Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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1,573 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: 1,573 | Ratings: 4,118
Photo of Dmann
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is a great warm weather brew from Sierra Nevada. If you are kicking back on a hot summer day, this is definantly a great choice. It poured a clear golden color with a nice white head that lasted awhile, leaving a decent lace down till the end. The malty characteristics really stood out in the smell, with some grassy and hoppy smells as well. The taste was a great summer balance between malt and hops, with the malt being the dominant flavor. As the beer warms a bit, the hops come through a bit more, and it tasted more balanced. All in all a great summer brew.

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Photo of WCBCFrank
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sierra's Summerfest Lager pours a crisp, golden straw-yellow that leads to a nice cloud, off-white head. Good carbonation and nice notes of floral, herbal hops. Refreshing and delightfully each sip - classic pilsner taste of grains, grassy, and floral notes.

For the novice: Leave the Miller Lite and Stella; buy this and impress your friends.

Personally: I really love this stuff, one of the best pilsners made in the US.

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Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is the summer beer to end all summer beers. Bottom fermented, consumed on a wonderfully beautiful Cape Cod afternoon. This beer seems to be a bit more edgy than other summer, has the lemon zest but is also a little bitter, with a Pils undertone. This is an amazing example of this style.

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Photo of EagleTalon
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of my favorite domestic lagers. Pours to a generous white head and clear golden color. Aroma is very hoppy--like smelling hops freshly added to the brewpot. Malty sweetness is apparent in the aroma. Flavor is dry, pleasantly bitter/hoppy and good malt backup. Finishes dry and refreshing. A fine beer that deserves year-round production.

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Photo of Tdizzle
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Purchased at BevMo! Orange. Bottled on March 14th, 2008. Consumed on April 2nd, 2008.

A- Poured into an imperial pint glass, this beer pours a clear gold color with a moderate bubbly head that quickly settles to a thin layer, leaving sparce lacing on the glass.

S- Crisp hops with lots of grain and fresh cut grass.

T- A mild hop bite is quickly overtaken by that same grainy malt character that the aroma posseses. A bit grassy and lemony on the finish, which is very clean, leaving almost no lingering flavors on the palate. Very light and refreshing.

M- A medium-bodied feel with lively carbonation.

D- Exceptional. I can't wait until summer to really appreciate how drinkable and sessionable this beer is on a hot day in July. This is the quintessential lawnmower beer, in my opinion.

A very refreshing and drinkable lager. This beer is a staple in the my fridge over the summer months; I just wish Sierra Nevada had waited a little closer to summer to release it. Highly recommended.

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Photo of cdrogers
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is and would be a very good session beer. At 5% ABV it's not overwhelming and I could recommend it to anyone, even those that can't seem to crack away from the large-scale brewers. It's got a nice hay color, maybe a little more golden, and had a pretty good head poured from the 12 oz bottle around 40-45 degrees. To me it had a citrus aroma, more like a red grapefruit. First drink was slightly bitter, but overall very smooth. As I stated in the beginning the drinkability of this beer is exceptional and I would highly recommend it to anyone wanting a good session brew.

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Photo of KnoxBrew1
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Very clear golden color with nice carbonation. Finger and a half white head that falls quickly, good lacing

S- Grassy and mild, scent of sweet malt and citrus, lemon being most prominent

T- Grassy lemon with good carbonation, very crisp lemony hops makes way to semi-sweet malt, but comes back through at the end...earthy hops and yeasty. A tad more malt to balance out the lemon and this beer would be the perfect pilsner

M- very drinkable, refreshing, light, and crisp

O- An extremely good summer beer, perfect for a hot summer day. Great beer for BBQs and another great beer from SN!

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Photo of righlander
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a straw yellow with a nice head that dissipates in to a thin lace from a 12oz bottle to a pint glass.
Smells nice, light malt with a subtle yet present hop.
Taste is good. Very refreshing for the summer. goes nice and easy on a hot Florida night. A very flavor filled lager. nice easy malt show with a very well balanced hopped finish. Extremely crisp and clean. Perfect for summer.
Mouth feel is excellent. nicely carbonated with a mildly, yet dry hop finish.
Drinkability is insane. you can pound these all night.
I'm glad I bought A six pack!

Notes: A very drinkable crisp clean brew. Lighter bodied with A lot of personality. Excellent summer beer. Blows away Czech beers in my opinion.
Perfect hot weather brew.

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Photo of swizzlenuts
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a pale yellow/straw colour with a great big fluffy white heat. Lots of carbonation. Looks great. The nose on the beer is grainy/bready with a spiciness from the saaz hops; it smells great. The beer has a spiciness from the saaz and a nice grainy/bready flavour to come through. The beer is quite bitter and spicy. I love it. The only thing from keeping this from a 5 on the taste is that it's not a completely clean lager. The mouthfeel is aqueous, thin and watery, but in a great way. This beer is incredibly drinkable.

