Sierra Nevada Crystal Wheat Beer | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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Sierra Nevada Crystal Wheat BeerSierra Nevada Crystal Wheat Beer
31 Ratings
Sierra Nevada Crystal Wheat BeerSierra Nevada Crystal Wheat Beer

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

Style: American Pale Wheat Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 01-03-2003

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 31 |  Reviews: 23
Reviews by mfrogs:
Photo of mfrogs
2/5  rDev -42.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Had a taste on draft at The Gate in Brooklyn on a magically lovely summer evening. Unfortunately, the mood could not transform this beer which was disappointingly bland. Looked like Bud, had a weak and watery and lacked the character of a usual wheat beer or of a usual Sierra Nevada brew, for that matter...Don't bother.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.77/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Now released in bottles, Butte Co. only from what the dude at the brewery said.

A perennial favorite of mine, used to be drafthouse only as far as I knew, but then, bam, they have it in bottles at the brewery 2 weeks ago. Yellow pour, a limited amount of head and lace, but decent enough for style.

A bit of hops, lemon and clear, refreshing wheat feel. This was the first wheat beer I actually found good flavor in back in the day. Big citrus level in the style. Can tell its from SN. But they don't crush the skull with hops or alcohol, which is nice. You don't have to do that on every beer, nor should you. A little bit of banana, but nowhere near the amount in the kellerweis.

Overall, a much better option than Summerfest in my opinion.

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Photo of IntriqKen
3.8/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled at Sierra Nevada Brewery.
Poured a very pale, cloudy yellow with a nice head that left nice lacing.
Aroma of toasted wheat and white pepper.
Taste of grains and sweet malts....puckering pepper...and a drying finish.
Very light....aftertaste is very drying and pale.
Nice drinkable summer brew

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Photo of tempest
3.88/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Kelly Cole's in Syracuse.

A pleasant surprise in NY. This is basically a clean tasting wheat beer (no big yeasty flavors) a goo kick of grassy hops. Kind of a cool combo of American brewing with Euro hops. If you're a saaz fan check this out, it fairly similar to a good Pils.

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Photo of Amalak
3.13/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I had off the tap at a bar in Brooklyn. Gold color, clear, with some head and lace. Fairly bubbly. Had a slight wheat scent.

The taste was interesting: tart, tingly taste. Very dry aftertaste. Very interesting sweetness that I can't put my finger on. Not loving it as I drink it more.

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Photo of Gusler
3.92/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The first thing I noticed about this “Wheat beer” was the presents of “Hops”, much more than I expected, and it was a pleasant surprise.

Color on the pour a nice “Chill Hazed” light to medium amber with the head humongous in size, creamy in its consistency, and bright white in color, as the head eroded the lace formed a concealing sheet upon the glass. Hops a nice hop floral followed closely by the sweet malt, fresh and crisp, a real treat, start was also malt laden, somewhat sweet and the top slim in its feel. Finish mildly acidic, hops to the forefront, desert dry and lingering aftertaste. Damn another great beer I get to sample on draught only once a year if the “Beer Gods” see fit.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.56/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Yellow beer, nice 3/5" white head. Great clarity for a wheat beer. Plenty of lemon like hop notes, wheat bread like.

Taste is super clean, refreshing, carbonated, fruity yeast. Plenty of lemon and other citrus notes. Cool summer beer, a little more hopped than average for style, nothing too exotic, mostly Cascades. I'd venture in the 30ibu range.

Pretty no frills and everything it does it does well.

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Photo of donniecuffs
3.68/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a relatively clear straw yellow with a thin head, little carbonation, and decent lacing. The aroma revealed surprisingly little complexity for a wheat ale, with only lemon, pine, and a little bitterness present. The flavor was much better, with a little more woodiness and banana present, but it still didn't rank in the upper echelon of American wheat ales that I've had (Flying Fish Exit 11 comes to mind). The mouth feel was thin, and the finish was a little too bitter/dry, e.g. imbalanced. While this certainly was thin enough to session, the flavor was lacking.

