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 mentor
4.15/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle provided by wezil as part of HBIF3. Thanks for the opportunity! Pours a three finger off-white sticky head over a crystal clear brilliant golden liquid. Smells Saaz and tettnanger hoppy with pils malt and a touch of gingersnap cookie. Overall, this beer smells freshly hopped and perky.

Tastes hoppy floral with minimal dark tettnanger qualities. Nice honey sweetness could be malt or hallertauer hops. Lemony with a touch of gingerbread. Sweet and sticky while in the mouth. Biscuit (and maybe vienna) malt is late and the aftertaste is a touch tin-like...but mostly wiped clean by the strong carbonation. Mouthfeel is md-light and the beer leaves quickly due to the carbonation. Leaves a touch of sour and I get some heartburn by the bottom of the glass. Nicely done summer beer. Light and refreshing. Quite hoppy. I never would have purchased this one myself as I would have expected it to be a wheat beer. But it turned out to be a hop-bomb of a german-ish summer quencher. This is a beer that I recommend. Review scores are to style, not personal preferences.

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Photo of JohnQVegas
4.15/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into Sam Adams sensory glass.

Pours crystal clear yellow, with a one-finger creamy white head, settling down to a soapy cap fairly quickly. Tons of effervescence coming up from the nucleation points on the bottom of the glass. Lots of nice lacing.

Nose is light - kiss of barely-there sweet pilsner malt with just a bit of grassy hops sitting on top.

Taste kicks it up a notch. Dry, grassy hops take center stage, with just enough pale malt sweetness to balance the big hop presence. Finish is firmly bitter, dry, grassy, prickly, crisp. No off flavors at all, very well-put together beer. Excellent.

Mouthfeel is crisp, light-bodied, dry, snappy carbonation with a bite that's just a bit coarse.

Drinkability is stellar. Perfectly balanced, no real flaws at all, just a great example. Top notch.

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Photo of objectivemonkey
4.16/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a bright but pale gold, crystal clear with lots of bubblies and a solid whitish head with nice stringy chunks of lacing. The Saaz aroma hops come out and shake your hand, some nice citrus and grainy malts in there. The taste is refreshing as can be, with crispy clean herbal and citrus hop giving it a good start with a backbone of slightly sweet malts. The body is a just-right medium, good carbonation, its a thoroughly drinkable beer, an excellent session buddy to pair with a beautiful summer day. I'm not sure this reminds me of 'Vienna lager', its more like SNPA's kid brother.

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Photo of bahumutx
4.16/5  rDev +13%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from a 12 oz bottle into a pilsner glass.

Appearance: Pours an absolutely clear golden yellow with a nice fluffy white head.

Smell: Malts, slight spices and hops.

Taste: Starts with a slight spicy flavor that moves to a toasted malt and then hops. Finishes with a bready flavor. Very simple yet delicious.

Mouthfeel: Smooth Mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Very drinkable. What a great summer beer. This would be great on a hot summer’s days.

Another good beer from the folks at Sierra Nevada.

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Photo of Winter
4.16/5  rDev +13%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My opinion of this beer has changed so much that I felt it necessary to re-review it. (see old notes below).

Pours a clear light golden in color with a bleach white, long lasting head. The aroma seemed "skunky" at first, but once it was poured into a glass and given a chance to breathe it took on a nice bready aroma. Saaz hops were present in the nose, along with some herbal, grassy qualities and a touch of spiciness. The Mouthfeel is medium with a pleasant carbonation. The taste has a light, bready maltiness to it. Midway there's a touch of bitterness from the hops to help add character and balance to the maltiness. Saaz hops linger long into the finish.

This was definitely a refreshing and tasty czech lager. It's an example of a craft beer that you could introduce to anyone and they would most likely enjoy it.

