Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

1,581 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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,581 | Ratings: 4,146
Photo of udubdawg
2.84/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

pours yellow color - a little darker than straw here. White head starts to fizz away shortly thereafter but slows and eventually leaves surprisingly good lace. Good looking brew.

Aroma is pretty light, definite light Saaz spicy note. No real malt noted here to my surprise. No diacetyl or DMS noted. Hmm...

Flavor is again a bit underwhelming while once again being devoid of a measurable flaw. Sweet pale malt comes out a bit more here (still light) and hops significantly less. that a sort of toast? Vienna at least, perhaps even Munich? Didn't expect that. Very slight astringency along with medium high carb on the body which is on the light side of medium.

Noting special but a decent offering. Other than the Saaz this doesn't seem at all a Bohemian Pilsner to my palate.

 789 characters

Photo of froghop
2.85/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

summerfest 2009.

pour is a clear yellow with a medium white head, and some lacing.

smell is faint, slight grain, some straw, and a little citrus.

taste is crisp, smooth, grain, some malt, a little corn, and some citrus.

overall better than most pilsners.

 258 characters

Photo of BradBLR
2.86/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This beer poured a very light blonde color with a white head that lasted almost the whole beer with a failry good amount of lacing. The smell was very light with just a hint of a light malt.

The taste was very crisp malty flavor with a hint a lemon. The mouthfeel was fair, with the C02 being a little too strong and the beer being very thin.

All in all a fair beer, not my favorite from Sierra Nevada. But as for it being a Pilsner not bad.

 447 characters

Photo of carsonplunkett
2.86/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

After browsing the beer aisle at Kroger for about 15 minutes, I eventually decided on this.

A: pours a light yellow color with an inch of white, quickly dissipating head.

S: Smells like an average macro to me...nothing special here.

T: Pretty bland. Honestly to me it tastes like an average light beer with a slight hint of lemon.

M: Lightly carbonated and easy on the mouth.

D: Really the only great thing about this beer is the drinkability. I could slam these all night without a problem.

Overall I was pretty disappointed with this beer... id much rather grab the SNPA.

 580 characters

Photo of Gatch
2.86/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Typical fizzy, yellow color, with a pretty nice fluffy white head. For the style, I guess it looks as it should.

S - Not much in the nose. A little fruit and some malt. Smells like a Miller Lite/Bud Light.

T - It's best when it's cold. I think this has a fairly high score because it's Sierra Nevada. If it were part of a blind taste test, in my opinion, it would be hard to separate this from any Macro Lager/Pilsener.

M - An unpleasant taste lingers on the back of the tongue. There's a subtle sweetness and a bit more flavor than a Macro Lager.

I haven't drank too many Czech Pilsners, but it seems to be a good example. I couldn't help but think this was an interpretation of an American adjunct lager. Then again, I'm not a huge fan of Pilseners and don't have much experience with the Czech style.

 811 characters

Photo of scottyk04
2.86/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- golden yellow, very clear, with minimal head

S- slight hops, slight real strong smell in my opinion

T- I found this beer to have more flavor as it warms up a little..if you are trying this beer for the first time, don't drink it ice cold! Just like the smell, it has a very slight hops taste, very slight citrus taste, and the warmer it seems to have a hint of spice taste.

D- goes down very smooth, definitely a good summertime beer. However, there are definitely MUCH better summertime beers. (I.E. Southern Tier's Hop Sun).

I enjoy most SN beers, but this beer is average all around. Probably would not but another 6 pack, even though it was only $6.99.

 674 characters

Photo of AndyAvalanche
2.87/5  rDev -22%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a glass. Had a very pale yellow color with a white head that fades pretty quickly. Some lacing, kind of sticky. Smell of some slight hops, not very strong. Had some after tastes of wheat, maybe some hay. Taste was very mediocre at best. Some wheat to it with a slight hop finish, again not a strong flavor. Mouthfeel was pretty decent, had a nice crisp feel to it, finishes a little dry at the end. A pretty drinkable beer, quite refreshing overall, despite the lack of flavor. If you know somebody who is trying to get into more quality breweries and can't seem to find any they like, this may be worth a shot. I really wouldn't go out of my way to ever try it again though.

 687 characters

Photo of biggmike
2.87/5  rDev -22%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a clear golden color with a white head that didnt last too long. Light hoppy aroma that is a bit citrusy. Kind of disappointing for a Sierra Nevada beer. My brother made the remark that this would have been better as an ale. Taste was ok with a bit of hop character and fruitiness, but something just wasnt quite right. Decent, but thats about it.

 354 characters

Photo of kojevergas
2.88/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a Uinta pilsner glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are average.

Served refrigerator cold and allowed to warm somewhat over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a one finger beige colour head of slight cream, okay thickness, and average retention. Clear yellow colour. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Clean malts, bland hops, and some barley. A very boring and bland aroma. Average strength. Not particularly appealing.

