Sierra Nevada Summerfest | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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Sierra Nevada SummerfestSierra Nevada Summerfest
4,274 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:
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Ratings: 4,274 |  Reviews: 1,616
Photo of bamadog
3.76/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I always find it interesting when a beer bottles says one thing in terms of style, but then BA says another... The bottle says lager, the website says Czech Pilsener... Oh well. Que sera sera.

Appearance: Pours a very pale yellow straw color with a big 2 finger head that fades quickly to an even and full skim that is slightly off-white; solid carbonation bubbling through and not much in terms of lacing; body is very clear.

Smell: Sadly, a bit of a skunky presence that seems to dwindle as it sits for a bit; a toasty graiiny smell comes from a slight maltiness and is reminiscent of a wheaty type of scent; there is a very slight hoppy bitterness that is fairly weak in the nose, but it's about what I would expect.

Taste: Different than what I thought it was going to be -- a mild lemony/citrusy hop presence is thoroughly mixed with the slight toasty grainy malt aspect; not much is hidden here and there's not a lot to search for -- a pretty straight forward beer in the long and short of it.

Mouthfeel: A wet and light body with solid carbonation; clean finish. Again, nothing special but nothing wrong with it either.

Drinkability: Quite high -- not something I would choose to drink a lot of but all in all, it's not an awful choice that is refreshing enough and would be easy to session.

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Photo of Gish
3.62/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A - Yellow with a quickly dissipating head and minimal lacing.

S - Grassy hops with a hint of mustiness.

T - Sweetness hits the tongue but is quickly followed by a big dose of crispness. Very dry, almost white grape juice-like. A tad too bitter in the finish in my opinion.

M - Lively carbonation and a light body that fits the style well.

D - Low abv and a wonderful crispness make this a great session beer. However, the dryness seems a bit out of place. I've had pilsners that were more balanced and more enjoyable. Still a very worthy buy if you're a fan of lagers.

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

A: A light, golden color, topped with a little head. Looks...fine.

S: Not a potent smell - it's brisk, has a straw/hay aroma, some faint fruit.

T: It's crisp! It's summer! It's a pilsener! It's a good quality brew, but doesn't wow me into needing to say more.

M: Crisp, fine, all that.

D: Yep, goes down easy. Good summer beer.

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Photo of avalon07
3.18/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a mug. Had a golden yellow color and a slightly cloudy consistency. There was a small amount of foamy head and some decent lacing.

S: Malty, with traces of citrus, but not much else.

T: Like the smell, there was some malt and some citrus, with a trace of hops, but mainly it was a little on the thin side.

M: A decent amount of carbonation and a dry finish. Light-bodied.

D: Overall, this is a drinkable beer, but hardly an outstanding one.

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3.86/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Crisp, easy drinking beer. Good beer!
This beer is full of some clean flavors. With a nice after taste. Not a real powerful beer but still very tasty. I have to say its in my top three favorite Sierra Nevada beers. I Love the Torpedo and the Pale Ale is also delicious. Great for a grilling companion. Time to go throw a steak on the BBQ.

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Photo of CampusCrew
2.7/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A poorly done SN job. I expected so much. it wasn;t awful but not up to their standards.

appearance: golden

smell: not much there. had a pilsner distinct aroma

taste: Like a classic pilsner but with a dirty macro aftertaste

mouthfeel: good carbonation and drinks thin

drinkability: there's better pilsners out there. worst SN beer in the lineup

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Photo of Lordbacchus
4.5/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - nice straw color with just the right carbonation

S - good balance of malt and hop aroma

T - nice and dry. a few malty and "peppery" notes up front with a great hop finish at the end. Czech Saaz hops - Taste is very nice. Right on target for a Lager.

M - great mouthfeel. not watered down.

D - I would definitely buy/drink this again.

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Photo of ATGHomebrewer
4.03/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearence: very light color. head quickly builds, and dissapstes quickly

Smell: smells a bit like fresh cut grass and a slight bit of lemon.

Taste/Mouth: very light. a bit of hop flavor up front,followed by some slight lemon and lemon peel flavor. very crisp.

Drinkability: pretty drinkable. great for a hot summer day. overall very impressed with this seasonal offering.

12 oz bottle in Denver, Colorado

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Photo of cottonkoozie
4.06/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - bright yellowish straw color with a nice thick white head and pretty good retention.

S - strong grassy smell, and some barley undertones.

T - taste is very fitting for the style. A clean light flavor with some grassy and citrus hops and malt barley undertones.

M - very full to be such a light beer. Great carbonation level.

D - goes down smooth and clean. Very drinkable and a good beer for summertime like the name implies.

