Sierra Nevada Pale Ale - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada Pale AleSierra Nevada Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

2,824 Reviews
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,824
Hads: 10,262
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 9.85%
Wants: 222
Gots: 2,102 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: kbub6f on 07-05-2001

Generous quantities of premium Cascade hops give the Pale Ale its fragrant bouquet and spicy flavor.

37 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 2,824 | Hads: 10,262
Reviews by Raebies:
Photo of Raebies
3.07/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Nice bright orange, lots of fizz and foam. Even before I got it into the glass I could smell something fruity and wonderful. Tastes of sweet tangerine and pineapple. Mild-moderate bitter hop flavour. It tastes like dogfish 60 minute but a little different.. soft, easy drinking. It is close to an IPA style beer, but not quite so bitter. (337 characters)

More User Reviews:
Photo of Todd
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bright, clear golden amber with a healthy looking head that settles into a lasting white lace.

Biscuit, grain and loads of spicy hops in the nose with a dose of floral / citrus. Esters. Touch of earthy leaf.

Smooth, even mouthfeel. Body is medium. Sharp, tangy, fruity, citrus bitterness starts things off ... with rind, salt and a leafy feel on the palate -- near puckering. Lightly floral and spicy. Some mineral flavours. A malty dextrin flavour hides behind the hops, acting as its backbone and providing a bit of needed balance. Hop oils cling to the palate and merge with a bready/biscuity flavour in the finish.

One of the quintessential American Pale Ales. Simply a classic among American beers. (712 characters)

Photo of ob_carr
4/5  rDev -1.5%

The greatest thing about Sierra Nevada's Pale Ale is that you can find it in so many places. It's distributed wide and far and, unless you've wandered very far off the beaten path, it's usually one of the few worthy brews you'll find almost everywhere. It's a pretty amber and it's hoppy, that's apparent right away. The Cascade hops throw a strong shadow over the malted barley. A nice, mellow head adds a smoothness to the mouthfeel but the sharpness of the aroma, to me, throws the floral notes and malty finish out of balance. One is usually enough before my palate asks to move on. Unless of course there is nothing else at which point you'll see me order another and complain not! It will always be a solid, go-to APA for if/when you can't find an alternative to try at your local brewpub. (795 characters)

Photo of Jeffreysan
4.8/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, clear, deep, dark, amber color with a quarter of a finger of white-colored head that completely dissolved away into an extremely thin lacing of foam that only partly covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Nice aromas of bready, toasted malt, imparting aromas of sourdough bread, English muffins and French baguettes, followed by some floral, piney hops. I also get notes of caramel, black pepper, honeysuckle and clover.

Taste: Delicious! Strong flavors of toasted malt up front, imparting bready flavors of sourdough bread and English muffins, followed by some caramel-like sweetness, a good amount of black pepper, and a touch of coriander. The beer finishes with some beautifully balanced, piney, slightly bitter hops. Delicious!

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and nicely carbonated. With an ABV of 5.5%, there is no alcohol on the palate.

Overall: What a great, fantastic, awesome, American Pale Ale! So beautifully balanced and so delicious! (1,024 characters)

Photo of logicalparadox
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%

I like this better than Torpedo. Less bitter. Grainy. Medium to lighter in body. A bit thin. Bitterness is mild, with a good balance of hoppy aroma.

A classic? Maybe. If you revere a beer for its history to the craft movement then, sure. Flavor-wise, I'm underwhelmed and not likely to crave this any time soon--though, it's worth another try if nothing more interesting is on tap.I can see how in an earlier age if might have made waves; nice, but it's not rocking my boat. (476 characters)

Photo of 29mikoyan
3.69/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The classic American Pale Ale! A very solid ale with beautiful malt and hop background. (87 characters)

Photo of PostRockandCats
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

L: Cloudy copper with a nice soapy, white head.

S: Bit of malt followed by a nice piney, floral hop at the end. Really nice!

T: Mild and well-rounded; full of biscuity malts and light, floral hops with a tiny bit of piney resit at the end. Not much bitterness. Small amount of tangerine peel up front.

F: Light, bubbly and crisp.

O: I totally understand the hype. It's a solid, refreshing brew. There are some that turn their noses up, but I think it's grand. Very drinkable, which is a good thing sometimes! (513 characters)

Photo of joyntbrewing
3.76/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

There is yeast in the bottle. Look hard at the bottom and you will find it. Impressive that they can bottle condition and leave eight yeast cells at the bottom of the bottle. This beer transcends time. Get ye some. (218 characters)

Photo of MaddenDalyBrokaw
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A solid brew I've been going to for a long time. Light, clear golden amber. Substantial lace. Aromas of malt and biscuit and a wee hint of citrus. Citrusy hops are the first flavor out of the gate, followed by a medium-bodied biscuity, malty foundation mixed with well-placed hoppy bitterness, which gets handed the reins holds them for a remarkably long time after the swallow. (378 characters)

Photo of do_ob
4.27/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Ah, an old favorite. 12 oz bottle into a snifter. Pours a clear amber with a 1 finger white sticky head of foam. Lots of carbonation. Dank smell with pine, spice, and citrus. Light weight, nice and crisp mouthfeel. Taste is sweet pine and citrus with notes of grapefruit and raisins. Low bitterness. A bit of malt on the back end with a piney finish.

