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Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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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:
597
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,576 | Ratings: 4,124
Photo of cypressbob
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

350ml bottle, poured into a cheers mug

Pours with a golden yellow body, fizzy white head with good retention.

Smell, fresh hops, freshly cut grass.

Taste, crisp fresh bitter hops, slightly grainy, some slight alcohol on the finish

A very drinkable lager, made for hot days

 284 characters

Photo of steinlifter
3.94/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured a clear medium golden, white foam head, that left broken lace all the way through, taste was nice, rather bold hops, up front, then mellows, to a bit of a sweet aftertaste, citrusy notes, fruit and hop nose, bit of apple, and lemon. mouthfeel was a little chewy, but fairly rich and full, drinkability is very good, nice summer brew!

 345 characters

Photo of Px2GrafX
3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

presentation: 12oz. bottle with the typical sierra nevada graphics. light yellow, cream and silver printed label. "bottom fermented" is printed on label. sierra nevada's interpretation of their summerfest is on the top of the bottle along with the year "2005". abv is displayed at 5.0.

appearance: pours pale gold with yellow highlights in a pint glass. quarter inch head disapated to almost nothing quite quickly. bubbles rapidly float to the top keeping some remnance of a head.

smell: wheat and light hops. smells a lot like a cheap american lager.

taste: floral, hoppy and bitter. some grassy wheat, grain flavors with not enough sweet in the finish. a little dry and lightly lemony sour. no real noticible alcohol.

mouthfeel: not the bite you expect in a lager, but very smooth for a lager. thin as expected. not too bad.

drinkability: drinkable and fairly thirst quenching. a good summer session brew.

overall: i served this refrigerator cold, but liked it much more by the end. this is a lager, right? this does aid in the summer drinkability, however. not terrible, but not the best either.

 1,118 characters

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

Update May 2008: I actually think I captured the description fairly well for the 2008 version of this beer, but I am upping the review scores, ad I think I may have been overly harsh on a very tasty beer.

Original Review: Pours a clear (ok, slightly cloudy) pale yellow very typical of the style, but with a huge massive pillowy head and a huge stream of carbonation that make for a lot of activity.

Aroma is wheaty/grainy, light and refreshing, maybe a subtle lemon and perhaps a gentle hop note. Much cleaner than the typical culprits of this style.

Flavor is gentle malty/wheaty (so I guess that means grainy) with a moderate hop back end. After a few swallows, a noticeable sweetness comes in too. Enjoyable, a bit harsh in the hop arena, but nothing like the harshness of the actual Euro mega beers that make this style famous.

Nice mouthfeel, and on a hot day, I think I could enjoy this one as a decent yard beer substitute.

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

Without a doubt, this is the weakest offering I've ever had from Sierra Nevada. Was the goal with this beer just to make the least offensive beer as possible?

My sample poured a clear straw color that left a fizzy white head that lingered for about 20 seconds. No lacing.

The aroma was a dry maltiness with just a faint hint of hops, they seemed of noble origin.

The taste was balanced yet weak, not too much delight in the senses.

The mouthfeel was light to medium, and carbonation was high. Was intendend to be a volume beer, and although drinkable, the last time I ever try this one on-tap.

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

Pours a medium golden with minimal head, good retention, minimal carbonation (which is good). Aroma is light cirtus hop with a bit of gristy maltiness. For a brief moment, you have a light body crisp mouthfeel but almost immediately the fuller citrus hop flavor and body comes through, not like its big brother SNPA, but in a similar slightly more sublte way. This is a tough beer. There are not a lot of flavors that jump out at you but rather begin to blend to form a very well balanced fuller bodied beer. It's a APA lover's summer brew. The taste is very good but not exceptional. I toyed with giving it a 5 in drinkability. If it finished a bit cleaner, I would.

 667 characters

Photo of John1985
4.1/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice gold color with a fluffy white head that dies down while drinking and had lacing down the glass. Fragrant hoppy aroma, crisp balanced flavor with adequate hoppiness in the back. Very refreshing. As the name implies it is an ideal beer for the summer heat especially here in the Southeast. Another winner from Sierra Nevada!

 328 characters

Photo of gus
3.66/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Excellent golden color,very clear in appearance, maintained a minimal head while drinking.

You can smell a light hops aroma. Very smooth going down,carbonation somewhat slight. No bitterness in mouth,no aftertaste.