Overall a great refreshing summer beer. Good for a hot day. A much better alternative to macros at a BBQ.

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Photo of MS2k
3.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: A very light yellow with sparkling clarity. Head is fluffy and white.

S: Lightly citrus/sour with a slightly-sweet lager aroma.

T: Has a rich hoppy bitterness to it without being overbearing. Definitely some light malty character, but overall a very subdued taste.

M: Light, crisp, and refreshing. Keeps its carbonation well.

D: What you'd drink while lounging about outside on a hot summer day. As I'm doing this currently, I think I'll have another.

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

Had a sixer of this a while back over a BBQ with one to spare, figured I'd review it here.

Appearance: Nothing too exciting or negative. Pretty average color for a lager, golden-brown with a decent foamy head.

Smell: Pretty simple, straightforward hops and roasted barley come to the nose, but it's nothing overly exciting. Although I've had other pilseners, it's not my area of expertise, but I still feel like there's just a bit more hops to this than your average pils.

Taste: Crisp, light hops and a bit of caramel-like malt. A bit earthy flavor, but lighter than a stouty one. Really not much bitterness, and just a clean balance of hops and barley.

Mouthfeel: Clean. Really nice drink, with the alcohol never feeling too present. Agitates a little in the mouth as far as the carbonation goes, not just in the glass.

Drinkability: Almost a 5, as it's clean and awesome for a burger pairing and I sessioned nicely with it, I just wish it were a little more complex in the flavor. It's pretty straightforward, and that works to both its advantage and disadvantage.

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Photo of roadhouse
4.33/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle into a pils glass

Pours a clear golden color with a one and a half inch white head. It falls to a cap which retains well and leaves some moderate lacing.

Aroma is grainy overall with a bit of toasty and bready malt character. A hefty amount of noble hop aroma as well, very grassy and herbal.

Taste is mildly sweet up front with bready and toasty malt character again coming through. Balanced perfectly with a big grassy, floral Saaz hop character that works perfectly.

Mouthfeel is medium-light in body, nice crisp but creamy carbonation that's just right for the style. Extremely drinkable.

This is one hell of a Czech Pils, easily one of the best that I've had. Probably doesn't hurt that it's fresher than any of the imported Czech ones available here.

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Photo of DiabolikDUB
3.26/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from Bottle into Pint Glass.

Pours a crystal clear straw color with a good finger of bubbly foam that quickly dissolves and leave a fine ring around the glass. The aroma has sweet nutty malts and some earthy, grassy hops. The flavor is sweet caramel malt upfront that is supported with some bitter hops towards the end. Its a light bodied beer with lots of carbonation. Summerfest is a very easy drinking beer but I'm still trying to work into the lager thing so I probably won't be grabbing more of this soon.

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Photo of 01121987
4.31/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

this is a great summer beer, light, crisp and refreshing but also flavorful. i would drink this all summer if my wallet would permit but i guess il have to suppliment with some homebrew which is not such a bad alternative. the only imperfection is the head retention which is lacking quite a bit.

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Photo of jeffjeff1
3.45/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Overall a good summer beer

Appearance- yellowish gold color, transparent

Smell- grassy hops

Taste- grassy hops

Mouthfeel- light body, lots of carbonation

Drinkability- pretty drinkable, a good summer beer, I would definitely drink it again.Good for working outside on a hot day

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Photo of brewmudgeon
3.8/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

(kinda weird straight from bottle; not good immediately following session lager)
09 summerfest
3.5 a clear light golden. short fizzy head that barely leaves anything behind.
4-4.5 harbally spicy, grassy hops, slightly caramalized (toasted bread) malt. not as grassy as german pilsners i've had, but strikes me as more german than czech. smells like an oktoberfest with more hop presence. [into my second sixtel of the summer, the smell is kind of getting annoying with its particular brand of grassyness. i have yet to want more than one summerfest on a given day or even during a two-day period.]
4-4.5 lovely full flavor. the lightly toasted breadyness combines so seamlessly with the nobles it approaches hb o'fest in the malt dept. but the hops come in with more authority, appropriately, bitting not with a deep bitterness but a slightly astringent, puckery midpalate grassyness. some lemon in the aftertaste, which lingers on and on.
4 medium body feels fuller than it probably is, but cleans up very crisply. no lack of carbonation, but the bubbles could maybe be finer.
4.5 still one of my favorite summer beers. drawbacks are the quality of co2 and it's a bit too filling to really be "refreshing" [on revisiting has become less endearing, more of a 3.75. so darned grassy/lemony]

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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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Sierra Nevada Summerfest from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.67 out of 5 with 4,274 ratings