Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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Lager - Helles
Ranked #58
Ranked #23,372
3.86 | pDev: 10.1%
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States
Very Good
Reviews: 20 | Ratings: 55 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of jockstrappy
jockstrappy from Pennsylvania

3.67/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear golden straw, pillow like white head. Aroma is cereal grain, fresh bread and mild earthy hop. Flavor is a biscuity malt backbone, with a citrus rind hop profile that works together quite well start to finish. Moderately carbonated, mild bitter finish. Great easy drinking brew, would probably satisfy a wide array of palates.

Feb 14, 2021
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Jugs_McGhee from Louisiana

3.35/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Initial gut reaction from my first 12 oz pull-tab can:

Vibrant yellow body. Serviceable off-white head. Looks on the mark for a Munich lager.

Subtly bready with a grassy hop profile and abundant fresh helles malts. Grainy and minerally. Strangely, I'm getting an extremely subtle but nevertheless present smoked malt flavour from it as well, which is quite welcome but quite unexpected. Did Weyermann source malt for this?

Balanced and easy drinking. Not so bready that it's overwhelming or feels like a liquid meal.

One of the better American attempts at a Munich lager, but not quite on par with the best German-brewed expressions of the style. Damned drinkable...the kind of beer I could crush paired with hot wings, pizza, etc.

B- (3.35) / WORTHY

Jun 05, 2020
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rodbeermunch from Nevada

3.61/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Had Jamie #2 pick up a 6er of this, but then she fell off the map so I got my own at Craft.

Pours a golden color that seems the standard for helles. Dig the design for that .25 bump. Skiing rules. 3/4" white head. Aroma of that bready kind of pilsner like malt body. Lager yeast was pretty neutral here.

Soft grain notes dominate the taste hitting those oft repeated "bready" descriptors, but they're repeated because they're accurate here. Even though its Sierra Nevada, they show good restraint with the hops here. Average carbonation in the mouth feel.

This 6 pack got destroyed right quick by the ladies for the most part once those end of Summer Naturday 30 racks were gone. I liked it too. Its a good beer to have around, its crushable, no taste or mouth feel aspect is extreme, but its also not watery and just an alcohol delivery vessel either. I think I said on the Memoria review that helles aren't my thing, but yet here I am, writing 2 positive helles reviews in one day. You could do worse.

Apr 22, 2020
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CTHomer from Connecticut

3.79/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: crystal clear; medium gold in color; 1 finger finely pored white head that receded to a skim cap; OK lacing;

S: light malt, a little apple, and a little spice;

T: sweet for a moment, then balanced; follows the nose; a touch sweet in the aftertaste;

M: light bodied; moderate carbonation; moderately dry finish;

O: refreshing; easy drinking;

Apr 22, 2020
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teromous from Virginia

2.37/5  rDev -38.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

From the bottom of the can: "PKGD 121219C07:03"

Appearance: The body of the beer is hazy and gold colored. It has a large slightly off-white head that seems to dynamically rise and fall as the bubbles rise in the glass. Decent retention.

Aroma: There are notes of sweet-smelling cereal grain. A light herbal hop aroma is present.

Taste: It has a tart flavor which is very off-putting. There are notes of grain and some lemon-like flavors but the beer is very tart. There is a bit of a chalk-like aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Light bodied and uncharacteristically tart. The finish of the beer is gritty.

Overall: The beer can states that this is a "BAVARIAN-STYLE LAGER" and it really did not present itself as one. It was very tart and the beer did not have a crisp clean body one would expect. It's pretty poorly executed. I wouldn't buy it again and I would recommend buying something else.

Mar 13, 2020
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Scott17Taylor from Iowa

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

Pours bright golden yellow with a fluffy white head.
The aroma is interesting, it’s big crackery malts like you see in every helles but there’s a fruity happiness. It’s citrusy and also has a bit of an applesauce type aroma.
The flavor is nice and light. The malt character is big bready notes without really being grainy. The hops are very American, I’m getting a lot of lemon and some apple.
This is a super light crisp crushable lager, I like the take on a helles with american hops. It’s done very well.

