Old Chico Crystal Wheat - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Old Chico Crystal WheatOld Chico Crystal Wheat

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
81
good

48 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 48
Hads: 198
rAvg: 3.55
pDev: 5.07%
Wants: 11
Gots: 17 | 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
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Reviews: 48 | Hads: 198
Photo of illidurit
2.73/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 ounce bottle poured into a pint glass. Typical transparent gold with a mediocre white head. Musty rotting bananas and cereal on the nose. Not exactly an intoxicating bouquet. Flavor is a subtle blend of tart fermented wheat, barely-there citrus hops, banana peels, and sticky grains. I’m not sure why I punished myself by buying what is obviously a lame-ass beer (another coveted wheat ale tick!) but what’s done is done. I emerge from this experience unsatisfied. (471 characters)

Photo of Billolick
3.62/5  rDev +2%
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. (420 characters)

Photo of Haybeerman
3.8/5  rDev +7%
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. (498 characters)

Photo of litheum94
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed 7/23/10.

P: Clear, straw yellow color with a thin, bone white head that settles to an even thinner cover. Pretty good stickyness on the glass.

A: Yeast and grains, a touch of bubble gum sweetness. Lemon citrus and toasty malts.

T: Light and effervescent. Cereal grains and yeast. Cracker dryness on the finish. A touch of lemon zest.

Tastes like summer in a glass. Pretty simple, but good flavors and drinks so damn easy. I'd drink a whole case on a hot summer day. (478 characters)

Photo of alexgash
3.7/5  rDev +4.2%
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! (637 characters)

Photo of tdm168
3.21/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a pale yellow with little head, carbonation is evident. Very little in the nose; mild straw and hint of yeast. Taste is much the same; wheat and yeast. Mouthfeel is incredibly light and dry. This beer lacks strong flavor and backbone, but if your looking for a sessionable beer this fits the bill. (342 characters)

Photo of ArrogantB
3.06/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Big thanks to LivMtdew420 for this local that I had never heard of. Bright yellow, transparent and looks like a light beer. Smells yeasty, not bad. Flavor is wheat and yeast but so darn light. I could pound these at a barbecue but at the same time I'd rather just have two pale ales. I was still quite glad to try this beer. (324 characters)

Photo of BerkeleyBeerMan
3.7/5  rDev +4.2%
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. (1,031 characters)

Photo of scottfrie
3.96/5  rDev +11.5%
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. (632 characters)

Photo of climax
3.53/5  rDev -0.6%
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. (887 characters)

Photo of beerman21
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%
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. (1,043 characters)

Photo of afausser
4.43/5  rDev +24.8%
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. (620 characters)

Photo of armock
3.83/5  rDev +7.9%
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 (484 characters)

Photo of CrookedStill
2.47/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

*from notes 05/25/11"

Pours a very pale yellow, nearly transparent, with a one finger white head.

Not really a lot going on here. Maybe a light sweetness but mostly nothing.

Again there isn't much going on. There's some sweetness present and behind that there's something that's trying be a faint bitterness.

Very thin body. Med/high carbonation and very crisp.

Has to be one of the most transparent beers I've had in a long time, and I'm not just talking about the appearance. Although I don't think Sierra Nevada set out to break barriers with this one but maybe aimed just high enough to make something that's just crisp and refreshing. If so then they've done a wonderful job. It really is a good "lawnmower" beer and is enjoyable all the same, just don't expect new doors to be opened for you with it. (811 characters)

Photo of pitasoup
3.18/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to flexabull for this bottle from the blind bif #5. Didn't realize this was a local-only distro.

A: Clear yellow with half an inch of head that quickly subsides. 3.5

S: Subtle floral hops. Not much else here. Noble hops (saaz?) after a few sips. 3.0

T: A bit of hop bitterness, perhaps biscuit malts, and a slightly metallic finish. The smallest hint of cloves at the end, then more lingering bitterness. 3.0

M: light and refreshing. 3.5

O: I mistook this for a generic pils. Clean body and straightforward presentation of hops. This was an uninteresting beer to me, nothing wrong with it, but nothing to write home about. 3.5 (638 characters)

Photo of TheDeezler
4.31/5  rDev +21.4%
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.

Deezel & EEZYCHEEZ (673 characters)

Photo of largadeer
3.76/5  rDev +5.9%
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. (677 characters)

Photo of mjyoung
3.43/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

4/24/11 - Limited distribution

A: A light honey color, with a very thin head that completely disappears.

S: Pretty nondescript. The slightest hint of wheat, but you have to try.

T: Very light and refreshing, a hint of wheat underlying the lack of all other flavors.

M: Nicely carbonated, with an appropriately thin body.

O: Although it's not particularly memorable, this beer hits the spot as a drinkable summer brew. (423 characters)

Photo of veinless
3.6/5  rDev +1.4%
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. (919 characters)

Photo of Genghis22
3.73/5  rDev +5.1%
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. (908 characters)

Photo of DaveHS
4/5  rDev +12.7%
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. (542 characters)

Photo of Seanibus
3.63/5  rDev +2.3%
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. (751 characters)

Photo of flexabull
3.43/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Limited release NorCal only beer. For awhile, this was Chico only, now it's getting a little bigger distribution.

Pours a bright and clear gold color with a small white head.

Aromas are dusty and floral, with some wheat grain.

Taste is really crisp and clean. Light cream malt sweetness, soft wheat grains, and faint lemon citrus hops on the finish.

Mouthfeel is good, smooth and full, with nice carbonation.

Overall, a decent beer. It's definitely a "gateway" type of beer that seems to be designed to appeal to the non beer geeks. But it has it's redeeming qualities, it's refreshing, and easy drinking, but it's really simple. (634 characters)

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