Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

1,576 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: 1,576 | Ratings: 4,136
Photo of RollingRocker
4.35/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is the first time I've tried this beer and i must say that i am enjoying this beer quite a bit. Not only does it taste awesome it also goes down smooth clean and is very refreshing, especially after a hot days work (like right now).

Pours a golden color which you can see right through with a giant head that needed several minutes to settle, plus a good bit of lacing.

Smells slightly sweet with some hoppy undertones.

Tastes very crisp and clean with an excellent balance between the hops and the sweetness of the malt. Hop flavors linger for a little bit.

Mouthfeel is very nice just the right amount of carbonation.

Very drinkable beer, noticed that one glass leads to another and they go quick. DELICIOUS!

Solid Sierra Nevada of my favorite brewers.


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Photo of KoG
4.34/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I wasn't impressed the first time I had this in the comforts of my own home. Today however, it was in the 90's and I was walking around, so it hit the spot.

Golden color with a small head, no real lacing.

Smell is light hops and some malt. Not offensive, but not inviting either.

Taste was clean and crisp, but still somewhat musty and dry.

Went down clean and hit the spot in the heat, but not something I would buy again.

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Photo of cracgor
4.34/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This is a great little lager though I think it's a bit over priced. It is a golden straw typical lager, but it is much more aromatic. It has a full flavored nice pine needle like hop kind of characteristic of the brewery. This is a great beer that is widely available. Not quite the level of victory or anchor steam, but it is worth a try and good in its own right.

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Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.34/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2007 edition

Pours a bright golden color with off white half inch head

Very pleasant and vivid malt aroma with some hint of hops sweet malt smell

The smell translates directly into the taste leaving a nice malty finish in your tounge nice balanced hopiness with the malt. Initial malt sweetness followed by clean crisp CO2 bubbles that are not to overwhelming

Mouthfeel is extremely refreshing.

Very good beer to have with pepper jack cheese

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Photo of lester619
4.33/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a bubbly clear golden yellow. Thin white head with clingy lace. Smell is very clean and dry. Grassy, a little bit of lemon. Not a huge nose. Very clean and crisp. Sharp carbonation. Fantastic tasting pilsener. Perfect amount of refreshing bitterness. Finishes ultra clean with no aftertaste what so ever. I could literally drink gallons of this stuff regardless of the weather. This is a great summer beer, but I don't think they should limit it to a seasonal. Just call it Sierra Nevada Pilsener and make it every day. In my opinion SN is the best brewery in the country. They are great at every thing they do regardless of the style. Great beer.

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Photo of lilmissbeer
4.33/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I was really happy to discover this one, sad that it's only a seasonal but I suppose when it gets colder out I'll go back to stouts and heavier lagers... Overall, this is a great summer beer. To me it has that standard 'beer' taste, maybe to some that's a bad thing but for me, this is exactly what I look for in a warm-weather session beer. At 5.0 abv I can drink quite a few of these without feeling wasted, and sometimes that's the goal! I'm not sure what the exact word would be but this is a very 'plain' tasting beer in the best possible way. Will probably appeal to both craft aficianados and Anheuser Bush loyals. I definitely recommend this one as a summer session lager. Possibly the only downside is somewhat steep price given the ABV.

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Photo of stirgy
4.33/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured out a pale golden yellow color with a decent amount of carbonation. The white head quickly dissipated. The pleasing aroma is strong on grains with a citrus hop tang. The taste is very dry and has little aftertaste, even after the beer warmed up. Hop aroma and bitterness is there but does not overwhelm. A very light and drinkable beer. I would like to have more of this.

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Photo of roadhouse
4.33/5  rDev +17.7%
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 bradleyrehmus
4.33/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, packaged about 6 weeks ago.

A- Golden and translucent with almost 2 fingers of head, decent retention for the style and a little bit of lacing.

S- Very light and very characteristically pilsner. A little bit of bread or biscuit, very slightly floral and a hint of sweetness reminiscent of apple.