Reviewed on: 09-08-2004 01:28:39

Serving type: bottle

Appearance: 3.0
Smell: 2.5
Taste: 2.0
Mouthfeel: 3.0
Drinkability: 2.0

Clear golden in color. Aroma is somewhat hoppy. Nothing in particular stands out. Mouthfeel is thin and crisp. Very dry, saltine cracker-like in taste initially. The hop bitterness is the main focus of the flavor here. Hoppy, crisp and bland describes Sierra Nevada's Summerfest. This beer lacks character. This is a summer offering not worth you time. It's not quenching or refreshing IMO.

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Photo of Grindelvasdrum
4.16/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle poured into glass stein.
A-Clear gold with one finger white head, excellent lacing.
S- Mild malt & mild hop.
T- A big spicy peppery hop flavor but not really that bitter mind you, just distinctively hop, balanced by a mildly sweet malt.
M-Big carbonation, light body, very clean & crisp, slight astringency.
O- Great summer beer! What else did I expect from Sierra Nevada?

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Photo of teejay76
4.17/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Light gold pour with decent head.

Smell - Malt and hops. Vague honey and citrus.

Taste - Mellow hops bitterness with slight hint of citrus.

Mouthfeel - Highly delicious and refreshing. Great aftertaste.

Drinkability - Love this beer. I'll buy more and then look forward to next summer's seasonal brew.

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Photo of blackie
4.17/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A 12oz. from the 2005 bottling. Pours a light golden color with a short lived thin head, which is refreshed when swirled. Smell is clean with nice aromatic hop crispness, Saaz maybe. Also doughy/grainy odors, and a touch of light herbals. Mouthfeel is also clean and crisp, with average carbonation. Taste is, again, clean and crisp. Nice tasty, grassy hop bite, with a bitter finish containing a slight grainy sweetness. A good summer beer fit for the woods or the backyard, and one that I will purchase again.

Better head this year, or I didn't know how to pour back then. Bumping the smell up a couple notches to 4.5, though I still agree with my earlier description. Carbonation right between medium and high. I also decided to change the mouthfeel from 4.0 to 4.5. Good balance everywhere, clean and crisp.

Still a nice pils. Considered lowering everything to a 4.0, but resisted.

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Photo of Jerone
4.17/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Golden straw in color with lots of tiny and big bubbles, white soapy head that has okay retention, not much lacing.

S - Floral hops with some pale malt sweetness, some grassiness as well.

T - All about the hops, spicy and floral hops hit you and there is a touch of sweetness from malts. Finish is slightly bitter and spicy, lingers in your mouth for a while.

M - Light and refreshing, moderate carbonation.

O - A solid beer, I would put it just slightly under SA noble pils, but I look forward to a sixer of this every year.

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Photo of CaptainAnderson
4.17/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Light, clear golden with a fizzy white head that doesn't linger.

Smell: Grainy malts mixed with spicy aromatic hops. Not a whole lot of skunk for a pilsner.

Taste: The first thing I noticed was the (not too) crisp, sweet malts followed by a (not too) herbal, lemony tang. In true Sierra Nevada style, enduring (not too) bitter hops finish off the pleasant experience.

Mouthfeel: High carbonation, but still light and easy. Perfect after a hot summer's day. The colder the better.

This is definitely my favorite summer session beer, and for good reason. It's not likely to wow or amaze, but you'd be hard-pressed to beat it in quality and drinkability.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.17/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out with a big pillowy head, making some craters as it bubbles down to a half-finger head. Standard pilsener yellow.

Grainy, slightly lemon aroma with light spiciness. Smells like a pilsener ought.

I've had a few pilseners this summer, my first real attempts to learn and basically just identify the style. This is a very good attempt at combining the Sierra Nevada hop hallmark and still keep it recognizable as a pils. A grainy, light malt start moves briskly to a pleasant hop finish. Not overkill at all, but you know Sierra had to throw those hops in there. Good solid character, a little too balanced to the hop side, but I believe it to be intentionally so. Toasty yet hopped aftertaste. Perhaps my favorite pils so far. Bonus points given for balancing the style with their penchant for distinctive hoppage.

Great carbonation level, enhances the appeal as a summer choice. Clean enough, plenty of flavor to keep it from tasting watery yet still be thirst quenching.

