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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: 4,092
Photo of timontheroad
4.12/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a lovely crystal clear golden color, with a big three-finger fluffy white head, great retention and lacing. Light grassy aroma, with that characteristic pilsner noble hop smell. The taste was slightly bitter, with a bit of cracker malt taste as well, again with that nice pilsner taste. The mouthfeel was fairly thin, but very true to style, with an outstanding crisp, dry finish. Once again, Sierra Nevada has put out another outstanding beer. Hats off to them!

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Photo of PSUBeerman
4.12/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle, 2009 edition

Pours a clear golden color with visible carbonation, and a fizzy white head. The head dissipated rather quickly but left some film on top.

Nice aroma, reminds me of a summer brew. Grassy, earthy and some hops.

Great clean and crisp taste, perfect for summer. Slightly dry, but refreshing. Although this is lighter beer, it has a good amount of flavor. Very drinkable, I wish I had gotten this earlier in the summer.

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Photo of illpass78
4.12/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. bottle poured into a pilsner glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear straw with heavy carbonation and a two-finger fluffy white head. Some nice lacing on the way down. I love the look of a good pilsner and this one has it.

Aroma: The beer smells of grass, hops, and biscuit. There's also an odd note of corn that is very slight but noticeable. It's not off-putting but slightly surprising.

Taste: The taste is classic pilsner. Nice dry finish to compliment a grassy flavor. The taste basically follows the nose, minus that corny note.

Mouthfeel: Nice and light, as a summer lager should be, but not watery or overly thin.

Overall: This is a terrific pilsner. I'd have this during any season, but it's certainly great as a summer seasonal.

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Photo of natasharai
4.12/5  rDev +12%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Poured with an off white fizzy/foamy head that dissipated fairly quickly leaving a very little lacing at the top of my glass. The beer is crystal clear with a medium toned yellow gold color.

Smell: Light floral, yeasty, slight metallic aroma, and some grassy smell. When it warms it smells like slightly rotten apple juice

Taste: Very refreshing, some citrus hops, bittersweet floral hops, some lightly sweet lightly toasted malt.

Mouthfeel: Light body, crisp carbonation, a small hop bitterness, some sticky film left over but overall a quite refreshing feeling.

Overall: Really drinkable, nice crisp refreshing flavor and mouthfeel. This is the kind of beer you just drink and enjoy on a hot day, not much to really admire in the appearance or smell.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.12/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Rustico - Alexandria. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a clear straw color with plenty of visible carbonation and a nice white head. Some decent lacing on the way down. The nose brings a good dose of Noble hops as well as some fresh grain. The hops are key here and add a real zest to this. Nice floral characteristics. A bit of straw and grain in the background. Nice and crisp, this is a really easy-drinking brew.

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Photo of BerkeleyBeerMan
4.12/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Bright transparent golden yellow body with medium carbonation and little head. A ring of bubbles remains on the side of the glass.

Smell: Good. Not a lot to smell other than basic barley malts matched with a mildly zesty bouquet of floral hops. There are possibly some noble hops in here. The beer gives off a mild champagne aroma.

Taste: Very good. I taste grain and hay along with an aromatic blend of floral hops. It is very Pilsner like. This beer taste refreshing and finishes bitter despite some dryness. I also note a sweet citrus quality thought it isn't a major part of the mix.

Mouthfeel: Light and refreshing. Medium carbonation. Slight grain abrasiveness.

Overall: This is a fantastic drinkable lager. I wish Sierra Nevada made this beer year round.

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Photo of SWMeyer4141
4.12/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance-Pale straw color with a 2 finger bubbly white head. Some lacing clings but goes away fairly quickly. Definitely looks refreshing.

Smell-Very earthy, little biscuity, and some nice citrus. Very inviting especially on a hot summer day.

Taste-Piney, earthy hops up front, very smooth. Finish is very citrusy and sweet. Nice on the palate

Mouthfeel-Medium bodied with closer to high carbonation. Clean finish

Overall-Very refreshing. Awesome summer beer. Extremely soothing after a long day of work.

