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Sierra Nevada Pale Ale - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Sierra Nevada Pale AleSierra Nevada Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

7,347 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7347
Reviews: 2624
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 11.6%

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: 7,347 | Reviews: 2,624 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of kbub6f

New York

4.7/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought locally (Grapevine refrigerated shelves), a day in my fridge, reviewed 45F-55F.

A heavy pour gives up one inch of dense white foam. Runny lacing falls fast. The beer is a clear, strong amber with lotsa carbonation.

The nose is Cascade all the way, baby! Hints of caramel, too. The front is grapefruit hoppy. There's a little caramel in the middle and just a touch of sweetness at warmer temps. The feel is foamy, then creamy. The finish is hoptastic. Hops linger in the aftertaste, but allow room for some grains. Frak! This is an awesome beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2003 20:04:48 | More by kbub6f
Photo of box299


4.7/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My absolute standard. Best price flavor and consistant quality. This beer is great on tap or in the bottle everytime. This beer is the baseline I use to compare all other pale ales. I would put Dogfish higher on my list but the price makes a big difference.

Serving type: on-tap

09-29-2005 18:11:15 | More by box299
Photo of animal69


4.7/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

i haven't had a Sierra Nevada brew in a while ; pours a hazy golden color w/ a decent head which dissipated a bit quick leaving a decent lacing in my pint glass ; a hoppy smell, mostly a piney citrus w/ some malt and slight fruitiness in the nose ; a nice, crisp hop flavor initially, with some bready malts in the mix, great malt/hop balance ; a light, semi-dry mouthfeel w/ a decent amount of co2, lets the flavor stay around just long enough ; an excellent beer, in fact, i think it was the "original" APA and set the style example, and at 5.6 ABV i could drink this all day long...

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2008 23:11:43 | More by animal69
Photo of adams82


4.7/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours copper; very bright for a bottle conditioned beer and has a pretty hefty white head.

Smells of fresh cascade hops; floral and slightly fruity, fairly citric and piney, with a hint of caramel malt.

Tastes exceptional. Lots of cascade hop flavour; floral fruity, spicy and slightly citric. A beautiful blend of hops and caramel malt, very refreshing and extraordinarily delicious. The flavour is very well balanced and is dead on for the style.

Very smooth, light, refreshing. Medium bodied with an exceptionally drinkability. One the quintessential American style Pale Ales and a wonderful beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-28-2008 23:11:18 | More by adams82
Photo of rbettis


4.7/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My Favorite Beer
I have been drinking this for 20 years. I have tried so many other beers all over the spectrum all over the world. I always can't wait to get back to my home in N. California to have a couple. Contrary to the beer tasting advice I like them iced. Since I met my wife ten years ago, there has only been a couple of times we have been without.

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2008 20:18:13 | More by rbettis
Photo of bcolflesh


4.7/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Drank 2 bottles at Zendcon 2008.

Someone came from the free bar with one of these and I asked him how it was - he shook his head, "not so good, dude" - I saw him later enjoying a Corona.

This is really good - hints of many flavors, and a really slight bitterness, which I normally would not like - but it's almost nothing and disappears immediately.

I was eating various cheese cubes and mashed potatoes - but this would have been good on it's own I think - good beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2008 05:04:15 | More by bcolflesh
Photo of vette2006c5r


4.7/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, looked like a traditional pale ale, with not a very large head. It had a hoppy smell, that was pleasent. It had a very "dry" and hoppy taste, exactly what you would want out of a pale ale. It didnt leave much of an aftertaste and was easy to drink. Overall it was a great beer, deffently worth trying, and enjoying more then once.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2010 19:52:22 | More by vette2006c5r
Photo of samyoung


4.7/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The most consistently good beer in the United States - no matter where you go, who your are, where you buy, this beer will always be excellent.

A - Cloudy burnt orange with a bevy of bubbles floating up to the head which is about a quarter inch thick.
S - Yeasty, grapefruit.
T - Great antique grapefruit taste upfront with some subtle pine in the background.
M - Good palette coater, thick and chewy.
D - Hard to stop drinking this beer.