T- This is the taste I am hoping for any time I open a pilsner. After avoiding almost all lagers due to years of awful adjunct/macro experiences, my faith in the style is restored. This is an excellent combination of quality malts and (mostly) noble hops well-suited for a pilsner.

M-This beer is so light and crisp yet still retains excellent flavor. This is quite carbonated so if you're averse to such, you might want to look elsewhere.

D- This is exactly what I want in a pilsner and I could enjoy this in the sun all day. It goes down so easily and pairs excellently with so many foods that it would be great any time of year.

Given that my craft beer palette was shaped by the Pacific Northwest, I'm always going to favor aggressive hops (and most of Sierra Nevada's offerings fit the bill) but when I am in the mood for a Czech Pilsner, this will probably be my first choice. I wouldn't mind at all if they offered this year around and would certainly enjoy getting it once in a while throughout the year.

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Photo of NorthbayStout
4.33/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I'm not usually a huge advocate of light summer beers, but for a lager I found this was a very interesting beer. More depth than most lagers I've drank, and surprisingly sweet for a Sierra Nevada. My customers find it equally delightful. I formidable lager!

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Photo of breadwinner
4.32/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Snappy, crisp sort of pils, aptly named indeed. Has a satisfying pils malt backdrop, to be sure, but really I take note of the hops in this one. Really tremendous nose for a pils, full of Saaz goodness. As so many lagers/pils on BA, sadly underrated.

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Photo of singletary
4.32/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

It has a nice golden color with a malt smell. The taste is good with a bit of bitterness but not very strong. This is a very nice offering from Sierra Nevada.

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Photo of kgotcher
4.32/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours nice straw color with a good fizzy white head that goes away quickly but leaves a thin coating on top of the beer and just a couple of lacings.

Aroma is nice and malty for a pilsner with a distinctive saaz hoppyness.

Taste is very impressive with a good body and maltyness and a nice clean but hoppy finish. Just a bit of dryness at the end with very little aftertaste.

Pilsners are hard to review due to the lightness of them but this one stands out with a nice malty flavor and good hoppyness. I love Czech pilsners and this one rates up there with the best.
This is an awesome lawnmower beer for the summer.

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Photo of Soneast
4.32/5  rDev +17.4%
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 Farewell_Transmission
4.32/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 bottle.

a- nice head, very light white colored beer. Head fades quickly.

s- smells as if you are in a garden. Very fitting for the style of beer.

t- strong hops flavor very up front in it's flavor.

m- what you would expect from a czech pilsener.

o- this is a very fine beer for a weekend afternoon, preferable with 90+ degrees temperatures.

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Photo of 01121987
4.31/5  rDev +17.1%
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 jcance
4.31/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Overall a tasty pilsner. Very light, good to drink with food or in the early afternoon.nice carbonation and no offensive flavors. If you can get Nooner, though, I suggest you get it instead

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Photo of RoyalT
4.3/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – Light yellow with a monster head that laced the glass quite nicely.

Smell – Typical hop aroma with a tinge of sweetness.

Taste – Americans seem to have great difficulty in producing the German pilsner style of ale, but this one nails it. The clean, slightly bitter, refreshing flavor of the neutral hops is lightly complimented by a touch of sweetness. The beer is dry and refreshing, which is just right for the summer.

Mouthfeel – Some nice carbonation and the traditional dryness make this one a stand out.

Drinkability – This went down just like it is supposed to: clean, crisp, and refreshing.

Comments – I have to part with the (current) 3.62 rating of by BA Buds (on average). This offering from SN nailed the style, IMO.

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Photo of Rastacouere
4.3/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bright clear golden hue is covered by an unfortunately very evanescent white head. Floral saaz nose with plenty of toasted malt flavors. If you thought that was enough, have a sip because they come with a vengeance, even bigger, toastier, loafy than before. Floral/minty fresh hops build up a fine aftertaste. Delicate and refreshing. Crisp bodied. Very satisfying.

