Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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1,573 Reviews
Sierra Nevada Summerfest LagerSierra Nevada Summerfest Lager

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

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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Reviews: 1,573 | Ratings: 4,118
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.

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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'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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Photo of Yesac
3.25/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours clear applejuice yellow. No head.

Bitter zesty smell

Taste is sweet grainy/malty, and could use more hops in my opinion. Slight spice and carbonation.

This is a great session beer, good mouthfeel. Crisp stuff, but I'd rather have another lager over this.

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Photo of fizzgig
3.25/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Clear gold, little head initially, slight ring persisting.

S: Pine and floral, more or less like other pilsners.

T: Like a middle of the road pilsner. Nothing too sharp or lingering.

M: Light, comes and goes pretty quick.

O: Keeping in perspective its purpose, it's just fine. Not necessarily a memorable experience but good for outdoor hot weather when heavier stuff won't do.

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Photo of gpatt55
3.25/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap @ Philly West

Pours a macrolager-like yellow/green straw color with a thin sudsy head. Nose of straw and light citrus hops. Richer flavor than the color would suggest, nicely malty, medium bodied lager. Front porch beer, refreshing with good flavor. Nothing earthshattering here but a perfectly good summer session beer.

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Photo of smythie86
3.25/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A bright golden beer, the color is very light. It really has hardly any smell. There is more of a kick than I was expecting, but it leaves a pleasant aftertaste. This is a summer beer, so it is made to be refreshing, and it was quite refreshing.

This is a good beer, I would get it for a hot day as it is better than other similar summer beers I have had.

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Photo of Jablonski
3.25/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pours a clear bright golden yellow color with a small head. There is no lacing to note on the glass. A malty sweetness dominates the smell. I can also pick up some orange, grapefruit, and some herbal notes in the background. The Summerfest Lager tastes similar to the smell, except the citrus notes I picked up seem to be more like lemons. There is also a slight bitterness to the beer, but not too strong. The body of the beer is nice, but the carbonation is too much--almost makes the beer unpleasant. Overall it's a decent brew from Sierra Nevada. There was just something a little off in the aftertaste of this beer. It was nice to try, but it won't make it into the rotation.

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Photo of rawfish
3.25/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear straw with a whipped white head that reaches two inches. Poor retention and spotty lacing, even with a newly cleaned glass.

Aroma is very thin, some bready malts a touch of grassy hops coupled with grain. Nothing unpleasant but nothing much here either.

Taste is very grainy and of grain husks, some sweet corn starts to trickle in but the hops arrive just in time to save the flavor from becoming too sweet and add a nice grassy feel. Bitterness is light and dries with a touch of soap. Aftertaste ends as it began with a raw, grainy taste.

Lightly soapy and crisp ending with a nice light body. Carbonation I felt was under developed.

Ho-hum at least it's better than a macro lager, nothing offensive, well balanced but for a craft lager is very raw and you can taste the adjunct grain in places. Hop character and feel are redeeming qualities.

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Photo of Wegbier
3.24/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

a pretty white head that stays fluffy all the way down leaving some lacing, a pale to golden color with lots of lively bubbles.

s- i detect so little smell from this beer it saddens me. Very light note of floral hops.

t- light crisp clean floral hop pilsner, I dont feel like there is much going on.

m- thin and clean, i dont know what else to say for this one

d- very drinkable, this is a session beer for a hot day by all means.

I cant find a freshness date on the bottle and I suspect that to be a possible culprit for a fine pilsner with quality ingredients. This reminds me more of a typical North German pilsner than anything czech but that might be my own subjectivity.

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Photo of SteveB24
3.24/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

appearance; straw yellow, lots of evident carbonation in the beer, thick, white head.

smell; smell is actually not to pleasant. grass and yeast

taste; yeast, grain, earthiness, very faint citrus and spice.

mouthfeel; mouthfeel is very nice; very crisp, perfectly dry in the finish, carbonation is high but it suits the flavors and body.

overall; not a drain pour but not a great beer, i think they were going for a unique, complex lager but the flavors just weren't great. not terrible for the summer but i wouldn't buy again.

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Photo of drpimento
3.24/5  rDev -12%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Not too bad, but a bit too sweet for me. Aroma is grain, grass, crackers. Flavor's similar to nose, more sweet than bitter. Thank goodness sufficient carbonation. Sweet finish.

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Photo of connecticutpoet
3.23/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This poured a standard pilsener yellow with a rather large head that dissipated after a few minutes to a ring of lace.

The aroma was of aromatic hops, mostly Saaz, with borderline hints of skunkiness. Not too bad, but not spectacular.

