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Old Chico Crystal Wheat - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Old Chico Crystal WheatOld Chico Crystal Wheat

Educational use only; do not reuse.

48 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 48
Hads: 201
Avg: 3.52
pDev: 32.39%
Wants: 11
Gots: 23 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Wheat Ale |  4.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: flexabull on 04-03-2011

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Reviews: 48 | Hads: 201
Photo of afausser
4.43/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours crystal clear. It's quite light but manages to glow, taking on the color of whatever's around it and making it more radiant. A very light, unique color with plenty of carbonation bubblees and a finger of fluffy white head that quickly disappears into a ring around the glass. Really beautiful.

Smells really light, more complex than most beers this light, though. Not a whole lot to say about it beyond that.

Manages to be one of the easiest beers to drink, just sitting around, but has more flavor, complexity, and a higher ABV than what many would view as similarly functioning beers.

Also, perfect mouthfeel.

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Photo of TheDeezler
4.31/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This BEER has exceptional characteristics. As the bottle states it is Sierra Nevada's LIGHTEST offering. This characteristic makes Old Chico IRRESISTIBLE on those HOT Chico days and nights. It has THE purest ingredients, and the finest quality. It is too bad that most people will NEVER enjoy the pleasure of drinking this beer -- as it is only distributed locally. This beer is found at LOCAL establishments in Chico, California, and neighboring areas. I feel BLESSED by the Creator everyday that I wake up, and Old Chico is still on my local market shelves.

Thank YOU Ken Grossman, and thank YOU to everyone who read my review! Have a POSITIVE day.


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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.15/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a weizen glass.
4.8% ABV

A - Crystal clear, there's no false advertising in the beer's name! This golden brew has a plush white head that covers the glass in clumpy Swiss cheese-looking lacing for a beautiful appearance.

S - Bright and vibrant, Old Chico has an exuberant wheat aroma that capitalizes on the simplicity of the beer, transporting me to a field of wheat gently swaying in the summer breeze.

T - Grainy pale malt comprises a base that's reminiscent of milling grain before brewing and is wonderfully overcome by gentle wheat, which finishes out with a crisp cleanliness.

M - Light bodied, crisp with sparkling carbonation, and refreshing, Old Chico is a beer that demands to be downed on a hot summer day.

O - Sierra Nevada's Old Chico is a crisp and refreshing wheat beer that offers delicious simplicity with crisp and refreshing drinkability. If this beer was distributed here it would be at the top of my summer lawnmower beers list!

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Photo of smakawhat
4.09/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle, into a wheat ale glass.

Deep light bronze body color, crystal clear, with a perfect amount of rising not too fine, not too big sized bubble carbonation. Head is fluffy white, with a big soapy cap, light smooth top, and big island retention of four fingers. Great looking brew.

Really fascinating aroma, hinting more hop forward. Hints of floral and big herbal spicy quality it seems, with a real nice sweet dry clove. Very inviting aroma, but hints almost towards czech style pilsner. When rested sweet malty aromas come out more like a pils than wheat. Doughy and crisp sweetness with a big hint of tangy quality. Smells really delicious.

Palate seems to take itself down a notch. The herbality hints more towards American on the hop angle, flushing out an almost creamy herbality and indistinct fruit and tropical zest. Very clean finish, almost lager like with a good but not great mouthfeel. Crisp body and accentuating the hop quality nicely. Not much sense of chewy wheat density to this.

Overall a real fascinating beer, quite neat and enjoyable.

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Photo of HalfFull
4/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours a clear blonde with a nice half inch cap of foam.

Nose of wheat and some citric/lemony hops. An intriguing blend of American and German hop character is evident.

Taste is solid and offers a nice lingering finish. Unique for the sttyle with some background spice characteristics.

Feel is solid with a good carbonation, quite lingering on the finish.

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Photo of DaveHS
4/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours clear golden straw color with 1 inch of fluffy, vibrant white head. Reduces slowly, leaving chunky rings of lacing.

S-Clean and crisp. Light earthy hops, a touch of white pepper.

