Southern Gothic
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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Lager - Kellerbier / Zwickelbier
Ranked #29
Ranked #14,723
3.94 | pDev: 11.17%
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States
Very Good
Notes: Steeped in tradition, yet ready for anything—that pretty much sums up our Southern Gothic Unfiltered Pils. This hop-forward but light-bodied pilsner is crisp and drinkable, perfect for an afternoon on the porch or a night down at the pub. We left it unfiltered and raw to bring out its complexity and add a depth of flavor.

BITTERING HOPS: Magnum, Saphir
FINISHING HOPS: Saphir, Sterling
MALTS: Pilsner, Vienna, Acidulated

38 IBU
Reviews: 42 | Ratings: 116 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of misteil
misteil from Ireland

3.94/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

just another short review, getting too lazy these days... lovely lager this, rich white bread malt flavour, lemon zest, honey, grass, earthy, floral, nice bit of bitterness on the finish, nicely sweet, medium bodied, crisp and refreshing, good stuff.

Nov 26, 2020
Photo of Griff64
Griff64 from Illinois

4.19/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I poured this beer from the bottle into a pint shaker style glass. It is foggy and lemon-gold. The tight head covers the surface for a few minutes then fades to a ring around the edge with a lace the hugs the glass with ever tip. It smells of light citrus and sweet grain. The flavor is a smooth fruit flavor (think of and orange that didn't get very sweet) the aftertaste is sourdough. It's mouthfeel is light to medium. As for drinkablility I usually don't get an urge to gulp beer but this one makes me want to take big gulps. Don't get me wrong I love my IPA's but this is a welcome change from the hopbuzz.

Jan 26, 2020
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Troy-Hawaii from Hawaii

3.5/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Part of a variety 24-pack Costco $27.99
77 days old
Smell of wheat, citrus
Hazy golden color
Medium-light mouthfeel
Medium carbonation
Citrus, wheat flavors, light bitterness finish
Overall ok.

Jan 17, 2020
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Tsar_Riga from Indiana

3.93/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A - Yellow body, largely clear, extensive carbonation, and a moderate white head.

S - Strong pine and resin notes, floral notes.

T - More floral in the taste, honey and malt mingling with hop pine and earthiness.

M - Clean, crisp, drinkable with just a bit of dryness in the close.

O - Not particularly remarkable, but quite quaffable.

Jan 11, 2020
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barnzy78 from Illinois

3.59/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz can, PKGD 102219. Hazed golden body with a tall & frothy off-white head. Aroma is earthy & grassy hops and Pilsner malt. Assertive hops render grassy, herbal, and earthy notes along with biscuity Pilsner malt. Medium body, moderate carbonation, dry, bitter, and semi-crisp finish. Good not great in my opinion.

Dec 14, 2019
Photo of Davidpolenz33

1.31/5  rDev -66.8%
look: 1 | smell: 1.25 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.25

If youre looking for a light bodied beer that has the complexion of the "i forgot to flush before work this morning" toilet, and has the taste of El Presidente, with the smell of a skunked corona... this is the beer for you.

Nov 19, 2019
Photo of WYeates
WYeates from North Carolina

3.78/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours with a fluffy head into a pale cloudy color. It has a wheat aroma with a slight skunk. Taste reminds me of bread with a hoppy crisp taste that goes down wet.

Definitely drinkable.

Oct 27, 2019
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Jugs_McGhee from Colorado

2.57/5  rDev -34.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Initial impression from a CAN:

It's actually strangely bad for a Sierra Nevada beer - I hate to say it. Minerally and over-hopped, straying from pilsner style conventions horribly. Mouthfeel is dry, starchy, and unrefreshing.

It's only $1.45 per can in New Orleans, but as a Sierra Nevada fan I could never have predicted this would be this lacklustre. Probably the worst beer I've had from this brewery in the last 5 years...did I get an old can or something?


Oct 16, 2019
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jadpsu from Georgia

3.67/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

In Laurel:
LOOK: Has to be the clearest unfiltered beer I have ever seen! Pours a clear gold with an all white head . Retention is decent.
AROMA: Floral and herbal hops, followed by grain and bread malts.
TASTE: Both the hops and malts in the aroma, also drying.
Clean, refreshing. The lack of complexity fits the Pilsner style.

Jun 28, 2019
Photo of daliandragon
daliandragon from Maryland

4.08/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Love the huge white head with white bubbles asparse but thick sticky lace. Earthy bread note in the nose that adds a mellow sweetness. Am surprised a little by the yeast atack in the taste as I guess it's a while since I enjoyed a kellerbier. It's a lot of yeast but the aftertaste is doughy and delicious and I find this pretty drinkable.

Jun 02, 2019
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Buck89 from Tennessee

3.77/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap into a pint glass. A hazy golden yellow color with a medium white head. Faint floral and pine aroma, along with faint cracker malt. Taste followed. Fairly bitter approaching IPA territory. Clean and fairly dry on the finish. Medium bodied. Overall a tasty beer, seeming to blur the lines between Kellerbier and American IPA.

