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Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

1,564 Reviews
Sierra Nevada Summerfest LagerSierra Nevada Summerfest Lager

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

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,564 | Ratings: 4,091
Photo of mothman
3.3/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Beer 4 of 4 for the Sierra Nevada Tasting Event at Stub and Herbs that I reviewed.

Poured into 6 oz Sierra Nevada sample glass. Pours a small head, due to the glass. Color is a clear straw yellow. Very little lace.

Smell is very grainy and corn-like. Not one of my favorite smells coming from a Sierra Nevada beer.

Taste: Just like the smell. Very grainy and I get a metallic flavor as well.

Mouthfeel is very crisp. Over carbonated. Very light bodied.

Overall, this is by far my least favorite offering from Sierra Nevada. I don't plan on ever buying this, but maybe on a HOT summer day I could try it again.

 616 characters

Photo of Hoagie1973
3.3/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Well, it was beer colored and smelled like beer.
Had the typical characteristics of a summer seasonal; light bodied, crisp, refreshing, with a touch of lemon zest. It had a pronounced hop bitterness, which I'm ok with, but it wasn't a flavorful hop character like their Pale Ale, it was just a grassy, extract-like oily bitterness; somewhat unpleasant.
Overall it wasn't bad or difficult to finish, just nothing special.

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Photo of mnj21655
3.3/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a SN Summerfest shaker pint glass.

Pours a brilliantly clear pale gold in color with about a half finger of white head. Aroma is quite clean. A bit grainy with a biscuit-like aroma. Low hop aroma. Taste is pretty good. Very clean, lightly malty, touch of honey, some spicy hop flavor and a nice balancing bitterness. Mouthfeel is pretty good with light-medium body and moderate-high carbonation. Drinkaiblity is pretty good as well. A nice easy drinker that is fairly flavorful and well balanced.

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Photo of bboven
3.3/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Deep yellow, crystal clear body with no head or lacing.

The aroma is well balanced between the saaz and pilsner malt, but there's a slight skunk holding it back. Not nearly as bad as green bottle beers, though, by any means.

Muted sweetness gives way to a huge chalky, metallic and bitter aftertaste. Not the best combination of flavors.

Mouthfeel is spot-on, highly carbonated and very drying.

I applaud anyone making respectable lagers, but there are a few craft brewers out there making a better version that Sierra Nevada. Victory and Brooklyn come to mind. This one isn't bad, but I would pick the others I mentioned over this one next time.

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Photo of HamdenHector
3.3/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A: crystal clear; bright yellow; 1/2 finger creamy white head that receded quickly to a spotty film; very little lacing;

S: bready malt; light hops; a touch of lemon;

T: lemony; a tough of hops in the finish; balanced;

M: light bodied; low carbonation; refreshing; easy drinking;

O: a nice summer beer; it'll go down fast; not complex, but it's not intended to be; a nice hot weather beer;

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Photo of beersarang
3.3/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a nice gold with a healthy white head. Lots of carbonation streaming upwards, very lager-esque.

Hops dominate the aroma, some pine and a touch of grapefruit.

Mild malt backbone but they are a little thin on the palate, the use of west coast hops makes this different from typical Euro pale lagers, instead of grass or herbs, the flavor is pine. That is a good thing, but the pine has no malts to hold on too, and the flavor is a bit off. Finishes grainy.

Medium to light bodied, as a lager should be. Refreshing.

Think of this a Sierra Pale Ale's slightly ugly cousin, It's Sierra in lager form, but that just doesn't work out.

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Photo of skrib09
3.3/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a clear yellow. white head clears quickly.

smells slightly hopped and malty. hints of corn or corn husk maybe.

taste is boozy and bready. corn meal notes on the palate.

crispy mouthfeel and drinkable. this is where this beer comes in play. summer time fun. it has a decent backbone but it goes down well and would pair well with a lawnmower session.

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Photo of jsprain1
3.29/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I've enjoyed the last couple Sierra Nevada offerings I've had so I decided on their summer beer.
A- The appearance is a light golden with a very small head and a tiny amount of lacing. It is also very clear. It almost looks like the world's best macro lager.
S- The scent is of grass, spicy hops and lemon. Actaully, I was impressed with the scent.
T- The taste was decent, countinuing the grass/grain taste as well as the hops. The lemon scent didn't really appear for me in the taste. There was an almost bizarre, strong grainy aftertaste. The jury is out for me on what I think of that.
M: It is very light and crisp, as advertised. An enjoyable beer. The carbonation was kept at an appropriate level. It seems to be an easy beer to kick back and have a couple while watching the game.
O- It certainly isn't my favorite of the Sierra Nevada line, but that being said, it's still an ok beer.