The taste was of bittering hops on the foretaste, with hints of pine and minimal citrus. Possibly coriander as well. It was about average, IMO.

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Photo of bigfnjoe
3.23/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A- Pours a clear, dark yellow with a very thin white head that quickly fades. Nearly no bubbles rising from the bottom of the glass...looks a little plain.

S- Very mild malt scent. Really, not much of anything.

T- Not really a whole lot. I get a nice bit of maltiness in the back of my mouth upon taking a sip, which is nice...but thats really all.

M- Not a whole lot of carbonation at all. Very light.

D- Oh yeah, its drinkable. Because of how light and rather flavorless this is, it goes down real smooth and you don't even blink. I could easily pound back a few of these in a night...if I was into drinking beer like this on the regular.

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Photo of vdread
3.23/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Sierra Nevada Summerfest pours a very pale yellow with ample head.

smell is grainy with saaz hops. not a lot going on here.

the malt is bready, slightly grainy, the hops are light, earthy, spicy, slightly grassy. there isn't much going on here either. i can't help but wonder what redeeming qualities the people at Sierra Nevada see in this beer. it's definitely a step away from their regular line up

mouthfeel med. for the style. well carbonated. leaves a strong bready malt aftertaste.

drinkability ok. though lacking in flavor for the most part, it tastes fresh at least and is easy to drink. this is the type of beer i would give to somebody who doesn't normally drink craft... while i sip a torpedo.

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Photo of Portertime
3.23/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I think I have enjoyed past summerfests by Sierra Nevada but if they are chamging the recipe each year like their Celebration Ale I certainly do not like this summer's recipe. It had it chilled in a pint glass. Poured a nice bright, lucid golden color with a decent head and hardly any carbonation. The smell was okay with some some malt sweetness and pilsner notes. The taste was of a typical lager but not much complexity. Reminded me too much of a Corona which turned me off because I certainly don't want to put a lime in my Sierra Nevada. I guess I could do a side by side comparison but I'm just not feeling the macro lager taste. I stick to the pale and Celebration ales.

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Photo of FrankenBeerStein
3.23/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours out a straw yellow color. It has a definite grain smell to it, as well as a definite note of the hops. Has the familiar pilsner sting to the taste, and this does stay with you like it does most pilsners. For a cross between a pilsner and a lager, it isn't bad though I think I would go with one or the other. Still, for what it is, it's not bad, and something I would drink again.

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Photo of Jayli
3.23/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I am generally a fan of Sierra Nevada, and although this is a decent beer - it fell short of my expectations for a Sierra Nevada brew.
The beer poured a pale yellow with an average head. The scent left a bit to be desired as I found it to be rather bland. There was a slight metallic-ness taste to it. Overall mouth feel wasn't bad. This is an ok beer, I certainly wouldn't turn it down...though for 9.00 I wouldn't purchase it myself again.

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Photo of afatty
3.23/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours light amber with compact white head that leaves nice lace in a clean glass. Faint hop aroma and smooth mouthfeel. Very light hop flavor and little bitterness from Saaz and Perle hops. Sweet malt flavor is balanced to the hops. Quite good for a pilsner style light lager. Not a favorite style for me and I would stick to the ORIGINAL pilsner if I were going to drink more. It does a good job of quenching thirst which is important in a summer beer. It will not take the Pale Ale's place in my summer line-up.

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Photo of yourefragile
3.23/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz 2007 bottle poured into a pilsner glass.

A: Golden straw color with light carbonation. Nice clarity. Slowly dissipating one finger head that leaves thin film over surface
S: Malty, grassy smell. Nothing spectacular, but appealing
T: Crisp, refreshing flavor to start, with a hoppy bitter finish. Some hints of lemon.
M/D: Medium bodied, mild carbonation finishes very dry with bitter aftertaste. Nothing too spectacular, nothing bad. Nice summer beer but coming from SN slightly disappointing compared to some of their other seasonals.

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Photo of NuclearSoAndSo
3.23/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured into a beer mug.

Appearance: Pours a nice light golden color, clear and bright with a one-finger white head.

Smell: Smells of subtle, sweet grains and a faint floral hoppiness.

Taste: Tastes of grains mostly; malty and crisp. Just a little citrus too. And possibly a slightly toffee finish.

Mouthfeel: Mouthfeel is light and smooth, a little slick (not watery) and easy to drink.

Overall: A nice beer. I might buy it again at some point, although I usually go for something a little darker or with more of a kick. But this was refreshing and a fitting compliment to my hot, humid apartment.

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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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