Nooner Pilsner | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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Nooner PilsnerNooner Pilsner

Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: German Pilsener

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Nooner is our take on the classic German-style pilsner—one of the original session beers. Nooner is easy drinking yet packed with the big flavor of spicy and floral whole-cone hops.

Added by Patches826 on 11-04-2014

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Reviews: 339 | Ratings: 1,536
Photo of txmilligan
3.4/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours up as a beautiful straw gold, clear with a nice clean head. Great aroma that has hints of cereal and bread, with a slight sharp tone of citrus. The flavor, however, is a bit thin and metallic. Not horrible, but not as crisp or refreshing as I'm accustomed to in a pilsner.

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Photo of bwood06
3.79/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This beer pours a clear, golden straw color that is light in terms of carbonation and features a thin, white, frothy head that dissipates slowly to a thin lacing. 4/5 The aroma is typical of the style with grassy hops and a grainy malt coming through right away, while being backed up by a light and sweet caramel note that balances out the grassy hops. The aroma is very simplistic as it should be. 3.75/5 The flavor features a good does of pilsner malt right up front with caramel, cracker, and bread dough backing it up. The maltiness transitions into the bitter, grassy hops slowly with the strength of the hops becoming greater the longer the beer is in the mouth. Bitterness here is moderate with a moderately strong lingering bitterness. 3.75/5 This is a light, crisp beer that has a high amount of dryness with a dryness that lingers on the palate after swallowing. 4/5 This beer is very much in the vein of German Pilsner's, meaning that it is quite dry and crisp. The flavor here is well crafted and balanced with a lean towards the hops instead of the malt. 3.75/5

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Photo of california_republic
4.47/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

First impression: Been doing west coast pale ales for a while, so this is the first lager I've had since visiting Anchor Brewery in December. Therefore, comparison will be done with Anchor Steam. Funny enough, I'm going to be drinking this out of an Anchor Christmas pint glass.

Look: Cloudy pale yellow. Doesn't look bad but doesn't look like it stands out. I like the bottle design I guess.
Smell: Floral and citrus. Definitely get the meatiness of malt in there but not overwhelming. Some caramel in there too. True to Sierra Nevada style, it seems pretty balanced. Not incredibly fragrant, but still pleasing to the nose.

Taste: I get some west coast pale ale with the floral, citrus, and bitterness of the hops.

Finish: Crisp and refreshing like a good lager should be. Backed up by some malty flavor and and a fair amount bitterness to round it out. Leaves the mouth feeling very slightly sticky but overall very clean. How a classic pilsner should feel, with some surprising west coast pale ale elements like pine and hop bitterness. I also taste pear in the finish, and I say this non-ironically. It very clearly reminds me of pear. I do feel that the bitterness should be dialed down a bit, which is not something I often say about Sierra Nevada brews.

Overall: As far as session (or session-ish) beer goes, this is one of the better ones. Instead of just tasting like watered-down whatever, it actually tastes like something I'd like to drink. However, I have a hard time choosing this over Anchor Steam. Even though they aren't quite the same category, they taste similar enough to be comparable and Anchor just does a better job with Steam. Granted, that is their flagship beer while Sierra Nevada is known for inventing the west coast IPA style. This just goes to show (me) that Sierra Nevada isn't perfect.

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Photo of captaincoffee
3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours a sparling pale gold with a big fluffy head that leaves spotty lace. Nose is grainy, a bit of light malt, and some herbal notes. Taste is more bitter than typical, with light bready/cracker notes. Not complex, but crisp. Overall, good but not very interesting.

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Photo of biegaman
3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I don't think it's possible to be sad while drinking a Pilsner - pouring that bright, light, sunshine yellow liquid out of the bottle is like instant cheer every time. Heck, even the bubbles are lively! Sierra Nevada Nooner looks as chipper and pleasant as they come (no surprise there given its name implies midday drinking!).

Hops have exploded in popularity over the last decade or so. Brewers are exploring all sorts of exotic and experimental varietals as well as constantly trying out new hopping techniques. But when it comes to certain styles, there's just no improving on what's essentially perfect. If you ask me, nothing beats the classic: whole-cone Noble hops.

