Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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1,572 Reviews
Sierra Nevada Summerfest LagerSierra Nevada Summerfest Lager

Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

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: 1,572 | Ratings: 4,111
Photo of lic217
4.35/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Look: Light yellow, head hangs for a short time, not much lacing
Smell: Lager yeast, floral, and bready
Taste same as above, starts sweet ends dry
Feel: A bit thin even for this style
Overall: very drinkable solid beer

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Photo of BloodSoakedAleMug
4.14/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Slightly underrated in my opinion, just because it's a "fizzy yellow beer". Some of the reviewers here don't seem to understand the style of Czech Pilsener. At least the Bros are on point.

This is like an american macro lager, only done right, and with none of the BS adjuncts.

Pours a crystal clear pale yellow with a three finger head that fizzles away revealing moderate lacing.

The aroma is very tame but inviting nonetheless. Clean, grassy hops amongst a backdrop of sweet crystal malt and a mild green apple smell. Nothing fancy, but good for a pils.

At first sip a sour apple flavor hits you but only for a second. That quickly turns into a dry floral hop bite. The slight bitterness of the hops meld with the cracker like savoriness of the light malt to provide a sweet and crisp finish.

Sort of a cotton candy aftertaste...

This is a very clean tasting and approachable beer for new people who are not quite ready for ales, porters and stouts.

Regardless of that however, this is a beer that will satisfy even a craft beer geek's taste. That is to say as long as their tastebuds aren't "too sophisticated" for the style.

I really liked this one, I'll definitely buy it again if I was in a pinch for craft beer, but there are a few other lawnmower craft options I'd prefer over this.

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Photo of Wiffler27
3.82/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

pours gold with a solid head. a nice pils.

smell is plain. nothing great but nothing bad, a good thing for a Pils.

taste is crisp with noble hop bitterness. not bad but not the best pilsner either. good price, would only buy this again if in cans.

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Photo of Squire123
4.14/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Light yellow with bright white cap and fine lacing.

Aroma: Rich malt and floral hops, very pleasant perfume. Rich malt without being strong or cloying, hint of sweetness with an overall impression of freshness.

Taste: Malt forward with hops singing the high notes. Rich without being heavy, complex without being complicated, malt with a touch of sweetness and hops with a touch of spice. Very clean finish with malt and hops skipping hand in hand all the way. No hint of bitterness in the finish, just a nice, pleasant fading away.

Texture: Full enough, rich enough, balance hits it right on the mark.

Overall: Very pleasing beer suitable for anytime of the year. Just wish I could get it in cans

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Photo of GilsonPNWBL
4.27/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

My 12 oz bottle was created on 3/28/16 - Standard pub glass

Look - Nice golden color with a good looking white head after pouring that stays through about half of the beer.

Smell - Sweet and aromatic. Not too much to get excited about here. Nice light honey smells and sweet yeast smells.

Taste - Great for a pilsner with awesome flavors of hops and crisp golden finish. Sweet malt is the prevalent flavor in this beer. Very smooth and easy to drink with a light bitterness.

Feel - Refreshing on a hot day, one of my go to summer beers. Love the effervescence on the back of the palette. Easy to drink and the feel is really awesome.

Overall - One of my favorite beers for the summer. Nice hops but easy to drink. Go to when the sun is out in Seattle. Which it isn't today, but i'm still drinking it!

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Photo of Dravin
3.96/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Duvel tulip. bottled on date of 3/22/16.

Look -- Pours with two fingers of head atop a crystal clear straw body.

Smell -- Biscuity malt and grass noble hops with some hints of floralness and spiciness from the hops coming through here and there.

Taste -- As the nose but joined with a nice bracing bitterness that lingers briefly and a hint of grain sweetness from the malt. A very faint mineral character makes itself known here.

Feel -- Crisp and refreshing due to a light body and active carbonation which keep it light on the palate. It's dry but not amazingly so and certainly not compared to some German Pils like Jever. All in all the mouthfeel is spot on.

Overall -- A delightful Czech Pils. I prefer it to Nooner and I'm greatly appreciative that the diacetyl that can manifest itself in the style isn't present.

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Photo of Wer34truh
3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful clear golden color, with moderate visible carbonation, and a very lively looking cloudy head. Quite heavy lacing, consisting of a multitude small bubbles. Looks great.

Smells of sweet malt, floral notes, and some subtle hops.

Taste is full of quite noticeable hops, with a metallic and floral aftertaste. There is also some subtle corn and general sweetness towards the taste end of this. Mouthfeel is light and crisp, with optimal, yet quite modest carbonation for the style.

This is an excellent example of the style. Picked up a 6-pack for $8 before tax. Poured into a tonic pint glass.