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Photo of uwmgdman
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This summer lager pours a clear golden color topped by a thcik bright-white head that holds well and leaves a bit of lace. The aroma is both hoppy and malty, spicy and citrusy hops with some cracker like malts, very nice. The flavor is much the nose, soft, bready malt balanced by moderate hop bitterness and moderate spicy hop flavor. The beer finishes nicely balanced and just dry enough to make you want more immediately. The carbonation is moderate and body medium. Overall a very well crafted, one of the best summer offerings IMO.

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Photo of Lauthaha
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a dinner glass.

Appearance: Beer is a pure, light golden color with gentle carbonation visible. The head is a thin-yet-frothy pristine white color and it leaves erratic lacing on the edges of the glass as it recedes. Maintains at about 1/3 finger.

Smell: Spicy, floral hop flavor reminiscent of grapefruit/lemon and some gentle fusel alcohol flavor to the nose.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Beer has a soft oiliness as it enters the mouth, and some subtle carbonation reveals an intriguing malt profile (which borders on sweet). A little heavier than light-bodied. In the end, however, the hops definitely have the final say here, being very floral. Aftertaste is very good, mellow.

Overall: Not the best beer on earth, but a truly remarkable example of a Czech Pils. Sierra Nevada continues their tradition of tasty brews.

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle, 2007 edition, served in a pint glass.

A - clear yellow/gold color with a nice 2 finger head that thinned out after a while, even though little bubbles kept rising from the bottom of the glass, good glass lacing.

S - bitter, saaz hop aroma.

T - tangy tasting brew, hop bite is good classic example of a pilsner brewed right.

M - light bodied, good continuous carbonation, refreshingly smooth beer.

D - a good summer beer, at the beach, at the park, or in your own backyard, good tasting and highly drinkable.

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Photo of bbeerman
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was very pleasantly surprised by this terrific summer brew from Sierra Nevada; not because this company produces bad beer (they don't), but I was expecting something much like Bud Light, or any of another hundred "light" or "summer" beers.

The label advertises it as "Crisp Summer Beer." This is one of the few times in life something is advertised as it is, because this beer is crisp (mouthfeel and taste were very good), and definitely intended as a summertime session beer. You can have several (at 5%) and not feel completely hindered; it is quite easy to drink and tastes great. I really enjoyed having a few of these in the morning after I had just mowed my lawn. Really hit the spot on a warm and humid day.

I look forward to this beer again in the coming years. Excellent find.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is a bright clear gold color with a nice white head. There is a nice hop aroma accompanied by a slight lemon aroma and some floral grassy notes. There is a sharp carbonation which gives a sense of acidity up front. Nice and clean tasting with a hop bite finish. This lager has a very clean bitterness from the hops. There is a nice amount of body, but it is still quite quenching. This clean beer is a vehicle for the hop aroma and bitterness that the brewers have seen fit to add.

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Photo of Star80
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A -2012 bottling. Pours out a golden yellow color with white fizzy head.

S - Smell is grassy, herbal and malty. Spot on for the style.

T - Taste is somewhat dry, but with a nice slightly spicey kick from the Czech hops. Crisp, but a slight malty sweetness coming through.

M - Mouthfeel is a bit prickly and carbonated but still very drinkable.

O - Overall a refreshing beer for those summer days when you want to have some good brews but not overdo it. These would pair well with your typical BBQ fare, chicken, ribs, etc. To me this is what the macro's would brew if they actually cared. Or better yet, what most American's would want from their beers if *THEY* actually cared and the Pilsener style really was the beer of choice. Maybe in 100 years everybody will be drinking pale ales or something.

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Photo of grittybrews
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a pale gold into a Duvel tulip (how casual and summery, right?) with around a finger of loose white head that receded to a thin film.

Light grainy aroma with just a touch of lemon. Moderate carbonation and a nice light mouthfeel. Very smooth, crisp flavor with a further hint of lemon and a slightly sweet caramel malt profile. Very tasty, easy-drinking summer pilsner.

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Photo of Natural510
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a classic golden-lager color with immense head which retains in the glass.
Smells of fresh yeast & hops, with a zing of lemon.
Again, very fresh-tasting, I must've gotten this early. Yeast & barley strike first, with a stronger hop kick than most pilsners. Bread, cirtus and a light grassiness make out the flavors apparent.
No lingering effects in the mouth other than the hops, but the carbonation remains strong throughout.
Overall an extremely drinkable summer beer, one of the best I've had. Doesn't need to overdo itself to shine.
It's refreshing to see a West Coast brewery (other than Trumer) attack the classic pilsner style and do it well. This is also one of the more balanced beers put out by Sierra Nevada.

