Welcome to BeerAdvocate!

Looking to talk, rate or trade beer? Join today by creating your free account.

Dismiss Notice
Curious about recent updates to the site and app? Check the Announcements forum for updates.
Dismiss Notice
Love Belgian Beer?

Join us Sep 17 in Portland, Maine for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest, featuring hundreds of authentic Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired offerings.

Tickets + more: beeradvocate.com/belgian

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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,564 | Ratings: 4,093
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.

 472 characters

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

 717 characters

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.

 155 characters

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!

 981 characters

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.

 746 characters

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.

 255 characters

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.

 329 characters

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.

 984 characters

Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours brilliant straw gold under a 1” clingy white foam collar, lively and lacy.
S: Floral, earthy, spicy with some light cracker aromas.
T: Light malt sweetness, light pils malts and has an assertive but pleasant earthy bitter finish that lingers.
F: Light to moderately light, medium high carbonation, clean, crisp and refreshing.
O: It is a beer you could drink for an afternoon of gardening or yard work or while painting a fence on a warm summer day.

 464 characters

Photo of The_Snow_Bird
4.05/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer had a perfect medium head. The lager was rather pale. The taste was great, when you first start drinking it tastes hoppy. Then as a after taste the malts.

 164 characters

Photo of Brian_L-2056
3.85/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great light summertime lager! Pools a clear light golden color. Good carbonation and head. Little to no lacing. Very good flavor with mild slightly dry finish. Might just have to buy a 6 pack of this

 203 characters

Photo of DabblinWiscCraft
3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Picked up a six-pack at my local Trig's grocer for a recent fishing outing. The bottled on date states it's about two-and-a-half months old. Poured right from the fridge into a pilsner glass.

L: Pours a crystal-clear golden straw color with about an inch of white head that sticks around for a little while, dissipates to a healthy film, and leaves moderate lacing on the glass. Moderate visible carbonation.

S: Cracker/bready malts with some sweetness. Grassiness and earthy tones in the mix, as well.

T: Cracker malts, quite dry, and some cracked pepper at the front end. There's a suggestion of dry white wine in the middle, with just a fleeting sense of apple cider. There are some grassy and earthy/herbal tones as the taste moves into the back. The close is more of the cracker malts, with a bit of pepper and a touch of tartness.

F: Lighter-bodied. Crisp and dry at the outset, becoming a bit creamy in the middle thanks to a nice level of carbonation. This one finishes quite cleanly, with just a bit of lingering tart.

O: This is one of the better American pilseners I've tried. Highly sessionable, it has some very well-rounded flavors and great feel, perfect for a warm summer day. If you're a fan of Czech-style pilseners, this is one you should definitely seek out.

 1,283 characters

Photo of leantom
4.23/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Great Pilsner lager. Here goes:

A: Pours a beautiful, clear gold with a large, fluffy head. Also leaves adequate lacing.

S: Generic Pilsner hops: grass, hay, white pepper, etc. Not much malt.

T: Hops are omnipresent, but the malt better makes its presence known. Lots of grassy Pilsner hops interspersed with grainy, cereal malt. Good

F: Very crisp and refreshing.

O: A very good summer lager.

 408 characters

Photo of elNopalero
3.67/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This pours a clear golden in the glass.
I get a light aroma, not much hop presence, more of a musty lager note. The flavor is crisp and lightly hoppy with a rounded finish. Easy drinking, just don't overthink it.

 212 characters

Photo of barnzy78
3.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle, PKGD 04/10/15
It's been a couple years since I had this last & was excited to grab one
A - pale yellow, nice clarity, creamy white head leaves a spattering of lacing
S - spicy grassy hop nose with tart, biscuity pilsner malt
T - sharp and crisp with pale pilsner malt; spicy and grassy hops give it a moderate bite on the end
M - light-to-medium body, crisp semi-dry finish
O - easy drinking Czech Pilsner; perfect for summer

 438 characters

Photo of Catracho5
3.42/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle poured into a hop tulip glass

A: Creamy bright white head, lots of carbonation, decent lacing, golden, clear color.

A: Floral hop aromas, grains, smells really green, grassy, earth like herbal aromas, smells great.

T: Some hop bitterness up front, mellow hop flavor, some citrus bitter notes, finishes with grains, easy drinking, smooth.

M: Thin mouthfeel.

