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Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

1,565 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
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Reviews: 1,565 | Ratings: 4,095
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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Photo of doubleshovels
3.73/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This years 2006 has a light white head on the pour. Tangy honey and young dandelion green taste that pops quick in the mouth and fades into a mild hop. Sweet yet bitter, this pils makes me want to reach for a brat and top it off with some good ol' fashioned home made kraut and strong mustard all on a rye bun, with pickles of course.

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Photo of Brian700
3.85/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a crystal clear light golden yellow with a white head that fizzles out to a very thin ring around my glass.

The aroma is of pilsner malt and a nice summery yeast presence.

The flavor is of light pilsner malt with some yeast and light esters and spiciness. There is a mild honey after taste. This is a very refreshing flavor. I can see myself drinking a lot of this on the hot days to come.

The mouthfeel is light bodied with medium carbonation.

I think this is a pretty drinkable beer. This beer would be a great stepping stone for macro drinkers who want to broaden their horizons.

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

Solid summer session brew from SN. Lemon yellow with a foamy white head. Aromas of Czech pilsners with a euro yeast kick. Great lil pilsner, with some nice notes of pepper and summer spice.

Nicely carbonated, medium bodied – very crisp and tart. A very good example of what US brewers can do with the pilsner style when they try. This would drink easily in the STL summer heat.

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Photo of JISurfer
3.55/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Very refreshing beer. Light on the palate, clean finish, no bad aftertaste. This could easily be used as a crossover beer. It had a solid malty backbone, but still had an ever so slight tinge of the hops. I could seriously sip a few of these after a hard days work outside, which is something I'll be doing plenty of this summer.

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Photo of kkipple
3.63/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

With my home city suffering 3 successive 100 degree days this week, it only seemed fair to strike a blow against the heat wave by hiding out in my room with the AC on, two fans running, and a cold beer. What better way to lament the arrival of summer then with an appropriately named Summerfest beer? (I can actually think of lots of ways, but I digress.)

So this is supposed to be similar to Pilsner Urquell, a beer I enjoy very much. It certainly looks the part -- a wonderfully clear golden beer with a white head and lots of carbonation. Smells very very close to my beloved Urquell too -- hops and a sweet crisp malt profile. Practically begs to be quaffed.

Summerfest tastes quite decent, with a mild sweet malt backbone supported by a high carbonation level and Saaz hops. There's a grassy dryness about it and a lingering bitterness. A very mild corn aftertaste too, but not enough to be offensive.

As usual, Sierra Nevada continues to impress with solid beers sold at fair prices. This beer may never crack your top 100 list, but it's hugely drinkable and quite refreshing. Beers like this make the South Carolina summer a little more bearable. In the words of our immortal president, I declare to Sierra Nevada: "Mission accomplished!"

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Photo of MaGno
3/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: pours a light golden color with small to medium head.
Has medium to large bubbles present from initial pour to finish. The head pours to about 1/2" and dissipates within 30 seconds to a light lace.

Smell: Light smoky malts with herbal, grassy and citrus hops. Very clean smell. No alcohol smell to speak of.

Taste: As expected, grassy and citrussy with a slight alcohol finish.

Mouthfeel: Smooth light carbonation turns to a bitter dry finish. Almost a slight metallic taste at finish.

Drinkability: I enjoyed this lager for what it was, a nice summer seasonal. Good for a hot summer day although it may become too bold after just a couple of beers. I would probably have this one again but would not go out of my way to hunt for it. Just a nice average summer lager.

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Photo of mrasskicktastic
2.42/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Pale urine yellow with about three fingers of off white head. A bit of lacing clings to the side after the head disappears, which takes about three minutes.

S - This is like shoving your nose in a bud light. A little grassy with some sweet corn.

T - Foretaste has a grassy kick with some lightly sweet light bodied malt. The aftertaste is sort of grassy and lighty bitter. The bitterness lingers for a while.

M - Thin, watery, lightly refreshing. A few moments after drinking, my mouth goes dry though.

D - Nothing special here. I could drink again, I'd rather not though. It is basically an above above macro lager mixed with a pils. Not my thing.

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Photo of hoffman
3.37/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours up like a pils, nice and gold with a totally white head that rises and falls quickly. The smell is relatively attractive. A nice sweet tone that inturrupts the grains in the back and a bit of herbal hoppiness. The taste is lacking very sweet and grainy up front, slgihtly bitter and grassy in the finish. The mouthfeel is largely watery and unimpressive. A quite drinkable beer but not for me.

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

Pours a pale orange lager hue with a nice rocky head, too bad it doesn't last. Some light lacing along the way, but the color tone works. Smell is biting floral hops and breadiness with some malt sweetness, spot on for the style. Taste is about the same, but with a nice tea and honey aftertaste that sits on the tongue. Subtlety works. Biting hops in the start balance with the mild carbonation in the finish. Can be a little thick at times, but I could easily take down a 6 and be ready for more.

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Photo of Golden2wenty1
3.03/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a single at Woodman's West here in Madison.

Pours a crystal clear golden yellow with a few fingers of white foam that melt to a light skim.and spotty lacing. Nose is a bit off-puttingly musty/skunky/adjuncty with a hint of light fruit in the background. Taste starts of with the musty malt husk, a hint of skunk and spicy "fruit" bringing up the rear. Mouthgfeel is crisp and smooth, with a summer-like drinkability one might say. Nothing special here, a slightly above average micro/macro lager.

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Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 1,565 ratings.
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