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Photo of RoamingGnome
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out of a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass

A) inviting pale yellow with 1/2 inch of head that disappeared pretty quickly, trace amount of lacing.

S) light malt, grainy, wee bit of hops on the nose.

T) Nice refreshing pilsner. Good picnic beer. The taste was like the smell, but better.

M) Crisp, refreshing, light on the palate, adequate carbonation. I think they hit the mark here.

O) I could see myself enjoying this one on the patio all summer.

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Photo of thespaceman
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz stubby bottle into a Sierra Nevada pint glass:

Appearance: Pours a beautiful light gold in color, nice thick rocky head, very dense, excellent retention, good lacing as well.

Smell: Grassy like hop elements emerge beautifully, a huge boquet of citrus merges nicely with a small amount of malt spice. A bit of orange creeps in the backdrop.

Taste: Very pilsner like in the front, small bits of hoppiness are here, a bit of orange again from the aroma, slick & buttery, some earth like maltiness is small and subtle, very crisp and refreshing. The finish consists of a small amount of alcohol bite which is very enjoyable. End notes carry on from the aroma with a touch of toast from the malt and some earth like flavoring.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation isn't too big on this beer, which helps out the overall mouthfeel, again it's slick in some spots, but holds up nicely on the tongue. Light bodied and leaves a nice crispness on the palete.

Drinkability: Summer beers can be hard to like, everybody loves a bigger beer but when it's 90 degrees and sunny you need something to quench your thirst and at the same time keep your interest. This beer does it. SN provides all the drinkable characterisitcs to make this a go-to summer beer for the craft beer drinker or the BMC head. I can see lounging on the shore with a few of these or even cracking one open after a long day of work in the sun. Very drinkable and refreshing. Well done!

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Photo of dgilks
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear pale golden colour with a thick, fluffy, rocky white head. Good head retention.

Light pilsner malt aroma with a touch of spicy hops. Classic pilsner.

Crisp, light pilsner malt with a sharp bitter edge. Very nice, crisp bitterness with a touch of spicy noble hop character. A very good pilsner.

Light body with moderately-high carbonation. Crisp, refreshing and appropriate for the style.

An excellent lager with plenty of crisp, refreshing bitterness and a nice malt-hop balance. Very good.

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Photo of mynie
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I'd poured this right after I had had an Iron City and the difference between the two is great that I feel the entire city of Pittsburgh owes me an apology.

Dark gold with a slight haze and a fantastic head.

Big odor of wonderful, deep bread malt mixed with very lights hints of fruit.

Bitter malt taste upfront, nice, and it moves into a sweet malt in the middle and ends with chewy bread dough. Hops are present only in the aftertaste--just bitter enough to keep this lager as easy-drinkin' as can be.

Sierra Nevada can do no wrong. This is as perfect an example of a Euro Pilsner as I can imagine.

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Photo of yuenglings
4.21/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Has a very foamy head that stays around untill ya finish the beer and it leaves some good laceing. The color is a very clear light golden yellow.

S: Thers is a strong sweet grainy/grassy smell up front with some lemon or citrus in the back ground.

T: Slightly sweet grassyness up front with some sour ness at the end.

M: Good and smooth with a good lightness to it. Good carbonation , it leaves your mouth slightly dry but still a thirst quencher.

D: This is a very drinkable summer beer with a good taste that i would buy agian and i could see me taking this out on the golf course for sure.

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Photo of SunDevilBeer
4.22/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I have been a big fan of this beer ever since it switched to a lager.

Nicely balanced and oh so drinkable. SN's experience with being masters of hops is evident, as this beer is crisp without the hops getting out of hand (looking at you, Prima Pils!)

Frankly I can't get enough of this beer in the summer time and is my go-to summer quencher.

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Photo of nortmand
4.22/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours lightly amber with a gew wisps of foam, not alot of retention there, though.
Smells very sweet and citrusy, with a very slight, faint background skunkiness.
Immediate sweetness is quickly followed by a floral hop flavor. There is a lingering alcohol presence on the back of the tongue.
Subdued carbonation makes for a nice summery lager. This is followed up by a sticky sweetness on the tongue.
Very tasty and light, a combination that lends itself to drinkability.

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Photo of Squelch
4.22/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Slight haze. White head. Golden colored. Good looking beer

Smell: Malty. slight noble hop aroma.

Taste: Tastes like it came from Czech. excellent noble hop and malt flavor. clean and fresh tasting

Mouthfeel: Tingly from the carbs. Medium to Medium light bodied.

Drinkability: Please mass produce this beer! Great break from my usual big beer sessions.

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Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
3.68 out of 5 based on 4,118 ratings.
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