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Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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1,576 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: 1,576 | Ratings: 4,124
Photo of beakerboy
4.05/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A selection from Liquor Barn's Ultimate Brew Crew June '06-Summer Seasonal Beers

A:Pours a golden amber color with a 1/4 inch of thick foamy head. Significant carbonation

S: Plesant Sazz hop and sweet malt characteristics dominate.

T: This beer has a good pepperyness from the hops.

M: Better than most lagers. More body than a Euro Pale Lager or American Macro.

D: I think this is the first good american lager I've had! I'll make sure to have a few on hand the next time friends visit.

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

A - Light beer color and perfectly clear. Thin head.

S - Crisp with a hoppy sour and a little metal. Nice summer ale scent

T - Is "refreshing" a taste? The usual subdued sweet and sour of a summer ale that finishes on the sour side.

M - Smooth and mouth-coating with a good bite of carbonation that doesn't push past the sip into the swallow. The medium body is surprising for its clear look.

D - A solid cookout beer. Might get a little too sour for the occasion if I tried to session them. But standard cookout procedure is to go with 2-3 tasty beers up front and switch over to the lighter side so no harm there.

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Photo of Farewell_Transmission
4.32/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 bottle.

a- nice head, very light white colored beer. Head fades quickly.

s- smells as if you are in a garden. Very fitting for the style of beer.

t- strong hops flavor very up front in it's flavor.

m- what you would expect from a czech pilsener.

o- this is a very fine beer for a weekend afternoon, preferable with 90+ degrees temperatures.

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Photo of risendragon
2.98/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

From a 6 pack bought with surplus grocery money. I've tried Sierra Nevada's Extra IPA and Winter varietal in the past and was rather impressed with both. This one, not so much so.

A- Light honey color, head dissipated quickly.

S- Grassy, hay, some floral notes, some citrus. Not as bold as advertised.

T- Similar to smell but again, not as bold as advertised. I get a nice citrusy, hoppy note at the finish and that is quite frankly this beer's only redeeming quality.

M- Crisp, refreshing, the kind of brew I would drink after working in the sun all day (if it were not for the sub-par taste).

O- I was expecting more from this brew, thus the lower scores. As a fan of Sierra Nevada's IPA styles I think I will stick to those from now on. But, this is a good summer beer after a long day's work. I guess one could call it a "starter" beer for someone looking to get into microbrews.

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Photo of righlander
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a straw yellow with a nice head that dissipates in to a thin lace from a 12oz bottle to a pint glass.
Smells nice, light malt with a subtle yet present hop.
Taste is good. Very refreshing for the summer. goes nice and easy on a hot Florida night. A very flavor filled lager. nice easy malt show with a very well balanced hopped finish. Extremely crisp and clean. Perfect for summer.
Mouth feel is excellent. nicely carbonated with a mildly, yet dry hop finish.
Drinkability is insane. you can pound these all night.
I'm glad I bought A six pack!

Notes: A very drinkable crisp clean brew. Lighter bodied with A lot of personality. Excellent summer beer. Blows away Czech beers in my opinion.
Perfect hot weather brew.

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Photo of SAxDRC5
4.01/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: head fades very quickly, golden yellow color.

S: smells sweet. very light citrus scent

T: nice and crisp. great for a summer lager. citrus flavor (lemon I think?) flavors could be a bit stronger but still very good

M: crisp, light, not too carbonated

D: I could have quite a few of these. not too carbonated, not to hoppy, not too citrusy (though i'm not sure that's a word)

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Photo of Gish
3.62/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A - Yellow with a quickly dissipating head and minimal lacing.

S - Grassy hops with a hint of mustiness.

T - Sweetness hits the tongue but is quickly followed by a big dose of crispness. Very dry, almost white grape juice-like. A tad too bitter in the finish in my opinion.

M - Lively carbonation and a light body that fits the style well.

D - Low abv and a wonderful crispness make this a great session beer. However, the dryness seems a bit out of place. I've had pilsners that were more balanced and more enjoyable. Still a very worthy buy if you're a fan of lagers.

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Photo of jsausley
3.34/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

On draft at Legends Sports Grill in Maggie Valley, NC. Chose to go with some buffalo hot wings with this beer. That's what you're supposed to do in summer at a Sports Grill right?

A: Pale, thin, golden beer with some noticeable carbonation. The only thing differentiating this from a light beer is its frothy head that does actually lace fairly well.

S: Crisp and clean, lots of wheat with notes of caramel, hops, light malts and citrus. Unexpected..

T: This is a lager, I'm sure of it, but I can't tell it. It's more like a pale ale that doesn't have the hops. Or maybe an American ale that forgot its alcohol. It's not a bad beer but it lacks character. It's sweet, lightly malty, somewhat bitter, somewhat citrusy and has a wheat undercurrent. It seems confused. It also has a potent aftertaste that wasn't very pleasant for me. For a craft beer, it's lacking. For a beer to drink in the summer, it's passable.

M: Decent bite from the hops, somewhat carbonated, nothing too dramatic. Like everything else about this one.