T/M-This is easy drinking stuff. Clean, simple flavors of pale and biscuity malts, backed up by chewy yet restrained wheat and a hint of clove. Light earthy hops add a tinge of bitterness to the otherwise dry, clean finish. The mouthfeel is light and crisp with refreshing carbonation.

O-Would be great on a hot day. I could see drinking a lot of this.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a clear golden-yellow color with a finger of frothy white head. The head fades down fairly quickly leaving behind some light lace.

S - Aroma is a mix of wheat with some orange zest and other citrus flavors, with some light grassy and floral hops.

T - Starts off some wheat with some lemon and orange peel and bit of citrus hop. Through the middle, some grassy and floral hops come through with a touch of bitterness. The finish is a mix of wheat, lightly sweet malts, with some floral and citrus hops.

M - Medium-light bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a sweet and dry finish.

D - Very drinkable. Feels smooth and very crisp. A good session ale with enough flavor and balance to stay interesting.

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Photo of htomsirveaux
3.97/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle tried 9 Jan 2012. Served in the Saint Arnold wheat glass.

Large light yellowish head. Well carbonated. Clear bright yellow in color. Aroma is light, wheat, mineral, slightly fruity tart. Relatively light in flavor as well. Some mineral and lemon to start. Medium body. Light ethanol. A pithy bitterness in the finish and aftertaste.

Well balanced. Easy to drink.

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Photo of scottfrie
3.96/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into DFH shaped pint glass.

A: Pours a clear deep golden yellow with a couple fingers of bright white head that slowly faded into a thick film that left thin streaks of lacing down the glass.
S: Dominant notes of crackery wheat and clean grains with lighter notes of spicy hops.
T: Big wheat flavor that is light and clean with a touch lemon and earthy spice in the finish. Aftertaste is minerally but refreshing.
M: Light body with a really crisp, lightly dry and refreshing mouthfeel. Carbonation is lively but nice.
O: A really great, clean and refreshing drinking beer, and one of the better examples of the style.

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Photo of armock
3.83/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from Safeway in Manteca, CA.

A - Poured a golden color with a white head that leaves lacing behind

S - Has a light nose with some wheat and mild hops

T - Like the smell this is a mild beer with wheat upfront with mild hops and a hint of lemon in the finish

M - This beer has a light body with higher carbonation to it

O - This is a very enjoyable beer thats light and refreshing this will beer a good beer to have on hand this summer for BBQs worth getting sometime to try

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Photo of Haybeerman
3.8/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Clear, pale yellow/straw color. Poured a 2 finger foamy white head with fair retention to an even skim. Laced in thick rings.

S: Wheat malt, citrus, bubblegum and a little yeast fruitiness.

T: Crackery with light yeast fruitiness. Light and active on the palate. Finishes dry and crisp with a little citrus zest.

M: Light body. Ample carbonation; active in the glass and on the palate. Smooth, crisp and refreshing.

O: Very sessionable. Smooth and refreshing. Light malt and yeast character.

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Photo of largadeer
3.76/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Effervescent pale gold. Extremely clear as expected, with a nice creamy head that retains well and leaves plenty of lacing.

Smell: Very wheaty and bready. A little lemon fruitiness and light phenols, though it's a pretty clean and malty nose overall.

Taste & mouthfeel: Again, bready malts are dominant on the tongue, backed by a light citrusy fruit profile and a touch of peppery spiciness. Bitterness is reserved, offering a modest kick to the finish. Nice creamy mouthfeel, especially given the low ABV. Not a particularly sweet beer, nor overly dry. There's a metallic note to the finish that puts me off a little bit, but otherwise this is pretty nice stuff.

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Photo of beerman21
3.75/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Current temperature outside is a sweltering 98 degrees. I needed something refreshing and easy to drink. So i got this brew. Lets see how it goes.

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass aggressively. substantial head bright snow white that dissipated to a rather thin lace. Color pale bright wheat in color. Looked quite refreshing, if you've ever had there summer fest it looks very similar.

Smell of lemongrass, malted bready sweetness, nothing over pronounced but interesting enough and quite complex.

