Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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1,572 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: 1,572 | Ratings: 4,116
Photo of NuclearSoAndSo
3.23/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured into a beer mug.

Appearance: Pours a nice light golden color, clear and bright with a one-finger white head.

Smell: Smells of subtle, sweet grains and a faint floral hoppiness.

Taste: Tastes of grains mostly; malty and crisp. Just a little citrus too. And possibly a slightly toffee finish.

Mouthfeel: Mouthfeel is light and smooth, a little slick (not watery) and easy to drink.

Overall: A nice beer. I might buy it again at some point, although I usually go for something a little darker or with more of a kick. But this was refreshing and a fitting compliment to my hot, humid apartment.

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Photo of silverevo9
4.14/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Sipping on this beer now. This is one of the most smoothest pilsners i have ever had. No bitterness or bite at all. You just tilt the glass and it goes down fast, I mean really fast! Could easily be up to a six pack and not even know it. Hop profile is minimal. Hints of sweetness with a slight floral smell. Malts are prevalent up front and being the determining factor for flavor. Lacing is light but remains. Head from the pour is nice and thick but quickly fades. Flavor and smoothness keep me interested on this beer. Head doesn't deter at all from the beer. Medium to light carbonation for appearance sake. Overall this beer is really good. I can see myself drinking these all the time due to how smooth it is, and tasty. These are great after a hard days work, when you do not want to think of anything, even your beer.

Awesome beer!

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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

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Photo of TeddyBG
3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

bottle poured into pint glass.

A: Golden colored with 1 inch head that fades quickly. Minimal lacing.

S: Spicy hops.

T: Spicy hops up front and then a citrusy malt flavor. Slight hop bitterness at the end.

M: Highly carbonated. No off aftertastes.

D: Extremely sessionable beer. I'm going to have a hard time convincing myself not to finish this six pack.

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Photo of digitalbullet
3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Deep golden color with a thick head that has some staying power
Smell: Citrus notes with a light hops in the back ground
Taste: Light citrus color with a malty background. Very light on the hops.
Mouthfeel: Very easy on the palate. Good crisp carbination
Drinkability: This brew can be very dangerous on a hot summer day. This very easy to drink and a great session brew.

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Photo of bigjohn
3.06/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer poured a golden yellow color, with a thick white head. Smell is faintly hoppy, with a grainy undertone. For me, the taste was dominated by the grainy flavor. The mouthfeel was fine, but nothing spectacular. I could drink these all day, and it is certainly a fine summer brew. However, all in all I would say it is a disappointment, I just expected something more complex and exotic. Reminds me too much of Pilsner Urquell.

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Photo of JerseyPaul
3.06/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Slightly hazy, straw yellow color with good carbonation; small white head dissipates quickly, leaving barely any lacing

Smell: Faint aroma that yields light, sweet malt & grain notes

Taste: Lightly sweet malt body that gives way to slightly bitter hops; smooth, dry finish

Mouthfeel: Light body; good carbonation; clean, crisp finish

Drinkability: Low ABV & light body make this a good choice for a session beer

Overall, Summerfest is an average, but not exceptional, pilsener. It goes down easily, with a dry, crisp finish. As the name suggests, this is a good choice for the summer, but there are better alternatives out there, as this is slightly better than average.

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Photo of sudz42
4.5/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is a pretty dang good US pilsner, but SA's Noble Pils is still better. I think Sierra is sneaking some corn in this one. The hop profile is nice; west coaster knows how to use their hop. I'm just not getting any biscuit malt that we get from, even a mainstay like Becks.

But it's better than Bud.

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Photo of JoshuaJ
4.25/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a clear, very light yellow with a two fingered head and nice lacing the whole way down. This is hell of a lot lighter in color than I expected.

Smells grassy, hoppy. Not picking up much else. Smells very clean and crisp. So far, we're on the right track for a summer beer.

Tastes very herbal. The hops have a light citrus quality. The malt ends up being quite sweet. The carbonation is high and the crispness and dryness is extraordinary.

At 5% ABV, I could session this all day long. Truely a fantastic summer beer.

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Photo of humuluslupulus8
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer was a bright golden-yellow color similar to melted clarified butter. The head had a medium thickness, and was just slightly off-white.

S: The smell was mainly of the saaz hops (herbal and floral). The malt and hops aromas were fairly balanced.

