Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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: 4,136
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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Photo of jabocu
3.62/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours a golden yellow color with a thin white effervescent cap. Cap gone in a few seconds. Aroma is lite with light sweet malt, floral, and hint of lemon. Light grain and yeast in nose. Flavor is sweet grain, lime, mild hops, and yeast. Body is light, with very crisp carbonation. I could drink a six pack of these in a sitting. Not very complex, but very refreshing and tasty for the style. Good Job!

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Photo of afordney
4.27/5  rDev +16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Golden straw color, clear and crisp,light head and no lacing on the glass.

Smells sweet and malted, balanced hops

Tastes like summer, crisp and clean, sweet malts are followed by slight hoppy bitterness

Very full and balanced mouthfeel, a little carbonated to play on the palatte.

A fantastic summer beer, very refreshing and light will definately drink again.

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Photo of mcarroll10177
4.18/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured from a bottle into a imperial pint glass

A- pale yellow with big white head that sticks for a bit

S- decent hint of hops, but not a lot of nose to this beer

T- a very crisp and clean taste no real bitterness or after taste present.

M- thin which is particular to the style

D- this is an excellent summer beer. Very clean and very refreshing. An easy drinker on a hot summer day.

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Photo of jslot38
3.15/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Touch darker than your classic american macro. Some golden hues, bubbly foam white head.

Smell: Biscuit, slight sourdough. A touch of lemon.

Taste: Touch of oiled fresh hops initially hits the tongue but is mellowed over by a malt base that consists of biscuit, rice (slightly), and grains.

Mouthfeel: High level of carbonation.

Drinkability & Notes: I feel as if this is a beer that I could drink a bunch of on a nice lazy day in the summer. However, its not one that I would jump to for its taste. Certainly no where near Sierra Nevada's other masterpieces.

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Photo of CharlesRiver
3.98/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz stumpy bottle that states 2006 at the top. Typical for SN. Clear, straw yellow in color with a good size white head that lasts. Very few bubbles make their way to the top.

Smell is sweet with some malt and citrus notes. Appears to be pretty light as nothing overpowers. Taste however, is more bold than I had expected. Effervesant in the mouth. Sweet and light in the beginning but gives way to some bitterness in the end. Flavors goes on for some time after.

What a nice, refreshing beer. I don't remember it being this tasty and pleasing. I think it serves it's purpose nicely. Very easy to drink. I would also consider this a "cross over" beer for some people.

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Photo of dreadnatty08
3.93/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light straw color. Crystal clear and bubbly producing a half inch head that sticks around well, though tracing is somewhat poor. Aromas of hay, citrus, wheat, and that trademark lager yeast smell. Light bodied, and flavors are citrusy, a mild hop bitterness followed by a little biscuity finish. This is a supremely drinkable lager, one I've really enjoyed. Very refreshing, clean and smooth though with a noticeable bitterness and a good malty background. Would go well with any lighter or greasy summer fair and perfect for a picnic or beach. I'd purchase again but the $8 price tag is rather steep for a SN seasonal.

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Photo of daliandragon
2.65/5  rDev -28%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Picked up a sixer of this (2006 edition) for the Kentucky Derby last Saturday in anticipation of clinking a few bottles in victory (and financial gain). Unfortunately, I'm still waiting for my horse to finish and the beer didn't impress too much either but let's give it the official taste test.
Color is golden and features a snowy cap of head that is ably supported by an armada of carbonation bubbles. Hops are evident in the nose but are overshadowed by a grainy quality in the nose that doesn't do it for me. Not real stellar so far.
Initial taste is fairly decent but astringencies and a negative bitterness take it downhill from there. The mouthfeel is watery and thin, even for a Euro lager. Decent hop tones in the aftertaste but that's about all to recommend it.
I know everyone loves Sierra Nevada but I think this is sub par at best. I won't look for this one again, especially not for nine bones plus tax and deposit for a sixer. There are many better summer beers for my cash.

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Photo of germaniac
3.43/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Clear shiny gold, with not a whole lot of head retention after an initially foamy pour. Has that semi-skunked lager aroma, with a good mix of light graininess and hops. Very crisp and refreshing. Clean thru the middle, ending with minimal hop spiciness. Makes a great hot weather alternative to the ever present wheat beers. Nothing earth-shattering here, just another great brew in Sierra Nevada's already stellar lineup.

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Photo of bignick
3.56/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

6-pack of 12oz bottles purchased at Dorr's Liquor Mart in Brighton. Poured into a pint glass.

This beer pours a highly transparent golden color with very visible carbonation rising to the head. It smells and tastes a little bad-beery. However, the taste cleans up, and a nice, although subtle, hop bit rolls over the back of the toungue. Overall, this is a pretty decent and simple beer. It is pretty good for the style, but I would grab a Harpoon Summer before I grabbed this one.

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Photo of SethB2
3.52/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a transparent golden color with a small head and no lacing. Smells like a lager. Grainy tones dominate with a small hoppy and roated aroma. Tastes pretty damn good. Roasted malts and a better than average hop bit. Mouthfeel is a bit thing and watery. Nothing to write home about in that department. Drinkability, however is good. Very easy drinker and a good warm weather brew.

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

More of a pilsner than a euro pale if one wants to nitpick.
Reminds me quite a bit of Brooklyn's pilsner but lacking the lacing and a bit of depth. Clean and crisp but could use another layer.. perhaps a bit of snappyness or more citrus. There's a bit of lemon in there with a clean grain and grassy profile.
Certainly a good warm weather beer or a good session beer. This is a craft brew you can give to the uninitiated without them balking.

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

This beer was purchased at Jungle Jims for $7.99 a six pack. The beer was poured into a pub glass.

Appearance: The beer was a fizzy pale yellow coloration. The head was fluffy white and about 2 fingers high. There was minimal head retention.

Smell: There was a nice nutty roasted grainy smell to the beer. The hops contributed a nice spicy citrus complement.

Taste: The beer had a nice roasted grain cereal taste. There was a nuttyness making its presents known in the beer. The hops presented a unrelenting bitterness and citrusy undertone.

Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: The beer was medium bodied. There was plenty of carbonation to go around. This was a very satisfying and highly quaffable beer treat.

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

Just picked up my 6-pack of the summerfest last night and am now just trying my first one.
Pouring it into my favorite pint glass I see hit creating quite a white head on top a clear pale yellow colored beer. The head quickly died to a thin whispy layer.
The smell was of citrus, grass (earthy), floral and fruity with an ever slight hint of sweet malt. None of this was overpowering it was really nice and just right for a crisp summer brew.
Taste was very crisp with a smack of hoppy bitterness and dryness on the first taste. Very citrusy with a smoothing malt flavor in there. A slight sweetnees helps take the edge off the initial bitterness. Slightly dry finish and lots of carbonation gives it quite a bit of body in the mouth. A very busy lager.

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

Poured from 12oz bottle(room temp) a yellow-gold with a medium sized head of foam that reduced to a fine layer but it stayed for the entire session.

The smell has is kind of citrusy and earthy. Reminds me of a lot of lagers.

The taste has a nice citrus hop flavour up front followed by good sweet malty notes, and a bit of the earthiness I mentioned in the smell, midway through with the hops character returning in the finish. Good stuff.

Bottom line: This is first time I've seen this beer in Casper and I think it'll make an excellant thirst quencher on a hot summer day. I recommend it.

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Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
3.68 out of 5 based on 4,136 ratings.
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