Taste of Malt bready sweat back palate bitter lemon grass up front. One word refreshing. Good stuff, much better than the pee water that Anaushser Busch and Coors produce. Not even on the same playing field, but excellent session beer.

The texture is creamy and smooth, leaves a lingering lemon grass flavor that keeps the taste buds awake.

Overall great session beer and yet another well rounded produced craft brew from Sierra Nevada. I recommend this to anyone who wants something toned down and easy to drink on a hot day.

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Photo of Genghis22
3.73/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a very clear, light straw color. Bleached flour white head that slowly dissipated.

S - Sweet bready malt. Pretty simple, one dimensional, but not off puting.

T - Tastes like it should. An American wheat ale, but a clean taste. The "signature" Sierra Nevada hop taste comes through afterwards, but nearly as strong as say from SNPA. The aftertaste is clean and crisp, touch of hops.

M - Thin body, but not too watery, just right for the style. Carbonation is very present and prickly on the tongue. The finish is crisp and dry, leaving you wanting more.

O - A great session beer. People these days only get really excited about crazy big beers (myself included) so it is nice to have a well made, low abv beer. This is one I could have several of in a session and enjoy them all. Light crisp and refreshing, I think I've found a new favorite for summer BBQs, camping and trips to the river. Yum.

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Photo of BerkeleyBeerMan
3.7/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Light golden straw color. Fairly transparent. Light bubbly 1/4 inch head. Very nice presentation. Good grain color. Looks like a good European lager. Filtered. Carbonated.

What a light and pale beer. I smell wheat and floral hops. The hops have a nice light spicy citric quality. The beer is like zesty lemon juice blended with a grain malt. Some grass and chamomile smell. Some carboard smell that is produced by light bittering hops. Not strongly aromatic, but absolutely no off smells either.

The beer has a tough wheat taste. I taste vegetable matter and bread. There is also a slight bitterness. It's amazingly light for Sierra Nevada. The balance is fine and it really contends well with european beers made in the same style. The taste is cooling and finishes perfectly with nothing lingering too long.

The mouthfeel is crisp light and refreshing. I love a beer that is light but not watery. This beer really hits the mark far a light tasty beer to drink on the 4th of July. Overall another great Sierra Nevada product.

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Photo of alexgash
3.7/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle.

Pours a brilliant, clear, golden yellow. Two fingers of whipped, thick, bright white head. Good lacing too. Clean nose of fresh barley, wheat bread, light honey, peppery spices, and a little citrus zest.

Toasted bread malts and slightly skunky, herbal hop bitterness up front. Grainy malts fill in, with light notes of apple and honey. Moderate bitterness follows, with grassy, peppery flavors. Some lingering toasted grains in the finish. Dry and crisp in the end, which makes this pretty easy to quaff on a nice summer day. Moderate body, with a lively feel. Not bad, but I'll reach for the Kellerweis before this one!

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Photo of mactrail
3.67/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A hoppy and light-bodied beer. Dry and biscuity wheat malt taste. Nice nose of hops with a lingering but restrained bitterness. Just a touch of flowers. It is fairly sharp on the tongue, starts out well carbonated, but flattens out fairly rapidly. Looks nice in the glass with the light amber color.

Certainly one of the better entries in this often anemic category. Flavorful and a good choice for a lighter alcohol version.

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Photo of Seanibus
3.63/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Good for what it is - a light, easy to drink session beer, executed with Sierra Nevada's usual crisp competence.

Pours a sunny clear yellow with a frothy bright white head that falls away fast, but leaves a cheery spritz of bubbles coming from the bottom of the glass. The aroma is light and slightly sour, with a distinct wheaty bite, like rising dough. The flavor is a bit stronger than I had anticipated, clean, with a wheaty, toasted bread character and a little lick of citrusy hops, with a mandarin orange leaning to it. The mouthfeel is predictably thin, but is compensated by a firm orange-citrus bitterness on the finish.

Overall, this is a good session beer, worthy of a try if you're lucky to be in the Northern California orbit of Chico.

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Photo of Billolick
3.62/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle without freshness info.