T: The flavor was balanced between the sweetness and bitterness. There were also some hints of lemon and honey. The bitter hop finish was very short, which gave the beer a nice crispness.

M: The beer was fairly think from a good level of carbonation, but the head was creamy while it lasted.

O: Overall, I really enjoyed this beer. It is perfect for the summer when it's hot outside. The balanced flavor combined with the crisp finish allow this beer to be equally refreshing and flavorful.

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Photo of MonkeymooTJ
3.97/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


A medium shade of yellow bordering on light gold with almost no apparent head. Crystal clear with a light carbonation level


Mixture of spicy hops with a light toasty malt background


Spicy hop notes are balanced nicely by a toasted, bready maltiness. A slight grassy tone also sneaks its way in late.


Light body feeling with a good clean crispness. Carbonation level is just right and compliments the body very nicely.


A good crisp clean lager for hot summer days. A nice spicy hoppiness is complimented well by a maltiness that is not over powering. A good, clean brew

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Photo of Sconnie
3.6/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A very good pilsener, one of the best i've had. Pale yellow color, not much in the nose beyond a typical all malt pilsener. You can very much tell it's all malt and with more hops than many pilseners, really smooth, light but not too light taste. Goes down easy but with a lot of flavor, definitely a good summer beer; too bad I got it in November! (It was on sale for 9.99 for 24, too good a deal to pass up for anything Sierra Nevada)

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Photo of Blupoet03
4.03/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sierra Nevada's Summmerfest made a brief appearance in our area in June and I was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time.

This beer pours very well, topping a pint glass with a foamy white head, giving off citrus, wheat, hay, and hop aromatics immediately.

Carbonation was great and bubbled till the last sip, sustaining the head all the way to the bottom of the glass.

On the pallet, this beer gave a short sweetness followed by citrus and a little bit of sourness, leaving a fresh mouthfeel at the finish.

Drinkability is very smooth as well.

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Photo of riboflavin88
3.63/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The color of this brew was golden and copper, with a white head. The smell was grainy and spicy, a nice burst of hops as well. The taste was clean and crisp as others have said. A hint of citrus, maybe lemon in the background, but predominantly spicy hops up front. Mouthfeel was pleasant, good amount of carbonation made it great to drink during the winter and gave me hope of the warm summer! A very drinkable beer, would go great with a rack of ribs or some BBQ chicken.

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Photo of Jraiona
3.29/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured aggressively into a Pilsner glass. The color was a crystal clear pale yellow with a thick frothy head that dissipated and some slight lacing. I did not pick up much from the aroma but I am a newbie and not sure of the nuances to be looking for. There was a nice level of sweetness which gave way to a well balancing bitterness on the back end. Definitely a beer I could spend a lazy summer afternoon with.

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Photo of TroyS
4.82/5  rDev +31%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I got this years Summerfest at MarCellar's in Idaho Falls, Idaho. It's a really great brew with nice smooth overtones. Yum yum. Some hints of banana. This brew is very clear and doesn't have much head to stick around. It's really really good beer. Go get some! Cheers! PlS. I'll have to add a pic later - saving bottle;)

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Photo of redfire89
3.93/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Bright golden color with a lot of clarity, very bubbly.
S- Pilsner like smell with a buttery aroma
T- Slight citrus but hops flavor dominates.
M- One of the easiest beers to drink that I have ever had.
O- Very refreshing, my favorite summer seasonal lager that I've had, more flavorful than Brooklyn and Sam Adams summer beers.

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Photo of BrandonLBC
4.09/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A--Very light yellow, completely clear. Has a light head that dissolves quickly. Minimal lacing.

S--Malt first, followed by just a hint of floral/and or pine hops. The hop smell is there, but very light.

T--Very crisp. with the malt up first and then just about the right amount of hop goodness, certainly about right for a lager

M--Light to medium carbonation feels great on the mouth and makes it extremely drinkable. Quite refreshing as well. I'd love to have a few of these at a barbecue on a summer afternoon.

O--Another great beer from Sierra Nevada, and I'm so glad we can get it here in Utah. It's pretty much exactly what I expect from a good craft lager/Pils. That full flavor gives it a good bounce over other more generic lagers. Looking forward to having quite a few of these this summer.

