Sierra Nevada Summerfest | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

4,192 Ratings
Sierra Nevada SummerfestSierra Nevada Summerfest

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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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,192 |  Reviews: 1,598
Photo of tjwarren
2.61/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle to a pint glass after trying it out of the bottle (to see if it is a worthy picnic beer.)

Pale straw color little to no head, not impressed at all.

Smell, I felt it was a little skunky. Not what I was hoping for. I kind of had Sam Admas Summer Ale on my mind and I felt this was a disappointment.

Taste, not a whole lot there. A little skunk with almost a grassy finish. Not bad for what they were going for but not really the bite I was expecting. It was crisp and clean like a summer beer, it just didn't do anything for me. Did not jump off the page at me.

Mouthfeel was somewhat absent, a little watery but if I was drinking it on a hotter day I think I would have liked it more.

If you are looking for a summer refresher, plain and simple and the little bit of skunk does not get in your way this is probably a winner.

For me as a summer beer I don't think this quite cut the mustard. I think the SA mentioned and Anchor Steam summer or Bell's Oberon would do better. In fact I would pick a Corona and lime over this. To be fair though you should try it on a hot summer day. Might improve then.

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Photo of againes
3.65/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is an all around good Czech style Pilsener. Superior to the macro American lager styles with a fruity, citrusy taste and dry finish. The aroma is a little lacking compared to say a Staropramen but clean and effective nonetheless. The color is a rich gold compared to the straw gold macro lagers.

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Photo of HopEnthusiast
3.76/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pale gold with a rocky white, fluffy head that sticks some lace on the glass. Saaz hops and munich malt with doughy grain and lemon rounding out the smell. Tastes of toasted grain with a fresh dose of euro hoppiness in the mostly clean finish. This tastes like what I would imagine a really fresh, real czech pils would taste like. Smooth with a light mildly creamy body and seltzery carbonation. A really nice beer and an underappreciated style.

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Photo of miket163
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a golden straw with small white head into a pint glass. Good lacing.

smell: Malt and hops. Crackery with a faint fruit like scent.

taste: Nice hop bitterness, very crackery malt character . Clean grassy, bitter finish.

Very nice summer lager! Very good gateway into the craft world.

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

Pours a straw with minimal head which doesn't stay too long. Nice refreshing pilsner was my first thought.

Gave a sip to my wife. "Tastes like lemon Pledge. I can't taste anything but lemon." I didn't have the same reaction, but I started to notice the lemon flavors more and more. And as I did, I didn't care for it.

But, to be honest, it was alright. I didn't find the lemon flavors too strong. But there are much better pilsners out there, esp. in the Philly area.

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Photo of n00tz
4.05/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - White head slowly diminishes revealing a trickle of carbonation and a golden body.

S - Piney hops, spices, maybe even some grassy and yeasty bread notes?

T - Moderately spicy bitterness, like pine needles were rolled in peppercorns and dropped into the process. Typical refreshing hops from any Sierra Nevada I've ever met, absolutely perfect pilsener.

M - It's not going to leave your palate alone for a bit, and the body isn't particularly heavy either. It's a very respectable palate. Burps somewhat bready/yeasty

D - I'll get it while I can. This is a great brew to enjoy after mowing the yard while the burgers/steaks are cooking. I almost wish my family reunions were held where alcoholic beverages could be distributed. Great summertime beer.

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Photo of xhcadamx
4.05/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - straw with lots of little bubbles minimal lacing.

S - grains and typical pilsner aromas. I smell some west coast hops - not weird considering it's SN

T - smooth as ever. Grains and goodness. A nice tasty pilsner. with a bit of hop bite.

M - not as carbonated as I would like.

D - Crisp summer beer perfect for a summer day.

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Photo of racer2k
3.3/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Light yellow lager pour with a rather small head and very little retention.

S - A malty kick up front with bread, biscuits, pine, and wheat notes.

T - First taste leads with malt but then transitions nicely to a hoppy lemony flavor. A malty bready finish to the beer.

