Sierra Nevada Summerfest | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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Sierra Nevada SummerfestSierra Nevada Summerfest
4,258 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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,258 |  Reviews: 1,612
Photo of brdc
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Small capped bottle, poured into a pilsner glass. 2009 version.

Clear, bright yellow, nice foamy white head, decent retention, not a lot of lacing but not expected for the style.
Clean and straightforward as expected, Saaz nose all the way, some biscuity malt, and that is it. Light bodied, refreshing, well balanced, slight bitterness comes ahead of the maltiness.
Right on the money for the style, crisp and refreshing.

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Photo of jrnold
3.35/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Light yellow in hue -- much lighter than I expected. Persistent white head that leaves a light lace on the glass. Lots of tiny bubbles that persist the whole period I drank it.
S: Not much of a nose, but I detected some grassy hops .
T: Some light bitterness from the hops up front, with a dry finish.
M: Crisp, light, lots of carbonation.
D: Refreshing, a very sessionable summer beer.

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Photo of JoshuaJ
4.25/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a clear, very light yellow with a two fingered head and nice lacing the whole way down. This is hell of a lot lighter in color than I expected.

Smells grassy, hoppy. Not picking up much else. Smells very clean and crisp. So far, we're on the right track for a summer beer.

Tastes very herbal. The hops have a light citrus quality. The malt ends up being quite sweet. The carbonation is high and the crispness and dryness is extraordinary.

At 5% ABV, I could session this all day long. Truely a fantastic summer beer.

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Photo of projectflam86
3.98/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a light golden color with a thin white head. Some lacing and lots of bubbles.

S- Grain and earthy hop nose. A sweetness is hidden somewhere in there.

T- A light hoppy bitterness initially that vanishes with a light sweet malt flavor taking over in the finish. Well balanced with some grain and a little bit of yeast like flavors.

M- Light and crisp with lots of carbonation.

D- Easy drinking summer brew with enough taste to remind you that it is a Sierra Nevada. Overall a great Pils/Lager

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Photo of JRed
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sparkling yellow hue with large marshmallow head. Light hops, corn, alcohol, grass in the nose. Grass notes, bready, soapy hops in the finish. Smooth but slick in mouthfeel. Highly drinkable and enjoyable. Sierra Nevada is still the kings of hops even though this beer is a more average brew for them.

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Photo of willjschmidt
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a New Belgium globe glass.

A: Pours a golden color with a tint of yellow.

S: Some spicy Saaz hops, some hay, a hint of slightly sweet pale malt.

T: Slightly sweet pale malt with a nice dose of spicy hops. A dry finish with a crisp bite. A very nice summer lager.

M: Light bodied, medium-high carbonation.

D: A very good summer lager. Easy to put down a few of these on a hot day.

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Photo of merryjoulton
4.28/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a crystal clear straw color with beautiful bubbles and a thin foamy white head. Smells of citrus, malts, bready biscuity yeast. Taste is crisp and bitter, hints of the breadiness and citrus flavors are there. Not much to the taste, but I didn't want any more. A straightforward tasty full lager. Mouthfeel was nice and clean, not thick or soupy. Drinkability is huge.

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Photo of drcarver
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - a bright yellow/straw color with a small white head that fades quickly

S - Dough and wet-grass

T - Toast and dough. Clean and crisp, but the after taste hangs for quite a while in the back of the throat

M - Crisp and medium bodied

D - Nicely refreshing

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Photo of ZimZamZoom
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A golden straw color, with a pure white head. Not a lot of bubbles rising up through this one.

Aroma is light malt, some spicy hops, very clean. Taste is very mild, light spice from the hops that turn bitter toward the finish and linger some. Malt profile is very subtle.

Light body but this beer is not without substance. A well made beer in my opinion, and though I am not real familiar with the style this seems to be a good example.

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Photo of mnrider
3.76/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Bottle say's 2009. Poured into pint glass. Golden Yellow with fluffy white head which fades thin. Above average carbonation.

S: Crisp, light hoppy, and citrus.

T/M: Very crisp just how a summer lager should be. light bitter and light lemon. Very good blend.

D: One of the better summer lagers i've had. Good on a hot summer day or whenever. Probably goes good with grilled chicken or fish. I will have many of these.


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Photo of wmthorne
3.6/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap at the flying saucer in Cordova. Served a little warmer than I would prefer. That isn't the beers fault

Yellowish orange in color and almost no head. Smells a little hoppy but I can't distinguish a distinct aroma. I was expecting a little more.

