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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 DuqTroops
3.57/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - yellowish in color, little head. in fact, when it was brought to my table, the head was gone.

Smell - typical pilsner. little smell to it.

Taste - bittersweet aftertaste, not much to it.

Mouthfeel - easy to drink, little to no carbonation.

Drinkability - very easy to drink.

Not much to this beer. Typical pilsner with not overwhelming qualities.

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Photo of PeatReek
2.9/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a golden straw color with a thin, bone-white head. Smells cool and floral, with a slight metallic twinge. Actually very flowery, the more I smell it. First sip is very crisp, dryly malty; floral hops make a huge appearance here, too, with a prominent bitterness. Body is rather thin, and the alcohol kind of shines through, surprisingly. The taste kind of reminds me of a so-so champagne, honestly - floral and bitey in that way. I'm not sure how "Czech style" this pilsner really is, and I probably won't seek it out when I'm in the mood for that kind of beer.

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Photo of riversider76
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours golden, with a nice white head. Good retention and lace.Aroma is of grassy hops, and bready malts. Body is light and carbionated. Taste is light refreshing.Malty up front,with a bit of hops in the finish. Bready notes as well. Nice version of this style.

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

This is a nice change from SN. The yellow beer has a nice, hefty head. The nose is filled with grass and citrus. Taste is a full-bodied lager with lots of malts pushing through. Mouthfeel is great for a summer pale lager. Drinkability is good too. This makes for a nice summer session lager.

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

Pours nice straw color with a good fizzy white head that goes away quickly but leaves a thin coating on top of the beer and just a couple of lacings.

Aroma is nice and malty for a pilsner with a distinctive saaz hoppyness.

Taste is very impressive with a good body and maltyness and a nice clean but hoppy finish. Just a bit of dryness at the end with very little aftertaste.

Pilsners are hard to review due to the lightness of them but this one stands out with a nice malty flavor and good hoppyness. I love Czech pilsners and this one rates up there with the best.
This is an awesome lawnmower beer for the summer.

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

Pours an enticing golden color with moderate carbonation. Thick sticky head subsides to a thin lace in a few minutes. Crisp smell of grain/hops. Mouthfeel is somewhat astringent - crisp malt feel with the hops making their presence known in the background. Quite a pleasant beer on a hot summer day. I plan on serving some of this to my macro drinking brother in law on 4th of July weekend to see what he thinks. Overall a refreshing brew and a bit of a different flavor than most lagers I've had.

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Photo of stodbrew
4.1/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2006 release.

Apperance is a very clear golden color. Nice white head that diminished quickly.

Aroma is sweet malt with a nice hop spiciness.

Flavor is more sweet malt up front with a nice hop flavor on the finish. Slightly bitter on the finish, too.

Mouthfeel is full without being sticky. Refreshing.

Overall, I will be drinking this steadily throughout the summer.

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Photo of Abita45
3.47/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours to a nice, foamy head; gold color that is unremarkable and almost runs the way of 'any beer gold' but thanks to the head, avoids the tab.

Taste is fine. A nice, light summer lager that won't surprise you, but makes for an easy drink. There really just wasn't enough going on with this beer to warrent anything besides throwing it back and heading into the fridge for another (different) beer.

Overall, a decent drink, but as seasonals go, it is unmemorable.

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

A yellow burp beer appearence with no head, makes this average in appearence, looks to be a generic lager. Scent is indeed on par with the yellow beers but there is a lot of hop character that puts this as better that average but on-par with Falls City. Mouth was a 4! Not only was this creamy, but it exploded on the tounge, was thick and bitter and well, the taste...

It's a pils all right, funny how it reminded me of Falls City, only this was like a FC made with good stuff and no adjuncts. Bitter on the tounge with a rounded maltiness, it was what I love about beer. I'm not the biggest pilsner fan, but the quality of this, the wheat flavor plus the unlikely pleasant aftertaste , great pils!

Going to get this again most definately. Price is a little high but the quality makes up for it.

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Photo of hanco005
3.45/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, with 6090D22:23 printed on the side, poured into a pilsner glass

A—pours mostly clear, golden yellow with a ¾ inch bright fizzy head, fades away in a matter of minutes, laces in sheets

S—grainy, wheat, hops, a strong smelling pilsner, indeed

T—mild grassy, straw, hops, some tangy zip in it as well, pretty good,

M—a little thin and watery, light bodied, medium carbonation

D—its ok as far as the flavor goes, mild…it would be a good yard work beer…which I suppose makes it good for the summer…which is what they were looking for…so…yes, its drinkable.

