Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

1,580 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: 1,580 | Ratings: 4,144
Photo of Wer34truh
3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful clear golden color, with moderate visible carbonation, and a very lively looking cloudy head. Quite heavy lacing, consisting of a multitude small bubbles. Looks great.

Smells of sweet malt, floral notes, and some subtle hops.

Taste is full of quite noticeable hops, with a metallic and floral aftertaste. There is also some subtle corn and general sweetness towards the taste end of this. Mouthfeel is light and crisp, with optimal, yet quite modest carbonation for the style.

This is an excellent example of the style. Picked up a 6-pack for $8 before tax. Poured into a tonic pint glass.

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Photo of BeerBobber
3.79/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

2016 Summerfest pours a clear gold with streaming bubbles and a soapy looking white head. Lots of lacing down the glass.

Smell is white bread, biscuits and some hops hiding in there as well. Something just a bit towards that skunk smell.

Taste is like a clean lager with no adjuncts. Just a hint of hops here. That slight, ever so slight skunk is in the taste. Is this something that is used to make Czech style pilsners?

Mouth feel is fairly light with a nice crisp finish. Very easy drinking!

Overall I still question if that is some European ingredient that is used that causes that faint skunk smell and taste. This is a dark bottle that was in a sealed dark cardboard box. The beer was not adversely effected by sunlight at any time before I drank it. That complaint aside this is a very easy drinking and refreshing beer.

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Photo of Lagerlivesmatter
3.96/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very good. A bit too subdued as a Czech pilsner, could almost pass for a Helles Lager but a bit too hoppy for that. Had the same gripe with the Nooner Pils. Nevertheless a very good lager and I prefer it to the Nooner. A straightfoward , quality, easy drinking Pilsner.

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Photo of Stevedore
4.04/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, 2016 seasonal release. Served into a Willi-Becher glass.

Pours a clear dark yellow body, one finger white head, effervescent and appropriate in retention, looks clean and refreshing. Thin film and collar. Smells of bread, lemon, grain, grassy and floral noble hops. Very clean and strong overall aroma. Flavour is grassy, bread, a bit of floral notes, touch of lemon, cereal grain. Wonderfully easy to drink, medium body, crisp and refreshing as befitting the name. An above average Czech pilsner that meets the description of 'crisp lager' to a T.

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Photo of matcris
4.03/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

For the style.
APPEARANCE: Poured into a pilsner glass. A good finger of foamy white head that settles down to a thin layer on top. The beer is light, clear, and golden with lots of medium bubbles rising. Good lacing down the glass.
AROMA: Very mild and pleasant. Picking up the hops. That fresh cut grass. Bready malts.
TASTE: Get a nice bite from the hops up front and then the sweetness of the malt, and finally a nice bitterness takes over and builds.
FEEL: Soft. Plenty of carbonation but not too much. Fairly dry all the way through the chug.
OVERALL: A very nice, enjoyable lager. The flavors seem pretty straight forward and I really like that lingering bitterness on the finish.

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Photo of Libeertarian
3.48/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Clear yellow, metallic gold to neon depending on lighting. Delicate insubstantial white head. Aromas of bread, crackers, honey or light caramel, and light lemon. Biscuity malt predominates, aided and balanced with light lemon tartness on the palate, with lemon seed bitterness from start to finish where bubbles form, and very light pepper on the breath. Lighter medium-bodied Pilsener, packed with softer suds, perfectly crisp and clean.

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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.

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Photo of mothmanscott
3.99/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a deep straw producing a huge, frothy, moderately lasting, white head that recedes into a medium cap of foam leaving a scattering of streaky, webby lace. Aroma is cracker & biscuit, acidic lemon, honey, grass, grain & spice. Taste is biscuit, cracker & grain, pilsner yeast, honey, lemony, grass & herbal hops with a clean & lasting bitter finish & aftertaste. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate-high carbonation , slippery, smooth & crisp, tongue coating light peppery prickle.

