Summerfest
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

SummerfestSummerfest
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Style:
Pilsner - Bohemian / Czech
Ranked #150
ABV:
5%
Score:
83
Ranked #39,638
Avg:
3.7 | pDev: 12.43%
Reviews:
1,672
Ratings:
4,463
From:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
 
California, United States
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  163
Gots
  737
SCORE
83
Good
SummerfestSummerfest
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: 4,463 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by hoppytobehere:
Photo of hoppytobehere
hoppytobehere from District of Columbia

3.6/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Apr 16, 2015
More User Reviews:
Photo of Nickholland
Nickholland from Missouri

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

Makes you wonder why the big breweries can't put out something resembling this. A great lager/Pils, refreshing and clean...I have a hard time sipping this. If you like adjuncts this should be your foray into craft. I actually prefer this over their Nooner Pils, which unfortunately is their year round offering, because this would almost always occupy space in my fridge.

May 03, 2015
Photo of lilmissbeer
lilmissbeer from Pennsylvania

4.33/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I was really happy to discover this one, sad that it's only a seasonal but I suppose when it gets colder out I'll go back to stouts and heavier lagers... Overall, this is a great summer beer. To me it has that standard 'beer' taste, maybe to some that's a bad thing but for me, this is exactly what I look for in a warm-weather session beer. At 5.0 abv I can drink quite a few of these without feeling wasted, and sometimes that's the goal! I'm not sure what the exact word would be but this is a very 'plain' tasting beer in the best possible way. Will probably appeal to both craft aficianados and Anheuser Bush loyals. I definitely recommend this one as a summer session lager. Possibly the only downside is somewhat steep price given the ABV.

Jul 22, 2015
Photo of RaulMondesi
RaulMondesi from California

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

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.

Yep!

*As I drink this beer more, I just don’t like it. It’s too syrupy on the finish

Jul 15, 2018
Photo of Alieniloquium
Alieniloquium from Florida

3.01/5  rDev -18.6%
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.

Jul 11, 2018
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation from Iowa

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

I fail to see how a beer brewed in California, U.S.A. can be called a Euro Pale Lager. Yeah, I know, if it fits the style... blah, blah, blah. But still, this beer deserves better. I therefore dub Summerfest a Yankee Pale Lager.

Pellucid bright amber with an impressively large, creamyfirm, French vanilla head that looks like it belongs on an IPA. The foam displays remarkable persistance and eventually lays down generous amounts of lace in vertical streamers.

The aroma is unmistakably of aromatic Saaz hops with very little else muddying the waters. I'm not a big fan of that particular hop, but it's actually somewhat pleasant here, both in the nose and on the palate. Its oftentimes sharp, pungent nature is blunted to some extent by a fair amount of sweetish pale malt.

A subtle clove and white pepper spiciness increases marginally with warming. I prefer more citrus in my summer beers, but I won't complain too loudly. The body is solidly medium, yet is still well within the bounds of easy drinkability demanded by the summer seasonal designation.

Summerfest is a pretty good Saaz-hopped pale lager, even if my lack of affinity for that particular hop variety keeps me from loving it. That said, this Yankee Pale Lager kicks the crap out of the vast majority of its Euro counterparts.

Sep 22, 2004
Photo of bradleyrehmus
bradleyrehmus from California

4.33/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, packaged about 6 weeks ago.

A- Golden and translucent with almost 2 fingers of head, decent retention for the style and a little bit of lacing.

S- Very light and very characteristically pilsner. A little bit of bread or biscuit, very slightly floral and a hint of sweetness reminiscent of apple.

T- This is the taste I am hoping for any time I open a pilsner. After avoiding almost all lagers due to years of awful adjunct/macro experiences, my faith in the style is restored. This is an excellent combination of quality malts and (mostly) noble hops well-suited for a pilsner.

M-This beer is so light and crisp yet still retains excellent flavor. This is quite carbonated so if you're averse to such, you might want to look elsewhere.

D- This is exactly what I want in a pilsner and I could enjoy this in the sun all day. It goes down so easily and pairs excellently with so many foods that it would be great any time of year.

Given that my craft beer palette was shaped by the Pacific Northwest, I'm always going to favor aggressive hops (and most of Sierra Nevada's offerings fit the bill) but when I am in the mood for a Czech Pilsner, this will probably be my first choice. I wouldn't mind at all if they offered this year around and would certainly enjoy getting it once in a while throughout the year.

May 12, 2015
Photo of Lingenbrau
Lingenbrau from Oregon

4.28/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I don't know if it's just my preferences mutating, but this beer seems to get more solid every year. Very crisp and bright, well balanced with a nice bready sweetness, and complimented with a noble hop like profile. Very refreshing. Cheers!

Jul 27, 2016
Photo of Trooper92292
Trooper92292 from Illinois

4.02/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I love this beer. Fresh and crisp. This was really enjoyable. After drinking lagers for so many years this is one I can really enjoy. Highly recommend.

May 29, 2015
Photo of CMG-PSU
CMG-PSU from Pennsylvania

3.69/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Great Czech Pilsner. Not sure what all the hubbub is about drinking this outside and only being fit for a hot day... i love this beer and i would drink all day, 365 days a year!

Jun 22, 2015
Photo of xos
xos from New York

2.73/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Not up to Sierra Nevada's standard.

Feb 15, 2015
Photo of Glider
Glider from Massachusetts

4.29/5  rDev +15.9%
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.

