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Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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BA SCORE
83
good
1,576 Reviews
Sierra Nevada Summerfest LagerSierra Nevada Summerfest Lager
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States
sierra-nevada.com

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:
1,576
Ratings:
4,124
Avg:
3.68
pDev:
20.38%
 
 
Wants:
125
Gots:
597
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,576 | Ratings: 4,124
Photo of FtownThrowDown
2.12/5  rDev -42.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Pours a very, very pale yellow in color with only a little froth of a head forming on the pour. Very lagerish on the smell and nothing else to note. It looks very BMC'ish. Taste is prickly and very BMC'ish. I was expecting at least some West Coast hops, but nothing. Really disappointed. Don't waste your time.

 310 characters

Photo of rattleweed
2.13/5  rDev -42.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

A - bright yellow with a nice big white head
S - faintly floral, pretty nice
T - not bad when it first hits the mouth but turns bad going down and stays bad. watery and sour.
M - not overly carbonated. no squeeze on the tastebuds.
D - not looking forward to the other 5 bottles.

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Photo of jujubeast6000
2.18/5  rDev -40.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Reviewed 6/4/2006 (12oz bottle):

Pours a golden yellow colored body, clear & fizzy. With a huge head, white, and slowly diminishing. Has a strong aroma of malts, and sweetness. An aroma balanced by some hops. Also a very malty taste, and somewhat dry.

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Photo of schlimenhaumer
2.22/5  rDev -39.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass at low altitude.

A: Pours a slightly hazy pale yellow with a pithy white head that dissipates quickly and leaves little lacing.

S: Wheat notes with bright citrus and some faint banana sweetness.

T: Unexpectedly sour. Not sure if this one has gone bad or not. Starts off with citrus peel bitterness, but then very sour grape flavors take over through the finish. Not pleasant.

M: Just like water for the most part. Light-bodied with a very slight hint of dryness at the end...

D: Judging by the other reviews, this one almost certainly went bad...

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Photo of RickS95
2.23/5  rDev -39.4%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Worst looking beer I can think of. Clear with hardly any color. Looks like someone took a leak in my glass.

Smells like summer, a malty, flowery scent.

Hard to taste anything thru the bitterness.

It's so carbonated and bitter, it just stings in the mouth...I guess some might call it crisp.

This beer has no redeeming qualities and is Sierra Nevada's worst effort I've seen so far.

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Photo of lpayette
2.23/5  rDev -39.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

I'll just cut to the chase here and state that I was very disappointed in this one. Sierra Nevada typically puts out great stuff, but this one is way off the mark.

Appearance- Typical yellow pilsner look with an average head. Not much to speak of with regards to retention and lacing. Overall just very average to me.

Smell- Not much going on here, but more character than... the average beer in this style? Maybe? I expected more from SN. Smells kind of like cornbread to me which is not to suggest that I think there's corn in it- just that it has that smell. I like cornbread but- well, meh.

Taste- Surprisingly, dare I use the term? "Macro-like." Yep, I did it, but it's true. Taste is pretty minimal and perhaps not that bad if ice cold. But as it warms into the 50's off-flavors start poking their nasty little metallic pitchforks into your tongue until finally subdued by the grainy and slightly lingering finish. There is a respectable hop bite that is worth mentioning, and the balance is actually pretty good. But this simply isn't that refreshing or tastey for that matter either.

Mouthfeel- Is pretty much on target for the style with ample carbonation and a light body. Metallic flavors in the middle muddle it up however.

Drinkability/Final Thoughts- This has got to be the most disappointed I've been with a beer in a while. I guess I just took it for granted that all Sierra Nevada products were worth the price and a good representation of the style as well. Honestly, I wouldn't have minded the lack of flavor and character so much if it weren't for the off flavors. I'm sorry for such a negative review SN, but after paying $9.75 retail for a sixer of this, I must say I would have rather spent a couple more bucks and got a 30 rack of PBR. At least that I can say I actually enjoy every once in a while on a hot day.

 1,842 characters

Photo of Kooz
2.24/5  rDev -39.1%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Sorry for abbreviated notes, but I was in a crowded bar.

Golden yellow, okay color for a summer.

No discernible smell.

Tastes slightly too bitter, which keeps it from being smooth. Unfortunate.

Despite the bitter taste, there isn't a lot of bite and those usually go hand-in-hand. Mouthfeel is really good--creamy.

Overall, not a great summer, but okay.