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Photo of Jraiona
3.29/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured aggressively into a Pilsner glass. The color was a crystal clear pale yellow with a thick frothy head that dissipated and some slight lacing. I did not pick up much from the aroma but I am a newbie and not sure of the nuances to be looking for. There was a nice level of sweetness which gave way to a well balancing bitterness on the back end. Definitely a beer I could spend a lazy summer afternoon with.

 412 characters

Photo of alpinebryant
3.29/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a pint glass with dinner at Mohegan Sun

Looked pale yellow in color, small white head lacing the glass. Smelled of Pilsner malt, and citrusy hints. Taste of strong pilsner as expected and nice citrus notes. I thought the play of the citrus and Pilsner flavors had a light licorice like taste when together. Medium bodied - definitely not your average pilsner lager , nice thickness to it. Had one with dinner and then off to a comedy show, but I would have had another.

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Photo of TastyAdventure
3.29/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

A - extremely clear, light golden.

S - light beer. grain husk, touch of lemon

Taste - Light lager... almost like sucking on dry uncooked pasta. there is however a tiny hint of lemon, and a faint white pepper type spiciness i think. thats nice, but aside from that, its just another light lager.

M - nice amount of carb. good feel

overall, i guess i just cant see the good side of any lager... unless its a doppelbock or something. but this one was better than BMC, and I'd rather have had this than a glass of water.

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Photo of Immortale25
3.28/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured into a Florida Beer Co. tapered glass. Bottom of can says PKGD 040414

A- Pours a light golden color with a 3/4 inch white head that barely retains at all before popping away to a paper-thin ring around the edge of the glass and nearly no surface foam. Pretty much no lacing.

S- Crisp pilsner aroma with some light hopping and some mild bready malt.

T- Cracker-like malt flavor with a kiss of noble hops and not much else. Drinkable almost to the point of being watery. The only thing keeping things somewhat interesting is the hop presence although very distant.

M- Slightly crisp from the hops and medium carbonation. Light body.

O- Eh. Very unoffensive which wins it points in my book since a lot of the Czech pilsners I've had in the past have rubbed me the wrong way. While this one certainly isn't super satisfying, at least there's nothing there to turn me off from drinking the whole thing.

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Photo of StevieW
3.28/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear golden yellow pour...fizzy white head, faded fast. Noticable hop aromas, combined with traditional beer smells of a pilsener. Taste was a little thin, and overly bitter hop wise on the finish. Not much malt or anything like it. Somewhat flat tasting at the bottom of the glass. Although it was crisp and light, it lacked the balanced flavor of the other SN products I have sampled. IMO, Prima Pils is much better in this class.

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Photo of Jenkster4
3.28/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a super clear pale yellow. Very effervescent. Not much head, just a small lacing.

Smell is mostly grain, little citrus zest.

Taste of grain and wheat, but not a strong wheat taste. Very VERY slight hop bitterness, and a tad bit of spice.

Smooth mouthfeel, very light.

Overall. A pretty decent summer lager. This would be a good one after some hardcore outdoor activities.

 381 characters

Photo of SwillBilly
3.28/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle

Appearance: SN Summerfest pours crystal clear and golden in the my glass with a nice 2" foamy white head. Sheets of lacing line the glass as the head dissipates. Tiny bubbles stream upward from the bottom of the glass.

Smell: Herbal, with hints of spicy Saaz hops.

Taste: Starts rather clean and crisp with hints of the Saaz making their appearance with a slight bitterness towards the middle. Herbal and dry to the finish with a lingering hop bitterness on the tongue.

Mouthfeel: Thin, crips and dry.

Drinkability: Summerfest isn't bad for a summer thirst quencher. Nothing really stands out, not all that hoppy for Pils, in fact its rather innocuous. Would be a good crossover beer for your BMC drinking buddies. Not bad, but there are better summer Pilsners out there. Worth a try but I'll stick with Troegs Sunshine Pils or Tuppers Hop Pocket Pils for my summer time Pilsners.

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Photo of stevoj
3.28/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Light, smooth and drinkable. Clear golden with small white head. Light grain aroma, taste is crackers, bread, more cereal grains. Hops are an afterthought, not enough for any bite or finish. As the name implies, a good summer beer though....

