Crystal Wheat Ale | Pyramid Breweries, Inc.

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Crystal Wheat AleCrystal Wheat Ale
Crystal Wheat AleCrystal Wheat Ale

Brewed by:
Pyramid Breweries, Inc.
Washington, United States

Style: American Pale Wheat Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.30%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

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User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 44 | Ratings: 64
Photo of mjurney
3.66/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Pyramid Wheaten Ale

Deep golden color, clear. Lots of small bubbles rising. Thick frothy head.

Sweet, grassy, grainy, lemony, peppery.

Sweet pale malts, cracker, grainy, grassy. Slight peppery, a little spicy hops towards the end. Finish is semi-dry, very crisp. Body is light, soft, crisp, refreshing, semi-dry.

It's a good American Wheat Ale.

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Photo of DoubleJ
2.98/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at the Sacramento location, on to the beer:

Nearly golden in color with a little bit of lacing sticking around. Looks almost like a lager. The nose is moderately rough. Apples and cider are the easily recognizable of the bunch, also has a "cheap" smell associated with macro lager. The taste is up and down, light esters and wheat notes are interesting enough ot the palate. Oddly enough, there are very faint notes of banana, which is not usually found in the filtered out wheat ale, let alone the brand's trademark Haywire Hefe. Light in the mouth and moderately fizzy in the mouth.

On a hot day like it was in Sac-town, this will do to refresh from the heat. As a beer on its own, it's a borderline recommendation.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.5/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From BeerAdvocate Magazine Volume II, Issue V:

So this wheat ale has been upgraded to bottle production and standard distribution. One more wheat ale to the several in their portfolio--banking on the popularity of wheat ales are we? No bottled Belgian White Ale yet, what are they waiting for?

Typical healthy-looking white lace you'd expect from a wheat ale, the clarity is no less than what the name says with a dim golden color. Bready with some dusty biscuit and a faint spicy wheat tone in the nose. A little thin and wet as the crispness dials down, but the smoothness keeps the mouthfeel afloat. Moderately-sized body. The wheat flavor is unremarkable in a clean yet plain way, dull, but not flawed. Hint of sweetness to start off, then more of a bready biscuity flavor middle to end. Mild hopping shows some bitterness to balance and a light herbal and lemon flavor more toward the drying finish.

This is a garden-variety wheat ale, though it is quite drinkable in a no brainer kind of way--meaning you could drink a few without having to think about the beer.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.38/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a slightly hazy medium golden colour, with one finger of thin creamy white head, which renders some random wispy lace as it falls away. It smells of sweet wheat grain, and some mild orchard fruit. The taste is more soft wheat, a bit of ripe banana, and some mild pepper spice. The carbonation is moderate, the body light, smooth, and crisp, and it finishes on the sweet side, the wheat doing its thing.

Not a bad wheat ale, but at times its plainness became evident - a bit more robust flavour would definitely help. And at 20+ dollars a sixer, I was happy to procure just the one bottle.

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Photo of wordemupg
3.58/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

355ml bottle poured into pint glass may28 2010

A clear golden yellow with just a few bubbles but a decent two finger head that has good retention and leaves some patches of lace

S not what I was expecting with tropical fruit and cereal

T similar to the smell fruity with some dry cornflakes

M a little slick but lacking carbonation

D pretty easy beer to drink even on this chilly spring day

unfortunately this is another 20$ 6 pack in Alberta that I doubt I'll be drinking much of it in the future, not by any means a bad beer but would be better suited in the 12$ range

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Photo of Shadman
3.38/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bit of a chill haze, but otherwise clear. nice dark peach yellow, nice head, so-so retention. but a lingering cap does stick around. Not much lacing.

Sweet bready yeast, an almost fruity mango smell as well.

faint wheat bite follwed by a very Hefe like banana flavour. Clove like esters seem to be present as well. Maybe a tad watery, but I really like the flavour of this ale.

Light to medium in body, maybe needs a bit more carbonation as it seemed to go flat fairly quickly.