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Photo of RobertDBrase
3.79/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

2016 Summerfest pours a clear gold with streaming bubbles and a soapy looking white head. Lots of lacing down the glass.

Smell is white bread, biscuits and some hops hiding in there as well. Something just a bit towards that skunk smell.

Taste is like a clean lager with no adjuncts. Just a hint of hops here. That slight, ever so slight skunk is in the taste. Is this something that is used to make Czech style pilsners?

Mouth feel is fairly light with a nice crisp finish. Very easy drinking!

Overall I still question if that is some European ingredient that is used that causes that faint skunk smell and taste. This is a dark bottle that was in a sealed dark cardboard box. The beer was not adversely effected by sunlight at any time before I drank it. That complaint aside this is a very easy drinking and refreshing beer.

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Photo of Lagerlivesmatter
3.96/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very good. A bit too subdued as a Czech pilsner, could almost pass for a Helles Lager but a bit too hoppy for that. Had the same gripe with the Nooner Pils. Nevertheless a very good lager and I prefer it to the Nooner. A straightfoward , quality, easy drinking Pilsner.

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Photo of Stevedore
4.04/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, 2016 seasonal release. Served into a Willi-Becher glass.

Pours a clear dark yellow body, one finger white head, effervescent and appropriate in retention, looks clean and refreshing. Thin film and collar. Smells of bread, lemon, grain, grassy and floral noble hops. Very clean and strong overall aroma. Flavour is grassy, bread, a bit of floral notes, touch of lemon, cereal grain. Wonderfully easy to drink, medium body, crisp and refreshing as befitting the name. An above average Czech pilsner that meets the description of 'crisp lager' to a T.

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Photo of MACrist
4.03/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

For the style.
APPEARANCE: Poured into a pilsner glass. A good finger of foamy white head that settles down to a thin layer on top. The beer is light, clear, and golden with lots of medium bubbles rising. Good lacing down the glass.
AROMA: Very mild and pleasant. Picking up the hops. That fresh cut grass. Bready malts.
TASTE: Get a nice bite from the hops up front and then the sweetness of the malt, and finally a nice bitterness takes over and builds.
FEEL: Soft. Plenty of carbonation but not too much. Fairly dry all the way through the chug.
OVERALL: A very nice, enjoyable lager. The flavors seem pretty straight forward and I really like that lingering bitterness on the finish.

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Photo of Libeertarian
3.48/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Clear yellow, metallic gold to neon depending on lighting. Delicate insubstantial white head. Aromas of bread, crackers, honey or light caramel, and light lemon. Biscuity malt predominates, aided and balanced with light lemon tartness on the palate, with lemon seed bitterness from start to finish where bubbles form, and very light pepper on the breath. Lighter medium-bodied Pilsener, packed with softer suds, perfectly crisp and clean.

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Photo of JPVanderbilt
4.67/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This is what you always wanted back in the day when you'd pick up a Budweiser or Miller, but wished they had more flavor. Taste like a light German or Czech-style pilsner, crisp, refreshing with a nice level of carbonation, finishes cleanly. This is territory that American craft brewers need to explore and develop.

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Photo of mothmanscott
3.99/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a deep straw producing a huge, frothy, moderately lasting, white head that recedes into a medium cap of foam leaving a scattering of streaky, webby lace. Aroma is cracker & biscuit, acidic lemon, honey, grass, grain & spice. Taste is biscuit, cracker & grain, pilsner yeast, honey, lemony, grass & herbal hops with a clean & lasting bitter finish & aftertaste. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate-high carbonation , slippery, smooth & crisp, tongue coating light peppery prickle.

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Photo of jngrizzaffi
3.45/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear golden color with a finger width foamy head. Head retention is decent. Lacing is actually very good. Has a grainy, corn-like aroma. Definite hay. Malty flavor with some hay and strong corn grains at the end. Somewhat of an astringent aftertaste. Very little in the way of hops. Light to medium bodied with high carbonation. It is not quite as fresh as some lagers I have had but is a decent beer. Nothing special.

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Photo of herrniemand
3.82/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The pale lager style doesn't deserve to be ignored or dismissed just because Anheuser-Busch and others make such terrible imitations. Surely the final frontier for craft brewers in America is to try to reclaim this style from the rice-water pushers and make the kind of beer that wouldn't be out of place in a Bavarian beer garden, and this is a worthy effort in my opinion. It pours and looks like a German or Czech pilsner, but the taste is noticeably hoppier, though obviously much less hoppy than Sierra Nevada's usual offerings. I like that, because it keeps it from tasting like anything you can buy in the import section, but it's still light and easy to drink like a pale lager should be. It should go great with food (the best feature of the style, imo), and it's a nice change of pace for those of us who usually drink anything but this style due to poor options.

