Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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1,571 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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Reviews: 1,571 | Ratings: 4,110
Photo of Deconstructionis
3.4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This is a good pilsener but not up to the levels of the SN pale ale or stout. Pilsener is one the toughest beers to brew well because there is no hiding and no margin for error. They often fall a bit short on the character side or otherwise simply don't have that delicate balance. Brewing a good subtle beer is a true test of craftsmanship. this passes the test but doesn't excel.

It's a rather typical looking pale gold with a nice stiff head and faint but pleasant aroma of yeast and malt -- not much in the way of hops beyond the citrus. .

The flavor is very well balanced but a little thin and more sweet than crisp as I prefer.

Of course, it's a relatively light bodied beer and it has substantial carbonation It's as drinkable as can be and very thirst quenching but it is just missing "something."

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Photo of joshwlt
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good looking helles/pale lager just what you would be looking for, for the style I suppose. A one inch white head, exceptionally clear straw gold color, and light lace that falls back down to the beer. At first a spicy hop shows up and grainy malt maintains throughout. Basically what you would be looking for in the style, probably one of the better pale lagers I've had. Has a corny and slightly vegetabley smell. Easy-drinking crisp, clean, grainy, and slightly hop-spiced lager. Nothing spectacular but a decent rep for the style.

Note: I reviewed this as a pale lager, not a "czech pilsner", although I could see that it may be more appropriate to label it so with its slightly more noticeable hop presence, I find it doesn't have some of the characteristics I dislike in czech pilsners.

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Photo of Prostman81
3.94/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had picked this up last summer before heading off to a barbeque. Saw an empty sitting in a cabinet that I had squirreled away and brought back some memories.

When I had picked this up, it had just been delivered, so was very fresh. Had a great hop aroma; the typical pilsner/saaz hop notes were there along with some definite light citrus. Went down super smooth, was able to taste the Pils malts and again with the American hops. Was foruntate to have the sixer all to myself that evening as everyone else was into their macro-brews. Having this beer in hand while playing bags and eating good food on a warm night is what summer is all about.

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Photo of IpaRay
3.76/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

S: 12 oz bottle into a flute glass

A: Golden yellow, straw. 1/2 inch of head

S: Just like a lager, a slight skunk smell but clean.. some bready notes

T:Very light, clean, smooth, malty sweetness

M: light, clean

O: very drinkable, A nice beer to enjoy on a hot day with the grill an friend

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Photo of Lambstrong
4.02/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a light golden color with a white head. Th head dissipates rather quickly, however the lacing is decent.

Aroma: Slight lemon aroma with a wiff of hopiness in the background.

Taste: Right away I tasted roasted grains followed by hops. There is a mineral quality to this beer that I normally associate with german lagers. I also picked up on a slight fruit notes. Very refreshing.

Mouthfeel: Good amount of carbonation which I like in lagers. Not heavy at all, but there is a chewiness to it.

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

A: Light golden color but not much lacing in the glass.

S: I can smell the malt and biscuit in this.

T: Good taste, not much bitterness but the bitterness that is there lingers a bit.

M: Medium in body, crisp.

D: Taste is better than a lot of pilseners I've had.

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Photo of beerman21
3.64/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The heat has arrived and well so has the summer seasonal. Much of which I can due without, But common its Sierra Nevada! Gift from the fam, 12 pack of it, so i hope i like it. Lager type beer have to be the beers im troubled in seeing the complexity and well pulling out the flavors are much more challenging then your top fermenting ales. Anyways let the tasting begin.

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Poured it aggressively and a two finger head rose and fell to a thin lace rather quickly.

From the look of it, very bright clear golden champagne in nature brew. Other the golden hue this beers clarity is well, not to get all beer geeky but beautiful!

Smell. Bready, maltey, sweet with some sour back scents. Grassy notes as well with some faint very faint, citrus.

Taste again more bread, taste of sour doe, must be the yeast. Grassy notes again with a little hop bitterness reminiscent of the grapefruit flavor hops SNB is famous for. Drinkable, refreshing yes. Out of this world brew that I'd go for every summer not so much.

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Photo of GregPearson33
3.94/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

To be honest I'm not great about reviewing lagers, and this is my first shot at it... but I hope it helps a BA at some point!

Appearance: medium straw color with nice foam at the ridges, completely transparent and clear. Looks refreshing!

Aroma: not much smell, just a light floral aroma. Not sure what exactly I'm looking for, but this just doesn't have enough of it. I get that it's supposed to be light, but the aroma is only decent.

Taste: Dry and bready with a light malt sweetness balanced well against a nice hop edge on the backside.