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Photo of ExMachina1
4.3/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First off, this AIN'T a Czech Pils. Sierra Nevada doesn't claim that it is--they call it a European Light Lager--and it's really not anywhere close to the Czech style either...the color's too light, the IBUs too low and the overall presence too fleeting. That said this is a GRrrrrEAT Euro lager, a beer worth having on hand year round!

Pours a nice straw-gold with a puffy white head that fades at a moderate rate.

Aroma is of subdued, fresh hops with a little sulfur coming through. Body is round and refreshing with a modest bitterness and a light malty graininess. I noted faint phenol and sulfur but perfectly acceptable for the style. Finish is dry and the overall impression is crisp and refreshing. Really really nice. Eminently drinkable.

This is an underrated beer and an underrated style.

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Photo of bubseymour
4.3/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice crisp Pils look, with pale clear yellow and 2 finger head. The head has large carbonated bubbles however and the head disappeared quickly.

Smell - smells like a crips noble hopped Pils. Straw and bready qualities with slight lemon scent.

Taste - Again, this tastes like a pilsner to me. A very good one as well. Crisp but not bitter. Refreshing. Well balanced and some lager/malty notes to balance the crips hop as well.

Mouthfeel is good but a little fizzy.

Overall - this is one of my favorite czech pilsners to date. For pilsner lovers, I highly recommend this one.

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Photo of RichieS2
4.3/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle poured into a 15 oz Czech Pils glass.

T - Good for the style, straw yellow color and easily transparent. There was little head and quite a bit of carbonation.

S - Plenty of sweetness from malt and not much hops that I could detect.

T - Great; the scent was a perfect foreshadow; the brew had a satisfying sweetness that led to a slight spiciness when the hops came into play. The beer finished clean.

M - Thin to be sure, but that is the style. It felt good in my mouth and going down.

D - Excellent, I could drink this all summer long.

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Photo of thebrood1987
4.3/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A very nice and delicate spicy nose with hints of grassy and floral hops I also get that European Pilsner grainy smell. Taste is so refreshing with that spicy hop in the beginning and a nice tangy bitterness to go along with that bready almost wheat like pilsner malt. The best thing about this is the mouthfeel in my opinion. Its been lagered for a while and you can tell. It almost gives off that creamy Samuel Adams Boston Lager type body which I think a lot of Pilsners are missing. This long lagering period that they speak of is really the highlight of this beer when compared to the other amazing Pilsners like Noble Pils and Prima Pils. This is one of my favorite summer beers of all time. So crisp refreshing and such a nice herbal bitterness for a low IBU. Top notch beer from Sierra Nevada.

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Photo of Clydesdale
4.3/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a bright, clean golden color with some active carbonation. The ivory head is tall, very dense, and frothy, with very good retention. Lacing is fairly nice as well.

S: Fresh herbal hop aromas are most noticeable. A slightly lemony citrus smell is also detectable. Sweetish, mildly doughy malts are also present. Simple, clean, and appealing.

T: A significantly sweet, slightly doughy pale malt backbone makes its presence known. As the nose suggested, assertively herbal and slightly lemony hops provide a nice flavor, with mild bitterness. Light notes of spice.

M: A medium-firm body, with a dry, refreshing crispness. Carbonation is moderate.

D: No bones about it - this is a very tasty summer lager. As I've come to expect from SN, a finely-tuned and refreshing brew that should have wide appeal across the board.

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Photo of micromaniac129
4.3/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours with big white head that fades to a nice straw color. A pretty good amount of carbonation is in there too. Clear
citrusy hops are very present with some spicy notes at the end of a good swill.
A good well rounded beer with some bit.
good for a hot summer day if you need a good thrist quencher.
First rate in it's style.
Drink well my friend.

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Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
3.68 out of 5 based on 4,136 ratings.
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