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Photo of jngrizzaffi
3.45/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear golden color with a finger width foamy head. Head retention is decent. Lacing is actually very good. Has a grainy, corn-like aroma. Definite hay. Malty flavor with some hay and strong corn grains at the end. Somewhat of an astringent aftertaste. Very little in the way of hops. Light to medium bodied with high carbonation. It is not quite as fresh as some lagers I have had but is a decent beer. Nothing special.

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Photo of herrniemand
3.82/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The pale lager style doesn't deserve to be ignored or dismissed just because Anheuser-Busch and others make such terrible imitations. Surely the final frontier for craft brewers in America is to try to reclaim this style from the rice-water pushers and make the kind of beer that wouldn't be out of place in a Bavarian beer garden, and this is a worthy effort in my opinion. It pours and looks like a German or Czech pilsner, but the taste is noticeably hoppier, though obviously much less hoppy than Sierra Nevada's usual offerings. I like that, because it keeps it from tasting like anything you can buy in the import section, but it's still light and easy to drink like a pale lager should be. It should go great with food (the best feature of the style, imo), and it's a nice change of pace for those of us who usually drink anything but this style due to poor options.

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Photo of kitch
3.33/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

A 12 fl oz bottle with a packaged date of 17th March 2015 and poured into a Duvel tulip glass.

Appearance: The beer poured a nice clear golden colour with a light one finger white head that dissipated fairly quickly but left some nice stringy lacing.

Aroma: On the light side, but its of sweet-ish corn, grassy with hints of mineral notes.

Taste: Like the aroma, taste is a little on the light side, but its mainly of sweet malt, honey and corn.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, light bodied with medium carbonation.

Overall: Its definitely crisp and quite nice to drink. Wouldn’t mind a bottle on a hot summer day.

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Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
3.31/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pale yellow body, perfect clarity, fluid, good carbonation. Frothy white head recedes to a thin haze on top. Smells of corn and wet grain. The lightly spiced hops do little to spruce up the same adjunct malt flavor, although the bready finish is pleasant. Aggressive carbonation.
As sure as I am that this is a great representation of the style, I am equally unsure why this is an extant style. Dirty malt, unpleasantly sharp carbonation, virtually nothing (IMO, of course) redeeming about this beer. I'm not sure I could distinguish it from a lineup of macros.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.73/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From 08/21/15 notes. 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Super easy to drink, clean and crisp. Bready malts, grains, light fruits and light floral notes. Overall a decent summer beer, good for some summer day drinking.

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Photo of taters21
3.81/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a golden/straw color with a 2.5 finger head that leaves nice lacing in the glass.
Smells of grain, corn, and bitter hops
Herbal hops roll over the tongue, quickly followed by a corn and bready light sweetness, leaving a dry bitterness in the mouth.
Mouthfeel is dry for a lager, with medium carbonation, overall light.
Overall I give this a 4, pretty good for a lager, not your average grain bomb with a water mouthfeel, the hops are present in this one, would buy again.

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Photo of Raime
3/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sierra Nevada Summer fest.

A Sierra Nevada lager..? Guess we shall see how this one turns out eh.

Look - Pours a murky shade of yellow with a small head that disappears as quickly as it comes and only leaves a slight amount of cloud formation. Carbonation appears to be pretty low. 3.

Smell - Alright maybe I'm just not getting the joke here. It smells like a cleaner version of insert generic adjunct lager name here but there isn't anything else. 3.

Taste - Well it is certainly a clean beer. Bit of creamed cornyness with a very apparent and dominant grassyness and the finish is a touch bitter to my surprise. But overall it isn't much different than a typical lager. Rather boring actually. 3.

Feel - Body is fuller than expected with an extremely high dose of carbonation. No creamyness and feel predominantly watery. 3

Overall - With Sierra Nevada I at least expected some hop presence but I guess they couldn't pull it off. This would go over fine with an average beer drinker but from these guys I expected more. Would I have it again? Meh I guess, but a Budweiser product could do the same thing for less money. Where is the spicy hop presence the label promises? 3.

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Photo of Pocker
3.57/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Big head 3 fingers or so. Stayed for about 10 minutes. Not very much smell to it which isn't always a bad thing. Color was a nice piss color--drinkable piss at that. Felt good hitting tongue and going down was nice and crisp like stated on bottle. Taste was a little above average. No bitterness or sweetness but had a nice easy to drink hoppy flavor. Not over filling almost could pass as light beer.

