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: 4,132
Photo of CampusCrew
2.7/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A poorly done SN job. I expected so much. it wasn;t awful but not up to their standards.

appearance: golden

smell: not much there. had a pilsner distinct aroma

taste: Like a classic pilsner but with a dirty macro aftertaste

mouthfeel: good carbonation and drinks thin

drinkability: there's better pilsners out there. worst SN beer in the lineup

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Photo of Dogbrick
2.7/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

I was really not too impressed with this one. Pours a rich golden color with a medium and fizzy off-white head. Very bubbly with thin lacing. Aroma is mild hops with a pinch of citrus. Light and crisp but ultimately uninspiring in the flavor department. It tasted about a 1/2 step better than the rest of the bland Lagers out there. The finish is decent but I honestly found my interest waning way before the end of the glass.

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Photo of obywan59
2.71/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Pours a pale transparent yellow with a decent 1 1/2 finger white head.

Smell seems a bit "off". Mine may be skunked.Some light grassiness and a popcorn aroma.

Taste doesn't suit me either. I like a bitter beer, but this is bad bitter. Harsh, overpowering, out of balance.

Decent mouthfeel. Rather light and a bit drying.

The drinkability suffers here. It reminds me of a bad macro.,

Judging from the good reviews, I'm pretty certain my Summerfest must have been skunked. The beer I taste here can't hold a candle to Pilsner Urquell.

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Photo of mjd83goblue
2.73/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle for $1.79. 2007 Edition.

A: Pours a pale straw yellow with about an inch of white head.

S: I usually don't like the smell of pilsners. I tend to think they smell skunked or like Eurocrap, in a corny/grassy way. This is no exception.

T: Disappointing. Overhopped that leaves an unpleasant bitterness. Finishes a little sour as well. Does have a nice little touch of sweetness to it.

M: A nice crispness, but also a little weak.

D: Would be okay on a hot day, but nothing special.

On the bottle it just says its a 'traditional lager'. Here its categorized as a pils. I think its a combo of the two, and not necessarily in a good way. I expect better from SN.

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Photo of UltramagnusX
2.74/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

It is a lot more consistent in taste than that of the bottle. You can definitely experience more of a full flavor, whereas the bottled version is a lot more mellow. I've had this beer on draft as well, and being that I am not a fan of lagers, I was also not a fan of this beer in any of its forms. I find that the taste is too bitter, as if licking a mahogany wood post. I just can't grasp the bitterness and wish that there was more to offer in terms of its flavor.

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Photo of aschwab
2.75/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Had it at the flying saucer in Austin for their fire sale.

Not the biggest fan, tasted like most pilsners, not much flavor in my mind. Pours clear in color, with not much head. The smell of it is not all that strong. It was carbonated about right for a pilsner, but did not impress.

If it was a warm day, and wanted something to quench my thirst, I can see grabbing one of these. Other than that, it doesnt seem to give off much flavor.

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Photo of jackndan
2.75/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Summerfest: a clear, golden lager. Thick head with nice lace. Light macro-lager aroma. Thin body, flat taste, little hop zest, lingering malty aftertaste. I am at a loss to understand this beer, it seems like a good macro-lager, but at its price, I’d give it a pass.

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Photo of JamesS
2.75/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured a nice fizzy, pale yellow beer with some nice initial head, but almost no lacing. Decent malty scent and decent malty taste, although I would have classified this as a macro lager, as there was very little hop presence and there was a bit of a skunky/adjunct flavor and aroma. It went down smooth, but this is by far my least favorite SN beer to date.

 358 characters

Photo of ptykozoon
2.75/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Pale yellow with thin but strong head.

Light banana, light wheat.

Dry hops, breadiness. Light bitterness.

Medium carbonation. Light mouthfeel.

Not an offensive beer but also fairly boring.