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Photo of semihobo
2.27/5  rDev -38.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Pale yellow color, almost like Keystone Light, but acceptable for the style. Thick puffy head with tiny bubbles, lots of staying power -- ten minutes later there was still a good layer of foam all the way across. Excellent head, I wish more beers could be like this.

Faint smell, nothing distinct, just some funkiness (not in a good way).

Taste is like the smell, mediocre. Grains, maybe some corn type taste, and some hops coming through in the end. A little sour, not very interesting. Compared to all beer, this taste is very unimpressive. However, it's okay for the style.

Standard mouthfeel, decently carbonated beer. Back of my mouth feels a little sticky for a few seconds.

I choked this one down, but it got difficult toward the end and I don't want another. I don't think the beer was old or gone bad in anyway, but it kind of tastes like a skunked beer or a bad adjuncty macro in a lot of ways. If you are into lagers or kolsches, you might like it.

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Photo of jantonius
2.29/5  rDev -37.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Yellow to amber with slight haze, very thick head

S: Very earthy, slight grass and citrus

Taste: Little bitter and slightly malty

Mouthfeel: Too nuch carbonation, overpowers the beer

Drinkability: Ok summer beer, does not fit my choice in So Cal. Probably works in Chico, I am good for one of SN Summerfest.

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Photo of BeerManDan
2.3/5  rDev -37.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

After pouring this beer and seeing the medium yellow color. I tried to pick up the aroma, but could'nt find any. Don't know if this was a bad bottle, but, this was a no nothing beer. Maybe a slight citrus feel in the mouth, but that was it! Save this brew for a junkyard dog! Not for me!

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Photo of cwps48
2.31/5  rDev -37.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Poured into a weissen glass (half-broke college student, forgive me). Golden yellow. Mostly transparent. Head of approximately 1.5 fingers, disappears quickly with minimal lacing.
S: Hoppy, obviously. A little bit of malts. Kinda has that Natty Lite smell to it.
T: I see that it's a Pilsner. I'm not a huge fan of the pilsners, I find the hops too crisp, but this is toned down a bit. It's got this malty sweetness to it, maybe some spices in there. Nothing really to write home about. It has a good crisp finish that eventually leads to this nasty tangyness with a tinge of a metallic bite.
M: Decent carbonation. Dry.
D: I won't be getting this again. For the price of $8.50 for a six pack, it's not worth it. Beer pong beer is only $0.50/beer, not $1.42.

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Photo of jpkoch1962
2.32/5  rDev -37%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

I truely believe this beer has not been put into the correct category. BA has it as a Czech Pils, SN has it a Summer Lager. What to do? I was hoping for maybe something approaching a Kolsch, or maybe just a plain north German Export.

Pours a nice deep Golden Yellow into a Pils glass. Once into the glass, a thick head explodes. It is long lasting and leaves a nice lace behind. Unfortunately things go to hell. No hop aroma, and absolutely no malt aroma. This lager begins and ends with nothing. I mean Bud has as much body and mouth feel, and Coors Light as much flavor. The one saving grace is there is none of the astringincy that American Lagers have due to the use of 6 row barely and copious adjuncts. That and the appearance.

SN's only attempt that I know of into pale lagerland is a bust. This thin watery gruel is going into the fish bowl. At least my goldfish will be happy. Very disappointed in SN. the question I have: why bother?

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Photo of hdofu
2.35/5  rDev -36.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

I guess I just don't like this style at all because it was one of the worst beers I have ever gotten from sierra nevada and I'm not a fan of there flagship apa either. The best way I could describe this brew is imagine an ideal coors. The color was pale yellow. The smell reminded me of olive oil and the taste was rice cake like blandness. The mouth feel was slick and oily. I could not drink more then one of these. Drinking it ice cold out of the bottle only barely made it drinkable.

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Photo of Averwo
2.37/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Pours with a golden body. Goldish yellow color with one finger of head.

Smell is grassy and weak. Not very strong notes of anything.

Taste is very watered down. Lemon and grain. Not very impressive.

Mouthfeel is decent but watery.

I can see this trying to be a BBQ or "summer" beer but I'd go with other choices for that.

It's just not very pleasant or enjoyable.

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Photo of boatshoes
2.38/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Had this on tap when I was up at the Jersey shore staying courtesy of a friend in a nice condo in Margate. Beer accompanied a nice coconut porkchop with dinner.

Appearance- Can't say this beer came out from the bar looking very attractive, but it isn't completely its own fault either. No head whatsoever with just a small ring around the edge off a lousy pour by bartender. The beer itself is a pale straw yellow and combined with the nonexistent head, this beer came out looking like any other macro.

