Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

4,158 Ratings
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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Ratings: 4,158 |  Reviews: 1,588
Photo of Macca
3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This pours a clear bright straw colour with a fluffy white head.

Sweet malt is the first thing that hits me on the aroma. Then some spicy hops.

A bit underwhelmed by the flavour. Crisp and easy drinking but not a lot going on. I suspect that freshness might be a factor.

Light bodied.

I would like to try this brewery fresh. Think it might be a bit delicate to handle the trans Pacific voyage.

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

A: Nice golden colored, clear, clean look. One finger head. ok lacing. good retention.

S: Earthy, summer-y, good.

T: Not much upfront taste. However, the lingering/after taste is quite pleasant. Definately some floral hops, and other hops as well. Citrus, grassy tones. Great for the style and season. Has a bit of a sweet taste right at the end.

M: Crisp, carbonation is good. I would like just a bit more in this style of beer, but not at all dissapointed.

O: Great beer, never dissapointed by Sierra Nevada. Will buy again next year.

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Photo of mulder1010
3.4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz poured into a globe glass

A-- Poured a clear, yellow gold. One finger bright white head that took it's time in fading. Little bit of sticky lacing on the sides of the glass. A few carbonation bubbles here and there.

S-- Fresh lemon, grass, some spice, and touches of bread. Nice clean crisp smell.

T-- Bread, lemon, touches of old grass and faded hops. Very faded, bummer.

M-- Low carbonation and light feel. A lot of the carbonation has dropped off. A little syrupy. Some lemon, grass and dough again in the mouth. A little acidic in the back of the mouth. Finishes dry, somewhat crisp and clean.

O-- Knew this was a bit old when I bought this. Kind of a shame as even old it has flashes of being quite good. Very drinkable even with the age on this.

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Photo of setexascustoms
4.17/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle into a SA Perfect Pint

A- Clear golden yellow, not much head on a gentle pour. A lot of carbonation rising, and a little lacing sticks.

S- Clean, floral hops. A little light citrus, very pleasant.

T- Again, clean and floral with a slight spiciness from the hops. Light and refreshing, with a slightly bitter balance and a clean finish.

M- Coats the mouth well, lighter body, carbonation is just right.

O- I know what would be my first choice on a hot Summer's day, definitely could enjoy a few of these.

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

Served this Pilsner on tap in a pint glass. Poured a nice gold clear color, nice thick white head, poor retention, decent lacing. Aroma smells of fresh cut grass, nice amount of piney hops! The taste of this pilsener is light in body, smooth, malty, dry, has a nice amount of piney hops. Surprise for a Summer Brew. Overall, awesome session beer, high marks for drinkability, great gateway beer, very nice on a hot summer day. Crisp, finish's dry.

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Photo of steve8robin
3.01/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle...

A: A perfect crystal clear light golden color with a small 3/4 inch light white head that fades quickly to minor lacing. Light an airy head. Decent.

S: A nice traditional malty scent throughout. Eh.

T: A very light corn like malt upfront followed by a mild breadiness. Blends in a watery taste on the back. Ok.

M: Light body with a great carbonation. A malty backend. Good.

O: All in all, I'll start by saying, I'm not the best for judging these styles. I'm just not used to hunting for the subtle flavors that are characteristic of this type of style. I love bold flavors, so these subtle flavors kid of throw me off. I'm sure, according to stylistic standard, this is a great pilsner. However, according to my standards, I'm not really impressed. If you like lighter beers, you will enjoy this. You can pound this beer!

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

A: Golden-yellow and clear with a lot of carbonation rising up. White head that fizzles away pretty fast and leaves minimal lacing.

S: Crisp, lightly sweet, lager yeast. Noticeable lemon citrus notes. A bit grassy too. Smells nice and refreshing.

T: Nice and crisp, and refreshing. You can taste the light malt sweetness as well as some lemony hops. This is a great example of the style and certainly goes well with food. It cleanses the palate with its carbonation and light bitterness.

M: Thin, but gets a boost from the carbonation. It is not overcarbonated like most adjunct lagers are, its perfect for the style.

I bought this beer on sale for $7.99 for a 12 pack. This is my last beer and I'm sad to see it go. First off because it was such a bargain, and second of all because it's just a nice beer to drink. Can easily put back a 6 pack with no fatigue.

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

Tasted On: 08-23-2011
Freshness: Not indicated
Packaging: 12 oz. brown bottle
Glassware: Pilsner glass
Purchased: 6-pack from Wal-Mart

Clear beer of light straw color, with tons of bubbles seen in the glass. The head is huge, 4+ fingers high, and white. The retention is very good and lacing is fair.

Smells are of floral and grassy hops primarily. Has a classic pilsener aroma overall.