Feb 27, 2020
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Riff from Virginia

3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, golden color with a thick, fluffy, white, head. Smell is cracker and a slight citrus (leaning lemon) scent. Taste is bread, citrus, light bitterness, malts. Flavor does not linger long on the tongue. Feel is light and crisp. Overall its a solid helles, easy to drink, tasty.

Feb 24, 2020
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BB1313 from Ohio

3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Collaboration with Teton Gravity Research. Canned on 12/12/19. 12oz can poured into a tulip. Pours golden with great clarity and transparency with bubbles racing upwards; small white head that fades leaving solid retention and lacing. The aromas have some corn along with some fresh bread, crackers and grains. Hints of caramel. Malts are there. The flavors are clean, crisp and refreshing. More grains, bread and crackers. More corn along with some barley. More caramel along with some hints of toffee in the mix. Some fresh grass. Subtle hints of citrus. Moderate to low bitterness. Malts do their thing. Finishes clean. Alcohol goes unnoticed. Mouthfeel is nice. It's on the fuller side of light-bodied with active carbonation. It's sharp, very fluffy, smooth and easy to drink.

This is a nice lager. Once again, it's clean, crisp and refreshing. The craftsmanship is on point. Sierra Nevada has always done a nice job with their lagers, and this one is no exception.

Feb 01, 2020
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mikeinportc from New York

4.09/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Canned 12/12/19

Clear medium gold with moderate white head, and a little spotty lacing.

Smell is fresh bread with a little lightly fruity/floral hop aroma.

Taste is biscuity malt, with a touch of sweetness, and some light pleasant bitterness, that leaves the barest hint lingering on the tip of the tongue.

Feel is light, without seeming watery, and a just-enough level of very very fine carbonation.

Overall smooth, easy-drinking, and no apparent flaws. I just got a single this time, and enjoyed it enough to go back for more. Recommend it for those "Just-Want-A-Beer moments.

Jan 30, 2020
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MonDak_Joe1953 from Minnesota

3.92/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz can. Can bottom is stamped 'PKGD 102419'.
Clear, pale gold colored body. Two finger of white head upon pouring, quickly reduce to thin cap and ring. Leaves behind a few spots of lacing.
Aroma of grain and biscuit malts. Hops are floral, earthy, and a little citrus.
Taste is malty (cracker and white bread) with the snap from the earthy hops. Slightly sweet with a touch of citrus.
Medium mouth feel. Excellent carbonation.
Easy drinking. Excellent choice for refreshment after outdoor activities.

Jan 16, 2020
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Troy-Hawaii from Hawaii

3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Part of a variety 24-pack Costco $26.99
82 days old
Light citrus smell
Golden color
Light mouthfeel
Medium-high carbonation
Sweet citrus, light malt flavors
Overall a nice easy drinking beer. Would make for a great summer beer.

Jan 15, 2020
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Tsar_Riga from Indiana

3.94/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours superbly clear, with a yellow body and a straight white head that fades quickly. Minimal lacing.

S - Honeyed malts, a bit of floral hops, a note of pepper in the finish.

T - Follows the nose, but very restrained. Peppery hops and floral sweetness, it is a slightly spicy honey drinker. Some mild bitterness in the close.

M - Lovely light clean open, moderate carbonation and acidity, and a quick, slightly dry finish.

O - Solidly built, but not particularly memorable Helles. Tasty and drinkable, and nothing bad, but just not special.

Jan 11, 2020
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cheeseheadinMinneapolis from Minnesota

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

Solid beer, I like it, easy drinking, refreshing. a very clean beer
slightly sweet malt, grain, grassy, cracker/bread, hint of earth. some floral/lemon hop notes towards the finish.

Jan 10, 2020
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steveh from Illinois

3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

So I stumbled on this one by pure accident -- didn't even remember it was being brewed. Can't pass up a beer from a favorite brewery that advertises "Bavarian-Style." Or, can I?

neat little six-pack of cans packaged in full-wrap cardboard. Difficult to read dating ink-jetted to the can bottoms: PKGD 09/05/19. Hmm, nearly 4 months old, but it's in cans, right? Poured into my tall Becher.

L -- Clear, pale gold with a sudsy white head that settles slowly to nothing.

S -- Light, crackery malts with stronger herbal hops dominating.

T -- Lightly sweet, bready and crackery malts up front with herbal, lightly citric and piney hops balancing. Bitter, resiny hops linger through the aftertaste with the sweetish malts fighting a gallant battle to balance.

