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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
90
outstanding

9,691 Ratings
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,691
Reviews: 2,804
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 11.91%
Wants: 184
Gots: 1,488 | FT: 3
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 9,691 | Reviews: 2,804 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by ggroller:
Photo of ggroller
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've had this beer many times before. I spotted a case bottled on 5/13/05 at my local distro and decided to make this my session beer for the next few days.

Color is straw bordering on a slighty darker, copper color. Very little white head but nice lacing.

Smells of bread, malty sweetness, and just a hint of hops. Cascade, I think, although I could be wrong.

I taste the malt and biscuity/ bready yeast first, then a punch of bitter hops. Very, very little hop aroma in the nose.

Mouthfeel is very carbonated.

Overall, a very drinkable beer.

More User Reviews:
Photo of ob_carr
4/5  rDev -0.7%

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.

Photo of Todd
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
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.

Photo of Jeffreysan
4.8/5  rDev +19.1%
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!

Photo of logicalparadox
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%

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.

Photo of PostRockandCats
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
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!

Photo of MaddenDalyBrokaw
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

Photo of PorterPro125
3.96/5  rDev -1.7%
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!

Photo of oberon
3.65/5  rDev -9.4%
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.

Photo of Marty
4.67/5  rDev +15.9%
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.

Photo of mojohawk21
4.75/5  rDev +17.9%

Photo of Gowcheco
3.52/5  rDev -12.7%

Photo of RoyalT
4/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

Photo of aszatk01
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of cam477
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of DanGeo
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of Turbo
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of tectactoe
4/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

Photo of ExtraStout
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've had this brew many times. Luckily, when most places stock only the standard crap, I am fortunate to find this lone beacon of quality due to SN's great distibution system. Although I am a bigger fan of their Torpedo Extra IPA, I have no issues with this Pale Ale.

Dark golden color, long-lasting and just slightly off-white head. Above average lacing. A touch of yeast clouds the glass when swirled and poured into a pint glass once the head recedes far enough.

Malty sweet, but balanced by the grapefruit zing of Cascade hops. Not as bitter as other APA's I've tasted.

Very drinkable, the hoppy but fairly sweet taste and classic ale mouthfeel bring the bottom of the glass all too quickly, this beer was exceedingly good for the style.

Photo of t2grogan
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of OhioBobcat
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of Zakk
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of brownbeer
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap a the PAP.

Pale amber pour with a cushy white and good retention.

Nose is loaded with pine resin, a hint of earth, and mint.

Clean with soft carbonation, which might not be so soft from the bottle. Quick finish, great balance of fresh, piney hops and crystal malt.

Classic in every way.

Photo of JudgeRoughneck
3.46/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Two fingers of spongy, porous, white head rest easily over a visibly carbonated, crystal clear, light cypress colored pale ale. Light , hoppy nose. Minimal lacing.

Taste is dry, light-bodied, dry, resinous piney hopswith a crisp finish. Nothing fancy about this beer, just a nice fresh session pale.

Photo of npala86
4/5  rDev -0.7%

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Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 9,691 ratings.