M - Very light and tangy mouth feel that is refreshing

D - Decent light alcohol hot weather beer that is good for new craft beer recruits

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Photo of bum732
3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a crystal clear yellow, decent head that dissipates quickly. Smells of sweet spicy malt, some grassiness. Tastes of mellow sweetness with some grassiness finishing with a nice grainy mouthfeel. Nice crisp mouthfeel, very clean.

A very good beer, great on a hot day, better than any adjunct beer. A little weak though, i would love some more flavor.

 355 characters

Photo of Overlord
3.65/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light clear yellow. Nice bubbling, tight white head.

Smells like bittering, earthy hops and crispness. Yes, that's right, it smells crisp.

Taste is nice and pleasant on the tongue, nothing overwhelming flavor-wise. Bitter, drying hops, a bit of zesty citrus, maybe a nice sharp bready/biscuit-y taste. Pleasant.

Zesty mouthfeel.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.18/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2009 vintage served in a pilsener glass. Poured a bright, golden yellow with a one inch frothy, bright white head that sizzled and popped as it quickly receded; only a few specks of lacing present during the session. Copious tiny bubbles present in solution. Nose suggests citrus, cereal grains and a whiff of skunk. Taste follows nose, but citrus quality is enhanced at the front and a biscuity character come out at the finish. Mouthfeel is light-bodied and sparklingly effervescent. Goes down easy, but not really digging the whole package hear. Much better summer offerings are out there.

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Photo of scruffwhor
4.39/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a bright, clear straw sunshine yellow. Very quick, spongey head and one string of bubbles. Crisp pilsner malt and cracked grain with some clean hops. The taste is very crisp clean malt, and lightly astringent hops. Great clean, smooth palate that wips the palat clean every sip. Ready for more sips of this awesome pils.

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Photo of rtratzlaff
4.57/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appears a light golden bodied beer with a bone white head that fades and doesn't leave much lacing.

The aromas are earthy spicy hops above a sweet malt character.

The flavor is slightly sweet with a strong hop flash and mineral character that cleans the palate well.

Crisp mouthfeel with adequate carbonation. For a Czech Pils, this one has a bit more body.

Tasted next to Pilsner Urquell, this beer is slightly lighter in appearance, more aromatic, and more character all around.

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Photo of teejay76
4.17/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Light gold pour with decent head.

Smell - Malt and hops. Vague honey and citrus.

Taste - Mellow hops bitterness with slight hint of citrus.

Mouthfeel - Highly delicious and refreshing. Great aftertaste.

Drinkability - Love this beer. I'll buy more and then look forward to next summer's seasonal brew.

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Photo of Jablonski
3.25/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pours a clear bright golden yellow color with a small head. There is no lacing to note on the glass. A malty sweetness dominates the smell. I can also pick up some orange, grapefruit, and some herbal notes in the background. The Summerfest Lager tastes similar to the smell, except the citrus notes I picked up seem to be more like lemons. There is also a slight bitterness to the beer, but not too strong. The body of the beer is nice, but the carbonation is too much--almost makes the beer unpleasant. Overall it's a decent brew from Sierra Nevada. There was just something a little off in the aftertaste of this beer. It was nice to try, but it won't make it into the rotation.

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Photo of hooliganlife
4.1/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - pours light and clear yellow with light white head and minimal retention

S - strong malts up front with light pine and biscuit notes

T - malty up front that quickly gives way to a nice light bitter hop flavor and finish. malts are balanced so they are not over done what so ever

M - very light and and very clean with a very crisp bite.

D - this is a great summer beer for those that want to bake in the sun and enjoy a cold one. one of my favorite summer beers.

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Photo of TLove
3.31/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From Notes:

Orange-brown with a creamy head for a summer lager.

Smells a bit weedy, like a hemp or dandelion leaf sourness. But has light citrus notes common to a summer lager.

Tastes of toasted pistachio, lemongrass, and orange. Quite good. Not very complex, but full-bodied.

Feels ok in the mouth. Carbonation is good medium, but finish is a tad dry and unfulfilling.