This is one of my favorite session beers, and was one of the beers that got me into the craft scene. There's not much to say about this one that hasn't been said a million times since it's creation in 1980. If, for some reason, you haven't tried this staple beer, do yourself a favor and pick up a 6 pack. (658 characters)

Photo of hopphead31415
3.77/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This is a standard "go-to" beer for Sierra Nevada. I really like this brewery, but this variety isn't their best. I'll discuss each aspect of the beer below.

A: It pours a pretty clear deep golden yellow whose shade depends on the ambient lighting. I was in a relatively dim room so it might be a lighter shade than I perceived. Nice foamy head that results from a good pour, but make it a vigorous pour so that you can get the little head that it has to offer.

S: The smell is nice with a toasty cracker base and hints of piney hops and mango citrus.

T: The taste starts with the malty toasty flavor and then a mild hop character that gives way into the citrus mango. It leaves a coating on the tongue that begs for another sip. It is quite delicious when chilled down real good.

F: The mouthfeel is pretty standard. Smooth crisp with carbonation that is a mild level of effervescence. Fine lacing on the glass and the head lasts until the last sip.

O: Overall, I think this is a nice beer for any day of the year, but if you want a strong hoppy beer, then move on to their Torpedo Extra IPA. The Pale Ales are good, but should be reserved for those days when you want to switch it up. (1,194 characters)

Photo of PorterPro125
3.96/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Review taken from my notes.
August 7, 2014
Serving Type: 16 oz Draught

A- Pours a deep Golden hue but with a slight tinge of Amber that makes for a beautiful looking ale. Topped with 1 1/2 fingers of head

S- Fruity, Floral, Slight spiciness. Some citrus notes. Wonderful smelling Ale.

T- Taste is similar to the aroma in its floral and fruity characters. Slight bitterness that imparts great flavour near the finish.

M- Medium Carbonation and Medium body. Top notch drinkability.

O- One of the best Pale Ales that I've had. Extremely tasty and fragrant. I am fortunate to have had this one on tap. Unfortunately, Sierra Nevada doesn't distribute to New Brunswick :'(. I recommend this to anyone who can access it! (720 characters)

Photo of m_hall
4.23/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pour from a 12 oz bottle into a nonic pint. Clear golden in hue, topped by a two-finger off-white head that falls slowly, leaving good lacing.

Aromas are biscuit and citrus fruits, with some pine and earthy hops.

On tasting the malts come up front, with the same biscuit promised by the nose, along with a mild sweetness and light fruity esters. Hop notes soon follow, grapefruit and spice. Finish is dry and slightly chalky (but not unpleasantly so) with just a hint of resinous aftertaste. A good choice if you want a hoppy ale if IPA's are a bit too much for you.

Body is medium, slightly chewy, with good carbonation for a bit of zest. Alcohol is just right for this to be a good anytime drinker.

One of the "grand old men," of US craft brewing (along with Anchor Steam, Stone Pale Ale, Samuel Adams Boston Lager, and a handful of others) the original American Pale Ale continues to live up to its reputation. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is solid in every respect... newer drinkers might wonder what all the genuflection is about with this one, but one has to realize that way back in the early 80's, this beer helped start a revolution in American brewcraft, along with providing a great showcase for US-grown hops from the Pacific Northwest. Every APA that's come after has followed the trail blazed here. (1,316 characters)

Photo of Kendo
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

OK, so I've reviewed - full, written reviews - over 1250 beers and somehow never got around to reviewing the classic SNPA. Can't figure out how that ever happened, but recently I picked up a 12-pack for my father-in-law, so I know this beer is (pretty) fresh, so I'm finally sitting down to review it.

A: Poured into a pint glass - hey, a ubiquitous craft beer deserves a ubiquitous glass, amirite? The body is coppery amber in color with a 1-finger slightly-off-white foamy head on top, which is reinforced by plenty of fine bubbles. It's a nice look, and it leaves behind plenty of lacing.

S: Classic APA, with nice malt foundation of toasted bread, which is then followed up with a mild hoppiness of faint citrus.