Jul 29, 2018
Photo of Grindelvasdrum
Grindelvasdrum from Kentucky

4.16/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle poured into glass stein.
A-Clear gold with one finger white head, excellent lacing.
S- Mild malt & mild hop.
T- A big spicy peppery hop flavor but not really that bitter mind you, just distinctively hop, balanced by a mildly sweet malt.
M-Big carbonation, light body, very clean & crisp, slight astringency.
O- Great summer beer! What else did I expect from Sierra Nevada?

May 26, 2016
Photo of JPVanderbilt
JPVanderbilt from Virginia

4.67/5  rDev +26.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This is what you always wanted back in the day when you'd pick up a Budweiser or Miller, but wished they had more flavor. Taste like a light German or Czech-style pilsner, crisp, refreshing with a nice level of carbonation, finishes cleanly. This is territory that American craft brewers need to explore and develop.

Nov 29, 2015
Photo of nicholas2121
nicholas2121 from Ohio

4.43/5  rDev +19.7%
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.

Jul 19, 2018
Photo of OKbrew89
OKbrew89 from Oklahoma

3.64/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a pint glass. Clear, golden color with a small 1/2 a finger head that leaves no lacing. Sweet bready aroma with a little pepper at the end. Smooth citrus and bread flavor with a nice peppery hop kick at the end. Medium body and medium carbonation with no bitterness. Very crisp and refreshing beer. It tasted good while sitting out on the porch.
A good summer beer. Less hoppy than one would expect from Sierra Nevada.

Apr 27, 2015
Photo of craigmorris74
craigmorris74 from Kentucky

4.75/5  rDev +28.4%
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.

Jul 31, 2018
Photo of HabaJohn
HabaJohn from Illinois

2.64/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Not my type of beer, my brother gave it to me. I'll drink it, have had much better lagers. I'm all about hops, but I think it's the hop flavor that ruins this beer for me

May 25, 2015
Photo of OldSwampy
OldSwampy from Virginia

3.5/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Color quite pale straw yellow with a moderate white head. Nose reticent, typical mild lager profile. Taste is rather reticent as well - it is nicely balanced and refreshing, but surprisingly nondescript. I can't say that it gives me any reason to search it out again. I enjoy Czech pilseners, and love Saaz hops, but this one simply doesn't have the character of the best of the class. Bottle says "PKGD 04/18/16" and I drank it on 17 May, so freshness was not the problem.

May 18, 2016
Photo of RoyalT
RoyalT from Ohio

4.3/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – Light yellow with a monster head that laced the glass quite nicely.

Smell – Typical hop aroma with a tinge of sweetness.

Taste – Americans seem to have great difficulty in producing the German pilsner style of ale, but this one nails it. The clean, slightly bitter, refreshing flavor of the neutral hops is lightly complimented by a touch of sweetness. The beer is dry and refreshing, which is just right for the summer.

Mouthfeel – Some nice carbonation and the traditional dryness make this one a stand out.

Drinkability – This went down just like it is supposed to: clean, crisp, and refreshing.

Comments – I have to part with the (current) 3.62 rating of by BA Buds (on average). This offering from SN nailed the style, IMO.

Sep 02, 2003
Photo of BostonBrewRu
BostonBrewRu from Massachusetts

3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It's a Pilsner. It tastes and smells like Pilsner, nothing crazy, just decent beer...in the best way possible

Jun 04, 2015
Photo of MamashieldsMeow
MamashieldsMeow from Texas

4.25/5  rDev +14.9%
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.

Jun 03, 2018
Photo of GeoffFromSJ
GeoffFromSJ from New Jersey

3.55/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a straw with minimal head which doesn't stay too long. Nice refreshing pilsner was my first thought.

Gave a sip to my wife. "Tastes like lemon Pledge. I can't taste anything but lemon." I didn't have the same reaction, but I started to notice the lemon flavors more and more. And as I did, I didn't care for it.

But, to be honest, it was alright. I didn't find the lemon flavors too strong. But there are much better pilsners out there, esp. in the Philly area.

May 24, 2009
Photo of jaluria
jaluria from Connecticut

2.83/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured a semi-cloudy, yellow color with a soft head that dissipated quickly and left behind no lacing. Aromas of hops, grains, and yeast. The taste was a very mild with only a bit of hop bitterness and even less sweet malt. The carbonation added some texture, but otherwise there really was nothing special about this beer. Hardly any flavors came out and not much going on in the aftertaste. Overall, this was a below-average beer lacking flavor and texture.

Jan 31, 2006
Photo of vickersspitfire
vickersspitfire from Texas

3.69/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Appearance:
This is a light golden ale, just a tad darker than a nice blonde ale, with a very clear body (only the faintest hint of haziness is there) and filled with lively carbonation. The head is a nice white color and very fluffy, but doesn’t stick around for long. There is some mild lacing too.
Smell:
Grass and wheat aromas all mixed in with some mild dried citrus zest. Very nice and clean overall.
Taste:
Light and crisp, this ale tastes just like its aroma, the grassy and wheat flavors hit you first and the citrus flavors come in second. It is mildly sweet overall and the alcohol is well hidden.
Mouthfeel:
This is a light bodied ale with plenty of carbonation.
Overall:
This is a light and fun beer overall, very fresh and crisp and it goes down well on a hot day.

Aug 11, 2014
Summerfest from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 4463 ratings