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Photo of jamesdergen
4.12/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2006 Edition

A: Pours a light honey color with an ample off-white foamy head. Pretty standard here.

S: One of the few beers that you can smell before you take a sniff. Aromas of tart fruits and wheat.

T: Smooth wheat flavors with some nutty grains in the backing. Some faint medicinal hop presence in the background, but harder to pick up. I think I may also detect some tart fruit flavors (white grape, green apple) but they are not dominant by any means.

M&D: Very smooth, refreshing taste. Perfect for a hot summer day, too bad I drank it on a cool summer evening! I only bought a single of this brew to try, but I would love another one.

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Photo of Graebner
4.12/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a stray yellow with maybe a hint of amber, a finger of white foam. Low bubble column activity.

Smells of grassiness and a sharp twang of hops that almost snaps in front of your nose.

Taste is superb for the style. Malty backbone, but finishes dry and tight thanks to the noble hops. Crisp beyond belief. Dry finish you'd expect from a good pils.

Mouthfeel is all crispness and a dry finish thanks to the hops.

Overall excellent. This is a great pils, one I will buy again, and one any fan of the style should check out.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
4.12/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

One word for this beer: crisp. It has a nice snap to it as you sip and its very refreshing. It may not be as extreme as other beer styles out there but this one is great to have on a nice, hot day. I have yet to be let down from this brewery and they seem to tackle all assortments of styles with ease.

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Photo of Stubbie1
4.13/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a nice golden colored beer. It gave off a frothy whitehead and left a patchy sticky lace to the end of my beer. The aroma was light and refreshing. Hints of pepper and citrus are noted with a light malt aroma left behind. The taste is refreshing; mainly malt to start with a nice flavor of the hops coming in at the end for the finish. Another beer that I will keep on hand and another r fine brew form the folks from Sierra Nevada. Thanks to Scooter77 for dropping this one off while taking my old beer bottles to his house for his oatmeal stout.

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Photo of dhannes
4.13/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured chilled into a Perfect Pint.

A=Medium gold...slightly darker than adjunct lagers. Head was white and reached one finger, but dissipated within a minute.

S=Almost none...hint of lemon perhaps.

T=First sip blew me away (in a good way)--crisp with a hint of citrus--like other pilseners but with more flavor and a hint of citrus/lemon. As it warmed up, the malt came through. A bit of aftertaste, but not overwhelming.

M=Very drinkable...good session beer. Light carbonation.

O=I will definitely try this again, as this is now the leading candidate for my summer seasonal beer--light but flavorful.

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Photo of BeerSox
4.13/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into pisner glass.

Crystal clear light straw color with a two finger bright white head that settles to a thin cap.

Light and biscuity malts, along with slighty sharp hop aromas - very grassy.

The malts are light and sweet in the flavor, allowing for a good balance of some moderately spicy hops.

Nothing too complex, but it's a refreshing lager that hits the spot. Very good in the summer. Recommended.

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Photo of BeanBone
4.13/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: A clear, golden-straw colored body with a generous and bubbly white head on top that leaves good lacing. This certainly looks the part.

Aroma: Grassy, herbal, and lemony Saaz hops over pale malt. Quite crisp.

Taste: Much the same story here. Classic Saaz hop character over a pale malt body with some wheat-like flavors added to the mix. The aftertaste is not long lived, and tastes of pale malt.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light bodied with moderate carbonation. Crisp and clean with a dry finish.

Drinkability: Quite the quencher, this would be excellent on a Summer's day.

Verdict: Summerfest is just a solid, tasty American version of the classic Czech Pilsener. I'd love to slip one of these to one of my macro drinking buddies and see what they thought of it.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.13/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz picked up a couple days ago for about $1.30.. Label is different this year... Blue border and the "Bottom Fermented" is gone.. instead, "Lager" is printed beneath the Summerfest banner. Poured into my shaped Sam Adams glass.