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Photo of Naes
2.76/5  rDev -25%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is a very clear straw colored beer with a decent white head and a good amount of visible carbonation.
The aroma is nothing special, as it just has a bit of malt to it.
The flavor is of toasted malt with slight amounts of hops near the finish. It is similar to a macro lager, but is less sweet.
Mouth feel is light in body with ample carbonation.

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Photo of Strix
2.77/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear golden with a fluffy head.

Smell is underwhelming, grainy like a bad macro.

Crisp with bready flavors and a pilsnery hop finish. Not much else going on for me. I'm not much of a fan of the style though, probably biases me downward.

Mouthfeel decent.

Not a huge pilsner fan, so this one doesn't excite me that much, and probably my least fav I've tried from SN.

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Photo of thisisshsas
2.78/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

A-Clean golden yellow coloring, a finger of foam. About what you would expect from a pilsener.
S- smell not very exident, not a good sign.
T- light crisp taste that shows a no bite.
M-light taste that becomes watery the longer it stays in your mouth. A very one dimensional taste.
D- goes down as light as any beer I've had in recent memory, the best characteristic of beer.

What more can I say, the beer is fairly tasteless, and I drink beer in park for taste. If I was at a bar and it was either this or macro lagers, I'd probably take the macro lager because the price doesn't add up to the taste. Very disappointing.

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Photo of Chuggs
2.8/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Overall an average beer. Poured nicely with a light, thin frosting that disappered rather rapidly. Aroma nice, althhough. I was overwhelmed with a bit of wheat. Taste was average, for some reason I was expecting a blonde ale. Good beer to go along with a fried seafood dish. Not a sesion beer. Stick with the pale ale. I am still searching for that perfect summer ale.

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Photo of jasonjlewis
2.8/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Nice head and retention.

Nice clean crisp smell. straight up pale malts and hops. Don't smell a whole lot of stuff going on.

All I can say is eh for the taste The tannins are a little out of whack. It's slightly clean with a decent hop finish, but there is a slight nastiness. This beer is just eh. Bleh. Who cares?

Mouthfeel is very average, and this beer is decent to drink as there isn't much to it, but I'll pass for better pilsners.

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Photo of misterscooter
2.8/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I was very let down by this on tap. I liked it much better out of the bottle. It smelled summery, for sure, with a bit of citrus and spice with a little wheat. The head was decent and a straw color in it. The hops were there but just a bit too bitter. The bite in my mouth made it not too enjoyable and I was ready for something else when I was done. A letdown for a Sierra Nevada brew.

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Photo of Haus
2.8/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours a straw yellow with a frothy white head. Head dissapates to almost nothing... not much lacing of the glass.

S - Light pale malt aromas mix with subtle, citrus notes and a touch of grassiness.

T - Lightly sweet pale malt mixes with some floral and citric hop qualities, leading into a fairly slick finish that leaves some a moderate aftertaste.

M - Light, clean and crisp with nice carbonation.

D - A sessionable brew that will definitely go well with summer weather. Thirst-quenching and light. Not terribly impressed with this lager especially for the price.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of Roman5150
2.81/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 1.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Bottle poured into tulip glass

Appearance: Piss yellow... typical light pils color, large white bubbly head

Smell: light bready yeast, water, some malt presence

Taste: A pretty tasty pilsener, but that's sort of an oxymoron. It's a great light beer, a classic czech pils, and that also means it doesn't have much flavor. But for the style, and in the right instance (hot summer day), this would be extra amazing.

Mouthfeel: Some carbonation, watery

Overall: A decent pils, but to be honest they all taste the same to me. If you want a great czech pilsener, nothing will beat a Staropramen, straight from Prague. I would buy one of those of this or any other light lager/pilsener anyday. With that said, this is a well balanced brew that I would drink after mowing the lawn.

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Photo of gonzogrover
2.82/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured into a standard pint glass. Bright yellow appearance with a subtle head that fades quickly. Slight hint of hops in the scent along with a barely noticeable spiciness. Tasted like a weak Czech Pilsener. Didn't have the hop profile I would expect from a beer of this style. Had a very light mouthfeel and was an easy drinker. I felt like I could drink several of these in one sitting and not get filled up.