Drinkability: Very well carbonated and light on the palate, super sessionable! Could have many of these no problem.

Overall just a good, thirst-quenching and drinkable beer. Excellent on a summer night!

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Photo of JK4Stout
3.15/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A VERY light lager here. Has a pale color reminiscent of a domestic banquet beer. However, the taste is much more developed; Light, citrus, and full. There is a slight taste of the lager yeast in the brew which, while not unfavorable, is unexpected. This is a hot weather beer, one to be enjoyed while sitting in the shade at midday, or around the bbq. Another plus to this beer is the decent price and its wide availability (anywhere one can find regular Sierra Nevada).

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Photo of Durtdiggler
3.66/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Golden Hue, with nice carbonation rolling to the top and good lacing. About a half finger of head. I poured this into a Belgian style beer glass. Beer has a very inviting appearance.

Smell of citrus, low alpha hops and malt profile but not as overwhelming in it's hops as a Czech or German Pilsner; more balanced with it's aroma. Nothing big profile, but it's not supposed to be.

The taste and mouth feel has nice carbonation, more malt in the profile now, hint of citrus very refreshing, clean, crisp finish and very easy to drink. A nice lawn mower/session beer during those summer months. Sierra Nevada definitely hit the target on this one.

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Photo of viverlee
2.05/5  rDev -44.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I grabbed a six pack hoping to find a new summer fav. This uninspired offering leaves me wanting. If this is illustrative, and I’m not saying it is just to be clear, you might be inclined to ask if Sierra Nevada thinks they can charge $9 for six bottles of anything these days.

STYLE: Czech Pilsner

ABV: 5%

LOOK: Very light straw, nearly clear. Somehow lighter than water. I just put four paint samples on the nursery wall and can see all of them pretty clearly through the glass. Half-finger head and no lacing.

NOSE: Flat breakfast biscuits and generic spices play an unsatisfying prelude.

MOUTH: The first sip smacks like a barrel of hay. Grassy, faint hint of red licorice — the only real balance. Very light and not enough carbonation to get you through a hot summer day. Nice bitter finish, but nothing spectacular.

BA Rating: 83

Hayward Abbey Rating: 72

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Photo of Nickholland
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Makes you wonder why the big breweries can't put out something resembling this. A great lager/Pils, refreshing and clean...I have a hard time sipping this. If you like adjuncts this should be your foray into craft. I actually prefer this over their Nooner Pils, which unfortunately is their year round offering, because this would almost always occupy space in my fridge.

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Photo of Night
3.82/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours clear gold with some blonde and light orange tones. Fat, foamy, white head with huge bubbles making their way to the surface; dies down quickly and leaves very light lacing. Aroma is light and grainy – sweet and sour malts dominate over a grassy base with distant floral hops accenting. Very pastoral. Mouthfeel is mildly fizzy and light-bodied. Flavor matches aroma but with stronger buttery and cookie dough malts. Grain notes blend perfectly into a restrained, smooth hop bitterness. Notes of honey, lemon, spice, and hard candy here and there. Light soapiness and nuttiness in the finish; aftertaste is mild and sour-bitter.

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Photo of MeanMotaScootah
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

For the style it is a dead ringer for a nice Czech pilsner - sooo not sure why they call it a lager, why not just call it a summer fest pilsner. Aaaanyway, regardless of how the marketing guys wanted to name this beer I still love it. Bright hops + light bodied malt makes this a very drinkable and enjoyable lager/pilsner. Many of the pilsners are a big over hopped for the style in my opinion. As a comparison this is tastier than the Nooner Pilsner from Sierra Nevada just because I think the got the hops to malt ratio dialed in better.

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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 FlyingKneeStrike
3.05/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Pours a bright yellow color. Minimal head retention. I expected it to taste a bit better, but definitely good for a lager. I was expecting more citrus notes but I can't detect any, it's a tad bit watery but I guess that is to be expected of this style. Found at Trader Joe's for 7.99 a 6 pack so a fair price. A good beer but don't think I would get it again.

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Photo of Soilworker
3.65/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Apperance: Pale Golden yellow with a thick head that dissipates quickly.

Smell: Very clean aroma. Floral notes dominate the bulk of the nose accompanied by light fruity smells (almost like fruity pepples). Light hay/malt is present as well.

Taste: Very light and crisp; lager style malts dominate after a hit of light fruity and hops (florally and minimally bitter) taste.

Mouthfeel: Very refreshing and crisp. Could definitely see drinking this one a hot summer day.

Drinkability: As mentioned before this beer exceptionally refreshing and would definitely see drinking this on a nice summer day.