Smell- Very little going on here for me with just a faint bit of graininess and hay coming through in the nose. Perhaps a mild whiff of citrusy hops in the background as well, but nothing really coming through very strongly here.

Taste- Have to say that I wasn't terribly impressed here right off the bat. Didn't pick up much on the first couple sips, but as it warmed a bit, I detected some of the grains present in the nose along with a more prominent hop bitterness and citrus than came through in the smell. Still not overly impressed however and I'm left with the sense that I'm drinking a weak SNPA. A bit of a disappointment considering how much I've liked the other Sierra Nevada beers I've encountered.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- I found this beer (out of this particular tap anyway) to be thin and poorly carbonated. I suspect that the beer would have been a bit thin anyway, but the minimal carbonation really increases its watery-ness. The watery body and lack of flavor don't make me want to drink much of this beer.

Overall, I'm not very impressed. I'd rather have one of the other many fine Sierra Nevada beers. Perhaps I should give this one another try in the bottle as I was a bit surprised.

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Photo of thepassingofdays
2.38/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

a- fluffy head, typical light blonde lager coloring

s- very plain smell... like bud light or one of those semi-generic beers

t- boring, and a tiny bitter aftertaste to round it out. nothing special, not much to like about this one.

m- the fluffy head was pleasant, the rest was unimpressive

d- not something I'd have again, but I'm not going to throw it away either.

 370 characters

Photo of TexIndy
2.39/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle (no dating info) into a pint glass. It was a clear pale gold color. It had an average fizzy white head that quickly dissipated. Good carb and a little lacing.

I've never been a fan of the aroma on these. Smell like wet dog to me which doesn't exactly work up a thirst. Taste was good for the style but again this isn't one of my favorites. Has a crisp bite to it and finishes with a strong bitter taste.

Overall, not a beer that I'd try again. The label didn't specify the style and I mostly like SA beers so I thought I'd give it a try in my mixed 6ixer. Just another one to mark of the list.

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Photo of chinabeergeek
2.39/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12oz bottle. 2009 release. tasted in early may 2009.

pale straw color. clear with faint chill haze. 1-finger head, fades to wisps and ring. lacing is sparse, thin, and rarely sticks.

aroma: faint malt, hint of esters? slightest hint of hop? wtf? there's almost nothing here!

taste: again, weak malt, faintly bready, but watered down. light esters mingle with fusel or phenol or even diacetyl hint. meanwhile the hops are crisp and boldly bitter, but are totally lacking in flavor - unlike how good saaz or noble hops should be.

light body, with very fizzy, prickly carbonation. resins in the finish, but of no help.

c'mon guys! what happened? i tried two bottles of this from the sixer, and i had to go back and return it. i might as well have been drinking soda water...

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Photo of GolgiIPAratus
2.4/5  rDev -34.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Sampled: 4.13.05

Medium pour produces a dense, one & a half inch head that fades at no speed above abnormal, and fades at no speed below abnormal. The liquid is transparent, offering a clear view of my fingers on the other side of the glass through a golden filter. Lacing is average, nothing special.

The smell is malty caramel, which is strange for a summer time offering. Tangy tidbits twist in the nostrils as well. Nothing here whetting my desire to get into this beer.

The first taste is dominated by that Sierra Nevada Pale Ale flavor. A caramelized malt whip pushes those overwhelming hops aside, however. A light, light bitterness peeks through upon the swallow. I'm not impressed with this flavor. Not sure why this is their version of a "summer" beer. It's just too thick. The mouth is creamy and lightly carbonated.

Drinkability depends on how much you actually enjoy the beer (obviously) . I didn't enjoy the flavor, so drinkability wasn't good for me.

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Photo of cbgVT
2.41/5  rDev -34.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Not impressed with this. I a big Sierra Nevada fan, their Pale Ale is what turned me on to better beers, and their Killerweiss is my favorite Hefe to date over several Germans I have tried. I was excited to try their Summerfest and was expecting a taste similar to Sam Adam's Summer Ale - crisp & somewhat citrusy. I took 1 sip of this beer and was disappointed. It iis a decent beer but it tastes like all the other mass produced crap.

Appearance is pretty standard, golden color, transparent with a slight head that reduces quickly.

Smell - not getting too much on the nostrils, but I am still new to reviewing beer....smells like the classic "beer" smell

Taste - slightly bitter and sour at the beginning and finishes with some malt. I am a fan of IPAs and like bitter, hoppy beer but this bitter isn't complex or floral.