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Photo of bob727
4/5  rDev +14.9%

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.6/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: Sampled on draft at Lucky Baldwin’s, Pasadena, CA on Saturday 18th September during the Sierra Nevada Beer Festival and a mini-BA Gathering. Served in a Sierra Nevada Pint Glass, $3 for the Pint.

Generic Sierra Nevada Tap Handle that is Yellow-Orange and has the words ‘Crystal Wheat’ in a Black text, at least I think!

Appearance: Very light golden body, extremely pale and of course perfectly lucid. Bleached bone white head that has some good staying power but tended to break up half way down the Glass. Lots of streamers evident in this one from the over-carbonated body.

Nose: Quite hoppy with some lemon and a smidgeon of banana, clean odors. Light fruitiness.

Taste: Not bad, very clean, incredibly crisp pure lines. Minimal taste all round but enough to make this discernable as a Wheat Beer. Lemony malts with a surprisingly sharp banana bitterness in the finish. Nothing ever really leaps out of this one though – steady away.

Mouthfeel: Decent carbonation helps to lend a bright feel to the filtered Wheat Beer, but it felt a tad “fizzy” and soda-like at times.

Drinkability: Not much of a challenge to be honest, decent enough but a little one-dimensional for me to drink more than a few pints, but I could drink it all night if I had to. The Eunuch of the Wheat Beer world, if you know what I mean.

Overall: A good entrance beer I am sure, a tasty brew for the novice that may prove a little boring for the beer drinker that prefers a little more backbone from their Wheat Beers.

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Photo of litheum94
4/5  rDev +14.9%

Photo of ILikeGoodCider
2.84/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Sampled on-tap 08-24-08 at JJ Brewsky's in Camarillo, CA.

A - Medium gold, mostly clear. Not a bit of head to be noticed, nor was there any lacing to show one's prior existence.

S - A little citrus. But that's it.

T - A little banana in there. But mostly unimpressed.

M - A quite watery wheat. Good carbonation, but I would've preferred a bit less; it got in the way.

D - Fairly forgettable. About 1/3 way through, I was contemplating my next choice.

NOTE: I enjoy many of Sierra Nevada's brews, just not this one. Also, American Pale Wheats are not on the top of my list either...

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Photo of axisjones
3.51/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Toronado in San Francisco.

Poured pale straw with a soft cloudiness. It had a fluffy white head that spiraled down the glass as the liquid spiraled down my throat.

The smell is faint, hardly noticable. You have to be trying to get a nose out of this. Faint wheat smell with a lemon zestiness in the distance. Unremarkable.

A slightly hoppier American wheat beer with very little of the characteristics of good wheat beers. The taste is super light, so light it is hard to pick out flavors. The is an understated wheat beer flavors, slightly phenolic with a mild citrus from the hops. In the end, it is really bland.

From the above description, this seems like a good summer beer. Is it? Not really. While I find that smooth, thirst quenching beer make great summer beers, especially wheat beers, there are far more interesting ways to go. It's not that this beer is subtle, because its not. It's just plain boring.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.13/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Hate this style. Haaate it. Pours a slightly hazed gold amber. Thick white head falls fast. Flavor is acidic, bitter, and just wrong. Too much grain. Too much tang. Feel is boring and uninspiring. Man this beer is lame. Yet another reason I hate this style.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.63/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Hollingshead's, on to the beer:

Without the yeast, this beer looks like a blonde lager or ale. Without the yeast, this wheat beer also makes for a different taste. Short and sweet is the best way to put this beer, and it's a refreshing choice without any major flavors getting in the way.

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Photo of Swimsum
3.31/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From notes taken in 2009. Served in an imperial pint glass at the brewery.

The body is a beautiful light golden color. There is a one finger bubbly white head that sits atop the liquid. As the name states, the body is crystal clear and a stream of bubbles can be seen in the middle of the body coming from the etched bottom. This causes the head to stay around for the whole session. Even with a constant head, no lacing is formed in the glass as this beer goes down though.

