Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

1,580 Reviews
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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Reviews: 1,580 | Ratings: 4,144
Photo of avalon07
3.18/5  rDev -13.6%
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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Photo of bort11
3.18/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle, 2008 dated. Poured into a traditional pilsener glass. The initial head jumps to the lip of the glass. Takes a few smaller draws to get the full bottle in the glass. Head quickly recedes with no real lacing to speak of. Color is clear golden yellow. Not much carbonation.

Smell is a grassy hops with a mild spicy malt balance. Taste is also quite grassy. Bit of lemon and a toasty biscuit notes.

Mouthfeel is a bit of a disappointment for me. Generally I like a lager to be pretty crisp and clean with the carbonation, and this is almost flat. It is still pretty drinkable, I was able to put three down without noticing much. I just had higher expectations.

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Photo of acrawf6
3.18/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a nice golden. not much head in this one, but good lacing. this one is, like other sierra navadas, bitter and hoppy. The mouthfeel is good, nice carbonation, maybe a little oily. Its a decent beer, and tastes like it would be nice on a hot summer day, but its not great. honestly if you miss this one, you wont be missing much.

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

A: Pours a clear pale golden color with a really slight white head. Some trickling bubbles of carbonation.

S: Fairly faint and generic aroma. Lots of grain and some earthiness. Maybe a trace of grassy hops.

T: Very light and definitely pretty drinkable. A touch of spicy hops followed by a lot of malt and grain flavor with a touch of breadiness. Luckily, the breadiness never overwhelmes the lighter flavors of this beer and it remains easy to drink.

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

A-very light gold with a bit of haze to it, with a thin white head. lots of bubbles.

S-crisp hoppy lager. smells very fresh. decent strength.

T-comes in with a bitter, fresh, crisp bready malts. tastes like a bitter biscuit. the bitterness sticks to the mouth and lasts awhile. its a very light drinking beer. there's a decent matching after-taste

M-medium to high carbonation with a dry finish

O-not a bad beer, there are no negative qualities, but it isn't too memorable. its a fairly boring beer. this would probably be best served along with a meal or something, but if you're going to just be drinking a beer, than this probably won't satisfy you. but as long as you do have something else to go along with this beer than i'd say you could probably drink a lot of them with out getting tired of it. compared to other pilsners, its just average.

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Photo of HugoGrim
3.18/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Gold body, no head.

Not much really in the nose, slightly sweet malts, very clean. Hops are barely noticeable.

Bready grains, lights hops, hints of lemon. A refreshing summer beer (of course), but it left me wanting a bit more. The hops seem muted.

This bottle is from the 2007 batch. I've had this beer on tap in the past and I remember it being much better.

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Photo of WankelEngine
3.18/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass

A: Pours a very clear straw color with a foamy white head of one finger. Decent retention and very light spotty lacing.

S: The aroma is grains and grass. There is a light touch of lemon zest as well.

T: Light crisp flavors. Clean grain provides a light touch of caramel. Herbal hops make an appearance and give a bit of mild bitterness to the beer. The finish is very clean.

M: Thin bordering on watery, but the almost sharp carbonation helps.

O: An easy drinking beer but not much more. Good for a party perhaps.

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Photo of bristol2120
3.16/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours with a big head, but quickly recedes. No real lacing. Pale golden in color.
S - Very faint floral hoppy notes. Less than one would expect from a Siera Nevada product.
T - Subdued hops and citrus, specifically grapefruit presence.
M - Surprisingly watery. A good level of carbonation though.
D - Refreshing and drinkable, but still there are better out there.

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Photo of rgore
3.16/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Nice bronze color with a some carbonation. Pours with about an inch of dense off white head. Nice lacing throughout.

S - Earthy and Malty. Not enough hops for me. The malts smell too sweet off the nose without the requisite amount of bitterness to balance them out.

T - Similar to the nose. My complaints are the same: not enough bitterness in this beer to balance out the overwhelming sweet and earthy malt in the beer. Overly bready, a little too carbonated.

M - Good mouthfeel, it lingers enough and isn't too thick or too thin.

D - The alcohol content makes it seem drinkable but for me its not light enough. Again its too heavy without the hops to balance it out, the sweet malty bread flavor with the carbonation keeps me from enjoying more than one or two.

