Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
83
good
1,576 Reviews
Sierra Nevada Summerfest LagerSierra Nevada Summerfest Lager
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States
sierra-nevada.com

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,576
Ratings:
4,124
Avg:
3.68
pDev:
20.38%
 
 
Wants:
125
Gots:
596
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,576 | Ratings: 4,124
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.76/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a cloudy, yellow-orange body with a small, fizzy white head.

Smell: Pale malt aroma with notes of floral, spice, and the juice of half a lemon.

Taste: Pale maltiness accompanied by a mild sweetness. A bit crackery, but then again, aren't we all? Hint of lemon, flowers. A punch of spicy bitterness. Finishes crisp with a light, lingering spice on the tongue.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A nice little surprise. It's quafftastic!

 485 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I fail to see how a beer brewed in California, U.S.A. can be called a Euro Pale Lager. Yeah, I know, if it fits the style... blah, blah, blah. But still, this beer deserves better. I therefore dub Summerfest a Yankee Pale Lager.

Pellucid bright amber with an impressively large, creamyfirm, French vanilla head that looks like it belongs on an IPA. The foam displays remarkable persistance and eventually lays down generous amounts of lace in vertical streamers.

The aroma is unmistakably of aromatic Saaz hops with very little else muddying the waters. I'm not a big fan of that particular hop, but it's actually somewhat pleasant here, both in the nose and on the palate. Its oftentimes sharp, pungent nature is blunted to some extent by a fair amount of sweetish pale malt.

A subtle clove and white pepper spiciness increases marginally with warming. I prefer more citrus in my summer beers, but I won't complain too loudly. The body is solidly medium, yet is still well within the bounds of easy drinkability demanded by the summer seasonal designation.

Summerfest is a pretty good Saaz-hopped pale lager, even if my lack of affinity for that particular hop variety keeps me from loving it. That said, this Yankee Pale Lager kicks the crap out of the vast majority of its Euro counterparts.

 1,307 characters

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

A 2007 offering served up on tap. Much better then last years offering. This poured a nice pale golden color with a nice white frothy head. Smell was pretty hoppy, especially compared to last year. Lots of citrus and pine hops were evedent in the flavor. Fine crisp clean finish with lots of carbonation. An awesome session beer or a barbecue beer, really very nice overall, and a wonderful addition to my summer beer lineup.

 425 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a crystal clear medium yellow in color with moderate amounts of gentle carbonation and some hints of golden yellow highlights. The beer has a finger tall white head that reduces to a small patch of very thin film and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light aromas of biscuit malts with light to moderate aromas of spicy and floral/herbal hops.

T: Upfront there is a moderate flavor of biscuit malts that is followed by light to moderate building to moderate flavors of hops - initially spicy but more herbal towards the finish. Light to moderate amounts of bitterness which lingers only slightly.

M: Light to medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth and crisp with light hints of dryness in the finish.

O: Easy to drink and refreshing, a very enjoyable beer for the summer - I'm enjoying this one while I'm making and grilling up some burgers.

 920 characters

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

I had this on tap @ Maewyn's in York, served chilled in a pint.

The color is a pale golden with thick cap of white cream, the clarity is good and the lace clings in ringlets. The smell is good with some gentle floral/herbal hop aromas with mild malt and slight yeast ester which gives a sort of bready backing. The feel is very good, nice hop presence which gives the kind of acidity you want from a pils, plenty of carbonation, but not overboard. I think the malt profile is pleasant adding a bit of sweetness to keep the lager balanced.

The flavor is smooth and malty up front, but mid-taste the flavor of the herbal hop emerges with some nice gentle grassy and tea like flavor, somewhat floral but not too much to be enjoyable with some citrus elements. The taste of the malt is gentle and slightly sweet with a mild yeast that adds some character to the brew and perhaps a tinge of mineral. The overall impression I get from this is it is a great beer, an all around flavorful and quaffable lager which is saying something because there aren't enough of its ilk out there these days.

 1,092 characters

Photo of womencantsail
3.73/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The pour is a crystal clear pale golden color with a short lived fluffy white head.

S: A pretty typical lager aroma. Mostly grain and malt sweetness with a touch of earthy hops.

T: There is a touch of bready malt with a mild spicy and earthy flavor from the hops and yeast. The finish is surprisingly bitter with a citrus in the mix as well.

M: Light to medium body (for a lager, that is) with a nice crisp carbonation.

D: A pretty refreshing and good tasting lager. But, I don't really ever worry about Sierra Nevada when it comes to making a good beer. Good for a hot summer day.

 588 characters

Photo of russpowell
3.74/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2007 version

An effervescent deep gold with 4 fingers of white rocky head. Below average head retention & lacing

S: Herbalhops & a little bit of floral hops

T: Floral hops,lemons & straw up front. Finshses lemon hoppy Wth a little grainyness & fruittyness

MF: Geat balance & medium bodied, a little light on the carbonation

Drinks very easy, but not as tasty as last years

 388 characters

Photo of Jason
3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz brown shorty bottle, no freshness date but there is the year 2009 on the neck label.