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Photo of JMD71
3.73/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Nice frothy pour. Golden color & transparent. Strong carbonation. Very light looking & refreshing.

Aroma: Malty with slight lemony hints? Smells similar to a German or Czech pils with that slightly skunky profile. Not too much to be found in the aroma.

Taste: Light, malty flavor with slight hop profile in the finish. Again, I note a slight lemony flavor....

Mouthfeel: Very light & crisp. Carbonation makes this very clean feeling on the way down. Very smooth...

Drinkability: Easy drinking! Good for a summer quaffer. Light, smooth & not overpowering.

Comments: I found this an enjoyable American pils in the German/Czech style, but nothing out of the ordinary. Good when looking for something light & easy drinking while staying with the domestic craft brewers.

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Photo of ultralarry2006
3.6/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle. Left less than a one finger head that quickly dissipated into surface skim, no lacing. Body was a clear gold.

Smell - grassy, slightly herbal, bready malt.

Taste - like the smell - grassy, some herbs, some bready malt.

Mouthfeel - full, smooth, low carbonation.

Drinkability - This goes down easy, especially on a hot day, and is good. Very sessionable.

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Photo of jamesdergen
4.12/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2006 Edition

A: Pours a light honey color with an ample off-white foamy head. Pretty standard here.

S: One of the few beers that you can smell before you take a sniff. Aromas of tart fruits and wheat.

T: Smooth wheat flavors with some nutty grains in the backing. Some faint medicinal hop presence in the background, but harder to pick up. I think I may also detect some tart fruit flavors (white grape, green apple) but they are not dominant by any means.

M&D: Very smooth, refreshing taste. Perfect for a hot summer day, too bad I drank it on a cool summer evening! I only bought a single of this brew to try, but I would love another one.

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Photo of Drew966
3.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Summerfest 2006 by Sierra Nevada pours a golden yellow with a thick fluffy head that leaves a nice lace as it settles from a brown twelve ounce twist off bottle. Aroma is nice, on the hoppy side with hints of malt. Nice balance of malt at the beginning and end with a hop bite in the middle. Pretty nice beer for a lager. Huge improvement over the big three. I may just down a few this summer.

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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 Mdog
3.87/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Clear gold color with a white head.

Smell: Grassy hop aroma.

Taste: Starts with some malt breadiness, then some dry bitterness from the hops.

Mouthfeel: Not too bad for a pilsener.

Drinkability: Very easy to drink, substitute this in place of skunked European imports.

A light and refreshing lager that's not too heavy, it's a good one for hot summer days.

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Photo of drea0695
3.41/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I picked this up in a "Make your own 6 Pack" deal.

Poured into a pint glass it had a hint of head and then it looked like carbonated apple juice, the color and everything.

The taste is a bit like a buttery cracker, kind of like RITZ or something. Definite carbonation keeps it light in your mouth. Aftertaste is something of a corn chip. In fact I bet corn chips would go well with this beer.

Its decent, nothing incredible to speak of, no hidden undertones or flashy flavors but thats ok sometimes. A good beer to hang out with. I could bring it to a barbeque and not be embarrassed.

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Photo of weasbri
3.38/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

There was a nice straw color to this beer. Not much head, and it left nothing on the glass as I drank. I think it's hard to make a distinguished Pilsner; they all have clean characterstics and are pretty similar. Sierra Nevada did pretty well here. It's drinkable for a macro guy, but has enough maltiness and a dry hoppy finish for real beer drinkers.
Good refreshing summer beer for those into Pils.

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Photo of Metalmonk
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A surprsingly good pils that doesn't skimp on flavor and avoids all the bad characteristics usually associated with the style (no thanks to the big US macros).

Poured a big bubbly head (which didn't last long) atop a lemon-golden color, infused with moderate carbonation. Zero lace-o.

Aroma is well-balanced pale malt earthiness with citrusy hops. Not over-bearing nor overly assertive.

Flavor is simple and clean, mirroring the aromatic lightness. A tamed bitterness mingles playfully with citrus, always tasting as solid, refreshing and crisp as the style should.

Anyone turned off by this style's rape and ruin by the big big brewers ought to reacquaint themselves with the style via this very nice offering.

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Photo of bahumutx
4.16/5  rDev +13%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from a 12 oz bottle into a pilsner glass.