T: I've been drinking this beer for at least 20 years now, and of course my initial impression way back when was over how hoppy it was. Now, with hundreds of IPAs under my belt, I'm surprised at how malty this beer is when compared to my recollection and my more-recent exposure to hopped-up American IPAs. It more or less follows the nose, with some sweet malt setting the table along with toasted bread. The hops follow, providing a modest lemony, citrusy flavor that balances the malt to leave a lingering lemony taste on the palate into the aftertaste.

M: Nice and creamy - more so than I remember. Call it medium in heft, carbonation is fine-bubbled and feels nice on the palate.

O: The quintessential American Pale Ale. My wife was drinking one of these the night we met - in 1994 - making it readily apparent that she had (and has) good taste. (1,577 characters)

Photo of MemphisSooner
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is the perfect session Pale Ale. Every other beer in this style should be judged against this beer. It is the standard of what a pale ale in America should be. (164 characters)

Photo of oberon
3.65/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It had been awhile since I had drank this beer so I had a pint the other night,pours a hazy deep orange with a pretty nice sticky head.The aroma is definently zesty hoppy and a little piney.Taste to me might be a little over the top hopwise very citruisy and dry,pretty good beer but would like a little more balance to this beer.It is a hop head classic though. (362 characters)

Photo of Marty
4.67/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nothing makes me happier to see this beer on tap next to Bud, Guinness and the like at a bar. I consider it the finest mass produced pale ale in the United States. Consistently crisp and refreshingly hopped, with great big lingering head. When I need to stock my refrigerator, in the event that I'm having company or that I just need a reasonably priced drinkin' beer on hand, this is the stuff... that is, unless Celebration Ale is in season. (443 characters)

Photo of mojohawk21
4.75/5  rDev +17%

Photo of Gowcheco
3.52/5  rDev -13.3%

Photo of RoyalT
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – Nice, light orange body with an OK head.

Smell – Sensuous hops aroma consistant with the style and the very slightest hint of pine tells us that this one is serious.

Taste – It tastes like a lot of different hops in there. I get a little citrus, but not quite like an orange, and a lemon without the sourness (if that makes any sense). Some hops seem to have a strong floral taste, whereas others are a little bit more crisp. This is a hop-lover’s delight.

Mouthfeel – This feels great in the mouth. The carbonation is small, of course. The brew has a consistancy that just glides along the cheeks and gums. Nice job, SN.

Drinkability – This one has it all. It’s complex yet purposeful. There is an abundance of flavors in there, yet we know right away that it’s an American Pale Ale. In fact, this one would be a great reference taste for other pale ales.

Comments – I have been very impressed with the offerings from this brewery thus far (this is my fourth SN review).

Update – I first reviewed this beer the same month that I joined the site, so I thought it would be fun to revisit it with the 2004 vintage now that I have 1,000+ reviews under my belt.

This really is an understated but incredible Pale Ale. The nose is big on the hops and very complex, but the taste is expertly balanced. It’s everything good in a mild sort of way. I think this is the most often named beer when folks ask the perennial BA question in the forum, “What’s the best beer to introduce a macro drinker to craft beers.” I’m upping my Drinkability rating from 4.0 to 5.0 while bowing in the general direction of Chico, CA.

Update – I had a few bottles of 2006 and thought it was grainier since I last remember. It is a terrific beer but just seemed so ordinary this time around. It’s a definite 4.0 across the board at this point. (1,867 characters)

Photo of aszatk01
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of cam477
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of DanGeo
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of Turbo
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of tectactoe
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a brilliant golden color, nearly amber; white head with some heft to it, simmers down quick but lasts in the form of lacing on the glass. Aroma is strong and solid; nice dose of American-style hops, leafy and earthy with a hint of citrus, on top of a huge malt canvas, full of some sweetness and bread-like yeast attributes. The taste is spot on for the style - west coast APA full force, leafy and earthy hop presence, mild bitterness which is both the king of the forefront yet overall mild at the same time. Mild citrus flavor in the form of orange peels and grapefruit - it's there, but not in large amounts. You'd swear the malt is given in nearly equal parts, as it cuts in about halfway through to give a nice sweetness full of rich barley and slightly toasted grains, with a finish that turns to the caramel aftertaste of the malt and the biscuity character of the yeast. Some lasting bitterness resides on the tongue, but it's relatively low and easily accessible, once again - great for this style. Tight, abundant carbonation and a medium body.

This is certainly a "go-to" APA when you're looking for something to sit back, relax, and drink a bunch of. You can certainly toss these back all day - great drinkability, tons of flavor. Also a great beer for introducing people to the world of craft beer, namely hop-forward beers, as it has a large hop presence but is relatively mild and far from overpowering, especially to a new palate. This is APA done simple, and done right. (1,495 characters)

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Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,824 ratings.