O: Can't say I'd try it again unless my other options were all Light beers. That's just me being honest.

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Photo of AbePhroman
3.93/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought a six of 2003 yesterday. I remember I had this last summer and wanted to try it again. Clever label with a twist-off cap. Golden color in my class with a thick head that rose to the top. Nice lacing as it settles. Hoppy aroma like most Sierra Nevada beers. Tastes bitter and hoppy and is very enjoyable. The wheat\grain has a noticeable taste which adds to the pleasure of drinking this beer. Very drinkable IMO!! A good buy.

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Photo of audiojon
3.2/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A decent pils, but having recently tried another fantastic one, this doesn't really stand up (the beer in question being prima, from victory brewing). Smell is good enough, taste is interesting, but rather one dimensional. I could definitely drink a few of these, but wouldn't necessarily seek it out. A recommended try for pilsener fans, but sierra pale fans need not apply.

2005 vintage, btw

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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Duvel tulip. bottled on date of 3/22/16.

Look -- Pours with two fingers of head atop a crystal clear straw body.

Smell -- Biscuity malt and grass noble hops with some hints of floralness and spiciness from the hops coming through here and there.

Taste -- As the nose but joined with a nice bracing bitterness that lingers briefly and a hint of grain sweetness from the malt. A very faint mineral character makes itself known here.

Feel -- Crisp and refreshing due to a light body and active carbonation which keep it light on the palate. It's dry but not amazingly so and certainly not compared to some German Pils like Jever. All in all the mouthfeel is spot on.

Overall -- A delightful Czech Pils. I prefer it to Nooner and I'm greatly appreciative that the diacetyl that can manifest itself in the style isn't present.

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Photo of Rosanne
2.5/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

much like a Carlton draft but smoother

Shared a taster on-tap as part of four flights at the brewery; Sierra Nevada Brewing Co, Chico, USA. As part of a six-week West Coast beer tour. I rate to taste, not to style. See my blog for more details: carbeers.wordpress.com

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

I usually enjoy most anything that Sierra Nevada puts out. I was pleased to find a couple of 12 packs left at the local Kroeger store.

The beer looked more lemony yellow than golden. The pour into my pint glass bought out a large head that looked like merangue on a pie that then disappeared. It left some nice lacing on my glass. The smell was very tangy with hops and a touch of citrus.

The taste is rather pleasant, some cracker-like malt with plenty of bitterness from the hops. The mouthfeel was not too thin.

I liked this beer quite a bit. Easy drinking, I could have several of these easily on these hot summer days.

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Photo of GeneralZod
3.1/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear golden color. Held average head retention.

Average inviting aroma. Can't quite tell what is it, but it's not bad.

Somewhat bitter. Leaves an aftertaste, but not bad.

Somewhat coarse and carbonated.

It's good beer. I would definitely have another and would not turn one down when offered.

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Photo of HotterThanHell
3.4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Nice summer lager. Lite golden color with a good frothy head. The beer is well carbonated but not very complex. Of course that's not what your really looking for in a summer lager.

What your looking for is a lite, refreshing, balaced beer to help cool you down while you're standing next to the grill. This beer does that and has enough flavor to not be bland or tasteless like the macros.

A solid drinking beer that you could serve to your Bud Lite drinking buddies and maybe convert a few from the Dark Side.

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Photo of storksonm
3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In a tall pint glass.

It poured crisp and clean not much of a head but a nice clean golden yellow color. It had what I usually associate with the "lager" smell, very nice even had a clean lager smell not too danky. It is very light it was like drinking a commercial style pilsner but obviously better. The mouthfeel is drier with a bit of bitter hop aftertaste. I would love having this on a hot day after work after you've been running around all day just sit in the lawn chair or if you really got style the daven-porch and relax with one of these.

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

Pored a clear yellow with 1/2 finger head, little to no lace.

Smells like grain, grass, hay, and very light wheat.

Taste was the same as the smell. A good light lager that as another reviewer said is a great substitute for coors lite, etc. Crisp and refreshing but I would be drinking something else on a hot summer day. Not my favorite style.

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

A-- Clear yellow with a touch of orange. Lots of bubbles rising, and a thin head

S--Malt, freshly cut grass, a little hop spiciness. There's not too much on the nose, but it is refreshing and crisp.

T--The grass smell comes through in the taste, hop spice and a touch of pepper hit at the back of the palette for a dry and crisp finish.

M--Sharply carbonated, which adds a lot to this beer. Generally it is crisp and very dry. Mouthfeel is probably the strongest asset of this beer.

O--Not as good as some other summer beers I've had, but as a refrigerator staple for hot summer days it's hard to beat. It drinks like water (in a good way) and really hits the spot.

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

A - Finger-thick white head that dissipates quickly into a frothy-thin layer. This layer resides above a clear Pale Gold (SRM 4) hued liquid that exposes carbonic bubbles rising to the top at a rapid pace. Swirling the beer results in spider legs, most likely a result of the hops and carbonation.