Appearance: Pours an absolutely clear golden yellow with a nice fluffy white head.

Smell: Malts, slight spices and hops.

Taste: Starts with a slight spicy flavor that moves to a toasted malt and then hops. Finishes with a bready flavor. Very simple yet delicious.

Mouthfeel: Smooth Mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Very drinkable. What a great summer beer. This would be great on a hot summer’s days.

Another good beer from the folks at Sierra Nevada.

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Photo of becktone
4.18/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Summerfest is a sight for sore eyes when properly decanted into a glass. The staw gold color of this beer is accented by the clarity of this beer. It is crystal clear, can't get any clearer than this. The head is two fingers in width, and is pure white. The craggy appearance of the foam only adds to the presentation of this beer. Head retention is fairly good (starts to disperse once drinking commences), and ohh boy does it have lacing, some of the best lacing I've ever seen (maybe second to Duvel?).

Moving down the face from the eyes to the nose, I notice that this beer has a spicy floral aroma. I also detected some of the skunk character that is appropriate for this style, as it is associated with the Sazz hops. Smells great, just as a pilsner should, and better than Carlsberg (Ibelieve thats the only other pils that I've had). It would be nice if the nose were a bit stronger overall, perhaps my nose has already adjusted to the aroma of this beer.

To the tongue! This beer is clean, refreshing and rounded. Hop character is assertive, its right up front. The spicy and somewhat floral tones of the hops are nicely balanced by the sweet malt that becomes apparent in the aftertaste. A interesting characteristic about this lager is that as it warms up it gets better. Different interesting flavors start to emerge as the temperature of the beer gradually rises. I think that the malt becomes a bit more pronounced.

In the mouth this beer flaunts its light-medium mouthfeel. Tiny and delicate carbonation dances on the tongue as it sits in the mouth, the level of carbonation is low, as to not interfere with the taste of the beer, just a spritz on the tongue. Better than average mouthfeel, but nothing outstanding. Each time I pulled one of these bottles out of the six pack I have thoroughly enjoyed it. This is a beer that I will definitely buy again. I can't say that this is my Pilsner, because I haven't had that many, I will definitely try some more before I come back to this one. It's too bad that it is only available during the summer, but then again its realease is something to look forward to.

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Photo of sopor
3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pale, cystal clear yellow brew with a frothy pure white head being supported by multiple champagne-like bubble towers rising in my Pilsner. Head recedes fairly quickly leaving a clumpy white film.

Very light toasted malt nose with an even lighter spicing of hops.

Perhaps a slightly corny flavor up front leads into a slight toasty malt before a nice spicy hopping leads into a slightly bready aftertaste. Delicate but tasty! No frills, but right on to the style and a refreshing summertime lager.

Light body with active and refreshing carbonation.

A tossable, refreshing summertime outdoors kinda picnic beer. Very drinkable. Perhaps give a try to your swill drinking friends?

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

Bottle from this year's issue... served at fridge temperature in a pint glass.

Appearance- Pours a crystal clear pale gold, with a snow white soapy head that forms well and lasts nicely for minutes. Cling is great for the style... it drapes the inside of my glass.

Smell- Clean, fresh aromas of spices (grains of paradise?), orange peel, and malts that come through wonderfully even when cold.

Taste- Instantly, the Czech pils character comes forth with its telltale Saaz hop signature and crisp bitterness. After the swallow, a bready malt takes over and smoothly glides over the tongue and returns on the exhale. Subdued overall, it is certainly quenching and less spicy than Samuel Adams' summer offering.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Supple and well balanced in the mouth... a very solid, drinkable beer on its own or with food. A welcome guest to this year's cooler.

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Photo of allengarvin
4.03/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a crystal-clear pale gold, with swirling, effervescent bubbles and a fine, frothy white head. Pleasant flowery, citrusy aroma. Light malt flavor, slightly biscuity, with a good level of hoppy bitterness and nice grassy hop flavor. Clean, dry finish. Light bodied, easy drinking beer.

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Photo of scooter231
3.63/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Looks like it should- golden, clear, decent head. Minimal lacing. Smell is faintly hoppy and floral. Nothing superbly special. Taste reminds me a lot of Becks- pilsnery, German, grassy and hoppy. Nothing too strong or overwhelming. Becks, definitely. Mouthfeel is slightly sudsy and very very light. Overall quite drinkable, crisp and refreshing, light. Sierra + Becks.

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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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