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Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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1,575 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: 1,575 | Ratings: 4,122
Photo of FatSean
4.23/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Just another great beer from Sierra Nevada. A Chech Pilsner in a sea of ales :)

A quality take on the style, although I found the malt flavors a bit harsh in the finish. Absolutely drinkable, I'm glad I can get them in the 12-pack at a slightly better price.

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Photo of ajr24
3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured aggressively AND appropriately into my Sierra Nevada pint glass.

A- Pours golden and hazy, but upon settling it is clarity galore. Light from anywhere penetrates this bright, golden body. An all white head slithers down the glass leaving no lacing.
S- Smells like Czech hops- spicy and grassy primarily. Slight malt sweetness follows.
T- Surprisingly complex! A very light and transitional malt profile... The Munich malt is actually noticeable- not ALL Pilsner malt taste. The Saaz hops are delicious.
M- The mouthfeel is alive and very refreshing.
D- This beer drinks astonishingly quick!

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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.

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Photo of FuzzyGuy84
4.63/5  rDev +25.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Clear, golden color with a big fluffy white head. Excellent lacing and consistant carbonation.

S - Fruity hops come through easily. Balanced is the key word here.

T - Like a transformer, there's more than meets the eye here. What seems clean and simple at first reveals an underlying complexity as you drink more and more. Clean beginning and a pointed hop finish with a range of subtle tastes throughout. I love this beer.

Mf/D - Complex and drinkable? Holy cow.

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Photo of CMG-PSU
3.69/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Great Czech Pilsner. Not sure what all the hubbub is about drinking this outside and only being fit for a hot day... i love this beer and i would drink all day, 365 days a year!

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Photo of singletary
4.32/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

It has a nice golden color with a malt smell. The taste is good with a bit of bitterness but not very strong. This is a very nice offering from Sierra Nevada.

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Photo of GolgiIPAratus
2.4/5  rDev -34.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Sampled: 4.13.05

Medium pour produces a dense, one & a half inch head that fades at no speed above abnormal, and fades at no speed below abnormal. The liquid is transparent, offering a clear view of my fingers on the other side of the glass through a golden filter. Lacing is average, nothing special.

The smell is malty caramel, which is strange for a summer time offering. Tangy tidbits twist in the nostrils as well. Nothing here whetting my desire to get into this beer.

The first taste is dominated by that Sierra Nevada Pale Ale flavor. A caramelized malt whip pushes those overwhelming hops aside, however. A light, light bitterness peeks through upon the swallow. I'm not impressed with this flavor. Not sure why this is their version of a "summer" beer. It's just too thick. The mouth is creamy and lightly carbonated.

Drinkability depends on how much you actually enjoy the beer (obviously) . I didn't enjoy the flavor, so drinkability wasn't good for me.

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Photo of Deconstructionis
3.4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This is a good pilsener but not up to the levels of the SN pale ale or stout. Pilsener is one the toughest beers to brew well because there is no hiding and no margin for error. They often fall a bit short on the character side or otherwise simply don't have that delicate balance. Brewing a good subtle beer is a true test of craftsmanship. this passes the test but doesn't excel.

It's a rather typical looking pale gold with a nice stiff head and faint but pleasant aroma of yeast and malt -- not much in the way of hops beyond the citrus. .

The flavor is very well balanced but a little thin and more sweet than crisp as I prefer.

Of course, it's a relatively light bodied beer and it has substantial carbonation It's as drinkable as can be and very thirst quenching but it is just missing "something."

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Photo of joshwlt
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good looking helles/pale lager just what you would be looking for, for the style I suppose. A one inch white head, exceptionally clear straw gold color, and light lace that falls back down to the beer. At first a spicy hop shows up and grainy malt maintains throughout. Basically what you would be looking for in the style, probably one of the better pale lagers I've had. Has a corny and slightly vegetabley smell. Easy-drinking crisp, clean, grainy, and slightly hop-spiced lager. Nothing spectacular but a decent rep for the style.

Note: I reviewed this as a pale lager, not a "czech pilsner", although I could see that it may be more appropriate to label it so with its slightly more noticeable hop presence, I find it doesn't have some of the characteristics I dislike in czech pilsners.