I consider this an above average summer seasonal and would recommend this to friends and will drink this again.

 332 characters

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

Pours a nice golden colour with a crisp white head. This is what a lager should look like. Nice bubbles coming up from the bottom of the bottle. Nice nose with sublte malt notes with just a bit of hops in the back.

Taste is clean with a nice malt and just enough hops to balance this. This is not a beer to wow you with tons of different flavour components, its just a solid drinkable lager.

Mouthfeel is nice and crisp and clean. Good carbonation keeps this drinking easy. Drinkability is nice as well. This is a nice summer session lager. Good for sitting on the porch and shooting the breeze while grilling.

 617 characters

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

Being in the midst of another typical Nebraska summer (High's in the mid 90's and humid for about the 8th straght day) it is definitely summer beer season. This beer definitely hits the spot.

Appearance: Pours from the 2005 edition bottle into a pilsner glass near clear, bright golden. Big, fluffy white head (about 1"), fell to a nice cap over the liquid. No lacing, some good carbonation evident.

Smell: Slight malty sweetness with a decent floral hop scent. Overall, probably the weakest aspect of the beer, but I don't expect much for this style, it's not supposed to be a big IPA hop bomb, or be a big chocolatey, roasted malt stout, just simple, IMO.

Taste: Some nice malt backing (malty sweetness in the middle) with a tinge of hop bitterness at the finish just to let you know that there are some hops here. Takes the macro lagers and other pale lagers like Heinie behind the woodshed for a little ass-kickin.

Mouthfeel: Lighter in bodied (good for the summer), clean, crisp, and a little dry.

Drinkability: Very high, which is important for a summer seasonal beer IMO. This must be lighter, easy-to-drink, and refreshing. In this, this beer succeeds, and it has flavor! I'd recommend this on a hot summer's day.

 1,239 characters

Photo of MuddyFeet
3.05/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This might be a "Good in the right time and moment beer." Pours very pale with a fuzzy head on top. Nose is all bu non-existent. Flavor is more of the same. Malts are there at first, but vanaish quickly and are replaced with a slight hop bite. But not much a mutuality between the two in this beer. Mouthfeel is crisp and refreshing. Also, very drinkable because there is not much "Bam" to the taste buds. Just smooth drinking.

 427 characters

Photo of oxmasterscream
3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Crystal, clear and pale golden topped by a fluffy, bright white head that left nice lacing behind. Looks quite bubbly.
Smells of sour apples, crystal malt, grassy, quite floral.
Tastes malty with just a touch of spice. A bit of apple and some other tangy flavors. All very subtle. Finishes barely bitter, almost clean. Extremely crisp and refreshing.
Light-bodied, packed with carbonation that stings the tongue. Super refreshing, highly drinkable, summertime stuff.

 469 characters

Photo of TheOtherMike
5/5  rDev +35.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A very enjoyable beer! Few beers achieve this combination of high marks in every category.

Appearance is light and clear. Plenty of carbonation. Head is commensurate with pour style.

Smell is crisp and inviting.

Taste is clean, light and straightforward.

Mouthfeel is crisp and refreshing.

Drinkability is rarely matched.

 336 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.35/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A good beer of a benal style by a great brewery. Looks medium straw in color with a stark white head that falls to a trace, but laces nicely. Smells of faint vegetables, mild sourness, yeasty, bready, and earthy. Light hops on the nose. Tastes like corn, cereal grains, hops for bittering, bread, wheat, and yeasty. Slight souring on the side of lemons. Body is better than most lagers, adds creaminess, and better coats the mouth. Finishes clean and powdery. Leaving subtle bittering. If you want a Euro Lager, then this is a good rendition. But if you want a good Sierra Nevada brew, then get any other of their beers.

 620 characters

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

A pretty bland brew from the Sierrra Nevada folks (by their standards), but still halfway decent overall.

It pours a crisp golden colour with a big foamy white head, which leaves a nice amount of residue on the glass.

The smell is a bit grassy and wheatlike with a tiny hint of sweetness somewhere in there.

The flavour is more of the same with perhaps some lemon zest and tartness thrown into the mix. Hops come out here and there in the flavour but their presence is certainly nothing to write home about.