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Photo of kitch
3.33/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

A 12 fl oz bottle with a packaged date of 17th March 2015 and poured into a Duvel tulip glass.

Appearance: The beer poured a nice clear golden colour with a light one finger white head that dissipated fairly quickly but left some nice stringy lacing.

Aroma: On the light side, but its of sweet-ish corn, grassy with hints of mineral notes.

Taste: Like the aroma, taste is a little on the light side, but its mainly of sweet malt, honey and corn.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, light bodied with medium carbonation.

Overall: Its definitely crisp and quite nice to drink. Wouldn’t mind a bottle on a hot summer day.

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Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
3.31/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pale yellow body, perfect clarity, fluid, good carbonation. Frothy white head recedes to a thin haze on top. Smells of corn and wet grain. The lightly spiced hops do little to spruce up the same adjunct malt flavor, although the bready finish is pleasant. Aggressive carbonation.
As sure as I am that this is a great representation of the style, I am equally unsure why this is an extant style. Dirty malt, unpleasantly sharp carbonation, virtually nothing (IMO, of course) redeeming about this beer. I'm not sure I could distinguish it from a lineup of macros.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.73/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From 08/21/15 notes. 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Super easy to drink, clean and crisp. Bready malts, grains, light fruits and light floral notes. Overall a decent summer beer, good for some summer day drinking.

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Photo of taters21
3.81/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a golden/straw color with a 2.5 finger head that leaves nice lacing in the glass.
Smells of grain, corn, and bitter hops
Herbal hops roll over the tongue, quickly followed by a corn and bready light sweetness, leaving a dry bitterness in the mouth.
Mouthfeel is dry for a lager, with medium carbonation, overall light.
Overall I give this a 4, pretty good for a lager, not your average grain bomb with a water mouthfeel, the hops are present in this one, would buy again.

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Photo of SometimesIfart
3/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sierra Nevada Summer fest.

A Sierra Nevada lager..? Guess we shall see how this one turns out eh.

Look - Pours a murky shade of yellow with a small head that disappears as quickly as it comes and only leaves a slight amount of cloud formation. Carbonation appears to be pretty low. 3.

Smell - Alright maybe I'm just not getting the joke here. It smells like a cleaner version of insert generic adjunct lager name here but there isn't anything else. 3.

Taste - Well it is certainly a clean beer. Bit of creamed cornyness with a very apparent and dominant grassyness and the finish is a touch bitter to my surprise. But overall it isn't much different than a typical lager. Rather boring actually. 3.

Feel - Body is fuller than expected with an extremely high dose of carbonation. No creamyness and feel predominantly watery. 3

Overall - With Sierra Nevada I at least expected some hop presence but I guess they couldn't pull it off. This would go over fine with an average beer drinker but from these guys I expected more. Would I have it again? Meh I guess, but a Budweiser product could do the same thing for less money. Where is the spicy hop presence the label promises? 3.

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Photo of Pocker
3.57/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Big head 3 fingers or so. Stayed for about 10 minutes. Not very much smell to it which isn't always a bad thing. Color was a nice piss color--drinkable piss at that. Felt good hitting tongue and going down was nice and crisp like stated on bottle. Taste was a little above average. No bitterness or sweetness but had a nice easy to drink hoppy flavor. Not over filling almost could pass as light beer.

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Photo of raiderob
3.52/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a 12 oz into pint glass. Minimal amount of head that quickly fades away with zero lacing.clear golden color.crisp bitterness that is quite refreshing. Prost❗

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Photo of SensorySupernova
4.41/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Clear golden color with a white head.

Smell: Bright hops - grape, spicy.

Taste: Mild bitterness up front, but very well balanced by a slightly sweet malt backbone. Seem somehow peppery towards the end. Finishes very clean.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, thin, and well carbonated.

Overall: I’m usually not a fan of lagers, as I get bored of them halfway through. Summerfest is a definite exception. This beer very flavorful but still light and refreshing in the heat.

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Photo of mfnmbvp
3.58/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, bottled on 05/11/2015 printed on the back label. A new one to me from Sierra Nevada, this one their Czech-style lager. 'Crisp lager'. 5.00% abv.

Poured into a Duvel tulip glass.

A - Pours a crisp golden body with a finger of frothy white head. Appears actively carbonated with some light sediment.

S - A crisp, wheaty, bready, grassy aroma. Light and fresh. Subtle notes of lemon zest, grass, wheat, corn, & hay.

T - Taste follows the nose: wheaty, grainy, husky. Traditional bready malts.

M - Crisp & clean. Grainy on the finish. Slightly dry. Light-bodied and easy-drinking. Sessionable.

Overall, a traditional Czech-style lager. Bright, crisp, & clean.

Sierra Nevada Summerfest ------3.5/5

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Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 1,572 ratings.
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