Rocky head that I was able to get to tower one inch above the lip of the glass without ever spilling a drop. Head drops leaving only spotty lacing. brew is crystal clear straw gold.

Aroma is pale malts with more than enough spicy hops.. smells very clean.

Flavor is very clean.. grainy maltiness.. nice hop bitterness backbone.. midpalate mildly doughy grains with spicy/slightly floral hop flavors.. Again.. very clean.. body is perfect for the style.. Finish lingers for a while.. playing pingpong back and forth between the hops and malts.

I could drink buckets of these.. the problem is, I never gave it too much play until this year. I've had my fair share of Summerfest over the years and never put too much thought into it... this year, with the label change, I did a little research and decided to give it a proper go around. Really, it is a damn good pilsner .. I now am very interested in picking up the other locally available Czech Pils and trying in a row... I would bet this plays ball well with its European brothers.

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Photo of pweis909
4.13/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear yellow lager with a 1-inch foam cushion that recedes to lace glass. Smells initially of honey, floral nectar and spicy hops. Malt contributes to initial sweet taste sensations but the beer finishes with a crisp dry bitterness. Sierra Nevada shows some versatility, branching out from their cascade-hopped ales to nail down a pilsner!

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Photo of Parmesan
4.13/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Straw gold color with a small creamy head with about half an inch remaining on top, no lacing and lots of carbonation bubbles.

S: Spicy noble hops, white bread and grassy malt.

T: Very clean, grassy and white bread, lots of spicy floral hops, finishes pretty dry. Very good lager.

F: Light, crisp and very easy drinking.

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Photo of jameaterblues
4.13/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I just picked up a six pack of the 2006 Summerfest and here I sit with my first bottle. The date code says '6077' which from what I have gathered means it was bottled on the 77th day of 2006...that means its real fresh...bottle something around 20 days ago.

The beer poured a really light golden yellow color, with some orange hints. The head was bright white and very fluffy and rose to about 1/2 an inch and disappeared very quickly. For a lager it has a really nice lace.

Smell: there are some fruity esters present,and nice grassy floral citrusy hops, and mellow sweet malts. It smells like a lager but there is definitely a little more going on.

Taste: The hops hit the tongue as soon as it hits the mouth. There is a nice malty base in the body, but the finish is slightly bitter with a spicy citrusy hops.

M/D- A couple summers ago a friend brought a six pack of this over my house...I really did not know much about beer then, and this is the first time that I have had it since. This lager has wonderful flavor...the hops are not too overwhelming, and I think that a macro drinker would probably be able to get into this beer....mostly because of its overall smoothness. It kinda coats the tongue as it goes down, and that is not a bad thing. Once again I am impressed with SN, but surprised that I cannot detect those cascade hops...they don't appear to be present. This will provide some good drinking this weekend in the hot SC heat.

 1,458 characters

Photo of Givemebeer
4.13/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Straw golden with a white foam head that dissipates quickly. Very lively carbonation.

S: Very herbal smell. Earthy

T: Spicy, floral, earthy. Slight hop bitterness and a bit of a slight biscuity malt backbone.

M: Light bodied with a nice dry finish

O: A great Czech pilsner. Incredibly drinkable and well balanced. Would love to see more pilsners from Sierra Nevada. Spot on.

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Photo of Sheppard
4.13/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a clear golden color. It's not crystal clean straw looking like a Rothaus Pils, but it definitely falls within what I look for in a pilsner. Not much aroma, but extremely nice saltine cracker flavor with some light bitterness. Not too spicy, not at all skunky. Ultimately, this is a tremendously refreshing summer beer from one of the venerable craft breweries.

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Photo of cbn
4.13/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Crystal clear, golden brew with a lively, pure white head settling quickly.

Clean grassy green and floral hops perched upon a light, sweet,cracker- thin malt.

Fresh and clean vegetal flavors accented by a lemon bite.

Good carbonation and light body keep bright flavors dancing on the tounge.

Overall this was an exellent choice for the summer-time. Light and clean flavors true to the Pils style are represented in this offering.