May 29, 2019
Photo of mpyle
mpyle from Maryland

4.17/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Saw this one for the first time today, and had to give it a try. Was in can form. 5.2% ABV per my can.

Straw color, slightly hazy. Pours a big white head, creamy and lingering.

Has a crisp, clean nose with just a bit of slightly spicy noble-type hop aroma.

Has some malty sweetness up front, and a gentle hop flavor. Flavor seems all about drinkability, as doesn't have rough edges. Hop bitterness is pretty mellow, but dries out enough in the finish to invite another sip. A lovely, clean lager.

Medium body and medium-high carbonation. A nice, refreshing mouthfeel.

A clean, flavorful pils with some hops. As drinkable as the macro lagers, but with more flavor.

May 10, 2019
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Carnold84 from Virginia

4.28/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have been to Prague and had the 11° and 12° Vaclav and Staropramen. I have misgivings about how quick the head dissappears and that the ABV is higher, however this is one of the only beers close enough to be deemed a Pilsener here in the USA. I think Czech people would actually like this. I really enjoyed this beer because I was so spoiled by excellent beer in the Czech Republic. Na Zdravi!

May 04, 2019
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pubscout from New Jersey

4.18/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Sierra Nevada Southern Gothic— at first glance after the pour and smell, I thought—Man! This might give the special unfiltered Pilsner Urquell a run for its money! But while Josef Groll and his offspring have nothing to worry about in that regard ( no beer I have tasted matches Vaclav Havel’s special unfiltered beer), this is still an excellent unfiltered Pilsner. Bold, crisp and loaded with flavor ( hey, it IS a SN product, no?) and endowed with an ABV that at 5.2% is somewhat higher than Pilsner Urquell’s 4. Whatever, SG should satisfy the Pilsner purist almost as much as the original. It will nicely complement most any food (except desserts), and that ABV guarantees it’s very sessionable. Those Saphir hops work nicely with the others, and together, they dance very well with the solid malt backbone. Definitely a Summer go-to Beer, especially after yard work!

Mar 25, 2019
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ThickNStout from Georgia

3.49/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz can from Total Wine (Kennesaw, GA). 1.99. Canned 6/21/18. Served in a Three Taverns pilsner glass. Enjoyed 9/27/18.

Pours a semi hazy pale yellow with a tall cap of white fluffy head. Average retention.

Smells of pilsner malt, cracker, an earthy floral notes and perhaps a little lemon.

Flavors of bread, hay, dried grass and vague lemon pepper.

Fairly light, crisp body with zesty carbonation. Dry aftertaste with a little bread and lemongrass.

I don’t believe I’d tried a lager from Sierra Nevada before so it was time. Southern Gothic is a bit less crisp than most pilsners I’ve had but still pretty darn easy to drink.

Mar 09, 2019
Photo of 88caprice
88caprice from Virginia

4.21/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a can into a long glass.
Pale yellow. Nice foamy cap. Hazy. Smells of hops and lager. A good-tasting pils. While not my favorite style, this is clearly a good one.

Jan 15, 2019
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MaltsOfGlory from Oregon

4.22/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12oz can

Pours about a finger of white head into my can-style glass. Looks somewhat creamy, though I can hear it fizzing away. The body is a moderately light yellow, not very bright though. For being unfiltered it is quite transparent. Pretty heavy amount of bubbles coming up. Head retention was below average, but a nice film remains. Looks ok so far.

The nose has a very fresh grain aroma, bready. Not very pilsner esque, more reminiscent of a vienna. Though they do list vienna malt on the description if memory serves correctly, so there you go. Still, it's very forward. I think I like that aspect? It may be coming across a bit sweet for a beer I was expecting to be a crushable one. Maybe just a hair of DMS, nothing very offensive though. Some distinct hops lingering in the distance, light, grassy, european. Overall this is quite nice, though the sweetness is concerning.

Flavor is interesting, definitely a unique beer. First thing I notice is that the sweetness is appropriate, maybe a hair over normal, but not bad at all. Certainly a bit bready, but it lingers in the background. Very clean, crisp and refreshing. Hops are lighter than on the nose, but still present, mostly in the finish. Picking up hints of lemon as well. Not really any DMS. Overall a very good taste. Well balanced, slightly different.

The mouthfeel is very good. As mentioned it's very refreshing. The carbonation is on the higher end, which is perfectly fine here. Body is pretty light, but not thin. Bitterness is low and doesn't linger.

The drinkability is very high. Super light and tasty, goes down easy.

The appearance turned out, eh, ok. Lacing was here, but not impressive by any means. The head was below par as well. Nothing special, below average appearance I'd say.

Overall this is a very nice beer. Getting more lemon notes, which are quite nice. All in all it's a well balanced pilsner that has a few welcome abnormal flavors.

Dec 28, 2018
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StJamesGate from New York

4.05/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

White gold with loose puffy head; tin, flowers, + honeyed grain; big fresh country loaf, some husk in the middle, earthy yeast, vague lemon pith, some grass + lots of spicy hops to end; snappy + tingly.