Not a lot going on here for me. Mostly just bready malts and a night floral hop presence.

Taste is much like the smell, not a lot going on. Slight hops with a lot of bready malt taste. The finish is nice and crisp. Wish I had spent a bit more time looking for flavors in this bee.

Pretty thin bodied with a good amount of carbonation. This goes down very easy. But at times seems a bit watery.

This is a pretty drinkable beer due to it being fairly light. With that said, there isn't a ton of flavor here either. I could easily see myself drinking a good amount of this if Pale Wheats were a style I liked more. I'm glad I got to this this because I don't know how far outside the brewery this gets distributed.

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Photo of Rynodyno
4/5  rDev +14.9%

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

(From notes)

A - Clean light gold, with little head or even retention. No haziness or rising carbonation

S - Faint wheatiness; really have to try to tease out that it's a wheat based beer

T - Not very complex, and not very representative of the style. Lacks tartness and other characteristics (such as yeastiness) that are often associated with the style.

M - Light viscous body, with a little touch of carbonation

D - It's nice and light, but really doesn't deliver on the taste front.

Overall, I was confused as to what SN was trying to do with this brew. I wouldn't bash this brew, but would not go out of my way to recommend.

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Photo of TireMan
3.75/5  rDev +7.8%

Photo of furthurgone
3.75/5  rDev +7.8%

Photo of Floydster
3.06/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Sampled at Hollingshead in Orange tonight, glasses were $5.50 each, my friend decided to order me one of these

A-Pale yellow color with a bit of murkiness, resembled a Macro in many ways, weak 1/4 inch white head, settled almost immediately, no lacing

S-Faint wheat aromas, some lemon juice, small amount of hoppiness, slight banana scent, floral qualities as it warmed

T-Tasted like a light hefeweizen, more lemon than normal though, taste got overly sweet as the beer warmed because of its high levels of citrus, too much lemon in my opinion, not much malt, some earthy hops at times but nothing that really stood out, not much to this and could have used some more complexity

M-light mouthfeel, thin body, not enough carbonation, taste did not last long, watered down and one dimensional

D-Could drink lots of this but it is not flavorful enough to keep going, ABV does not seem too high, pretty light on the stomach, almost too smooth if that is possible

Had never heard of this beer before, another one of Sierra Nevada's tap only beers, not too impressed with it, a lot lighter than I thought it would be, not much to it, recommended if you are in the mood for something different and you happen to come across it, would probably not drink it again myself

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Photo of John11486
3.5/5  rDev +0.6%

Photo of ThomasG19
4.5/5  rDev +29.3%

Photo of ThreeWiseMen
2.91/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Ordered a pint of this at The Endzone in Chico a few nights ago. Review written from notes.

Served in a standard pint glass.

Appearance: (Crystal) clear gold body with loose, sticky, white head. Head dissipates to a thin film quickly, dragging nice, cobweb-like lacing in its wake. Light carbonation can be seen. What's it supposed to look like?

Smell: Faint wheat malt, lemon, and a touch of skunkiness.

Taste: Light and wheaty. Citrus (particularly lemon), spice, and pine needles also join in. That's about it; nothing special.

Mouthfeel: Light, crisp, generously carbonated, and clean.

Drinkability: I had heard a lot of good things about this beer, but this was like a lightly-sweetened, wheat Budweiser for me. Easy to drink, but very lame. I will revisit this one at the brewery sometime soon.

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Photo of Eriktheipaman
2.85/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Got this one from my girlfriends Dad who was just in Chico and able to bring some back.

The head was lacking which I though weird for a wheat beer. Super clear yellow color.

The smell is kinda strange as well and Ive been trying to put a better word to it for a minute or so but all I can come up with is urine.

The taste is a good bite of carbonation and slighttt malt as well as very slight hops.

Its a decent beer for what it is and I think they use it as their BMC alternative for people who visit the brewery.

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Sierra Nevada Crystal Wheat Beer from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.48 out of 5 with 31 ratings