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Packaged 4/10/14. 5.0% ABV

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Photo of indy169
3.6/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The 2006 Summerfest brew pours a clear golden color and the smell is like that of of a well done macro brew. The taste is even, with a fine balance of hops and malt for easy summer drinking. I can't help but thinking that the big brewers of the land could learn a thing or two from this beer. Why, with all their bigness, can't Miller, Bud, etc put out a QUALITY beer? Are they afraid the wannabees won't buy it??? They buy hard lemonade, anyway!
Very drinkable, but not terribly interesting.

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Photo of smurphy77
3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this beer on draft. Actually, I had two. Off the tap it was a hazy golden color with a small, vanishing head. Subtle aromas of wheat and malt, but nothing overt.

This beer has a nice body to it, moreso than the typical pilsener. In fact, it was almost reminiscent of a hefe in that it had a sort of grainy feel to it, although much more understated. I found this beer to have a pleasant, light malt taste that finished with a clear tinge of honey flavor.

Nothing sharp, nothing fancy, and utterly quaffable.

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

Serving Type- Served from a chilled 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance- Yellow straw color with golden and light amber undertones. about a fingers worth of white head that laces nicely around the brim of the glass.

Smell- Slight sweat malted aroma with summer spices and herbs. Notes of citrus fruits and summer grains.

Taste- Slight sweat malted taste with hints of summer grains and spices. Excellent balance with bittering and flavoring hops with citrus notes.

Mouthfeel- Light bodied pilsner style lager with a nice crisp and smooth finish. Mild carbonation with a perfect balance of bitterness and sweat/sour summer spices.

Overall- A nice refreshing lager, excellent beer after a hard days work in the summer heat. Would recommend and and purchase this beer time and again.

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Photo of tbone53
3.2/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

dont try and twist the cap off of this one.need a bottle opener that is a plus for the home born on date but it does say 2007 on the bottle.
a:head quickly diappears but what is left laces nicely down the bottle.
t:a little stronger than the trditional macro brew similar but stronger.
m:feels good on the palate.
d:this is a beer that could get me into trouble.easy smooth drinking.this is one you could probaly get those brand loyal guys to drink.
ill buy this one again.good sound choice.

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Photo of aaronxsubaru
3.72/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

i wanted to give this a better score but i remebered it tasting better the first time i had it. still overall my favoraite summer beer so far i think.

looks light, lighter than it tastes which is good. i like how the sweet notes help balance the hops in this. its also nice that it doesn't hit you all at once giving it more complexity. as a summer beer should be this is crisp and drinkable but without being boring.

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Photo of davecavemaster
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The Sierra Nevada Brewing Company is famous for one of my favorite beers of all time, their Pale Ale. Many people only know them for the Pale Ale, but they have a lot more. Sierra Nevada makes Ales, Lagers, Seasonals, a Stout and Limited Editions. You can check out their site here. The company is not in the Sierra Nevada mountains like the name implies, it is in a town north of Sacramento, California called Chico. The company's founder was an avid backpacker, and he named the company after his favorite place to hike.

Seasonal beers can be hit or miss, although a seasonal from Sierra Nevada comes with higher expectations from the drinker. Summertime brings us the Summerfest "crisp summer lager."

The beer pours a fluffy, pillowy head that clings traces to the sides of the glass. The color is more pale yellow than golden, and a steady stream of bubbles rises from the bottom center of the glass. The aroma is of malt and a slight trace of citrus. When you first taste the brew, you get the malt taste. This is quickly followed by the hit of citrus, and then finishes with a nice hoppy bite.

The beer is "crisp" as described, and it has just enough citrus to make it interesting. This beer does not make the common seasonal mistake of overpowering the drinker with gimmicky flavors. Overall it is a light and refreshing brew, that has good carbonation and is extremely smooth and drinkable. This is a great summer beer that you can drink during your BBQ or on your pool deck and not get sick of it. In a marketplace full of crappy breweries looking to make a buck during the summer, Sierra Nevada comes through with an offering that is different, refreshing and never lets you forget that you are drinking a "beer."

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Photo of scorched
4.65/5  rDev +26.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Without going into the normal details, this is absolutely, hands-down, the most refreshing beer I have ever had. It is so hot where I am and this cools me right down. Its too bad this isn't out all year long. Drinkability is VERY high and mouthfeel is exceptional

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Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
3.68 out of 5 based on 4,116 ratings.
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