S - Crisp phenolic Noble hop (Saaz) aroma bouquet. A mild fruitiness/peppery note is most prominent. Mild bit of creamed corn aroma comes through via DMS, though subtle.

T - Clean malty liquid washes over the palate with a mild bitterness that gives a crisp and somewhat moist finish. This beer is very well balanced and finishes more sweet than bitter, though a level of bitterness does crescendo with time and lingers for that matter. It seems to me as though the Brewer/Chemist tried to emulate a more mineral-rich liquor (water) compound of those found in native regions of the Bohemian Pilsner, which is the style that this beer seems to be trying to imitate, with an American touch of course.

M - Upon final pour, the bottle conditioned elements (suspended yeast) provide for a bit more of a graham cracker consistency on the palate. The mouth coating malts finish dry with a smooth lingering bitterness that fits nicely with the styles normal characteristics. Medium to high carbonation tingles the palate as well; sulfates add to this!

C - A session beer this is, but at 5% ABV and with a smooth sweetness that helps balance the Hallertau hops, this beer quickly turns into quite a delight. Though the crisp, dry and bitter Czech/German variants with high sulfates are enjoyable, this is a wonderful take on a traditional style that gives it just enough American punch to let you know there's something more inside the bottle than conformity!

The website states that in addition to the Pale malts used, Munich malts were also used. It also states that this beer has an extra-long lagering period, which would explain the fruitier content and malty sweetness, which is not so prominent in German/Czech variants. In addition to Saaz hops, Perle were used, which is a variation on the tradition type of hops utilized in a Pilsner.


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Photo of Wegbier
3.24/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

a pretty white head that stays fluffy all the way down leaving some lacing, a pale to golden color with lots of lively bubbles.

s- i detect so little smell from this beer it saddens me. Very light note of floral hops.

t- light crisp clean floral hop pilsner, I dont feel like there is much going on.

m- thin and clean, i dont know what else to say for this one

d- very drinkable, this is a session beer for a hot day by all means.

I cant find a freshness date on the bottle and I suspect that to be a possible culprit for a fine pilsner with quality ingredients. This reminds me more of a typical North German pilsner than anything czech but that might be my own subjectivity.

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Photo of AlesRTasty
3.59/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Once poured into a glass a nice white head forms on top of a golden straw pale yellow brew. The head remains briefly but has some nice lacing. The nose has a very slight hint of malt underneath a strong Saazy hop aroma. And I detect something that twinges a bit like parmesan cheese or feet, which might be the hops. It has a good earthy and grassy taste I usually taste in this style of beer. Very clean and very crisp. The carbonation in this bottle is a bit low for me, I think if it had more it would be a little more refreshing. Overall it's a pretty good beer. It is Sierra Nevada so it's definitly worth trying. Finishing the 6er I bought probably won't be a problem.

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Photo of Ochsenblut
3.86/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This crystal clear Pilsner shines gold with a sticky, cloudy two-finger head. The carbonation is very active, supplying the head with ample lacing.

This beer is lightly aromatic, showing off breadiness and floral hops in limited supply.

This beer, although not exactly my idea of a Czech Pilsner, is very interesting. The hops profile is nothing short of exponential, starting small then coming to a crescendo of dry bitterness, all the while mixing with a semi-sweet biscuity malt.

The aftertaste is satisfyingly bitter, with an oily hoppiness that lasts for a good while.

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Photo of LiquidSanity
3.31/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ap: Very orange, golden straw yellow but a few shades darker. Without tasting it, it comes off appearing like an adjunct lager. The lacing and head remind you it probably isn't a macro.

Ar: Very syrupy and corn like with a mild biscuit/breadiness. Awkward smell. Not appealing.

Ta: Not as impressed with this representation by SN. Very sugary and syrupy in flavor. I'm noticing a mild presence of pineapple with some mild bitter notes. There is a nice touch of hops but nothing overwhelming. It is not a terribly delicious beer. It's just a few shades better than your typical adjunct. Disappointing.

Mf: Here is where it shines. It's smooth and rather rich. A nice creamy, frothy texture. This doesn't have the watery presence as other lagers or pilsners. This is rich and entertains from beginning to end.

Ov: Evaluating as a pilsner, it fails. It tastes very little like a pilsner. As a beer on its own, it is ok until you factor in the price. There are many other beers that can give you a similar experience. Not Sierra Nevada's best. But I can drink more than one. Cheers!

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Photo of Schneic8
3.61/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a mug. Bottled on 2/23/11.

Appearance: Light golden color similar to honey or gold. Mild amount of carbonation and a white head that didn't last.

Smell: I smell grass and floral tones. It has a clean smell and I get a hint of the hops. Not very strong smelling.

Taste: Clean crisp taste that has a nice body and slight hops taste. It finished with a citrus taste.

Mouthfeel: It has a clean crisp feel that has a slight bite to it. It goes down smooth and finishes with a slight hops taste.

Overall: Good beer that is easy to drink. The taste is not too strong and allows for the flavors to reveal themselves. I enjoy the clean/crispness which would make it a good summer time beer.

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