This is easily the worst of the SN line, but it's still not half bad. I can't tell you to avoid it but can't really recommend it either, as there are a plethora of better summer brews out there. At best, it's a decent fallback option if available and the pickings are slim.

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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 KoG
4.34/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I wasn't impressed the first time I had this in the comforts of my own home. Today however, it was in the 90's and I was walking around, so it hit the spot.

Golden color with a small head, no real lacing.

Smell is light hops and some malt. Not offensive, but not inviting either.

Taste was clean and crisp, but still somewhat musty and dry.

Went down clean and hit the spot in the heat, but not something I would buy again.

 435 characters

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

Creamy, big head, wheat and alcohol aroma. Light colour, no lace, drying aftertaste.More bitter than malty, undetstated carbonation. Some hops. Needed it after summer day thirst, but only marginally satisfying. Medium-light mouthfeel. Very average beer overall.

 261 characters

Photo of RBorsato
3.33/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Tasted On-Tap 06/29/05 at Carpool in Herndon, VA.

Clear bright straw yellow/light gold color with a decent white head and decent carbonation. Light grassy herbal hop aroma with little else to speak of. Balanced nicely with light malt and light hop characteristics -- nothing standing out on top or very memorable though. Light bodied and refreshing.

A decent thirst quencher but not a staple brew... Preferred the hoppier bottled version.

 444 characters

Photo of jasonpeckins32
3.49/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very transparent golden yellow color with a little bit of airy white fizz, but not much. Smells delicious. Aromas of sweet sweet malts cover hints of floral hops. The taste is slightly tart at first as I expected, but finishes clean. Great job on finishing smooth and clean. Floral hop flavors are noticeable throughout the taste. The mouthfeel is slick and smooth and has a nice full feel to it. This texture demands respect. I'm sure I could drink a few of these, but all I bought was a single.

 504 characters

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

I'd poured this right after I had had an Iron City and the difference between the two is great that I feel the entire city of Pittsburgh owes me an apology.

Dark gold with a slight haze and a fantastic head.

Big odor of wonderful, deep bread malt mixed with very lights hints of fruit.

Bitter malt taste upfront, nice, and it moves into a sweet malt in the middle and ends with chewy bread dough. Hops are present only in the aftertaste--just bitter enough to keep this lager as easy-drinkin' as can be.

Sierra Nevada can do no wrong. This is as perfect an example of a Euro Pilsner as I can imagine.

 615 characters

Photo of zerk
4.3/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear golden with a persistent 1/2 inch white head. There is a steady trail of bubbles tracing up the glass. Aroma is a mix of bready malts and spicy noble hops with a touch of citrus. Flavor begins with slightly sweet biscuit, then becomes spicy with a healthy dose of hops. Finishes with a refreshing bitterness. All of the flavors are in excellent balance. Mouthfeel is crisp and light, with appropriate carbonation for the style. This is a very tasty pils/light lager, and a wonderfully refreshing summer beer.

 522 characters

Photo of cubedbee
3.9/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a pale golden yellow with a thin fizzy white head. Nose is malty and almost breadlike. Taste is very smooth and malty, rich honeylike flavor and a sharp hop finish, very nice. Full-bodied and properly carbonated, this feels good in your mouth. I'm pretty impressed with this lager. Another good offering from Sierra Nevada.

 329 characters

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

2005 vintage.

Pours a crystal golden color with a bubbly white head that descends to 1/4".

Smells like lemon/sugar cookies. Clean sweet scents of bisquit malts.

Flavors are all very fresh, lemon grass & citrus rind with pale malts. Slight dry white wine notes also. Has that somewhat earthy/skunky/grassy flavor hidden in the background, but it's very nonintrusive.

Mouthfeel is lively with kinetic carbonation. Light-med. bodied with a crisp finish to cap it off.

Drinkability: Summer = High, Colder months = not so good.

Overall a refreshing and solid lager that leans a bit to the sweeter side but has enough dryness to keep a nice balance. Flavors are somewhat attenuated but are still evident. A good (not great) lager.

 742 characters

Photo of IceAce
3.9/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Brilliant yellow-gold body with a wispy white ring of foam in place of a collar. Nose is light with notes of honey, clover, and malt.

Entry is silky with just the right touch of carbonation. Midtaste features malt on the front side and a honey-like smoothness leading headlong into the finish...a crisp hop-snap accompanied by a long malt fade.

 347 characters

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