Nice ale, but quite pricy in Alberta. Will definitely enjoy the other 5 I have left.

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Photo of climax
3.27/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This one poured a pale gold, clarity was so-so. An aggressive pour yielded a good off-white head with modest retention.

Nose was fairly complex, wheat lead an army of more subtle almonds, cinnamon, pear and banana. I was somewhat turned off by artificial-like ingredients and whiffs of sweaty gym locker, but it was a pretty intriguing nose overall.

Taste was relatively bland, the flavors in the nose were somewhat evident, but with far less intensity. Slightly sweet with a finish of citrus and wheat.

Feel was smooth, chalky and numbing as it swished around. Carbonation was mild, with nothing more than a slight bite. This is a pretty good brew, but perhaps a bit too sweet and some artificial-like qualities keep me from wanting another.

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Photo of chickencoop
2.8/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pyramid makes good beers, gotta say that, but I just didn't like this one. It came in a sample pack so I'll dump the others off on my visiting boozer friends.
Poured a hazy yellow, smell was sweet and wheaty, but nothing to write about.
Taste was to sweet and bitter, almost sour, mouthfeel was tangy.
Drinkability, can't say that I would rush out and get this one again, I suffer from OCD and usually finish all beers but poured out the last bit of this, just sad on my part. Pyramid makes great beers, I had my rehersal dinner there for gods sake, but this is not one.

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Photo of Brenden
4/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The color was a hazy golden amber. The white head remained at about one finger and left very light lacing.
Aroma is primarily wheat with a malt backing and a light lemon zest.
The taste is the same with a light hops undertone. Balance is pretty good.
The body is light to medium, crisp mouthfeel and light carbonation.
This is a good offering from Pyramid.

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Photo of CMitchell
2.56/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Glass: Served in a Pint Glass

A: Crystal clear golden yellow. White head disappears immediately

S: Not much there. Some wheat.

T: Wheat. Slight citrus.

M: Thin and watery

D: Would drink this if someone bought it for me. Not going to rush out and buy more. . .

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.38/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle with a best by date of 04/09/09 poured into a weizen glass.

A - Poured with sediment left it just a slightly hazy yellow wheat color with a tiny bit of head that went away within seconds and didn't leave anything. Very little carbonation.

S - Light sweet malts with a hearty helping of yeast and dry wheat aromas.

T - Very light and wheaty. Light malts. Dry hop and wheat flavors.

M - Despite the appearance of no carbonation it has a bite to it and is light and refreshing.

D - Easily drinkable and refreshing but the only real good part to this beer is the smell. Everything else is lacking. A good summer beer to drink all day.

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Photo of Sorcerer
3.96/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

S: Consumed 04/28/09, "Enjoy by 05/2009" in a pint glass

A: Bright clear yellow. 1" head fizzed completely away in 10 seconds. No lacing.

S: Couldn't smell anything much. Then - Just drank it.

T: Rated good because there was nothing to stop me from gulping it. This beer was made, it seems to me, for drinking fast on a hot day after some hard work or exercise. This is not a sipping beer. For the purpose described, it would be very good, and much better than a typical American lager. The wheat beer flavor compounds when this is drank quickly. Not much hop bitterness or aftertaste. Refreshing!

M: Pleasantly carbonated, yet not so gassy as to make me burp. Not sure what the effect would be out of the bottle in the hot sunshine, but I plan on trying this weekend. Served at 42 F.

D: Very easy to quaff in one draft.

Overall, not a daily drinker or something complex to ponder. This is made for hot summer afternoon consumption. This is an unpretentious clean filtered wheat ale lacking any controversial flavors.

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Photo of angelmonster
3.19/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a huge 3 finger white head that recedes quickly. Body is golden in color with lots of carbonation. Head retention and lacing were below average

Smells of sweet malt and wheat. Some spice also and yeast i guess. Hops arent present

Taste is weird. Like straw malt or corn. Dont get much wheat or characteristics of a wheat beer. Tastes a bit metallic and hops arent present

Beer is slightly over carbonated, light bodied. Pretty thin and boring

Goes down easy like water, but pretty mediocre even for an american wheat. Wouldnt hunt this beer down again, lots of other better choices out there.

