Review: Summerfest, Sierra Nevada

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. — Chico, California

  • Style:  Lager
  • Bitterness:  28 IBU
  • ABV: 5.0% ABV
  • Malts:  Two-Row Pale & Munich
  • Hops:
    • Bittering:  Perle & Saaz
    • Finising:  Saaz
  • Sampled: 12 oz. bottle

Description:  "Our Summerfest® is a refreshing, pilsner-style lager. Its incredible smoothness comes from an extra-long lagering period. Lighter in body than our ales but just as complex in character, Summerfest® quenches your thirst with big aroma and a tangy hop bite.”  — Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Random thoughts:    Lagers are a good choice for summer drinking. After a while, though, I've found they start to taste similar. Will this stand out from the others? This is part of my 2nd series on Summer seasonals.

The tasting:  Gold in color, crystal clear, with a white head that dissipated fairly slowly with plenty of effervescence floating through the glass. Aroma of bready malt, citrus hops, and grassy hops. Flavor of bready malts and grassy hops.  Summerfest is light to medium bodied and softly carbonated. It's crisp, dry, and finishes with a lingering grassy hop bitterness. Very drinkable—a nice summer session beer.

Rating:  3 star.  Good.  I would drink this again if someone gives it to me.  Summerfest is unique from most of the pilsner lagers I've tasted because of its use of hops. It has the typical grassy and spicy hops that you might expect of the style—but uses enough to provide a nice bitter kick. While the bitterness is not overwhelming, it's enough to make you take notice. If you're looking for an easy drinking summer brew, give Summerfest a try.

Have you tried Summerfest or any other Sierra Nevada beers?

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  1. I'm seeing a trend of 3's in your summer beer reviews. Is this more that you're not a fan of that style of beer or are they really that mediocre? Just curious.

  2. Brian, I'm glad you asked. Yeah, it's fair to say I'm not a big fan of the style. These definitely are not mediocre beers. My rating system is based on simply on whether I would buy the beer again. Given all the amazing beers we get around here, it's easy to be picky.

    While these are all fine beers, most simply weren't memorable to me (based on my personal tastes). As luck would have it, tomorrow's beer gets 4 stars.


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