Taste is crisp with a medium amount of bitterness from the hops. Little sweetness at all. The mouthfeel is clean on a light body. Carbonation is medium-high in this refreshing beer. The finish is dry and somewhat bitter.

Overall a nice summer lager.

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

Purchased as a single from Wine and Beer Westpark - DFH snifter

Pours a crystal clear straw with champagne like head, decent lacing. Smell is slightly of corn but nice hops in the back. Taste is very good as well as the mouthfeel. The hop character comes through in the finish with that nice pilsener funk.

Overall, i do not like pilseners, however I really enjoyed this.

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Photo of clint1019
4.24/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Straw colored with a thin head. Some lacing,but not much.

S - Crisp, clean malt aroma. Kind of a lemon-grass aroma with some spicy hop aroma added in.

T - Clean, crisp, soooo refreshing malt flavor followed by a slight hop bitterness

M - light bodied,very dry on the palate & very bubbly.

O - The perfect thing for a hot summer day. Very light, refreshing and overall a pretty nice beer.

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Photo of LittleCreature
3.64/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - 2.5
Pours a small white foam head which quickly disappeared, leaving a headless, hazy body of pale yellow.

Smell - 3.5
Dusty, sweetish Pilsner malt, spicy and floral hop aroma.

Taste - 4.0
Dry, dusty, cracker like malt with just a hint of sweetness, lots of spicy and floral hop flavour, perfect amount of hop bitterness. Very crisp, very refreshing, very dry in the finish.

Mouthfeel - 3.5
Light to medium bodied with lively carbonation, a little sharp.

Overall - 3.5
Perhaps not as fresh as it could be, but still a very refreshing, flavoursome Pilsner, particularly suited to summer drinking.

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Photo of jlenik
4.8/5  rDev +30.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into my Victory Prima Pils pilsner glass.

a: clear, pale, and golden. an offwhite eggshell colored head about a fingers worth that remained for a few minutes.

s: a little hoppy and a little like straw.

t: sweet citrus with a balance malt aftertaste

m: crisp, clean, and refreshing.

o: a great summer beer. I love pilsners and this was definitely a winner again this year.

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Photo of output01x
3.56/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle (no date) into a pilsener glass.

A moderate pour yields a 1 1/2-finger creamy white head that bubbles down to a light dusting and thin foam ring after a few minutes. The body is a clear golden sunflower yellow with a good amount of carbonation bubbles. Some lacing can be noticed throughout consumption.

Buttery and bready malts aromas compose the backbone of the nose. A floral hops aroma adds to a little complexity and balance to the nose.

Sweet, bready malts start each sip but are quickly overtaken by the floral and spicy hops. A grainy malt flavor then enters the picture and coincides nicely with the waning hops. A slight dryness and floral bitterness ends the experience.

Light bodied with excellent carbonation, this beer is as drinkable as a Czech Pilsener should be. The carbonation is a little fizzy when the beer is held in the mouth, but does not take away from the flavors.

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Photo of fx20736
3.85/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Pilsener Glass.

Poured yielded a bright gold with seltzer like carbonation and a two finger ivory white head. The almost total lack of lacing detracted from me scoring it higher on the appearance scale.

Aroma: Classic Pilsener aroma with bready malt & floral hops.

Mouthfeel: medium feel, which considering the high level of carbonation is surprising.

Taste: Bready malt with a faint herbal hoppiness on the back end, leaving a perfumy, floral hop bitterness which lingers for a moment and is gone.

Notes: My first SN beer and I am quite surprised at how modestly hopped this beer is. This doesn't fit my imagination of what West Coast beer is (but then again Anchor Steam surprised me too.). I guess my first reaction is disappointment, expecting more with bolder hoppiness. However I next am in awe of the sheer drinkability and balance of this beer. Not as bold as Troegs or Brooklyn, this beer is utterly and seductively sessionable. At 5% abv this is a beer that one could down bottle after bottle on a Summer day and all through the evening. What a pleasure to drink.

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Photo of redfire89
3.93/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Bright golden color with a lot of clarity, very bubbly.
S- Pilsner like smell with a buttery aroma
T- Slight citrus but hops flavor dominates.
M- One of the easiest beers to drink that I have ever had.
O- Very refreshing, my favorite summer seasonal lager that I've had, more flavorful than Brooklyn and Sam Adams summer beers.

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Photo of Dave128
3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a goblet.

A - Transparent straw color and bubbly like most pale lagers. Perhaps a little darker.

S - Very hoppy smell. Noble hops no doubt. Little malt aroma present.

T - Sweet and refreshing up front with a long dry bitter finish. I'd hazard to say its a little imbalanced. I love the spicy flavor from the hops and spices, but the bitterness is a little crushing for the malt character of this beer.

