Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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BA SCORE
83
good
1,573 Reviews
Sierra Nevada Summerfest LagerSierra Nevada Summerfest Lager
BEER INFO

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

Style: Czech 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.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 06-17-2001

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,573
Ratings:
4,118
Avg:
3.68
pDev:
20.38%
 
 
Wants:
127
Gots:
590
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 1,573 | Ratings: 4,118
Reviews by manutd103:
Photo of manutd103
4/5  rDev +8.7%

More User Reviews:
Photo of Nickholland
4/5  rDev +8.7%
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.

 371 characters

Photo of lilmissbeer
4.33/5  rDev +17.7%
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.

 746 characters

Photo of OKbrew89
3.64/5  rDev -1.1%
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.

 430 characters

Photo of BostonBrewRu
3.68/5  rDev 0%
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

109 characters

Photo of xos
2.73/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Not up to Sierra Nevada's standard.

35 characters

Photo of OldSwampy
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
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.

 473 characters

Photo of Grindelvasdrum
4.16/5  rDev +13%
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?

 380 characters

Photo of Trooper92292
4.02/5  rDev +9.2%
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.

 151 characters

Photo of CMG-PSU
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!

 178 characters

Photo of bradleyrehmus
4.33/5  rDev +17.7%
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.

 1,332 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

 1,307 characters

Photo of JPVanderbilt
4.67/5  rDev +26.9%
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.

 317 characters

Photo of HabaJohn
2.64/5  rDev -28.3%
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

 170 characters

Photo of oberon
4.08/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice for the style,not to hoppy good malt-accented beer.Light color with a decent head.Would try again,Iam not into summer accrnted lighter beers.Bring on Oktoberfest!

 167 characters

Photo of mojohawk21
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of RoyalT
4.3/5  rDev +16.8%
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.

 762 characters

Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.67/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Fest pours a crystal clear gold with a foamy white head. Dissipation is immediate and nearly complete. Clean and crisp hops and lager aromas with a touch of lemon. Primary component of MF and taste is the snapping turtle hop bite. Pretty darn drinkable.

 253 characters

Photo of tectactoe
3.72/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a straw-yellow color with a silky white head; tame, yet vibrant, no apparent lacing left on the glass. Aroma is crisp with some grains in the background, playing secondary to a nice helping of bitter, earthy hops. Some lemon zest pulls through and plays tertiary as well. Lots of carbonation on the initial sip; this was to be expected - it gives a nice, clean, crisp taste on the palate and brings out the strength of the hops. The hops make up a good percentage of the taste here, but make no mistake - this beer is far from "bitter", even compared to pale ales. Malts and grains come through in around the edges, again followed by a lemon-orange-citrus like sweetness that shows up for a moment and washes away. Some clove and light spice shows up once the beer is significantly warmer, although this isn't typically a beer that takes too long to put down. Thin body, crisp, clean, dry finish.

I'm not extremely well versed in "Czech Pilseners", so I don't know how this differs from the American type, but it certain makes for a refreshing beer to drink on a hot summer day. Hits the spot after mowing the lawn in 95 degree heat for hours.

 1,150 characters

Photo of passthatpurpyo
4/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of t2grogan
3/5  rDev -18.5%

Photo of Tiernan
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of tbryan5
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of woodchipper
3/5  rDev -18.5%

Photo of SIRIUS2
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint pint glass.

Pours crystal clear light golden in color. Very thin head of white soapy bubbles that dissipated very quickly to nothing. No lacing to speak of.

The smell strikes me as a slightly more malty version of your run of the mill American macro lager. There are some hops, some malts, but mostly it just has that generic 'beer' smell.

The first pull on this was light, refreshing and satisfying. There is a terrific balance between the light flavored malts and the grassy to citrus flavored hops. There is also just the slightest touch of yeasty fresh bread. The carbonation is quite light and the general disposition seems just a touch watery but still rather flavorful. There is just enough malt coming through that I would hesitate to call this 'dry' but it certainly isn't sweet. The finish is relatively quick and there is just a little bit of hoppy linger.

I found this to be incredibly drinkable. It just isn't too much of any one thing - just light and refreshing with just the right amount of flavor for the recipe. By the time I got to the bottom of the glass, I was really digging this brew.

 1,151 characters

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Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
3.68 out of 5 based on 4,118 ratings.
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