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Photo of Prostman81
3.94/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had picked this up last summer before heading off to a barbeque. Saw an empty sitting in a cabinet that I had squirreled away and brought back some memories.

When I had picked this up, it had just been delivered, so was very fresh. Had a great hop aroma; the typical pilsner/saaz hop notes were there along with some definite light citrus. Went down super smooth, was able to taste the Pils malts and again with the American hops. Was foruntate to have the sixer all to myself that evening as everyone else was into their macro-brews. Having this beer in hand while playing bags and eating good food on a warm night is what summer is all about.

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Photo of IpaRay
3.76/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

S: 12 oz bottle into a flute glass

A: Golden yellow, straw. 1/2 inch of head

S: Just like a lager, a slight skunk smell but clean.. some bready notes

T:Very light, clean, smooth, malty sweetness

M: light, clean

O: very drinkable, A nice beer to enjoy on a hot day with the grill an friend

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Photo of Lambstrong
4.02/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a light golden color with a white head. Th head dissipates rather quickly, however the lacing is decent.

Aroma: Slight lemon aroma with a wiff of hopiness in the background.

Taste: Right away I tasted roasted grains followed by hops. There is a mineral quality to this beer that I normally associate with german lagers. I also picked up on a slight fruit notes. Very refreshing.

Mouthfeel: Good amount of carbonation which I like in lagers. Not heavy at all, but there is a chewiness to it.

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Photo of beerfairy
3.85/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Light golden color but not much lacing in the glass.

S: I can smell the malt and biscuit in this.

T: Good taste, not much bitterness but the bitterness that is there lingers a bit.

M: Medium in body, crisp.

D: Taste is better than a lot of pilseners I've had.

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Photo of beerman21
3.64/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The heat has arrived and well so has the summer seasonal. Much of which I can due without, But common its Sierra Nevada! Gift from the fam, 12 pack of it, so i hope i like it. Lager type beer have to be the beers im troubled in seeing the complexity and well pulling out the flavors are much more challenging then your top fermenting ales. Anyways let the tasting begin.

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Poured it aggressively and a two finger head rose and fell to a thin lace rather quickly.

From the look of it, very bright clear golden champagne in nature brew. Other the golden hue this beers clarity is well, not to get all beer geeky but beautiful!

Smell. Bready, maltey, sweet with some sour back scents. Grassy notes as well with some faint very faint, citrus.

Taste again more bread, taste of sour doe, must be the yeast. Grassy notes again with a little hop bitterness reminiscent of the grapefruit flavor hops SNB is famous for. Drinkable, refreshing yes. Out of this world brew that I'd go for every summer not so much.

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Photo of GregPearson33
3.94/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

To be honest I'm not great about reviewing lagers, and this is my first shot at it... but I hope it helps a BA at some point!

Appearance: medium straw color with nice foam at the ridges, completely transparent and clear. Looks refreshing!

Aroma: not much smell, just a light floral aroma. Not sure what exactly I'm looking for, but this just doesn't have enough of it. I get that it's supposed to be light, but the aroma is only decent.

Taste: Dry and bready with a light malt sweetness balanced well against a nice hop edge on the backside.

Drinkability: Very well carbonated and light on the palate, super sessionable! Could have many of these no problem.

Overall just a good, thirst-quenching and drinkable beer. Excellent on a summer night!

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Photo of JK4Stout
3.15/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A VERY light lager here. Has a pale color reminiscent of a domestic banquet beer. However, the taste is much more developed; Light, citrus, and full. There is a slight taste of the lager yeast in the brew which, while not unfavorable, is unexpected. This is a hot weather beer, one to be enjoyed while sitting in the shade at midday, or around the bbq. Another plus to this beer is the decent price and its wide availability (anywhere one can find regular Sierra Nevada).

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Photo of Durtdiggler
3.66/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Golden Hue, with nice carbonation rolling to the top and good lacing. About a half finger of head. I poured this into a Belgian style beer glass. Beer has a very inviting appearance.

Smell of citrus, low alpha hops and malt profile but not as overwhelming in it's hops as a Czech or German Pilsner; more balanced with it's aroma. Nothing big profile, but it's not supposed to be.