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Photo of mmmbeer
4.13/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle with no freshness date - served chilled in a pilsner glass. It pours a nice golden hue with a half inch off-white head that never goes away and leaves spots of lace. There's lots of streams of carbonation rising quickly through the body. It has a nice toasty malt aroma with a hop background. There is a nice hoppiness on the palate from floral/spicy (Saaz?) hops along with toasty malts and a bit of caramel. The body is light and kinda dry but it is quite refreshing. I wish more lagers tasted like this.

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Photo of meeekyh
4.13/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

So I decided to get a keg of beer. A session beer in quantity to mitigate the extreme cost of buying good beer individually or by the sixpack. Around here a six of Victory or Rogue will cost you in the high eights up to around twelve for the Golden Monkey or the Brutal Bitter. Anyway I wanted to save a buck and get good beer and due to limitations Summerfest became the fall back choice (after a sample to assure myself that tis year's product was better than last...See my other Summerfest review for more).

Price check for my own gratification...6 Pack of Summerfest - from 8-9 bucks. Five gallon can of Summerfest - $60 so...thats $60 for 53 beers or just short of 9 six packs...anyway, I saved a buck.

I set the CO2 a bit high so the head was big, like 4-5 fingers big, and the color seems lighter. Lacing is great, and the smells are different.

I note a grain smell that is much like the bottled version. I like it as it is clean but question the purity. I really wish I knew where to find the components of the grain bill for this beer (and all of the other ingredients too). OK, Back to the meat of things, this smells good with citrus and grassy notes the mainstay. I still note a lack of piny smells which generally accompany SN releases, and this surprises me and confuses me, not really ;-)

The taste is quite nice, thankfully as I seem to have a quantity on-hand, and tart. It is refreshing and dry. I am pleased with this representation of the style; it is clean, refreshing, dry, grainy and pleasing.

Mouthfeel is light, finish is the aforementioned dry and there is good carbonation to carry the flavors to my nose and sinuses and supply the carbonic acid I so desire. I am pleased for my choice as this is a greatly quaffable pilsner lager beer, and that is saying a mouthful.

Finally, lastly and to conclude I believe this to be a fine beer full of aged yeasty goodness. I will drink it, lather rinse and repeat.


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Photo of CHickman
4.14/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours clear yellow in color with a massive 2 finger foamy snow white head with good lacing that slid down the glass; you could draw with your finger in the foamy head (which I did), it was that thick and stuck around a while.

Smells of grass, hay, corn husk, hops, lemon, light malt and some grains; basically smells like a good German lager.

Tastes of sweet malt, hay, grass, floral hops, grains, lemon and faint caramel; this beer is very light and very crisp that finishes very dry with a slight bitter pucker. The finish was bone dry and left the hop spices lingering with the malt sweetness - a really nice finish. This beer is simple and complex at the same time, and it's very balanced.

Mouthfeel is light and crisp with a smooth feel, a very light body, and very high champagne-like carbonation.

Highly drinkable and very enjoyable, will seek this out again as this is an excellent summer beer that went down very easy. It flows down so nicely and I've had several today and this beer was consistently good all day and into the night. Another fine Sierra Nevada product that I highly recommend.

 1,110 characters

Photo of silverevo9
4.14/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Sipping on this beer now. This is one of the most smoothest pilsners i have ever had. No bitterness or bite at all. You just tilt the glass and it goes down fast, I mean really fast! Could easily be up to a six pack and not even know it. Hop profile is minimal. Hints of sweetness with a slight floral smell. Malts are prevalent up front and being the determining factor for flavor. Lacing is light but remains. Head from the pour is nice and thick but quickly fades. Flavor and smoothness keep me interested on this beer. Head doesn't deter at all from the beer. Medium to light carbonation for appearance sake. Overall this beer is really good. I can see myself drinking these all the time due to how smooth it is, and tasty. These are great after a hard days work, when you do not want to think of anything, even your beer.

Awesome 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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