Apparently Sierra Nevada half-agrees. They went with German whole flower hops but, aside from Tettnanger, opted for more modern, slightly modified variants like Perle, Saphir and, from just over the border into France, Alsatian Strisselspalt. The results, especially aromatically, are similarly earthy and 'green' but not quite as resounding.

A lot of hop nuance is lost on the palate too, which is malt-first and more prominently features stale crackers and crusty white bread; those grassy, herbal, spicy undertones only show up in the finish. The dry and grainy mouthfeel is a little displeasing, certainly relative to the richer, more doughy-soft, biscuity-sweet maltiness that characterizes the style's best examples.

Nevertheless, the brewery is quite right calling the Pilsner "one of the original session beers" - I'm not terribly impressed with Nooner but even as a mediocre, if still solid Pilsner it's something I could gladly drink several of. The letdown stems more from expectations than anything else; as most their beers do, I assumed Sierra Nevada's pilsner would either brilliantly capture the style's traditions or completely shatter them with hops. It doesn't really do either.

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Photo of AZBeerDude72
3.61/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a golden color with decent foam and lacing. Smells of lemon, herbs, grain, and hops. Taste is very light and pleasant. Notes of lemon grass, hops, grain, mild malt, and a dry finish make this a good beer. I really enjoyed this one, it is not overly heavy and good mix of tastes to keep you wanting more.

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Photo of JackRWatkins
3.09/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

A:foamy 3 finger head, decent retention, good clarity, pale gold in color, quite effervescent
S:pale grain, prominent yet delicate (not assertive but up front) clean hop aroma, subtle juicy citrus
T:very grainy up front and a touch of sweetness from said grain (not much), very understated clean bitterness, lacks the spiciness of a czech pilsner (I know this is not a czech pilsner it's just a comparative observation)
M:a bit dry, but maybe that's just the clean bitterness talking
O: A very good, not great, american pilsner, can't beat the availability of this beer, though it's not really what I look for in a pilsner, I would buy it again and it is worth your time

Parting thought: seems to be a bit too watery at points

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Photo of Lingenbrau
3.84/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Not the best American version of a Pilsner out there, but for the price and format, and its overall pleasantries, it has nonetheless become a summer staple in my beer fridge. Cheers!

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Photo of LeRose
3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

It pours from the can into a pilsner glass a clear golden color with an inch or so of pure, white head. The head falls to a ring and chunky rafts.

The aroma is green and floral, grassy, a hint of earthiness, a little lemony. There is a little cracker to biscuit-like malt on the nose.

The floral nature of the hops shine. It is a little grassy, a very slight spice, and an earthy, almost vegetal, note. A little malt comes through that seems to offer maybe a bit of toast to the mix and a little bit of sweetness. There is some bitterness on the back end of the taste that got a little distracting. Very mild lemon-like flavor comes in as well.

I thought the mouthfeel was a tad bit heavy for a pilsner, but nicely carbonated, refreshing, great choice for a warm day cookout.

Overall, it ticks the pilsner boxes, but I don't think it is a true classic pilsner. Good drinking, would have again.

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Photo of Justkeepbrewing
3.27/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Beer pours a very clear straw color. Smells of green apple and floral spice. Taste is similar to smell but a little grassy. Overall easy drinking with a dry finish. Not overly complex. Just enough hops to linger in your mouth awhile. Cheers!

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Photo of Dave1999
3.56/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, light straw colour with a foamy bright white head.

The smell is very light, grass, earth, biscuit.

The taste is light grass and malt.

Medium bodied with medium carbonation. A little heavier than most pilsners.

Not my favourite pilsner, the flavour and smell is too light. I just had a sunshine pils and thought that was much better.

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Photo of Hanglow
3.46/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Can, M&S £1.22

Pours clear light gold, big-bubbled head

Light grainy aroma, touch of lemon.

