Sierra Nevada Summerfest | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Sierra Nevada SummerfestSierra Nevada Summerfest
4,244 Ratings
Sierra Nevada SummerfestSierra Nevada Summerfest

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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,244 |  Reviews: 1,610
Photo of beerluvr
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A freshly tapped pint sits in front of me, capped by a medium sized white head over clear yellowy liquid. A good dose of sharp grassy hops dominates the nose with some sweet malt backing. Very lively on the palate with crisp carbonation/mouthfeel. Flavors of faintly sweet and doughy malt gives way to the ample hopping here...goes down easy. Finishes clean and crisp, a nice session lager, I enjoyed this much more than the bottled version I tried some years back.

 465 characters

Photo of becktone
4.18/5  rDev +13.9%
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 NiceTaps
3.38/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a bottle into a room-temp pint glass.

A-very light golden straw color ala American light lagers. A little head and retention, nice carbonation.

S- bitter sour doughy aroma typical of the style. Dry bread.

T-bready, grainy, grassy. Malts, with a dry hop for balance.

M- light and delicate. good carbonation. a very dry finish.

O- an ok pilsner. I prefer SNPA, even for summer.

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Photo of neckbeered
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of BalancingBrooms
3.77/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of ToasterChef
4.03/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A cellar temperature bottle of the 2011 Summerfest is poured into a pint glass.

Crystal clear liquid is colored golden straw. Plenty of tiny carbonation bubbles are rising within the glass. The head is very large and made up of pure white foam.

Light grassy hops make up the aroma. Some pale grains are detectable as well. It's a pleasing scent.

Crisp and refreshing flavor is similar to the aroma. There are plenty of pale malts and grassy hops.

This beer has a light body and a good amount of carbonation. A slightly sticky coat is left behind that contains a modest amount of flavor.

This is a good, refreshing summer beer. It isn't super hoppy like most of SN's beers, but the hops are certainly there. If you need an easy drinking beer for your cookout, it's had to go wrong with this selection.

 808 characters

Photo of Clydesdale
4.3/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a bright, clean golden color with some active carbonation. The ivory head is tall, very dense, and frothy, with very good retention. Lacing is fairly nice as well.

S: Fresh herbal hop aromas are most noticeable. A slightly lemony citrus smell is also detectable. Sweetish, mildly doughy malts are also present. Simple, clean, and appealing.

T: A significantly sweet, slightly doughy pale malt backbone makes its presence known. As the nose suggested, assertively herbal and slightly lemony hops provide a nice flavor, with mild bitterness. Light notes of spice.

M: A medium-firm body, with a dry, refreshing crispness. Carbonation is moderate.

D: No bones about it - this is a very tasty summer lager. As I've come to expect from SN, a finely-tuned and refreshing brew that should have wide appeal across the board.

 832 characters

Photo of mulder1010
3.4/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz poured into a globe glass

A-- Poured a clear, yellow gold. One finger bright white head that took it's time in fading. Little bit of sticky lacing on the sides of the glass. A few carbonation bubbles here and there.

S-- Fresh lemon, grass, some spice, and touches of bread. Nice clean crisp smell.

T-- Bread, lemon, touches of old grass and faded hops. Very faded, bummer.

M-- Low carbonation and light feel. A lot of the carbonation has dropped off. A little syrupy. Some lemon, grass and dough again in the mouth. A little acidic in the back of the mouth. Finishes dry, somewhat crisp and clean.

O-- Knew this was a bit old when I bought this. Kind of a shame as even old it has flashes of being quite good. Very drinkable even with the age on this.

 766 characters

Photo of billshmeinke
3.98/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into pint glass.

Very clear, very pale straw color. Pours a one finger white fluffy head of foam. Very effervescent looking. Resides to a half a finger of white head. Nice lacing.

Smells of light crystal malts. Some very light breadiness.

Tastes of sweet light malts, a slight spicy and floral hoppiness.

Very light bodied. Lots of carbonation, and decently assertive bubbles. Nice hop bite.

Easy drinker. Great for a summer day.

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Photo of Arithmeticus
3.8/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: clear golden color; modest traces of bubbles; only slight head
S: lagery, summery smell; overtones of hay
T: crisp wheat beer with moderate spicing; neither sweet nor overly hoppy; good for parties since it would appeal to a Corona drinker but interest someone who pays attention to spicing.

Overall, this is not SN's best beer, but, as always, they do a good job with it.

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Photo of mikefuski17
3/5  rDev -18.3%

Photo of PatrickJR
3.4/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into pilsner glass.

A - Pale, clear yellow with a small quarter inch head that quickly falls to a very fine collar. Minimal lacing.

S - Slight spicy hop in the nose, but nothing much else. Very faint.

T - Fairly uninteresting grainy character prevails for the most part. Faint hops kick in late palate and provide some mild bitterness, but there is little flavor contribution from the hops save for a distant lemon pith note.

M - Crisp, light bodied, not watery. High carbonation but not prickly and artificial. Refreshing.

D - Easy drinking, if bland. This might not be a bad brew for hanging with friends outside, but overall it's kinda boring.

 678 characters

Photo of MoreThanWine
3/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a 2" white head. Clear pale lemon yellow color. Really not much of a smell at all at first and as it warmed all I got was grass. Fairly standard BMC taste. In fact I don't even detect any of those common attributes of spice or citrus so often worked into summer brews, this really is just typical BMC. Crisp finish but not a standout. I expected more from Sierra Nevada.

 377 characters

Photo of SFNC
3.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of AndyAvalanche
2.87/5  rDev -21.8%
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 JohnnyChicago
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of jettjon
3/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From a 12 oz bottle into my Sam Adams glass (thanks, guys!). Pale yellow color with minor head of tan foam. Nose of bready malt and a touch of crisp hops. In the mouth, a bit more bready than expected along with subdued hops yields ho-hum flavor. Crisp and quenching but nothing special. Drinkable? Sure, but after one there's little to bring me back for more. Discovering that this is a "Czech Pilsner" is even more off-putting; it's a rather weak interpretation of the style.

 477 characters

Photo of cyber_phoenix
3.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Unchi
4/5  rDev +9%

Photo of Mattymystique
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of bsm80x
4/5  rDev +9%

Photo of Beef_Curtains
4.12/5  rDev +12.3%

Photo of gutbuster
4/5  rDev +9%

Photo of TheMarkE
3.54/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Clear gold with decent head and good lacing.

Smell: Pale grains, a hint of lemon and floral hops.

Taste: Pale grains, lemon, floral hops.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied, crisp, refreshing. Very slight bitter aftertaste.

The Verdict: Not bad. As advertised, it is a crisp summer lager, but there's not much more to it than that. It does have the signature Sierra Nevada quality, but lacks the great flavor of many of their brews. In this one case I prefer winter over summer- their Celebration IPA is worth waiting for every winter.

 540 characters

Sierra Nevada Summerfest from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.67 out of 5 with 4,244 ratings
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