Great session beer, probably better suited for relaxing after the participatory event, not during. Solid beer, to be enjoyed in multiple bottle quantities.

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Photo of tgbljb
4.17/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Upon its release from the bottle it entered the glass a s a clear golden beverage with an abundant white head that left nice lingering bits on the side of the glass as it fell. Aroma is slightly sweet with a bit of malt detected. Flavor is malty with some lemon detected and has a nice dryness as the flavor matures in the mouth. Finished very light and refreshing with the dryness lingering. A very nice drinking beer. Wasn't exactly what I was expecting but very enjoyable.

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Photo of twage04
4.17/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a clear pale gold, medium carbonation. Aroma is of pilsner malt and continental hops, taste is of the same. A lot of malt flavors come through. Overall an easy drinking czech pilsner,

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Photo of beerdrinker4life
4.17/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer looked refreshing on the label. Hate to be vain here but its 100 degrees out! :-)

Ok it looks good going in to my glass as well! Real pure gold color and absolute snow white pure head. Nice!

Smells nice. Fresh grass aroma and some floral spice.

Taste is real real nice! Super clean lighter in body with perfect kiss from the hops in the end. Talk about fresh!

Great mouthfeel in the end and overall this is one fine quencher!

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Photo of setexascustoms
4.17/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle into a SA Perfect Pint

A- Clear golden yellow, not much head on a gentle pour. A lot of carbonation rising, and a little lacing sticks.

S- Clean, floral hops. A little light citrus, very pleasant.

T- Again, clean and floral with a slight spiciness from the hops. Light and refreshing, with a slightly bitter balance and a clean finish.

M- Coats the mouth well, lighter body, carbonation is just right.

O- I know what would be my first choice on a hot Summer's day, definitely could enjoy a few of these.

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Photo of LittleDon
4.17/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Crystal clear and light yellow with plenty of carbonation and a small white head. Pleasant malt aroma with a hint of hops. Light mouthfeel with a somewhat bitter middle and finish. An excellent very drinkable beer when you have to live through a Texas summer that has already been too long.

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Photo of mcarroll10177
4.18/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured from a bottle into a imperial pint glass

A- pale yellow with big white head that sticks for a bit

S- decent hint of hops, but not a lot of nose to this beer

T- a very crisp and clean taste no real bitterness or after taste present.

M- thin which is particular to the style

D- this is an excellent summer beer. Very clean and very refreshing. An easy drinker on a hot summer day.

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Photo of RockyTopHeel
4.18/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Perfectly golden with a thin white head with staying power and a nice bit of lace. Soft, nice aroma of hops (saaz?) and a crisp, clean, refreshing finish.

Truly a great pilsner, one of the best American versions I've had. Perhaps the perfect summer beer?

At very least, it's in the discussion. Consummately refreshing, and the perfect follow up to a round of golf.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.18/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager has a very thick, egg shell-colored head, and a hazy, yellow appearance with lots of bubbles and fine particulate matter floating about. The aroma is faint, but some slight breadiness is picked up. Taste is, at first, white bread, but hops explode in the mouth at the mid sip. It’s hard to distinguish the various hop varieties here, but the smooth bitterness is delicious. Mouthfeel is light, and Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager finishes crisp, refreshing, and semi-dry. I really liked it. RJT

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Photo of sfsean28
4.18/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a golden yellow colored brew into a tall pilsener glass and left a foamy white head and nice sticky lacing to the glass.
Not a strong smell, only slight aromas of bread

Taste was mostly bready, grainy and some malt.Has a nice clean dry finish which I enjoy very much. Carbonation seems to be just right. I think its well balanced, its not heavy and not light.

This is good tasting beer. I think this is what a regular beer should taste like.Hot summer day beer and a good session beer.

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Photo of neenerzig
4.18/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got a single 12 oz bottle of this recently. Poured out of a 12 oz bottle into one of my bugs, this beer pours a pours a light to medium clear golden color with a thick white head well over an inch when poured. Eventually settles to a very nice thick surface coating. Excellent lacing here. Aromas of malt and hops are present, the hops being quite nice. Not much else smell wise. The taste is pretty much the same, fairly sweet malt along with a nice citrus hop flavor on the back end. Not complex at all but damn good! Has a crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. Very clean finish. A great summer brew! Very drinkable indeed.