A- Quick to froth a white head, subsides to a thin but sticky lace. Shimmering clarity off of the golden yellow colored brew.

S- Clean fresh cut hay, spicy hops ... a very clean nose.

T&M- Crispness is beyond belief, so refreshing. Clean but dry malty palate, hint of lemon in the spicy hop character that lends a nice bitter bite. Touch of herbal hop and grain husk middle to end, finishes quite dry.

D- Give one of these to a macro drinking friend and see what happens. I could easily go through a few on a hot summer day.

 619 characters

Photo of smcolw
3.49/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A literally over-the-top head (16oz glass, 12oz beer). Great rockiness of a nearly pure white head. Excellent thick lace on the glass edge. Beautiful golden (and clear) color.

Unusually musty aroma. Low hop, mostly lighter grained malt smells.

Strong malt flavor in the front followed by a decent bitterness from the hop. There are the beginnings of some skunkiness. This is a delicate beer, but there is very good body for the style; appropriate carbonation.

I'm a little disappointed with this one: I was expecting a typical 4+ offering from SN. The skunk part aside, this would likely be a run-of-the-mill pils. I could not find the typical fresh hop smells or flavors.

 675 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
3.93/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Budweiser pokal.

Ah, the Whole Foods bargain area. Delightful. This guy pours a clear pale straw topped by a finger or so of white micro-foam. The nose comprises light wheat, flowers, corn, grass, and a touch of sugar. The taste is similar, with the floral hops really coming through nicely, along with a hint of oatmeal. The body is pretty light, with a very light carbonation and a crisp finish. Overall, a solid pils, but missing a small something in the taste department to really kick it up a peg.

 515 characters

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

Review from notes. Enjoyed on July 4th.

A: Pours a clear golden color with a foamy white head on top. Moderate retention and lacing.

S: Light hops with a heavier dose of bready and grain malt. On the sweet side.

T: The bready malt returns along with some light spice and earthy flavor. Light citrus and a slightly bitter finish.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth and crisp.

O: Tasty and east drinking, can't ask for much more, especially in the summer on a hot day. Probably wouldn't stock it in my fridge, but would gladly drink again.

 564 characters

Photo of billab914
3.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Southern Tier glass. Poured a clear and pale yellow/gold color. It had a bubbly and active head to start with, and it lasted pretty well into drinking it.

The aroma shows off an earthy, grassy and almost peppery hoppiness to it. Some citrus and sweet, grainy, malty flavors come through and really balance the aroma out.

The taste is very well balanced with the earthy and grassy hops, the sweet grainy malt, and the lemony citrus flavors. Very clean and crisp overall.

The mouthfeel is on the lighter side with carbonation being high. Drinkability is pretty decent, it has a very nice balance of flavors working in it's favor. Pretty good version of the style and a easy drinking beer overall.

 733 characters

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.

 216 characters

Photo of woodychandler
4.24/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This showed up recently at The Fridge and went into my fridge awaiting furtherance of The CANQuest (TM). Reviewed 08-14-2013.

It was a long day of paranoia and I was jonesing for a beer, so I executed a quick Crack and an inverted Glug, resulting in two fluffy, foamy fingers of French Vanilla-colored head with good retention. Color was a sunshine yellow with NE-quality clarity. SRM = 4 to 5. Nose had a great Noble hop grassiness underlain with a light biscuit maltiness. Mouthfeel was thin-to-medium and man, this really hit the spot! The Saaz hops commingled beautifully with the malt to create a light, easy drinking lager in the form of a Pils. Finish was crisp, dry, refreshing and I may have found a new CANdidate for the summer cooler.

My original bottle review from 07-07-2005 with scores of 4.0; 2.5; 3.0; 4.0 and 3.5 follows:

This poured with a decent white head, but it just evaporated to wispiness. I had a light malt smell, but even that was tough to discern. It had a nice tang in the mouth, but no taste that really jumped out. The finish was lightly grainy, not so much of malt, but more like wheat, or (heaven forbid) corn. It just reminded me of being out in the fields behind my maternal grandparents' house as a kid. It was a decent beer, but I'd like something with a bit more flavor, even in the summer.

 1,332 characters

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.08/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a crystal clear golden hue with a white frothy head, leavs a nice collar of lace that lasts throughout the session with this beer. Aroma is slightly sweet of lemongrass notes mixed with the graininess and nice touch of delicate hop bitterness to complete the aroma. Taste is a refreshing well made crisp clean lager predominantly sweet grassy notes balance out with a light hopping and full bready tone which is very pleasing in the heat great summer beer in all regards. Mouthfeel is lighter bodied but by no means thin or watery one smoothly textured drinkable true lager. I could go fishing with a six pack of this beer any day, truely great for beating the heat.

 672 characters

Photo of stakem
3.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Big thanks to Kegatron for gifting me with a can of this. Poured into a Sierra Nevada snifter, the brew appears a perfectly clear golden yellow with streaming bubbles of carbonation that support a finger of white head. As the cap fades, it leaves patches of stringy lace on the glass.