Mouthfeel - medium body, not too thick, not too thin. Highly carbonated.

Drinkability - I honestly think this beer sucks but a lot of it is because I had high expectations of what I wanted it to taste like.

I usually will have 3-4 beers a night when I drink, but I am done after one of these and don't want anymore. I am going to try another one tomorrow and see if I come to the same conclusion. I may have gotten an old/bad batch as this is definitely not 'crisp' or 'refreshing.'

 1,315 characters

Photo of mrasskicktastic
2.42/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Pale urine yellow with about three fingers of off white head. A bit of lacing clings to the side after the head disappears, which takes about three minutes.

S - This is like shoving your nose in a bud light. A little grassy with some sweet corn.

T - Foretaste has a grassy kick with some lightly sweet light bodied malt. The aftertaste is sort of grassy and lighty bitter. The bitterness lingers for a while.

M - Thin, watery, lightly refreshing. A few moments after drinking, my mouth goes dry though.

D - Nothing special here. I could drink again, I'd rather not though. It is basically an above above macro lager mixed with a pils. Not my thing.

 666 characters

Photo of John_M
2.44/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I am a huge fan of Sierra Nevada beers, and would certainly place them in the top 10 of my favorite breweries in the US. So I have to say I was a bit surprised by this lackluster effort. Granted, I know it's made to be a light summer thirst quencher, but this is going too far (IMO).

The beer pours a nice yellow gold orange color, but with almost no head and little or no lacing. What little head was evident disappeared completely after a few minutes. I could smell almost nothing, despite my best efforts. Perhaps there is a slight aroma of sweet malt, but not much else. On the palate this is one watery beer. There is a hint of sweet malt, with some bracing dryness from the hops. This beer is not very crisp or refreshing, but on the other hand is certainly very light and drinkable. There is almost no finish, and mid way through my 10 oz. glass I just gave up. If I'm going to drink something with this kind of calorie intake I want it to be something with a bit more flavor.

Very disappointing effort from SN. Calling this a summer beer is no excuse for making something this flavorless.

 1,102 characters

Photo of AndyM
2.45/5  rDev -33.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

2004 Label / Late Summer Seasonal...

Sierra Nevada has burned me for the last time. I said that after their Bigfoot Ale (a Barleywine) this past winter, but decided to give it another go when I saw this one. I will never try one of their seasonals again!

They say this is a lager, but I have a really hard time believing that. There is only the slightest hint of lager yeast flavor here (probably because it is overpowered by the hops), and therein lies the problem: to me, this beer tastes exactly like most of Sierra Nevada's other beers.

It is incredibly hoppy - far too bitter for my taste, and I really like hoppy beers. It is one of the hoppiest pale ales I've ever had - and I wasn't expecting much hoppiness at all, considering all the label says is, "bottom fermented." In fact, it was sitting with the Oktoberfest beers in my local liquor shop. It says "bottom fermented..." what would you think? Poured out into a glass, it even LOOKS like your average lager.

Unfortunately, I get sick of the taste after about 3 good sips. One of the few times I've actually poured out the remnants of a bottle of beer; usually I can at least choke the rest down, but I saw no point in finishing this one. Now I have to find some recipes to use up the rest of the bottles :

I would recommend this ale to someone who would be classified as an "extreme hops addict" (not just a fan of hoppy beers), or if you've never had a bad Sierra Nevada product. Otherwise, I'd make another selection at the liquor store.

 1,517 characters

Photo of DesMoinesMike
2.46/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

I bought this as an experimental sixer from Hy-Vee, and I wish I had read the label first. I'm not a huge fan of pilsners to begin with, and this is an explosion of the classic pilsner taste. There's some hops and grain and that's about it. It actually seemed a bit sour. Call me a hater if you want, but this is NOT going to be in my fridge ever again.

 353 characters

Photo of Naerhu
2.48/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

What the hell is this? I was shocked by this unimaginably unexciting beer. Sure I could taste a mild yet full golden malt flavor. It was lightly wrapped in a floral hop blanket, and this was not a displeasure, but from Sierra Nevada, I expect excitment. I expect to be put in the drivers seat in motor cross. This was lame, like the Porter. If the hops were more pumped up and balanced with the chew (not really the right ward there) malt, this would be a decent beer. should I beer warned and no to stray far from their PA?

 524 characters

Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
3.68 out of 5 based on 4,124 ratings.
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