3.75 4.25 4 4 4

Saphir, Sterling

Definitely pils, not helles - big hops in both finish + IBUs, which are flirting with the upper end of the range at 38. New school Noble give that citrus edge. Defo a SN beer, far more so than Summerfest. Only complaint is “unfiltered” made me expect a keller, but I’m not feeling that at all. Still quaffable, though.

Dec 21, 2018
Photo of rajendra82
rajendra82 from Georgia

4.12/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looked like any other Pilsner at the start of the pour, but the addition of yeast towards the end made the pale golden body look atypically cloudy. The head was small, never rising to more than half a finger thick. The smell was absolutely fantastic,, and very true to the style in its aromas of cut hay, lemon, and fresh baked bread, The taste was true to the style, providing balanced flavor profile between spicy and earthy noble hops, and bready malt. The yeast appeared to add a bit of punch of phenols to the mid palette, before the dry finish, with accents of lemon kicked in. A pretty nice Pilsner, with some complexity, not usually found in the style.

Dec 17, 2018
Photo of tillmac62
tillmac62 from South Carolina

4.16/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Golden pour with light haze. World class head volume. Retention is outstanding while lacing is quite outstanding.

Very good nose that begins with lager yeast as the base. A light sweetness permeates along with light lemon, even lighter orange and herbal hops. A light cracker malt aspect is present.

Light medium body that is smooth with the slightest oily touch. The carbonation / body balance is world class. The middle is prickly with effervescence while it finishes in a tightly bubbled rollicking ride

The flavor profile is quite outstanding, especially for the style. It pushes to the perfect point of bitterness then counter balances with slightly sweet citrus notes (lemon and light orange). A bit of graininess is present in the background and presents near the finish. The finish is a slow fade of herbal hops.

Nov 23, 2018
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D-ROD from North Carolina

2.97/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

12oz can poured into a pint

A- pours clear, then a slightly hazy pale straw color with a minimal head that leaves a rim of lacing behind

S- grainy, toasted crackers, amines of yeast, pilsner malt, floral grassy hops,

T- spicy floral hop-forward up front, the Lager yeast take over & unfortunately for me, dominate, thinkin’ Belgian rather than Pils. The finish is dry, and continues to be hop forward on the finish

M- excess carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel and a crisp dry finish

O- more yeast-fully amine bitterness than a traditional, but isn’t that what unfiltered leaves behind?

Nov 18, 2018
Photo of mothmanscott
mothmanscott from Georgia

3.99/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy straw with moderate amounts of effervescence streaming from the bottom. The pour produces a huge 3++ fingers of frothy, billowy, moderately lasting white head that diminishes to chunky surface cap & collar ring leaving a coating of clumpy soap bubble lace. Aroma is classic lager yeast, bread & grain with hoppy lemon up front with hints of floral & grass. Taste is lager yeast fruity, biscuit & pale malt, lemony & grassy hops (has Noble character) combine with a clean & crisp finish that hints of a grain, fruit & thin pine needle bitterness. The grain, hop notes & bitterness become less dominant in the rapidly diminishing aftertaste. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, moderately carbonated, smooth, crisp and clean.

Nov 14, 2018
Photo of Beejay
Beejay from Virginia

4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Hazy yellow with a nice fluffy white head.

S: Hoppy, grassy and herbal. Classic lager yeast aroma.

T: Herbal and floral hops with a hint of citrus, and a long smooth malt finish.

M: Medium light, with fairly active carbonation.

O: Overall a pretty decent brew.

Nov 13, 2018
Photo of Treyliff
Treyliff from West Virginia

3.97/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz can poured into a pint

A- pours a slightly hazy pale straw color with a two-finger foamy white head that leaves some nice lacing behind after settling

S- grainy, toasted crackers, pilsner malt, spicy floral hops, a touch of honey

T- spicy floral hop-forward up front, followed by toasted cracker malt, slightly bready. The finish is dry, and continues to be hop forward on the finish

M- light-medium body with medium carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel and a crisp dry finish

O- more hop-forward than a traditional pils, but maintains the drinkability of the style

Nov 12, 2018
Photo of Squire
Squire from Mississippi

4.14/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Nice light golden color with white cap and lacing.

Lovely aroma of dry, crackery malt and floral, spicy hops.

Taste is hop forward with a firm bitterness that also develops a hop brightness as the beer warms up a bit. Malt flavor is dry, crackery and bready, yet malt plays a secondary role here supporting the hops. Not as malty as traditional Pils but I'm getting the impression that old style is not the goal here. Call it an updated take on the Pils style. Not a diminished one, or for that matter a better one, just different in it's own way and it's good.

Medium texture with balancing carbonation.

Overall this is quite good. It would not be my first choice if I had a hankering for a traditional Pils but it certainly has a place of choice for a very good anytime beer with meals or company, or both.

Oct 10, 2018
Southern Gothic from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 116 ratings