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Photo of jokelahoma
4.18/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a can, because cans are awesome.

Pours a lovely clear golden color. Decent head, too.

Aroma is bready, like fresh from the oven bready, coupled with a nice dose of hoppy goodness. There's really not much more to say. That's a great thing, since this is a pils, which should be clean, crisp, and simple, not some overly complex work of evil brewing genius that takes hours to decipher. Very nicely done with just the simple malt and hops in the nose.

Flavor mirrors that beautiful simplicity. It's clean barley malt, with a good charge of hops to give it a kick. Not super bitter, but more so than a standard American adjunct lager, by far. The hops are slightly flowery, a bit earthy, and mix perfectly well with the malt to create a great clean flavor.

Mouthfeel is lightish, and again, what more can you ask? It works for the style

This is a nice pilsner. Refreshing, no overwhelming or out of balance in any way. Still enough oomph to stand out from the BMCs, yet light enough to fit in perfectly well at a barbecue or poolside (hooray, cans!). I've a feeling I'll be drinking plenty of this all summer when not enjoying home brew.

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Photo of Gajo74
4.18/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a clear golden color, spritzy carbonation visible, frothy white lace retains well.
Lemony and bready in the nose. Sweet on the tongue. Lightly toasted malts. Lemony and with a kiss of spicy hops for balance. Crisp in the mout. Light bodied but with enough fullness in character to make it interesting.
Overall, tasty and delicious! Refreshing and perfect for a summer day. Pleasantly surprised, yet, not really considering it's Sierra Nevada after all.

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Photo of becktone
4.18/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Summerfest is a sight for sore eyes when properly decanted into a glass. The staw gold color of this beer is accented by the clarity of this beer. It is crystal clear, can't get any clearer than this. The head is two fingers in width, and is pure white. The craggy appearance of the foam only adds to the presentation of this beer. Head retention is fairly good (starts to disperse once drinking commences), and ohh boy does it have lacing, some of the best lacing I've ever seen (maybe second to Duvel?).

Moving down the face from the eyes to the nose, I notice that this beer has a spicy floral aroma. I also detected some of the skunk character that is appropriate for this style, as it is associated with the Sazz hops. Smells great, just as a pilsner should, and better than Carlsberg (Ibelieve thats the only other pils that I've had). It would be nice if the nose were a bit stronger overall, perhaps my nose has already adjusted to the aroma of this beer.

To the tongue! This beer is clean, refreshing and rounded. Hop character is assertive, its right up front. The spicy and somewhat floral tones of the hops are nicely balanced by the sweet malt that becomes apparent in the aftertaste. A interesting characteristic about this lager is that as it warms up it gets better. Different interesting flavors start to emerge as the temperature of the beer gradually rises. I think that the malt becomes a bit more pronounced.

In the mouth this beer flaunts its light-medium mouthfeel. Tiny and delicate carbonation dances on the tongue as it sits in the mouth, the level of carbonation is low, as to not interfere with the taste of the beer, just a spritz on the tongue. Better than average mouthfeel, but nothing outstanding. Each time I pulled one of these bottles out of the six pack I have thoroughly enjoyed it. This is a beer that I will definitely buy again. I can't say that this is my Pilsner, because I haven't had that many, I will definitely try some more before I come back to this one. It's too bad that it is only available during the summer, but then again its realease is something to look forward to.

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Photo of Running4beer
4.18/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a pale golden/orangish type color with a medium white head that vanishes completely. Aroma is that of citrus and grassy hops some malt but not that noticeable. I enjoyed this summer brew, citrus hops and sweet malt taste a slight lemon flavor also. Had a little bit of carbonation giving it a slight crisp mouthfeel, but it was rather smooth. Very good, easily drinkable definetly a beer to enjoy while outdoors relaxing by a pool or at the beach.

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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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