F -- Mouthfeel is soft to crisp with a light to light-medium body.

O -- I'll admit that the last Hofbrau Original I had tasted hoppier than usual for the style, but the hops in that beer weren't lemony or resinous. I'd like this beer more with less hops (especially the Magnum) and more of the sweet malts. Not big, Maibock-like malts, but a little more aggressive than the hops. Then again, it *is* a Sierra Nevada beer.

I'll have to see how this review compares to my Nooner review.

Dec 31, 2019
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barnzy78 from Illinois

3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz can, PKGD 101619. Crystal clear golden beer with a foamy white head. Aroma is herbal & grassy hops with Pilsner malt perhaps. More hoppy and bitter than expected - making it seem more like a Pilsner with notes of spicy/herbal/grassy hops along with biscuity pale malt, Pilsner malt. Light-to-medium body, ample carbonation, clean finish with a bit of hops lingering. Nice and refreshing - an easy drinker.

Dec 10, 2019
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Bitterbill from Wyoming

4.38/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Canned September 6th 2019.

It pours a clear gold with a massive head of foam, lacing is top notch.

The smell is malty, bready, fruity with a mild hop bitterness.

Malty with mild sweetness, bready, some grainy notes, light bitterness in the aftertaste. I don't taste anything of the fruity character that I got from the smell.

Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

Oh yes. Thanks for brewing this so drinkable Bavarian style Lager. Hey, it's a collaboration with Teton Gravity Research??

Dec 08, 2019
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TooManyGlasses from Canada (AB)

4.02/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Single 12 oz can from Keg n Cork I n Edmonton.
Pours pale clear golden yellow with finger of tight white head - beautiful carbonation streaming up the glass.
Aroma of corn cereal, notes of fresh bread, malty and slight floral sweetness.
Taste is delicately sweet bready malt, crisp floral hoppiness, yet without significant bitterness. Crisp and clean.
Smooth light bodied lager with moderate carbonation and a crisp clean finish.
Really nice and very drinkable.

Nov 28, 2019
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PEBKAC from North Carolina

3.24/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

On tap @ Mills River.

Half-sized pint glass. Classic clear gold, ordinary appearance. Nice lingering lacy head.

Grainy, clean scent, no odd stuff,can't complain.

Soft, so slightly sweet malt, tingle of background hops, thin, but ends a little flabby. Of course it's clean. Very close to something generic. Wanted a pinch of bitterness or acid the finish this.

Nov 26, 2019
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ChainGangGuy from Georgia

4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours a light yellow-hued body, crystal clear, with a tall surge of whitish foam.

Smell: Gently bready pils note with a very light, low hint of toasted grain. Pleasantly spiceful, lightly floral, fruity hops. Very nice aroma from the underlying yeast.

Taste: Lightly bready, mildly sweet. Little touch of fruitiness, Noble-esque spiciness, faint herb and florals. Minimally bitter. Slight yeast character. Pleasing acidity throughout. Finishes exceedingly clean.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Overall: Top-notch flavor, devilishly drinkable.

Nov 11, 2019
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

3.97/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

a well made helles lager with more flavor than a lot of them have. its just a little fuller feeling too, like rich without being sweet, which definitely makes it a four season lager, which is nice this time of year. i always think these guys do such compelling lager beer, but they dont come around all that often, so i was stoked to see this one come out. frothy and almost creamy in texture, medium bodied but dry, some obvious european malt character to this, but a little less german on the lager yeast to me, the fermentation profile is quite minimal, clean as can be and crisps this up well at the end, but it doesnt have that old world bready character that a lot of helles types do, its more about the grain, and frankly the water chemistry, which presents minerals and even a touch of salinity, which makes this distinct at the same time that it fit so well within the style guidelines. some nice fresh bittering hops on this too, with a noble grassiness and a touch of bite at the end. faint citrus, dried grass, and earthy spice as well. drinkable but not watery, simple but flavorful, and just so professionally executed. sometimes i prefer lager types like this from the bigger craft breweries than the mom and pop ones, the quality of this can only come from real expert brewmasters. very well made beer here, super satisfying after hockey too!

Nov 11, 2019
Skiesta from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 55 ratings