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Photo of nota
3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Gold color filled my glass. Nice white frothy head that dissipates into lacing. Good hop presence, grain, grass taste. Dry bitter finish. Soft carbonation, medium body. I wish I would of bought more than one. Easy drinking without sacrificing flavor.

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Photo of scottblaze
3.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bought a sixer, never tried this before.

Nothing particularly outstanding about the appearance, pretty much like a macro, thin head goes away fairly quickly, a little lacing. Smell is grassy floral, citrus, a little ginger. Tastes a little citrusy, maybe some lemon, lots of hoppy bite and lingers for a bit. Tingly mouthfeel. Easy enough to drink but when it comes to hoppy brews my favorites are elsewhere. If a little maltier, flavour wise this could almost pass for an IPA, Czech Pilsner? hmmm.... try another one and think about it.

Edit: Opened another, drank slowly, trying not to think about it too much, it is more complex than I first gave it credit for. Either that or I'm getting a buzz going.

Edit #2: My initial IPA comparison was completely wrong. Although hoppy, the bottom end is completely different ... dry.
This one threw me off, not really crazy about it. Summer refresher?,,,not me so much.

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Photo of micmillon18
3.74/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pilsner glass.

A - Pours a clear straw yellow color with a big bubbly head that dissipates quickly. Lots of lacing.

S - Sweet grains, spicy hops, and some light grassy scents.

T - More sweet malt hit the pallet along with a nice spiciness bitterness from the hops. Light citrus notes, similar to lemon, along with bitter hops finish and continue into the aftertaste. I feel at times that the malt out weights the hops though I'm undecided if this has any adverse effect. A pretty clean and tasty flavor.

M - Crisp and clean.

O - Sierra Nevada creates another well rounded brew. Nothing earth shattering but a good session brew and despite its name, one for year round.

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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 DeepSix
3.48/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Almost 2 bottles into a 23oz mug club mug...what? I barely can find a use for it. Not a huge head here, a little bit more darker then I'm used to for this style. Don't get me wrong, its light, but a bit more amber and less clear yellow.

Not much smell here, for me. Light grass notes, but no floral hop notes that IS tasted. Some lemon there too.

A crisp semi-sweet malt taste, hit midway through a hop presence that makes itself known.

The light body you'd expect, along with some fairly moderate amount of carbonation.

This a pretty drinkable summer beer. Not really the best czech I've had but I looked on the bottle, it doesn't really have that word anyway, just "lager", so ya know why not give em a break. Not quite low enough ABV for session but close em to drink a bunch of em on a hot day.

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Photo of Gruntlumber
3.6/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'm amazed at how varied the reviews are for this beer. Some call it "too heavy", even though it's one of the lightest micros I've ever had. Some say "too bitter, hoppy", even though there is barely a trace of hoppiness in my opinion. Some say it tastes like Bud. Some say it tastes like SN's Pale Ale. Maybe this brew varies a lot from year to year, because I disagree with many of these comments.

This is definitly a pilsner-style lager: pours very light and has a nice refreshing aroma with a hint of hoppiness. If I tasted this blind, I would say it tastes like Pilsner Urquell, one of the best lagers out there. I want to taste the two side-by-side because the similarities are many. Summerfest has a fresher, cleaner taste however, probably because it IS fresher than the imported PU. I thought this was a great brew. Lagers are never really high on my list because they are all so similar, but given the choice I'd take this anyday over most other lagers.

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Photo of Lepley
2.83/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Dark yellow in appearance, with mild carbonation, and very little head. Has a light grainy smell and is sweet to taste with a slight bitterness and citrus to it's aftertaste. A pretty watery and light beer. I would say it's very drinkable though not overly impressive.

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Photo of AmishT
3.6/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a brilliant golden-yellow with a nice white head that doesn't retain for very long. Some nice champagne-like bubbles rise to the surface.

S - Bold, bready, malty sweetness is the most prevalent aroma, with some faint spicy hops in the background. A very pleasant and inviting character one, which is good because this is a Summer Seasonal. Interesting nose, for sure. I was expecting a stronger hop character.

T - Well the flavors aren't nearly as bold as the aromas; not very complex either. Right off the bat, a feeble balanced malt and hoppy flavor is overwhelmed by the strong carbonation of the brew. Some lemon flavor is present. A nice earthy hop finish is present, but I would definitely enjoy stronger hop flavors.

M - As mentioned before, very strong carbonation. Light-medium bodied. Not watery, but not much flavor. Pretty smooth. Some dry earthy hop flavor coats the palate after swallowing.

D - While it isn't the most flavorful beer, the light body and nice earthy hop finish bolster its drinkability. Definitely a crisp and refreshing summer brew.

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Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 1,571 ratings.
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