The enjoy by date of the beer says 12/08 so im guessing thats why it tastes so bland. Will have to try a fresh one soon

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Photo of allengarvin
4.27/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I poured this into a Chimay glass.. it's a crystal-clear apple-juice gold color, appropriate enough, but the head fades very quickly. The nose is mostly clean, but it has pleasant floral hop notes, and a light fruitiness. Very good flavor for the style. Bitterness is medium-light but good enough for the strength, together with lightly citrus hop taste, and wheat flavor comes through clearly. The yeast isn't nearly as bland as many American hefes. There's a clear fruitiness that blends well. Medium bodied, and crisp.

This is hardly my favorite style, but this beer is probably the best American filtered wheat I've ever had, and it's one of the better American wheats. Light, thirst-quenching, with a good balance of flavors. It deserves a boost in ratings simply because it's so good at a hard style to make interesting.

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Photo of Goliath
3.38/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear golden color with a thin half inch layer of foamy bright white head. Decent retention, but no lacing.

The nose is simple, and pretty clean. Mostly lemon zest, with a bit of raw wheat.

The taste isn't that good, but it's ok. Again, lemon zest and raw wheat comprise the bulk of the flavor here.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a high dose of clean and crisp carbonation. Very cleansing and refreshing.

The drinkability is moderate to high. Although it's not the most well crafted ale I've run into, it's not offensive and at only 5% ABV it certainly is easy to put down.

My one concern here is that the beer seems to me to be mislabeled. I think it should be a Kristalweizen, which would really account for the clarity of the beer itself and probably add a little something to the rating at least in the appearance category.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.3/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Lemony honey with lemon juice borders. The upper third of the pint glass is occupied by an off-white cap that isn't ugly, but doesn't quality as eye candy either. Lace is on the sparse side and is a little watery to boot. Not bad, not bad.

Like most beer of this style, the nose lacks personality. Standard ale yeast is pretty simple stuff to begin with... so the brewery decides to filter it out. In any case, CWA smells fresh and wheaty with a minimum of citrusiness. Eh, it's probably better than average (keeping style firmly in mind).

Crystal Wheat Ale fares less well on the taste buds. At least it isn't bland, I'll give it that. Trouble is, it's on the grainy side and is a bit too bitter. More flavor (and fewer alpha acids) from the Mt. Hood, U.S. Tettnang and Spalt hops would have helped.

Flavors include untoasted grain (barley and wheat, natch), bright lemon peel and a pinch of crushed aspirin. I usually like APWAs that feature hops, but something is a bit off here. Pyramid beer doesn't usually float my boat, so it isn't surprising that this one is beginning to take on water.

Speaking of water, the mouthfeel... only kidding. Actually, there's a fair amount of body for the style. Things start to thin out on the finish, never quite reaching aqueous. Bubbles are less than plentiful, which is great for sessioning without excessive burpage.

Apparently, given the gold medals earned at GABF and the World Beer Cup, Pyramid Crystal Wheat is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Sorry, but it isn't. It isn't bad beer, though, and is probably worth a look if you're an American pale wheat fanatic. All three of you.

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Photo of EnojysAnyBeer
4.03/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I prefer the unfiltered variety, but this works

A- Clear golden, just a bit darker then a pils. Nice head and excellent lace left behind

S- Sweet malts and a hint of crisp hops make for a smell that is like a high-quality macro-lager

T- Wheat flavors become noticeable in taste and carry the taste from start to finish. Hops appear in aftertaste

M- Pyramid has got this category down. Very light body and bubbly carbonation

D- Easy drinking. 2 of these 12oz fill my hefeweizen glass which is quickly emptied

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Photo of Stinkypuss
2.82/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

a.12 oz bottle into a clean glass. Large fizzy head forms after a fast pour, retention not good. No lace.

s. Clean smell of wheat and wheat malt. Pilsner like, with barnyard hay added. Hops are very neutral and euro style.