O: Not very familiar with lagers, I prefer ales, but I have decided to expand my horizons with lagers. It's good, has a nice floral hop aroma and flavor with a grainy, herbal nuance to it.

 569 characters

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

Poured 2015 dated bottle into glass. 5% abv

Appearance- Pours a clear pale yellow with two finger head.

Smell- Very grainy malt with a touch of sweet bread. Some lemon citrus as well.

Taste- A crackery dough like taste still retaining the strong graininess as in the smell. Malty with a clear hop edge which cuts through. Ends with a touch of bitterness along with some citrus kick.

Mouthfeel- Clean and crisp with good carbonation. Medium-light in body.

Overall- A very agreeable smooth summer beer. Light, malty and hoppy. Good gateway beer for the macro people as well.

 580 characters

Photo of CMG-PSU
3.69/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Great Czech Pilsner. Not sure what all the hubbub is about drinking this outside and only being fit for a hot day... i love this beer and i would drink all day, 365 days a year!

 178 characters

Photo of whatthehull
4.06/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter/wineglass

A - a bursting yellow hue, half (maybe full) finger very white almost frothy head and little to no lacing/legs

S - Lager yeast, citrus zest, malt, grains and toasty/roastedness

T - Lemon/lime, lager yeast, citrus rind, slightly dank, lots of hop bitterness, fresh baked sweet bread, very grainy, nice malt and a very vibrant all around pilsner

M - Medium minus body, nice carbonation, decent balance, decent complexity and a very long lasting sweet/aromatic hoppy lager

D/O - This is perfect for spring and summer. Not a lot going on but, exceedingly better as a lager/pilsner. This beer shouldn't be lost on anyone. Warm day, cool day or after a nice hike, this one will take you there all day.

Final thoughts - $14 a 12 pack is a great price, 5% ABV will keep you going all day without wrecking you in the slightest. Just a very well done beer, indeed

 893 characters

Photo of maedhros09
4.09/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: Straw gold with average white head that maintains a film throughout Smell: herbal hops
Taste: Light but really nicely balanced, tending towards dryness
Feel: Light, crisp

Overall: A really nice light pilsner with good balance. Great for warm weather, sessionable. Lighter in body and flavor than the SN Nooner Pilsner if memory serves.

 345 characters

Photo of dwren89
4.36/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Look: straw yellow, great clarity, thin fizzy head

Aroma: malty, very much like a brewery smell with fresh grains, slight earthiness

Taste: soft flavor from the soft water, very smooth and easy drinking, well rounded malty flavor with a carbonation and hop bite at the end (no real hop flavor though, just the bitterness)

Mouthfeel: medium body, good level of carbonation (just right)

Overall: a great beer to stock up on for the summer. This would be a much better addition to a cookout than any of the American light lagers. Well rounded maltiness and the perfect amount of hop bitterness and carbonation to cleanse the palate after some juicy burgers, dogs, or creamy potato salad.

 688 characters

Photo of ptykozoon
2.75/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Pale yellow with thin but strong head.

Light banana, light wheat.

Dry hops, breadiness. Light bitterness.

Medium carbonation. Light mouthfeel.

Not an offensive beer but also fairly boring.

 193 characters

Photo of Buck89
3.85/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Crystal clear light straw color. A one-finger white foamy head that receeded to a nice cap, little lacing. Smell is mainly grainy with some spicy floral hop notes and dough. Clean taste as expected with cracker, dough, and spicy, lemony bitterness. Light-bodied and clean finish.

 279 characters

Photo of fscottkey
3.42/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: [4.75] Crystal clear. Remarkably clear. The beer is a light golden color. It forms a 1/4 finger white head. The bottle lists the born on date (03/26/15) and the ABV (5.0%).

S: [2.75] There is very little nose.

T: [3.50] Light cracker/breadiness. There is a mild spiciness in the midpalate.

M: [3.75] This is really crisp and refreshing. There is a very quick clean finish. The body is on the low side but does not seem watery. There is medium carbonation.

O: [3.50] This beer is definitely sessionable at 5%. I think it would appeal to a mass consumer audience and it is still good for the discerning palate. My biggest gripe is the nose is non-existent. Other than that this beer holds up pretty well.

 723 characters

Photo of Trooper92292
4.02/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I love this beer. Fresh and crisp. This was really enjoyable. After drinking lagers for so many years this is one I can really enjoy. Highly recommend.

 151 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.