Lots of carbonation in the mouthfeel. Hoppy but not overpowering. Almost no lacing below the original pour.

I'll give it another shot cold from a bottle. I have no problem with this beer.

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Photo of Haybeerman
3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Clear light yellow color. Poured a 1 finger coarse white head that dissipated to an even skim. Decanted coninually. Light lacing in broken rings.

S: Hay, wet grains and citrus.

T: Doughy malt and bittering hops in the finish. Nice blended balance.

M: Light-to-medium body. Ample carbonation. Smooth with fisishing bite of carbonation and bitter hops.

D: Smooth and sessionable pils.

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Photo of Wegbier
3.24/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

a pretty white head that stays fluffy all the way down leaving some lacing, a pale to golden color with lots of lively bubbles.

s- i detect so little smell from this beer it saddens me. Very light note of floral hops.

t- light crisp clean floral hop pilsner, I dont feel like there is much going on.

m- thin and clean, i dont know what else to say for this one

d- very drinkable, this is a session beer for a hot day by all means.

I cant find a freshness date on the bottle and I suspect that to be a possible culprit for a fine pilsner with quality ingredients. This reminds me more of a typical North German pilsner than anything czech but that might be my own subjectivity.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.79/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle. 2009 batch. Sampled on June 7, 2009.

A - A golden yellow with lively carbonation and a small and short-lived fizzy white head. Great clarity.

S - The malts are the chief aroma here with a vague hint of hops and something citrus-like along the lines of orange.

T/M - A pretty decent, medium body. The taste is mainly malts and vague hops. But it is very mild and enjoyable. A decent summer brew.

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Photo of cwps48
2.31/5  rDev -37.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Poured into a weissen glass (half-broke college student, forgive me). Golden yellow. Mostly transparent. Head of approximately 1.5 fingers, disappears quickly with minimal lacing.
S: Hoppy, obviously. A little bit of malts. Kinda has that Natty Lite smell to it.
T: I see that it's a Pilsner. I'm not a huge fan of the pilsners, I find the hops too crisp, but this is toned down a bit. It's got this malty sweetness to it, maybe some spices in there. Nothing really to write home about. It has a good crisp finish that eventually leads to this nasty tangyness with a tinge of a metallic bite.
M: Decent carbonation. Dry.
D: I won't be getting this again. For the price of $8.50 for a six pack, it's not worth it. Beer pong beer is only $0.50/beer, not $1.42.

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Photo of BeerSox
4.13/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into pisner glass.

Crystal clear light straw color with a two finger bright white head that settles to a thin cap.

Light and biscuity malts, along with slighty sharp hop aromas - very grassy.

The malts are light and sweet in the flavor, allowing for a good balance of some moderately spicy hops.

Nothing too complex, but it's a refreshing lager that hits the spot. Very good in the summer. Recommended.

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Photo of dmamiano
3.36/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours light yellow, with ample carbonation and a nice pillowy head. not much lacing to be seen.
slight malts in the nose, hints of yeastyness and a slight metallic hint
decent on the palate. good mouthfeel with plenty of character. Slightly malty, with not niticable in the hops, except for a mildly bitter end.

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Photo of talkinghatrack
4.05/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Light beer color and perfectly clear. Thin head.

S - Crisp with a hoppy sour and a little metal. Nice summer ale scent

T - Is "refreshing" a taste? The usual subdued sweet and sour of a summer ale that finishes on the sour side.

M - Smooth and mouth-coating with a good bite of carbonation that doesn't push past the sip into the swallow. The medium body is surprising for its clear look.

D - A solid cookout beer. Might get a little too sour for the occasion if I tried to session them. But standard cookout procedure is to go with 2-3 tasty beers up front and switch over to the lighter side so no harm there.

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Photo of Soneast
4.32/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a crystal clear light golden color with a 2 finger bubbly, white head.

The initial aroma brings to mind floral hops and pale sweet malts with an earthy finish and a touch of spiciness to round things out.

The flavor consists of a somewhat, peppery, spicy, hoppiness, a mild sweet graininess with a very delicately balanced bitter finish.

Appearances can be deceiving, as I thought this beer would feel lighter on the tongue but it actually has a nice body, and a complimentary amount of carbonation. Fresh and delicious, great summer beer. Whoda thunk?