T. Tastes decently of wheat, an odd mixture of wheat malt sweetness and a DMS type flavor. Astringency is noted. Crisp hopping helps make up a bit.

M. Mouthfeel is pretty carbonated and slick, the finish really doesn't make me want more.

D. Overall a vegetal wheat that doesn't really mesh too well. A good summer beer I suppose but I'll be looking elsewhere.

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Photo of bashiba
2.65/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured a slightly hazy golden yellow with just a touch of quick white head, no lacing or retention at all.

The smell was light and grassy with a hint of lemon.

The flavor has a light and sweet maltyness with a touch of sweet corn taste. Has a light bit of grassy and lemony hops in the finish. Reminds me more of an atypical euro lager than an American Wheat.

Mouthfeel is light with a touch of fizzy carbonation.

Pretty boring overall, another bland wheat from Pyramid.

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Photo of Pegasus
3.5/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Moderate, dense sticky white head adorns a hazy medium golden body, with scattered thick lace, and slight carbonation.

Aroma: Slightly spicy, classical wheat beer aroma, accented by bread malt notes, and mildly earthy yeast.

Taste: Moderately spicy wheat malt notes at the open, these turn mildly sweet midway through the taste, and continue to the close. Finishes with a mild herbal hop note, which lingers well past the end of the taste.

Mouth feel: Smooth and fairly full, pleasant, with a slight sting of carbonation.

Drinkability/notes: A solid, pleasant example.

Presentation: Packaged in a short twelve-ounce brown glass bottle with a twist-off crown, served in a standard Pilsener glass.

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Photo of jujubeast6000
3.48/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Reviewed 11/1/2008 (bottle):

Pours a clear dark yellow body. Big foamy head, off-white and diminishing. Malty and effervescent aroma. Sweet smelling with some light fruit like apple or pear. Some maltiness present too. Light fruity taste, light body. Nutty aftertaste. Tasty and aromatic.

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Photo of ibashmuck
2.68/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Purchased as part of "build-your-own-six-pack" at local grocer. Poured a smallish bubbly head on a not-too-cloudy lager yellow body. Smells were very faint...a touch of wheat and citrus, but it smelled primarily like a standard lager. The taste was the same, very mellow, almost non-existent. Just little hints of "wheatiness", and citrus. Came across as a bit over carbonated as well.

I noticed that this brew took the gold medal at the 2008 World Beer Cup in the "American-Style Wheat Beer" category, and honestly, I'm a bit shocked and disappointed. It's not a bad beer, just that there really isn't anything overly exciting or mentionable here, certainly not enough to warrant a gold medal. I may have to try another.

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Photo of Beer-Zombie
3.6/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

this brew pours up a pale yellow color with a small white head. the nose is lemons and artificial orange. the taste is spritzy lemon and dry pale malts. light to medium bodied, dry finish, a decent ale. I rather like this over the original Pyramid Hefe

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Photo of ectomorph
3.43/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A - Hazy deep gold with some lively carbonation, white head that becomes persistent film on top.

S - Earthy and sweet together. Wholesome.

T - While the wheat is most certainly there, this has a diffinitive ale quality. Deceiving.

M - Another ale quality here again. Medium body.

D - Wheats aren't really my thing, but nice lawnmower brew.

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Photo of cswhitehorse
3/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The Crystal Wheat Ale poured a clear yellow orange with a single finger head with a quick dissipation.

The smell was a slight yeast, citrus with a bready grain aroma. The the taste was malty wheat backbone with a little bitterness on the finish. In the mouth it was thin and peppy. Overall it was something I will not buy again.

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Crystal Wheat Ale from Pyramid Breweries, Inc.
Beer rating: 3.4 out of 5 with 64 ratings