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

A 12 ounce bottle purchased at the Beer Stop for $1.75. Poured into me shaker glass, this pils appears a hazed muted straw color with about a finger of bone white foam. Flavor and aroma are of lightly toasted grains, lemon, grassy hops. Just about medium in both body and carbonation. A decent warm weather lager.

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Photo of mothman
3.3/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Beer 4 of 4 for the Sierra Nevada Tasting Event at Stub and Herbs that I reviewed.

Poured into 6 oz Sierra Nevada sample glass. Pours a small head, due to the glass. Color is a clear straw yellow. Very little lace.

Smell is very grainy and corn-like. Not one of my favorite smells coming from a Sierra Nevada beer.

Taste: Just like the smell. Very grainy and I get a metallic flavor as well.

Mouthfeel is very crisp. Over carbonated. Very light bodied.

Overall, this is by far my least favorite offering from Sierra Nevada. I don't plan on ever buying this, but maybe on a HOT summer day I could try it again.

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

Pours a clear yellow with a medium pure white head. Nice lacing all the way down the glass. Smell is faintly of grain and citrus. Taste is light, refreshing malty, a hint of lemon. The finish is dry, with a big cracker malt flavor. Nice bitterness from the hops, but not as high as many Czech Pilsners I have had. Mouthfeel is average, high carbonation. Drinkability is fantastic, it is quite easy to drink many of these. A very good beer to convert BMC lovers with.

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Photo of cjl1209
3.18/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

"Crisp Summer Beer"

A - Pours a light gold with a small white head. Looks to be well carbonated judging by the bubbles running up my glass.

S - A little bit of grain and a little bit of hops. Not much going on here at all.

T - It's a little light in the flavor department as well. Citrusy hops and yeast accompanied by a pinch of lemon. Hoppy but not overtly bitter. Nice bite on the finish.

M - Medium-light and very crisp. Has the perfect body for a summer beer.

D - Through the roof; a perfect session brew.

Final Thoughts: Not a bad beer, it's just far too weak on the smell and the taste. Simply put, there's just not enough going on.

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Photo of CHADMC3
3.67/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This summer brew pours a transparent golden yellow with a foamy white head full of big carbonation bubbles, which subsides to leave a faint white lacing on the glass.

Citrus fruit, straw or grassy hops; wheat and yeast highlight the aroma of this brew.

Quite fresh, zesty lemon and again grass with just a hint of light spice.

Medium bodied with medium carbonation with a dry and refreshing finish.

This is a great summer brew. Nothing more, nothing less, and one that can be enjoyed throughout the day.

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Photo of washburnkid
3.92/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: 2 fingers white froth over champagne-like bubbly body that's clear and straw-colored. Thin spots of head retention.
S: Grainy malts and big, bitter hop profile. Grassy aromas apparent in the hops as well.
T: Pretty mellow grassy hops and sweet honey malts. Very straightforward. Bitter hop residuals stick around. Spiciness really pulls through and there are some definite yeasty qualities. Candied sugar seems to come out a bit with warmth, which is an interesting characteristic.
M: Smooth but crisp and refreshing. Good carbonation and light-bodied.
D: Tastes exactly like it should, and refreshes in the same way. I can go through a 6er on a hot Cali day.

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

Pored a clear yellow with 1/2 finger head, little to no lace.

Smells like grain, grass, hay, and very light wheat.

Taste was the same as the smell. A good light lager that as another reviewer said is a great substitute for coors lite, etc. Crisp and refreshing but I would be drinking something else on a hot summer day. Not my favorite style.

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Photo of joshuadlight
3.65/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is just fine for what it strives to be. A drinkable pale yellow fizzy summer beer. It is a much more tasty and flavorful substitute for a Budweiser or a Miller Lite. Plenty of Pilsner flavor and smell, a bready bitterness that comes through. Nothing spectacular as none of the flavors jump out at the drinker, but it is solid in every respect and I recommend it as a summer beer to drank outside in the hot weather.

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Sierra Nevada Summerfest from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
3.68 out of 5 based on 4,192 ratings.
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