Flavour follows with a decent level of bitterness. Bit watery. Fairly well carbed

I expected a bit better, there are a number of better made UK pilsners, although not at this low price

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Photo of StoutElk_92
4.27/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz. bottle dated 04/20/16

Pours clear golden straw yellow with a creamy frothy white foam head. Smells like sweet crackery caramely biscuity malt, floral orange citrus, some mildly spicy earthy grass, with tobacco-like herbal pine. Tastes like crackery caramely biscuity malts, floral orange citrus, some spicy earthy grass, mild tobacco, and herbal pine. Feels medium-light bodied, creamy with moderate low prickly carbonation. Overall a nice pilsner.

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Photo of FriedSlug
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear pale gold with a fading white head. The aroma is lemon yeast, sweetness and floral notes. The taste is a bit subdued but pleasant with a mild sweetness, cracker, yeast, flowers and finishes with a nice bitterness. This is a very nice, light pilsner.

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Photo of Bouleboubier
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

(12 oz bottle, packaged 02/25/16, purchased cold... poured at ~55 F into an Innis & Gunn fluted goblet)

L: mostly polished-clear gold liquid, does have feint tiny specks afloat... foam forms, but collapses to a thin, messy cap, but with a marginally chunky collar... head don't hold well, only a few streaks of lace

S: dry yeast, wet green grass, dry golden grass, slightly buttery cracker, subtle hop spice... essence of flower greenery, mild overtone of burlap... faint toasted and phenolic notes... overall intensity mellow

T: delicately-fiery spice to the hops up front, faint caramel sweetness... medium-toasted, lightly-nutty grain in the finish... the malt flavors are quintessentially SN, but perhaps a touch fuller and too much of a darker/sharper, toastier edge

F: altogether quite lazy-smooth and fulfilling, but perhaps not as light and dry as it should be - don't feel like I could do more than 3 in one sitting... light residual viscosity

O: about what I was hoping for and expecting from them... I think they do a decent job with the German styles, though this one's arguably a bit more Bohemian... won't argue with a fuller, toastier malt flavor, but this could stand to be a bit more lively by lightening the body and/or drawing back the crusty bread flavors

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Photo of matcris
4.06/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

APPEARANCE: Lots of bubbles swirling around and rising. Big, 2 Finger, fluffy white head that lasts forever. Very clear golden in color.
AROMA: Sweet malt, lots of grass, pretty bready.
TASTE: Bready malt, grass, nice mild bitterness builds on the finish.
FEEL: Soft, good full carbonation, medium thinnish body, dries on finish.
OVERALL: The mild bitterness and breadiness compliment each other well. No big bold hop flavor, more on the mild side.

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Photo of mpyle
4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Very pale gold color, brilliantly clear. Pours a nice white head, creamy and lingering.

Nice spicy, floral noble hop aroma. Slight hint of graininess.

Wonderful melding of malt and hop flavors up front. Very balanced, and with a nice crisp bitterness in the finish. Probably not as mind blowing for me as Prima Pils, but this one might be easier to drink in volume.

Medium body and med-high carbonation. No astringency despite assertive hopping.

A very nice effort from what I consider to be an ale brewery. Crisp, clean, and hoppy American pilsners make me happy. Never like buying the "authentic" German ones that have had a rough journey to my fridge.

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Photo of Act25
3.86/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Sierra Nevada rarely goes wrong, and is typically best for the buck - witness Torpedo.
This is a lead pack pilsner - but I have a hard time teasing the leaders apart and would need a blind tasting to tease pilsners apart.
A: Pours a crystal clear golden body with a frothy two fingers; only a bit of stickage or lace.
S: Floral and grassy, with a bordering on mass produced light grain and malt core.
T: Follows smell. Light, bright and biscuity, but what saves this one is the long clean grassy hops build with a slightly spicy character to the hops, leaning into the crisp, dry finish

F: Light to medium body with moderate carbonation, and exceptional, light, crisp, dry finish. Good food beer.

O: Sessionable and will go great with food, and Nooner gets better, the 2nd, and subsequent times. Try 12.