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Photo of CrazyDavros
3.15/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours gold with a large head.
Nose shows weak floral/grassy hops with faint bready malt underneath.
Lots of bready/grainy malt as a flavour too, dominating really. Some grassy hops also. Finishes with a grainy mild bitterness.
Nice moderate carbonation, perhaps could be a bit higher?

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3.15/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

330ml bottle.Lager glass.Enjoyed on jun´11.Pale straw color. Clear. White,medium bubbled froth.Fairly good retention.Some rings.Floral hops,sherry notes to the nose.Clean fruity tasting,slightly malty below. Crisp & smooth bitterness.Medium body but a little fat.

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Photo of Beastdog75
3.15/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sierra Nevada beers are a usually above average indulgence, with some of their offerings being mind blowing. This Summerfest beer is definitely not mind blowing, and some would say it is not even near above average. For me, this was middle of the road: a well-made brew that is just terribly unexciting.

Sierra Nevada Summerfest pours a yellowish gold color with a decent foamy head that retains for a few minutes before thinning out. The aroma is crisp and hoppy: those distinct citrus and piney hop notes jump out of the glass and up your nostrils. Although the mouthfeel is a bit thin, it is crisp and bubbly enough to make this a quaffable beverage. There is a light malt presence in this beer, but of course the hoppiness is the most dominant feature, lending the trademark SN citric and piney notes. The dryness in the finish rounds out the brew well enough. The aftertaste has a bit of a bready/cracker like quality to it along with the lingering citric dryness, and there is no alcoholic warmth in the end.

This beer really doesn't bring to mind the dog days of summer. For me, it is just a hopped up fizzy yellow brew. I think SN's Wheat Beer was more interesting than this, and that one previously held the title for my least favorite SN brew. This is still a well-made brew, no doubt about it, but there isn't enough here to keep my interest.

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Photo of jslot38
3.15/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Touch darker than your classic american macro. Some golden hues, bubbly foam white head.

Smell: Biscuit, slight sourdough. A touch of lemon.

Taste: Touch of oiled fresh hops initially hits the tongue but is mellowed over by a malt base that consists of biscuit, rice (slightly), and grains.

Mouthfeel: High level of carbonation.

Drinkability & Notes: I feel as if this is a beer that I could drink a bunch of on a nice lazy day in the summer. However, its not one that I would jump to for its taste. Certainly no where near Sierra Nevada's other masterpieces.

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Photo of JK4Stout
3.15/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A VERY light lager here. Has a pale color reminiscent of a domestic banquet beer. However, the taste is much more developed; Light, citrus, and full. There is a slight taste of the lager yeast in the brew which, while not unfavorable, is unexpected. This is a hot weather beer, one to be enjoyed while sitting in the shade at midday, or around the bbq. Another plus to this beer is the decent price and its wide availability (anywhere one can find regular Sierra Nevada).

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Photo of ybnorml
3.15/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A clean light yellow beer. Has a small bright white head. Which dissapears quite quickly. There is a light grainy biscuty aroma with a hint of skunk in the background. The bitterness starts off the flavor sharply. Then the grainy biscut character takes over at the end.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.15/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Very brief write-up for the 2015 batch. The aroma is more or less typical to the average craft Czech-style pilsner - lots of grassy hops dominate. Having said that, there's no real 'pop' on the nose. The taste, again, is pure Saaz hop goodness. Just like the nose suggested, nothing really pops (though it is a decent lager). This one seems much lighter than most on the palate (carbonation is almost intense, natch), going down with that ease that only a pilsner can attain. It doesn't wow me like some pilsners do, but it'll do in a pinch.

3.15/5: One can do better, but I wouldn't kick this out of bed

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Photo of BeerAficionadoMCMXC
3.14/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

It appears a golden yellow. Carbonation is good. Smells a of cereal and barley with a hint of citrus background. The flavor follows the nose with regards to cereal like quality. The finish is slightly sweet with a balanced bitter finish. A nicely balanced lager on the palate and a light body characteristic to lagers. Being the third year I've had this beer in a row, I feel as though this year's batch is a little more bitter than before, but the balance is there, it lacks complexity. A fine lager nonetheless.