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Photo of rallison
3.27/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Overall, this was an ok stab at the style. Light body with some bready malts. Not much in the way of hops - this could use a nice dose of fresh hops. Relatively refreshing - good for a hot day I suppose - but otherwise rather uninspired.

Overall, not recommended. Tough going to this after having had a Reality Czeck.

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Photo of FLima
3.27/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Golden color with a thick bright white head with good retention.
Light, but nice Lager aroma with bread and herbal notes.
Refreshing and crisp flavor, balancing malt sweetness with herbal and spicy hops. Hints of lemon and flowers. Dry aftertaste with a medium bitterness that demands another sip.
Light body with appropriate carbonation.
Mild lager but not boring, no defects whatsoever. Pils for summer volume.
Ap.3,25 Ap.3 Sab.3,25 Sens.3,5 Cj.3,5

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Photo of hyuga
3.26/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

2002 release. Golden with a big white head that leaves a patchy lace, but doesn't stay for long. Subtle aromas in the nose, some hop aroma that's a bit plant-like and citrus-like. Hop bitterness plays a big role in the flavor, with grain right behind it. Once again, a bit plant-like with citrus. Smoothness in the mouthfeel is interrupted by the hops. I didn't find this as refreshingly satisfying as this type of lager should be. Hops take over where they shouldn't. Not too bad, but there are many in this style that I'd put above this one.

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Photo of marc77
3.26/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Light gold in hue w/ a sticky, billowy white head. Very bubbly and effervescent. Soft, yet spicy, green chlorophyll - like Hallertauer hop nose. Not much else there in aroma. The hop bitterness is mild, and a subtle floral noble hop flavor is there as well. Malt flavors are light and are comprised of non - descript graininess. Although there aren't any outstanding flavors for this brew, it's certainly a thirst quencher. A bit more hop bitterness and flavor as well as malt backbone would've made this an excellent pils. Good drinkability, but a bit lacking in flavor.

 577 characters

Photo of AwYeh
3.26/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass; thanks to Jesse13713 for sharing one of his bottles with me.

A: Pours a thin, clear yellow color with two fingers of white head and considerable carbonation bubbles visible.

S: Lots of grassy hops backed up by a faint, indistinct malty sweetness.

T: Very similar to the smell; I predominantly taste grass and that same sweetness. There isn't a lot going on, but it's well balanced and very refreshing.

M: Thin-bodied, smooth, and very crisp from the moderate-high carbonation.

O: A solid beer to stock your fridge with in the summertime; its refreshing quality and low ABV mean even a 12-pack of this wouldn't stick around too long.

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Photo of BedetheVenerable
3.26/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: On tap in a Guinness 20 oz pint

Appearance: Rich golden beer with a medium white cap which fades to a thick steady film

Smell: VERY clean, crisp, with a touch of lemon and grain

Taste: Again, very crisp, with plain popcorn graininess and sharp grassy hops on the finish

Mouthfeel: Light, crisp, and very refreshing

Drinkability: Medium-high

Conclusion: Meh...I've had much better Czech Pils...there's nothing WRONG with this per se...it's just very plain and honestly pretty boring.

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Photo of LuthersMug
3.26/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this beer on a warm spring night after a softball game. The beer poured clear and golden with crisp carbonation bubbling up. A nice crisp head lasted for the first few minutes and then disappeared. Very little aroma coming from the beer. The beer was crisp with slightly spicy hops. A decent beer for my palate.

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Photo of DiabolikDUB
3.26/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from Bottle into Pint Glass.

Pours a crystal clear straw color with a good finger of bubbly foam that quickly dissolves and leave a fine ring around the glass. The aroma has sweet nutty malts and some earthy, grassy hops. The flavor is sweet caramel malt upfront that is supported with some bitter hops towards the end. Its a light bodied beer with lots of carbonation. Summerfest is a very easy drinking beer but I'm still trying to work into the lager thing so I probably won't be grabbing more of this soon.

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Photo of rdilauro
3.25/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

I am always looking for that one 'summer' beer that I will enjoy the entire season. This one poured light many other light beers, very light in color, small but bright white head. There was no pronounced aroma, but I did detect a bit of citrus, more lemony or lime.

The initial taste was crisp and clean. Hops were present but I think only to make sure your palate is alive and kicking. The finish was quite, as I would expect from a summer light beer and it did have a slight hint of lemon.. Nothing like a shandy, but it gave you a refreshing finish.

Follow on sips were basically the same. Clean, Crisp and Light

I will continue my search for my summer beer

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Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 1,564 ratings.
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