The taste and mouth feel has nice carbonation, more malt in the profile now, hint of citrus very refreshing, clean, crisp finish and very easy to drink. A nice lawn mower/session beer during those summer months. Sierra Nevada definitely hit the target on this one.

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Photo of viverlee
2.05/5  rDev -44.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I grabbed a six pack hoping to find a new summer fav. This uninspired offering leaves me wanting. If this is illustrative, and I’m not saying it is just to be clear, you might be inclined to ask if Sierra Nevada thinks they can charge $9 for six bottles of anything these days.

STYLE: Czech Pilsner

ABV: 5%

LOOK: Very light straw, nearly clear. Somehow lighter than water. I just put four paint samples on the nursery wall and can see all of them pretty clearly through the glass. Half-finger head and no lacing.

NOSE: Flat breakfast biscuits and generic spices play an unsatisfying prelude.

MOUTH: The first sip smacks like a barrel of hay. Grassy, faint hint of red licorice — the only real balance. Very light and not enough carbonation to get you through a hot summer day. Nice bitter finish, but nothing spectacular.

BA Rating: 83

Hayward Abbey Rating: 72

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Photo of Nickholland
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Makes you wonder why the big breweries can't put out something resembling this. A great lager/Pils, refreshing and clean...I have a hard time sipping this. If you like adjuncts this should be your foray into craft. I actually prefer this over their Nooner Pils, which unfortunately is their year round offering, because this would almost always occupy space in my fridge.

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Photo of Night
3.82/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours clear gold with some blonde and light orange tones. Fat, foamy, white head with huge bubbles making their way to the surface; dies down quickly and leaves very light lacing. Aroma is light and grainy – sweet and sour malts dominate over a grassy base with distant floral hops accenting. Very pastoral. Mouthfeel is mildly fizzy and light-bodied. Flavor matches aroma but with stronger buttery and cookie dough malts. Grain notes blend perfectly into a restrained, smooth hop bitterness. Notes of honey, lemon, spice, and hard candy here and there. Light soapiness and nuttiness in the finish; aftertaste is mild and sour-bitter.

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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 FlyingKneeStrike
3.05/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Pours a bright yellow color. Minimal head retention. I expected it to taste a bit better, but definitely good for a lager. I was expecting more citrus notes but I can't detect any, it's a tad bit watery but I guess that is to be expected of this style. Found at Trader Joe's for 7.99 a 6 pack so a fair price. A good beer but don't think I would get it again.

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Photo of Soilworker
3.65/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Apperance: Pale Golden yellow with a thick head that dissipates quickly.

Smell: Very clean aroma. Floral notes dominate the bulk of the nose accompanied by light fruity smells (almost like fruity pepples). Light hay/malt is present as well.

Taste: Very light and crisp; lager style malts dominate after a hit of light fruity and hops (florally and minimally bitter) taste.

Mouthfeel: Very refreshing and crisp. Could definitely see drinking this one a hot summer day.

Drinkability: As mentioned before this beer exceptionally refreshing and would definitely see drinking this on a nice summer day.

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Photo of nota
3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Gold color filled my glass. Nice white frothy head that dissipates into lacing. Good hop presence, grain, grass taste. Dry bitter finish. Soft carbonation, medium body. I wish I would of bought more than one. Easy drinking without sacrificing flavor.

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Photo of scottblaze
3.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bought a sixer, never tried this before.

Nothing particularly outstanding about the appearance, pretty much like a macro, thin head goes away fairly quickly, a little lacing. Smell is grassy floral, citrus, a little ginger. Tastes a little citrusy, maybe some lemon, lots of hoppy bite and lingers for a bit. Tingly mouthfeel. Easy enough to drink but when it comes to hoppy brews my favorites are elsewhere. If a little maltier, flavour wise this could almost pass for an IPA, Czech Pilsner? hmmm.... try another one and think about it.

Edit: Opened another, drank slowly, trying not to think about it too much, it is more complex than I first gave it credit for. Either that or I'm getting a buzz going.

Edit #2: My initial IPA comparison was completely wrong. Although hoppy, the bottom end is completely different ... dry.
This one threw me off, not really crazy about it. Summer refresher?,,,not me so much.

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Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
3.68 out of 5 based on 4,122 ratings.
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