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Photo of colts9016
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pokal glass at 42 degrees. Appearance: A one finger foamy and creamy white head that has some retention. The body of the beer is a medium gold color. There is a lot of effervescence in the beer. The clarity of the beer is clear and brilliant. Nose: A malty goodness with a sublte sweetness. There is a little bit of spiciness with floral and citrus and a touch of wood. Taste: A decent maltiness with a sublte sweetness. There is a light hoppiness that is spicy, floral esters and a touch of wood. Overall: There is a creamy carbonated mouth feel. The body of the beer is light and the finish is light. This is not a great beer but it is decent. I really didn't care for it.

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Photo of melagnus
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Finger-thick white head that dissipates quickly into a frothy-thin layer. This layer resides above a clear Pale Gold (SRM 4) hued liquid that exposes carbonic bubbles rising to the top at a rapid pace. Swirling the beer results in spider legs, most likely a result of the hops and carbonation.

S - Crisp phenolic Noble hop (Saaz) aroma bouquet. A mild fruitiness/peppery note is most prominent. Mild bit of creamed corn aroma comes through via DMS, though subtle.

T - Clean malty liquid washes over the palate with a mild bitterness that gives a crisp and somewhat moist finish. This beer is very well balanced and finishes more sweet than bitter, though a level of bitterness does crescendo with time and lingers for that matter. It seems to me as though the Brewer/Chemist tried to emulate a more mineral-rich liquor (water) compound of those found in native regions of the Bohemian Pilsner, which is the style that this beer seems to be trying to imitate, with an American touch of course.

M - Upon final pour, the bottle conditioned elements (suspended yeast) provide for a bit more of a graham cracker consistency on the palate. The mouth coating malts finish dry with a smooth lingering bitterness that fits nicely with the styles normal characteristics. Medium to high carbonation tingles the palate as well; sulfates add to this!

C - A session beer this is, but at 5% ABV and with a smooth sweetness that helps balance the Hallertau hops, this beer quickly turns into quite a delight. Though the crisp, dry and bitter Czech/German variants with high sulfates are enjoyable, this is a wonderful take on a traditional style that gives it just enough American punch to let you know there's something more inside the bottle than conformity!

The website states that in addition to the Pale malts used, Munich malts were also used. It also states that this beer has an extra-long lagering period, which would explain the fruitier content and malty sweetness, which is not so prominent in German/Czech variants. In addition to Saaz hops, Perle were used, which is a variation on the tradition type of hops utilized in a Pilsner.


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Photo of BeerNinja007
3.39/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a chilled pint glass.

Pours an extremely pale, clear, watery yellow. Settles to virtually zero head, just some very faint wisps on the surface. I set the glass on a page of 12-point text and, while looking from the top down through the entire glass, had no trouble reading every word. It looks like there's absolutely nothing to this beer.

Smells like typical pilsner hops, complete with a touch of skunk. Hops are fairly pungent and crisp. Taste is also very typical.

Mouthfeel, however, is a huge surprise. I don't know where this gets its body from, but it is surprisingly creamy. Carbonation is moderately heavy and creates an interesting balance with the creaminess. Not at all as watery as it appears. The mouthfeel undoubtedly is what makes this beer stand out.

Thin and crisp overall, goes down very easily. Absolutely a beer for chugging on a hot summer day. Will not fill you up, will not coat your tongue, will not warm you up. Easy-drinking, cooling, liquid refreshment.

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Photo of ATPete
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle

Pours a transparent golden color with a small but strong white head. Clean, crisp lager nose with a healthy dosage of hops. Good balance achieved here in flavor semi-sweet, semi-grainy cereal malts with a fresh, bitter hop blast. Crisp and refreshing with a dry finish. Very sessionable, a damn good summer option.

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Photo of wheatyweiss
3.92/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a pils glass.

Pours a golden straw with a decent head that recedes to a cap and has bubbles climbing the sides of the glass.

Aroma is of light malt. Somewhat sweet. The noble saaz aroma is there, altough a bit muted.

Flavor is crisp light malt. Slightly bitter hops are present in the middle. More than I'm used to in a pils, but good. The malt is sweet but crisp with a crackery profile. Hops are well represented here, and in perfect balance. A very good representation of a pils in my opinion.

Mouthfeel is crisp and refreshing. Carbonation is active and bubbly. A little thin, but it is a pils.

Very refreshing, I could session this beer all night long.

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Photo of digitalbullet
3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Deep golden color with a thick head that has some staying power
Smell: Citrus notes with a light hops in the back ground
Taste: Light citrus color with a malty background. Very light on the hops.
Mouthfeel: Very easy on the palate. Good crisp carbination
Drinkability: This brew can be very dangerous on a hot summer day. This very easy to drink and a great session brew.

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Sierra Nevada Summerfest from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.67 out of 5 with 4,258 ratings