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Photo of Bierliebhaber3
3.79/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This pilsner pours a light yellow color with a somewhat small frothy white head, fairly standard pilsner appearance, but maybe slightly darker than average. The smell is also fairly standard for a pilsner. It is of grains, grass, and crisp, maybe a little bit spicier than the typical pilsner if anything. The flavors are similar to most German-style pilsners with yeast, grains, grass, some minor herbal notes, and spicy Saaz hops. The hop profile, like most of Sierra Nevada’s beers, is greater than the average of the style though. There is definitely a significant spicy crispness that this imparts. The finish is quite dry also. I don’t get very excited about pilsners in general, but like most of the Sierra Nevada beers that I’ve tried this is a good solid example of the style. Definitely a pilsner worth trying.

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Photo of jjamadorphd
3.28/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Another Sierra Nevada offering which I ended up have mixed feelings about. One the one hand, it's a very nice looking brew out of the bottle, a very light and appealing shade of ocher. On the other, the aftertaste was just too much to ignore. The taste itself started off strong, almost hoppy, ended up sorta sweet, but the astringent feel and strong aftertaste was a put off. For a pilsner it is definitely full bodied and good, but considering the whole package, I have to say I've had better.

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Photo of OldSwampy
3.93/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice golden yellow color expected of a pilsener with a white head that left some lacing. Nose of bready malt and floral hops. Taste with waxy notes and floral hops over a malt, close to a classic pilsener profile. Good body for this style. Mildly sudsy and slick mouthfeel leaving a mild metallic aftertaste.

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Photo of THSdrummer
3.87/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a nearly clear yellow with a thick white head. The head is foamy and retains well, with good lacing left behind. Aroma is light with notes of banana, citrus, and floral notes. Slightly metallic, but not much. The flavor profile opens with a little banana, and melds with some yeast spice. Slight metallic tinge at the end. Mouth feel has a medium consistency, and is a bit grainy and filling. Overall, it's a decent pilsner. No doubt being a Sierra Nevada offering, it's easy to find. I wouldn't pick up a 6 pack of it alone, but I don't mind getting it in sampler packs. Definitely an easy going beer.

Served in a 12oz snifter.

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Photo of Appalachian
4.23/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Note: *I've read a couple other reviews and I think alot of the 'flat' reviews are based on the fact the beer they had has been on a the shelf for a bit. Get a fresh one - it makes the difference* I live near Mills River, so when I got a Nooner, it was just bottled. I don't like Pilsners unless they are true German - living in Appalachia's 'beer valley', I can throw a rock and hit Highlands, New Belgium and Sierra Nevada's facility - so I get alot of IPA action. This one, however, changed my mind. This has the full body of a Stout or IPA, but still is light enough to be a true Pilsner. The color is above average, nothing to write home about (or review). Light but bitter - just about right. This beer is highly underrated.

While it tastes awesome, it's more of a mid-afternooner. I couldn't knock back two pints of these and head back to work - I'd want to go hit the river. Still, their objectives were met when they created this beer, you could have two 12oz and easily go back to work without drawing any attention to the fact you just polished off a couple brews.

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Photo of Malt_Man
4.15/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Served cold from 12fl oz bottle into pilsner glass.

L) Light gold colour, millions of small bubbles, possible slight haze, dense fluffy white head. Looks superb in this tall glass.

S) Doughy malt, not much on the hop side. Inviting.

T) Bitterness is very prominent. Balanced off with a warmish malt flavour, touches of honey sweetness but very muted. This is a traditional German-type pilsner, sharp bitterness is spot on.

F) Fizzy and refreshing, immensely drinkable. A bit of bitterness on the aftertaste.

O) I've been looking forward to trying this for ages and it lives up to the good reputation. Full marks to Sierra Nevada for staying on style for a pilsner as opposed to making a lager and dumping IPA hops in it (The Crisp I am looking at you). Wish I'd bought a few of these, but it is expensive in the UK.

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Photo of stevoj
3.35/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

About as expected, lighter than normal IPAs, but smooth and finishes with a dry bitterness. Airy head leaves lots of lacing on the glass. Pale golden body, light cereal aroma, light but slick mouthfeel. A good mid-day beer, as intended.

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Nooner Pilsner from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
3.84 out of 5 based on 1,536 ratings.
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