The aroma is sweet with a scent of biscuit-like grain. Enough hops are there to provide almost a lemony fresh citrus quality blended with grass and an herbal component. The aromatics blend back and forth between sweet and grainy and herbal with hops. A nice balance with a soft touch of fruity alcohol as it warms up.

The taste is sweet with a flavor of cereal-like grain that is slightly bready. A bit of fruit indication like lemon blends into some herbal and grassy hops that provides enough bitterness to contrast. As the brew warns up, a hint of sulfur emerges mingling with the hops and sweetness.

This is a medium to lighter bodied brew with a modest to lively amount of carbonation. This brew is light, crisp, refreshing and overall clean and enjoyable. Certainly a summertime offering worth checking out that is fitting and quite enjoyable.

 1,137 characters

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

The color is a healthy shade of yellow and the head is average-sized. Carbonation is very good. The aroma is fairly clean with just a mild spicy hop smell. The taste is strongly (for a lager) of spicy hops with a tasty light malt body. A light citrus bite is also noted. This is very different and much more interesting than expected. Mouthfeel is appropriately crisp and drinkability is great. This is a choice summer seasonal beer, light enough to quench thirst, but still very flavorful.

 490 characters

Photo of johnnnniee
3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Bottle from Market Basket
Pours a medium straw color wit a decent sized white head that dissipates to wisps of foam on the top. spicy floral hop aroma with a light biscuity malt base. the flavor is crisp crackery bready malts with plenty of spicy hops to counter. Medium body with a moderate to high level of carbonation. Nice hoppy light pilsener beer I quite enjoyed this one.

 378 characters

Photo of tdm168
3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a golden yellow with two fingers of head. Nice retention. Smell is a little musty with good hop aroma. Very light flavor profile; wheat, grains, and a decent hop bitterness. The bitterness lingers for a while. Smooth, clean, and crisp though a little thin and watery.

This is a pretty standard pilsner. Just another light summer offering.

 345 characters

Photo of jwc215
3.55/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours straw yellow with a thin white head. Steady streams of tiny bubbles rise to the top.

The smell is of grassy, grainy notes. Mild. Clean.

The taste is of sweet grain balanced by grassy notes. Semi-dry finish.

Smooth, crisp and clean with a light, but not too thin, body.

A decent summertime pils.

 312 characters

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

Poured on tap at Meridian Pint DC into a shaker pint.

Simple classic gold, with a big white head that never lets up. Foamy with uniform pin head sized bubbles throughout. Body has some slow rising carbonation.

Mild malt on the nose, even some very very small hint of lemon, but also a fizzy gas and slight sour.

Taste however is fairly alright. A little dense it seems with a decent malt body, but a faint light bread and great good feel, but missing a little snap and crispness I associate with this style.

Not too bad, but not too gravitated towards it much either. It would do in a pinch on a hot day for sure.

 617 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sierra Nevada Summerfest 2011, Crisp Summer Lager. "Summerfest is a Pilsner-style lager brewed for enjoyment on warm summer days--featuring a slight malt sweetness, delicate spicy and floral hop flavor, and a crisp, refreshing finish."

Clear, pale yellow appearance, snowy white head, rests at 1/4".

Soft, crisp, lightly spicy/ hoppy aromatics. Perfect pils nose.

Taste: It all comes back to clean and crisp, then the small sweet malt flavor. Tidy hoppiness plays happily on the palate. Expert censurability. Little bit of fruit from the malt, a little apple, a touch of pear.

Tastes great, drinks great, …yeah, this'll do.

 631 characters

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2011 Summerfest. Poured from a bottle into a pilsner glass, the beer is an insanely light, pale, bright yellow coloring that is slightly hazed, and the beer doesn't have a lick of head whatsoever. The nose is toasty, with some citrus and honey highlights. The beer's flavors are toasty, with lemon zest highlights and a very light spicing of clove. Decent flavors riding a light, crisp body. The aftertaste is more of the citrus and spice, with an effervescent feel to it. The beer has a clean, crisp finish. Great, light beer for hot days, with decent flavors compared to most of the style.

 591 characters

Photo of Billolick
3.97/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ouncer, twist top, no freshness/dating info given. Pours light golden and clear, near white head and just a tad o' fine lacing left behind. Spicy nose of lemony, grassy hops. Crisp, flavorful lager, subtle notes of light lemon/lime/gin. Grassy and floral hops. Fine warm weather brew. Underated member of the SN line up

 322 characters

Photo of drabmuh
3.07/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beer is served in a stange. Beer is yellow and completely clear. Carbonation is moderate and made up of medium bubbles. Forms a white broken head that clings to the glass interface but doesn't leave any lacing on the glass. Looks fine.

There is nearly no aroma, slight grainy smell. Faint. I know aroma is not a big part of this beer but its not appetizing.

Beer has a grainy taste to it but it finishes nicely. Overall just a plain, blank slate, almost a palate cleanser. There is nothing special or interesting about this beer. Its bland. Easy to drink though.

 564 characters

Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
3.68 out of 5 based on 4,124 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.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!

    Subscribe