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Photo of HazelEyedHippie
3.14/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not my favorite beer. I like bitter beers as much as the next person, but this one (for me, anyway) is bitter without having enough flavor. The smell is nice, looks nice, but is just too bitter for me. I love dark beers and I love a deep, dark flavor, but I found this to be just bitter without too much taste. I definitely wouldn't want to drink this poolside in summer!

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Photo of zhooker
3.13/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Just bought a sixer from down the block. Poured from a bottle into a pilsener glass. Extremely light in color, slightly golden and very clear. A finger's worth of head builds and quickly dissipates. Persistent bubbling action.

Light nose to match the color. Pilsener maltiness and a floral hoppiness. Maybe a tad of citrus-y spiciness.

The smell does not belie the taste. A crisp and refreshing mouthfeel compliments a light, tempered malt taste that doesn't veer too far from your standard mass market Pilsener/lager. The hops, however, are more pronounced than the usual, which is welcomed. Hints of citrus spice, reminiscent of some hefeweizens, float in and out.

Even during the hottest of summer days, Summerfest, a "crisp summer lager," is a bit too light for my taste, and the flavors too unpronounced. However, this kind of inoffensiveness and neutrality is perfect for friends and visitors just looking for something pleasantly drinkable and refreshing.

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Photo of Groenebeor
3.13/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass

This beer is pretty clear,although hazy for a lager. Has a non existant head.

Smells of hop aroma and faint pale malt. Some yeast character.

Taste is lager like, yet very hopped, and not in the usual pilsner fashion. Very west coast. Just "ok."

Mouthfell is average.

Overall an average offering from SN.

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Photo of sevenarts
3.13/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A: Bright, clear yellow, well carbonated. Small white head with a little bit of clingy lacing.

S: Wheaty, bready malts with just a hint of fruity hops.

T/M: Bready malts dominate, with some mild spiciness and a bit of hop flavor, and a slightly bitter aftertaste. Very mild and straightforward. Mouthfeel is on the thin, watery side.

O: A pretty good pilsener, nothing special or amazing, but it's crisp and refreshing and good for a hot summer day.

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Photo of Kadonny
3.13/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 ounce bottle into a lager glass.

A: A light golden color with a one finger fluffy white head. Nice glass lacing.

S: Grainy, lemon, grass, sweet malt and floral hops.

T: Fresh fruits come first with lemon and a bit of banana coupled with some fresh cut grass, grains and a bready sweetness that keeps the floral hops in check. Finish ends a bit bitter with some dryness but the sweetness lingers too. It just seemed to be an average pils to me, and that won't cut it.

M: I was disappointed in the mouthfeel. It does not linger, its a bit light as the beer is quickly forgotten once swallowed.

D: Good, they are very easy to drink.

Overall I was a bit disappointed in this beer. I thought it just lacked any excitement or any remembering qualities. Is it drinkable? Sure, but it can't hold a candle to any PA pils nor even the new Noble Pils by SA. I see people rating this beer a 4 or better and I just don't get it, it's an average beer and a below average pils. PS, tap is a bit better.

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Photo of corby112
3.12/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From notes:

On draft at The Bishop's Collar. Pours a pale golden yellow that is completely clear with a thin white head that quickly settles into a thin lasting ring. No lacing at all and not very impressive looking at all.

Bland aroma with very faint earthy hops along with a pale malt presence. Hints of yeast, bread, pilsner malt, grass, stra and faint light fruit.

Fuller bodied than expected with a nice crisp hop bite up front that lingers throughout over the sweet malt body into a slightly dry, refreshing finish. Dry bitter hops up front countered by sweet pale malts and crisp light fruit notes, especially apple and pear. Slight bready yeast with faint grassy straw notes. Very quaffable especially in hot summer weather.

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Photo of ski271
3.12/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Light orange-gold with a small, white, foamy head that hangs around for a little while before diminishing to a thin film. Moderate speckled lacing.

Smell: Floral and herbal with a light soft-pretzel-like bread & yeast to it.

Taste: Malty, bready, floral, and a little musty. Lemon, grape and earth. The finish is short, crisp and dry

Mouthfeel: Medium body, dry texture, moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Refreshing but not very interesting. Nothing is really all that special here, which was a big disappointment coming from Sierra Nevada. Not bad, but not worth seeking out.

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Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
3.68 out of 5 based on 4,144 ratings.
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