M - Light, crisp, and refreshing.

O - I like the beer, and think it has refreshing summer beer qualities, but I find the dry bitterness in the finish to offset those thirst quenching properties. It's more of a beer to have with a meal than just to drink by the pool on a hot summer's day.

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

When i poured this beer into a perfect pint glass, it has a wonderful golden body with a nice 2 finger white head, that last a long time. The smell is crisp and grassy. The taste is very inviting, of hops and some citrus, some malt too. The mouth feel is great, easy to drink and crisp with a little after taste on the back of the tongue. Overall this is a good, drinkable beer.

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Photo of avaldivia
3.42/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured 12oz bottle into a pint glass

A: Clear yellow colored. Litlle head with no retention. No lacing.

S: Grassy. A scent that reminds me of toasted oats.

T: Toasted oats and cereal grains. Little citrus note. Easy drinking.

M: Light and crisp. Almost overly carbonated however. What one would expect from a summer pilsner.

O: Not overly complex but enjoyable and easy drinking.

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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.

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

Clear gold with one finger of white head. Very dense tiny bubble lacing. Head recedes to a ring of white at the halfway point. Smell is grainy, grassy, and a hint of earthy hops. Taste is malty with a quick response of bitter hops. A bit of lemon and spice on the back of the tongue. Mouthfeel is good with plenty of carbonation for the style. Finish is medium dry with a lingering bitterness. Overall a nice West Coast take on a classic Pilsener. Very drinkable in the warmer weather. Good job SN!

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Photo of Goblinmunkey7
4.08/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pale straw and clear with a bright-white head that quickly disappears. Minimal lacing left on either the glass or the top of the beer. Lively carbonation pulls from the bottom.

Smell: Grassy with touches of spice on the back. Loads of grass. A touch of cereal grain and pilsner malts bring the whole thing up a notch, adding some depth. Faintly toasty.

Taste: Big spicy hop smack up front. A nice solid earthiness rounds out the spiciness from the hops. It's a combination I'm not used to with a lager. Touches of toasted grain and a pronounced grassy flavor bring up the back of the taste. A little rough around the edges.

Mouthfeel: Solid medium body accompanied by a solid carbonation. Only faintly dry, which is a little shocking. Crisp, clean, and easily drinkable.

Overall: A very solid summer lager from Sierra Nevada. It carries some of the trademark Sierra Nevada aggressive hopping, but like all their beer, it works. It's never overbearing and super refreshing. Lawnmower beer for sure.

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Photo of Swim424
3.97/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Edited on May 3rd, 2012 with this years release.

Poured from bottle into pint glass.

A-Very clean golden color. Very clear. Nice carbonation. Small head.

S-Very clean and crisp. A bit of hops surrounded by a mild sweetness.

T- Very smooth. I am having some trouble describing the taste but one of the best pilsners I have had. Starts with maybe a sweet malt taste ending with a slight hop bite.

MF-Again clean. Leaves a little flavor behind but its good. A bit of hops, mixed with a slightly sweet creaminess.

O-Overall this is very good beer. This is a beer i could drink multiples of, not to filling. Very smooth. Sort of leaves me wanting another one. I highly recommend this over any commercial lager.This is a very nice beer, especially to introduce someone to better beer with. Extremely refreshing.

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Photo of Schneic8
3.61/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a mug. Bottled on 2/23/11.

Appearance: Light golden color similar to honey or gold. Mild amount of carbonation and a white head that didn't last.

Smell: I smell grass and floral tones. It has a clean smell and I get a hint of the hops. Not very strong smelling.

Taste: Clean crisp taste that has a nice body and slight hops taste. It finished with a citrus taste.

Mouthfeel: It has a clean crisp feel that has a slight bite to it. It goes down smooth and finishes with a slight hops taste.

Overall: Good beer that is easy to drink. The taste is not too strong and allows for the flavors to reveal themselves. I enjoy the clean/crispness which would make it a good summer time beer.

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

Poured a 2" white head. Clear pale lemon yellow color. Really not much of a smell at all at first and as it warmed all I got was grass. Fairly standard BMC taste. In fact I don't even detect any of those common attributes of spice or citrus so often worked into summer brews, this really is just typical BMC. Crisp finish but not a standout. I expected more from Sierra Nevada.

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

A- straw yellow with a bone white head, good lace

S- good pilsner aroma; lemon, hops, cereal grain

T- continues the nose, adds a nice malty background. Really smooth.

O- I come from the camp that pilasters are the best summer beers, Sierra Nevada's confirms my belief.

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Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
3.68 out of 5 based on 4,158 ratings.
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