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Sierra Nevada Pale Ale - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada Pale AleSierra Nevada Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

8,168 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,168
Reviews: 2,668
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 11.63%
Wants: 111
Gots: 629 | 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:
Generous quantities of premium Cascade hops give the Pale Ale its fragrant bouquet and spicy flavor.

37 IBU

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 07-05-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 8,168 | Reviews: 2,668 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by ithacabaron:
Photo of ithacabaron


4.6/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Original Review, 2003.

12 oz. stubbie, into a pint glass, alongside a 3 pound homemade turkey sandwich...mmmm.

This beer pours a burnished, golden amber in the glass. Aroma is fresh cascade hops all the way. The initial taste is almost like sucking on a cascade hop leaf, the flavors are so bright and simple and singular -- but there is a generous portion of malt that backs it up, balancing the beer perfectly.

The malt profile is what makes this such an excellent session beer. While it supports the hops, it never becomes overbearing, allowing the appriciator to sip many of these in one session. Additionally, the freshness of the hops makes this beer perfect for cleansing the palate in-between bites of food.

If I weren't a poor college student, I'd keep a sixer of this in my refridgerator all the time. Seems like it would be an excellent beer to convert macro drinkers with.


Re-review, July 2011. Numbers adjusted appropriately.

Pours a fantastic copper with soft orange highlights. A nice foamy head soon settles down to a thin cap. Excellent lacing appears down the side of the glass.

Aroma is soft and mild, mellow malt, fresh grass, dill, and candied grapefruit peel.

Taste expands into a buttery, smooth, golden syrup. At the end of the swallow, a firm (but not harsh) dimple of bitterness appears, a whisper of freshly squeezed citrus, a hint of pine sap. There's an immediate invitation -- but not a necessity -- to take another sip. Wondrous.

Mouthfeel is appropriately pillowy, a cascade (ha!) of warm surf.

This beer has held-up through the test of time; if anything, the ever-expanding palate of choices -- it seems like a new craft brewery opens every week -- has only magnified how excellent this brew is. More importantly, Sierra Nevada hasn't dumbed their Pale Ale down over time. This is, and remains, THE platonic ideal of American Pale Ale.

Inevitable, inescapable, all but perfect.

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2011 22:37:02 | More by ithacabaron
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3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Serving Type: Bottle Poured into glass. I thought I would try it at room temperature for something different. (Although it was very good as always, I would recommend it moderately chilled to 40-45 F)

Appearance: A moderate to hefty pour produces a one finger, soapy white head with lively carbonation and decent retention that settles down to a small cap. Good lacing as well, but I'm not that serious about these kinds of things. Color is a nice copper-orange hue standard for a pale ale.

Smell: Sweet malts, with some citrus hops, floral and a bit of pine. Overall, what you would expect in a cascade-based pale ale, but it's executed very well. Normally I can get more out of this beer, but my smell isn't as sensitive today.

Taste: My taste is not so sharp right now either, but I'll give it my best. Starts pretty plain, but finishes with clean, moderate bitterness and a very noticeable (and delicious) citrus/orange flavor. Possibly some pine there too, but it could just be the bitterness.

Feel: Medium, not too interesting, but pale ales aren't known for mouthfeel. There is a decent amount of carbonation that makes it nice and lively, and adds a little bit of crispness that works well with the hops. Dry, dry finish.

Overall: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is a well established benchmark for the American Pale Ale, and for good reasons. Everything is well-balanced, and you can kick back a few of them without hop overload. Someone with an IPA-warped palate will barely be able to notice the bitterness, but that makes it more approachable for non-BA's just starting out in craft beer. It's a solid, everyday pale ale at an affordable price.

Serving type: bottle

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Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 8,168 ratings.