T: Clean malts lend it body. Background floral hops give it a little character, but not enough to save it from its simplicity. There's very little going on here. No yeast or alcohol notes are present. There's some malty sweetness on the climax. The finish is bland, but at least it's a change of pace from the body - some crystal malt is all that really comes through. Bland and boring all around.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Thick enough. Acceptable carbonation.

Dr: Drinkable and enjoyable, but mundane. I'm pretty underwhelmed - but hey, it's Sierra Nevada. I wouldn't get this again, but it's a decent little pilsener. Probably best on draught.


 1,286 characters

Photo of changeup45
2.88/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

My first reaction to this was that it tasted like a Lager. Then I realized that they made it like that. Bright golden color topped with a medium foam head that fades away quite quickly. Aroma was a little malty with some lemon. I noticed the citrus a little more in the taste along with a malty, grassy flavor. I don't really see what makes this so good for the summer but it was a decent beer.

 394 characters

Photo of TempeBeerMan
2.88/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a pilsner glass.

A – Straw yellow and crystal clear. One-finger head of perfectly white bubbles the consistency of sea foam.

S – Faint grainy aroma of wheat, lemon rind, and lager yeast.

T – Taste follows the nose; wheat grain husk, yeast, cracker-like malt, and a slightly spicy hop finish. “Light” is the operative word here, with all the flavors dialed down to “mild”.

M – Light bodied, with carbonation bordering on fizzy. Finishes crisp.

O – Just too light, grainy, and watery for my tastes, although admittedly I may just not be the biggest fan of this style. At least you can taste the quality of the ingredients used; this is what BMC wishes it could taste like.

 720 characters

Photo of stephens101
2.88/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A one-finger off-white head sits atop this almost clear golden brew. Smells of very light lager/skunk up front, but nothing to fret about. Some grass, subtle malts and hops, and distant sweetness also come forth. Tastes crisp and a bit bitter. Very light bodied and drinkable, but not overly interesting. Carbonation is fairly active. Not much else to say.

 356 characters

Photo of Arbitrator
2.88/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Chilled 12oz bottle into a glass.

A: Pours a sparkling golden color with 1.5 inches of off-white head that quickly vanishes completely, leaving no trace of lacing.

S: Some biscuit, a light floral hop, and pilsner malt. Really lacking in the aroma department.

T: Pilsner malt, crackers. Some light floral hop and biscuit follow. It's a pretty clean flavor.

M: Light-bodied, with low carbonation. The label promises crispness. The beer most definitely isn't. A weak presence and not particularly refreshing as a result.

D: I think I'll get something else for a summer brew.

 581 characters

Photo of VinylHanger
2.89/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I've been lurking here for a few months now and my enjoyment of beer has grown by leaps and bounds. I figured it was time to try a review.

I picked this one up at a Safeway, small selection, but decent variety. The label looked good, It is summer, so what the heck. The first thing I noticed was the screw top, most of the beers I've had lately were crimped, needing an opener. Not important, but just caught my attention.

It poured a bit like machine oil, a bit floppish, rather than exciting and energetic. A very small head about half an inch high which died immediately. Not a good sign, maybe a slightly dusty glass, I'll give it the benefit of the doubt here. Color was basically light golden, a step above bodywater, a small step. First whiff was not too overwhelming, it had a bit of a vomit tinge to it, so I let it sit a bit and watched the bubbles flow up, small but excited. I tried another smell. Cherry cordials is the closest I can come up with, very pleasant smell, sweet and smooth. It saved itself on the second go around.

As for taste, it has a mouthfeel that is a bit thick and goes down the throat with a bit of a slither, not my cuppa tea. The taste really is a small step above a nonlight macro, too much fizz and no real taste to get excited about. Though, I can say, that it may be a good way to get your macro lovin' friends to step out of the darkness and move a bit towards the light. I may try it again, with the sweet smell, there has to be some nice tastes in there, but I sure didn't find them this go around.

I will add a disclaimer, I am new at this, though I know what I like, and my first beer experiences were at the age of 18 while stationed in W. Germany. So my tastes tend to run that direction, and since I am learning the technical aspects of this hobby, I really don't know my malts from my hops yet. So take this review for what it's worth. This beer is basically a smaller brewers version of a macro, which I guess as a lager, that makes sense.

 2,018 characters

Photo of Hobbz
2.9/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Well, not sure about this one; not what I would produce as a summer beer myself, but then again I am not in charge here. I will have to sample this one again at a later date to reconfirm how it tasted to me on this one, as it fell on me taste quite harshly. Draft beer poured golden-light with puddles of thin foam, esp. around the edges of the glass. Somewhat fragrant smell of hops. Taste was quite tart and hoppy, but I would have liked this one better with balancing malt profile. I never had this beer before but am familiar with their pale ale and use of hops, so I was rather expecting a fair amount, but overall the taste did not hit me right (this time). My non-affection for this one surprised me: I love their other beers I have tried.

