohemian Pilsener
Ranked #112
Ranked #37,473
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: 1,662 | Ratings: 4,434 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Damian
Damian from Massachusetts

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

Drank from a 16 fl. oz., 473 ml. can purchased at Notch Brewing, Salem, MA
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 crackery malt presence intensified.

The flavor was definitely pretty hoppy for the style. Like in the aroma, crisp, dry, powdery yeasty notes came through strong. Some crackery malts were noticeable on the front end. Tart lemon notes appeared in the center. Lemony hop notes cane through on the back end and the finish.

Fantastic mouthfeel. Super light and fluffy on the palate. The liquid contained a super fine, zippy effervescence that turned creamy, frothy and smooth on the palate.

43 minutes ago
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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.

Wednesday at 07:41 PM
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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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defunksta from Illinois

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

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 citrus, apple, grape. The aroma is subdued and subtle. (3.5)

Flavor: Initial flavors of yeast and grainy upfront. Followed by a fruit quality. There's sweet lemon, orange, grape & apple juice. A slight bitterness comes through on the end, but the yeast finishes it dry. (3.50)

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

Overall: A pretty good summer drink. Not exactly a Czech-style pilsner. Not really in hardly any aspect. 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 wine and fruit flavors. It's lighter. Finishes on the dry side, with less malts for a Czech pils. (Final Rating: 3.53)

Edit: A second try of this beer, agree with most of the previous review. More aromas of bread, biscuit, and a slightly sweet lemon/orange sweetness. The hops are not on a German pils level, but it is dryer than most Bohemian pils, Yeast reminds me of a Kolsch. An interplay between the three.

Jul 21, 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
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goingbrokeonbeer from South Carolina

3.69/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a golden color with a white head that dissipates quickly. Not a lot going on in the smell department, but hey it’s a Pilsner. Taste has a biscuit aspect and a little bite. I’m already on my second 12 pack and the summer is barely underway.

Jun 11, 2019
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dele from Massachusetts

4.31/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle dated 3/26, tasted on 6/5. Pours a clear grassy yellow in the glass, with plenty of carbonation. On the nose, biscuit, corn, and a slight scent of hops. The flavor of this beer is excellent. Crisp hoppy lager with a rounded mouthfeel and that great pilsner finish that leaves you wanting another sip immediately. This is a fantastic Czech pilsner and just about a perfect summer beer.

Jun 06, 2019
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mushroomcloud from Texas

4.02/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottled 4-12-19 (opened 6-2-19)
1 1/4" white head with good retention down to a full1/4" of foam, nice lacing. Pale golden color, clear and clean.
Grassy hops, spicy hops, quick hint of sulfur. Sweet and bready malt.
Very clean, grassy and spicy hop finish is the showcase with a lightly sweet malt base.
Light bodied and not quite what I would call crisp but very easy to drink, full of flavor, dry finish and refreshing.
Fantastic summer beer to look forward to annually.

Jun 02, 2019
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chimichunga from Georgia

3.32/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Very basic and one dimensional lager. On the hoppy side for a lager but that is really all you get. Easy drinking but not the most flavorful beer. Would probably not buy again.

May 31, 2019
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WYeates from North Carolina

3.97/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A solid pilsner with a crisp biscuit like feel to accompany a smooth lightly spiced taste. While not the most exciting pilsner, it's perfectly drinkable for those who enjoy a crisp taste, with light hints of spice.

May 31, 2019
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Beertsipper from New York

4.03/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Light gold, good amounts of carbonation. Smell is lemony, hops, some citrus. Taste is sweet malts with a good balance of fruity hops. Lemony with a semi-sugary finish. Light mouthfeel. I think I've found my summer thirst crusher. Better than years past. Lots of flavor for 5%.

May 29, 2019
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calebc10410 from Massachusetts

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

A good pils that showcases floral and citrusy noble hop flavors with classic bready pilsner malt. A well crafted, crisp, easy drinking, summer beer. I found this year's iterration particularly good.

May 28, 2019
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Alexc11 from Canada

3.84/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

May 21, 2019
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Mitchster from Michigan

5/5  rDev +35.1%
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.

May 08, 2019
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hoppity from California

3.94/5  rDev +6.5%
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.

May 06, 2019
Summerfest from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 4434 ratings