Pours very clear, light straw/golden in color. The head is off white and tightly knit. Leaves just some very fine and minor lace on the glass.

"only available locally" hmmm, good thing I wa in California and got to sample some of this.

Peppery with grainy hops, light and easy drinking. Decent summer sessioner and glad I gave it a try, but not close to being anything special.

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Photo of Tucquan
3.61/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Had this on 2014-06-22 in Reno, NV from a 12 oz.

Tasty, light American Wheat. Very good mouthfeel. No clove or banana. Plenty of grain. Touch of lemon. Refreshing and smooth. Very little bitterness.

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Photo of veinless
3.6/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a clear, dark straw yellow with some white head that dissipated to a couple of lumpy gatherings on the surface. Lace was decent and spotty.

Grassy and wheaty on the nose, with a fresh outdoorsy aroma to it. Citrus is definitely there, but takes a backseat to the pilsner-esque qualities.

Taste is very wheaty and crisp, with citrus and grassiness coming out more. Grainy character is magnified as compared to the nose and benefits the lightness of the beer. Good, solid taste is complemented by a decently dry finish. Carbonation is excessive though and holds the beer back from its full flavor profile.

Mouthfeel is very light and clean, with a little too much carbonation and a dry finish. Low abv and good finish helps the drinkability too. This beer is really well put together, and I definitely enjoyed it. Wish it was more widespread, as its a perfect beer for parties and the like, even more than SNPA.

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Photo of Chico1985
3.59/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Had to pick up a 6-pack of this while in California for namesake purposes, and always nice to try new/locally unavailable Sierra Nevada of course.

Appearance - Pale yellow body with a puffy cloud of white head. Retention: thick ring, lace: not much.

Smell - Actually some decent (albeit tame) hop presence - I get lemon, grapefruit, and some grassy resin. Cereal/wheat/grain as well, along with just a slight meh/adjunct feel to it.

Taste - Lemon, wheat and grainy flavors all around with some light grassy and spicy hop. Finishes with some cereal and baked bread. Some papery flavors here and there but mostly ignorable.

Mouthfeel - Crisp and light with pleasant extra-foamy carbonation.

Overall - Pretty straightforward American wheat ale, not too much for off-flavors, clean, drinkable and enjoyable. Not the first 6-pack I'd think to reach for but better than most for the style in my opinion.

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Photo of Giovacchini
3.55/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- amber with a thin white head that disapates.

S- floral hops, bread, wheat, and citrus.

T- wheat, bread, sweet maltiness, subtle spice, and lemon.

M- mild bitterness, nice carbonation, and a slippery mouthfeel.

O- good drinkable beer from SN but not great. I want to try it on tap.

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Photo of climax
3.53/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This one pours a straw gold color, very good clarity. It is alive with bubbles and a tall fizzy head. Retention is good, as well as lace.

The aroma is certainly wheat. Yeast, and phenolic notes are present but subtle. The warmth of and strength of the wheat is good, and still very clean. The hop profile seems on the Noble side of things, none too strong however.

The flavor has a definite wheat edge to it, and a good one at that. Only the slightest hint of lemon, earthiness, and a dash of spicy clove surface, but add that extra dimension to keep my mouth interested.

It has a good smooth medium body and a feel that very carbonated and sharp, perhaps a bit too alive. However once it settles down, a nice coating feeling soothes the pallet and prepares it for another drink.

This is a thirst quencher with very good flavor. Nothing extreme, but certainly a solid wheat beer.

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Photo of DesertRat
3.52/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip.
A: Weak head confirms this is not a Hef or strong wheat beer. Color is clear, definitely filtered.
S: Light yeast, reminds me of a lager yeast.
T: Very mild. Unsusspectingly noticeable hop middle. Tasting lager yeast on the finish. Interesting and light.
M: Dry and crisp up front, but finishes leaving me wanting a sip of water.
D: Nice alternative if your feeling like a lighter beer to have with food and not interested in a more boring option. By no means a bad beer, I think I was just expecting more.

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Old Chico Crystal Wheat from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
81 out of 100 based on 48 ratings.