 746 characters

Photo of PeatReek
2.9/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a golden straw color with a thin, bone-white head. Smells cool and floral, with a slight metallic twinge. Actually very flowery, the more I smell it. First sip is very crisp, dryly malty; floral hops make a huge appearance here, too, with a prominent bitterness. Body is rather thin, and the alcohol kind of shines through, surprisingly. The taste kind of reminds me of a so-so champagne, honestly - floral and bitey in that way. I'm not sure how "Czech style" this pilsner really is, and I probably won't seek it out when I'm in the mood for that kind of beer.

 567 characters

Photo of SamN
2.9/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Ridiculously clear and light. Indistinguishable from a Corona Light. Decent head, fluffy and light, slight rockiness on top and with great retention. Lively carbonation streams.

S- Musty! Like dust, literally. Smells like the back of an old computer store. Doesn't even smell like a liquid, it smells dry! I've never encountered such a smell before. After the initial shock wears of, I can find apricots and other light fruit esters from the hops. Very faint maltyness in there providing a dab of sugary sweetness. But wow, it still smells like old dust to me. Weird.

T- Slightly tangy hops and malt balance, fades to macro-like metallic hops twang, slightly bitter finish. Mostly a mustier pilsner, nothing too terribly exciting here. Easy flavor, no overwhelming tastes in either direction. Meh, what can I say? Kind of boring.

M- Light body, fair carbonation and more than decent smoothness of pulls. The best part of this beer, by far.

D- No real reason I would drink this beer again. Boring and faceless with a weird mustiness to it. Not the biggest hit with me, but I wouldn't complain if it was at a BBQ. Can go down without noticing it's lesser qualities.

 1,170 characters

Photo of Pleepleus
2.9/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle to a pilsner glass, a clear yellow with a white bubbly head and moderate lacing. Smelled like corn, lawn clippings and lemons. Tasted bland with a trace of lemons. Not much flavor in this one at all. Goes down easy with light body and crisp nothingness. I could drink a bunch of these but there are lots of better choices out there.

 351 characters

Photo of July2Nov
2.9/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

2008 edition

Appearance: Nice golden hue with an inch of head that quickly dissipates.

Smell: Sweet

Taste & Mouthfeel: Mellow and crisp with a citrus kick. Hops seems to come out a bit more than the malt. Has a strong and full dry finish.

Drinkability: For a summer lager, it seems to be a bit too full-bodied. Not quite sure if I would drink a bunch of these during the summer months. Not great, but not too bad either.

 427 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
2.91/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a clear golden color lager with a medium creamy white head with great retention. Aroma of medium sweet floral malt is quite enjoyable. Taste is very refreshing with a nice dose of sweet malt with some crisp floral hops. Body is a bit too thin to make this truly special but still very enjoyable.

 310 characters

Photo of urwithdave
2.91/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Figured I'd give it a shot on a hot muggy night. Poured into a standard pint glass.

A- pours a yellow golden color. A small white head that disappears as fast as it showed up.

A- some grain or hay smell. Maybe some corn.

T- have to admit that I'm fairly dissapointed. Not getting much other than grain. There is a bit of spice from the hops but they are almost nonexistent.

M- on the thinner side of thin.

D- It drinks like water. I guess if I wanted to drink a very light craft brew I would think about grabbin one. There are just so many others that I would go for before this. Honestly, I don't see myself revisiting this one. With all the good reviews that this beer has I guess it's possible that I just got a bad batch. Maybe I will pick up another bottle next time I hit up a shop where I can buy a single.

 822 characters

Photo of Anthony1
2.92/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear, golden yellow, fluffy white head, some retention & lace. Acidic, soapy/floral hops. Slightly sweet, slight soapy/floral hop flavour. Needs some more bready maltyness and bitterness. It's just too light for a Pils. Light to moderate body, moderate carbonation. Approachable & quite quaffable, but it doesn't bring me back for more.

 337 characters

Photo of rking
2.94/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Color was a nice gold, the smell was not very impressive and the taste was not what i was expecting from Sierra Nevada. When i took the first smell and taste of Summerfest it reminded me more of my freshmen year and going to busch light kegs, easy to drink but not an impressive tase. The after taste that is left is a bit bitter for the flavor that the beer does have. Like i said not really what i was expecting coming from Sierra Nevada which i tend to enjoy most of their other beers.

 488 characters

Photo of Roderick
2.95/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

It poured light gold with a very thin white head,
The smell was very light with of hops and a hint of citrus.
Taste was a little sweet with a hint of lemon. It went down smooth but had a bit of an aftertaste.
It was ok but I'm not sure I would purchase it again .
Paid $.99 for 1 bottle at the Liquor Barn Hurstbourne

 321 characters

Photo of earthboundagain
2.95/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I normally loathe doing these types of reviews, but I think it is appropriate. The 2010 SN Summerfest to me tastes like a watered down version of their SNPA. I must say this is my least favorite SN Beer to date.

A- Light yellow, no head to speak of.

S- Not getting much, but weak hops

T- SummerFest= SNPA + Water

M- water, water, and water

D- This is not hard to drink, but is too watery for me.

SN has yet to let me down as a brewery, i will try another batch of this, just incase I got a pack of duds.

 510 characters

Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
3.68 out of 5 based on 4,146 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.