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Photo of djbst73
2.82/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Labeled 2012 bottle from wegman's six pack poured into pint glass.

A= Clear straw color consistent with style. Half inch of bright white head.

S- Aroma reminiscent of macro-brewed lager, which is to say not much. I associate the smell with adjunct corn, but I doubt that is the case here.

T- Crisp and clean taste with little hop profile. Refreshing and light with a bit of sweetness that lingers afterward.

M- Thin, but not as thin as others of this type.

O- Not offensive, but with significantly less character than other craft summer seasonals. After trying other "summer beers" this is not particularly compelling. Probably the first SN beer I haven't been impressed with.

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Photo of jaluria
2.83/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured a semi-cloudy, yellow color with a soft head that dissipated quickly and left behind no lacing. Aromas of hops, grains, and yeast. The taste was a very mild with only a bit of hop bitterness and even less sweet malt. The carbonation added some texture, but otherwise there really was nothing special about this beer. Hardly any flavors came out and not much going on in the aftertaste. Overall, this was a below-average beer lacking flavor and texture.

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Photo of tpd975
2.83/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Picked up at Whole Foods Sarasota.

A: Pours a light golden hue with an average sized soapy head. Some rising bubbles noted but no lace.

S: Smell is of light crisp pale malt and lager yeast. Biscuit, bread and grains really come thru as well. A slight hint of light citrus hops are there as well.

T: I had this one on draft last year and did not like it due to a real metallic taste. Let's see if this years offering is any better. It starts of with a nice mild malt sweetness with hints of toasted malt. Some nice citrus comes come thru with a touch of bitterness. Just when I thought this one had really improved a strange metallic chemical flavor appears in the finish and really lingers.

M: Medium in body, crisp with a dry metallic finish.

D: Taste is a bit better than last year but still not one I recommend.

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Photo of Lepley
2.83/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Dark yellow in appearance, with mild carbonation, and very little head. Has a light grainy smell and is sweet to taste with a slight bitterness and citrus to it's aftertaste. A pretty watery and light beer. I would say it's very drinkable though not overly impressive.

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Photo of jampics2
2.83/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a tasting glass.

Looks OK, filtered as all get-out. Pale in color, a little head, but doesn't look like a knockout beer.

Smell is light Saaz hops providing earthiness. Malt doesn't make it, it's just that weak. Everything is bland and subdued. I thought Sierra was making beers with some personality, but this is the most vanilla thing I've had in a while.

My notes say "this beer = water, drink it to hydrate in between beers". I was just really not impressed with the flavors here. After having an excellent Czech Pils from none other than Gordon Biersch a few weeks ago, this is just too bland. Mild sweet malt, no real spicy bitterness or grassy qualities from the hops. Just plain Jane vanilla.

Mouthfeel was nice, best mouthfeel I've had for a glass of water. And, sure drinkability was good. After all, we're like 60-70% made up of this stuff.

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Photo of Briken
2.84/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Clear golden with big white foamy head and a nice bubbly body. Crisp pilsener aroma. Spicy hop character with crisp pilsner malt and a somewhat unpleasant bitter linger. Good sharp carbonation leads to crisp refreshing finish.

A decent summer pilsener, I really enjoyed the spicy hop character but the bittering was a little too tannic for me. Easy drinking to be sure and it sure looked like simmer in a glass.

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Photo of denver10
2.84/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Pours an effervescent dark yellow, bubbles continually rising to the surface, with a thumbs width white head that sticks around for just a little while. Got the earthy, hay-like lager aroma with just a touch of sweetness from the malt. Interesting flavor to this, very drinkable. A nice dose of malty sweetness that has me thinking of the sugar from fruit, some hay, and little cereal. A creamy, active and crisp mouthfeel. Overall, alright beer but not one I need to drink again.

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Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
3.68 out of 5 based on 4,132 ratings.
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