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Photo of raiderob
3.52/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a 12 oz into pint glass. Minimal amount of head that quickly fades away with zero lacing.clear golden color.crisp bitterness that is quite refreshing. Prost❗

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Photo of SensorySupernova
4.41/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Clear golden color with a white head.

Smell: Bright hops - grape, spicy.

Taste: Mild bitterness up front, but very well balanced by a slightly sweet malt backbone. Seem somehow peppery towards the end. Finishes very clean.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, thin, and well carbonated.

Overall: I’m usually not a fan of lagers, as I get bored of them halfway through. Summerfest is a definite exception. This beer very flavorful but still light and refreshing in the heat.

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Photo of mfnmbvp
3.58/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, bottled on 05/11/2015 printed on the back label. A new one to me from Sierra Nevada, this one their Czech-style lager. 'Crisp lager'. 5.00% abv.

Poured into a Duvel tulip glass.

A - Pours a crisp golden body with a finger of frothy white head. Appears actively carbonated with some light sediment.

S - A crisp, wheaty, bready, grassy aroma. Light and fresh. Subtle notes of lemon zest, grass, wheat, corn, & hay.

T - Taste follows the nose: wheaty, grainy, husky. Traditional bready malts.

M - Crisp & clean. Grainy on the finish. Slightly dry. Light-bodied and easy-drinking. Sessionable.

Overall, a traditional Czech-style lager. Bright, crisp, & clean.

Sierra Nevada Summerfest ------3.5/5

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Photo of JerryLevinson
3.94/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Clear gold with some bubbles
S - Cut grass
T - Cracker sweet malt flavor, clean bitter finish
M - Thin and dry
O - A reliable summer session brew.

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Photo of hopphead31415
3.71/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I picked this one up, because I love Sierra Nevada and wanted to have a more diverse beer style portfolio. This one is good for the summer, as the name suggests, and has a standard 5.0% ABV.

Look-It is crystal clear and has a beautiful light golden yellow with incessant carbonation. I did not expect this much carbonation trails from a lager. The head is full, but soon settles into a thin head.

Smell-It has a subtle head composed of yeast, wheat, and something similar to the metallicity that is common with German lagers…that sort of German Pilsner smell as it were.

Taste-It is malt-forward with a Pilsner style flavor that is persistent, but is soon overwhelmed by a light lemon and wheat-based maltiness.

Mouthfeel-It is smooth and crisp with a dry finish and moderate carbonation.

Overall-I would say that this is a nice beer, but not my favorite even in its class. I think that it would be great for the summertime if you don’t want to drink a strong IPA. Cheers!

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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.

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Photo of Antg8989
3.57/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This is coming from somebody who is discovering their "dislike" of lagers in general. Pours a light straw color with minimal to no head. Smells like your average lager and tastes like it too. Crisp, a decent summer beer but nothing I would purchase again.

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Photo of Jacobob10
3.86/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Gold color with amazing clarity and a thick white head. Rich pils malt with plenty of spice from the hops. Bitter flavor but really nice balance between the malt and hops. Crisp and refreshing but plenty of flavor. Light bodied. This really grew on me as I made my way through the six pack. A really well done pils.

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Photo of HattedClassic
3.92/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The beer pours a pretty light white head that dissipates quickly. The beer itself is a nice clear medium gold that looks nice even though it's a slightly darker hue than you would expect.

The beer smell is pretty nice and different from a pilsner such that you can consider the two different styles. While the beer has a nice spicy and dry hop bite, the smell is fairly sweet with a bit of mineral note to it.

The beer taste is similar to the smell profile. The comparatively light spicy hop bite complements the stronger sweet malt taste with a little bit of mineral water note that is actually good.

The mouthfeel is good but is a little heavy for something drunk during the summer. The beer has biting carbonation that makes the beer feel lighter but the malt content gives this beer a slightly heavier body than a pilsner.

Overall, a pretty nice summer lager to drink during the long summer days. The taste profile is different enough from the pilsner to make it worth a try.

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Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
3.68 out of 5 based on 4,144 ratings.
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