A legendary beer in my book. If someone wants to know what US beer really tastes like (aka the Brits, Aussies, Belgians, Koreans, whoever) give them a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2010 00:47:52 | More by samyoung
Photo of wrb357


4.7/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

For awhile I had no idea that Sierra Nevada was regarded as such a wonderful brew. Being in Nor Cal, we get this beer EVERYWHERE. I have always enjoyed its pleasant taste and easy drinkability, but I guess I took it for granted because many are not as familiar.

I've drank this beer in every way imaginable, but best is out of a bottle into a pint glass.

A - Nice pale color to it, more orange than yellow. Always give a nice head.

S - Nice floral and citrus hop aroma. Doesn't smell bitter in the nose, just smells fresh.

T - Such a smooth, easy drinking beer. Some hints of pine, and some bitters, with a citrus hop finish. It has a taste that you will immediately enjoy, and it won't kick you in the mouth. However, the taste doesn't go away. It stays with you the whole time, very flavorful.

M - Easy in the mouth, doesn't taste watery or too bitter, has just the right amount of body to sip it slow or drink it very very fast.

D - It's everywhere for me, and it always pleases. It is so smooth yet flavorful, I can have one and be happy, or down a sixer and not fall flat on my face. Just a superb session drink, one of the best pales to drink a lot of.

To all my Nor Cal friends, be thankful for this amazingly cheap, satisfying beer! To everyone who has to stretch to find it, do it and enjoy.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2010 21:01:45 | More by wrb357
Photo of flyingspatula


4.7/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Grade: A

Sierra nevada is one of my favorite beers. It's hard for me to believe now, but the first time I tried it I thought it was too strong. the best thing about it is the price. It's only $7.99 (at my liqour store anyway) and it is worth every penny! I would pay$10 or $12 like some of the craft beers, because it's just as good as many of the craft beers.

Appearance: Pale golden color.

Smell: Hoppy

Taste: Slightly bitter and hoppy, but wonderful. Also, citrusy.

Mouthfeel: Light with crisp carbonation. Refreshing.

Drinkability: Usually excellent, although occasionally I'm in the mood for something else.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2011 00:33:38 | More by flyingspatula
Photo of richkrull


4.7/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured a nice copper color with a little bit of head on it. Smelled like hops, not a lot else. Taste was very good. Nice balance of malt and hops with a slightly bitter finish. Good light mouthfeel. Very drainable beer. This is my first time trying it but I'll definitely buy it again.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2011 02:53:27 | More by richkrull
Photo of frank4sail

New Jersey

4.68/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 Fl Oz Bottle. Golden color with a slight tint of amber. Not huge head retention but, a constantly laced glass. The smell of hop mflowers fill your head. Thick malty mouth feel and taste followed by hoppy bitterness. The finish mellows into a grassy/flowery/malty feeling of taste bud satisfaction. I can't think of a better mass produced American macro-brew product.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2002 17:26:32 | More by frank4sail
Photo of RonfromJersey

New Jersey

4.68/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Rocky, white head that rises above the glass. Golden orange body revealing nice carbonation. Yeast particles floating down against the bubbles. Excellent lacing. Bracing floral and citric hop nose. Plenty of malt backbone to hang the hops on. This beer has balance, though it definitely leans to the hop side. Some grapefruit, but not enough for puckering. A beer I could (and have) drank all night. Not an example of an American Pale Ale, but the beer which defined the style. We must be careful not to take a craft brew cornerstone like this for granted. I am a grateful man that my favorite restaurant has this on tap.

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2002 20:16:46 | More by RonfromJersey
Photo of uabigdaz


4.68/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is almost perfect. I didn't like it in my younger years, but I adapted quickly to the strong taste of hops. This beer pours a slightly dark yellow, witha nice amount of head which remains quite nicely. Smells of hops, very mild smell, but in a good way, not empty, just mild. Tastes almost perfect, quite mild, but also very hoppy at the same time, a very very good balance. The only reason I took drinkability to 4.5 is because at 5.6% and how good this beer tastes, it's hard to keep yourself from getting drunk. Really premier beer, I like this one a lot... a lot. Great beer at a reasonable price (for a premium brew). Check it out.

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2006 04:48:16 | More by uabigdaz
Photo of baseballrock


4.68/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

this is a great beer and there is nothing more i can say.

A - is a light brown but not amber, it has great lacing, and the carbonation is of incredible, large bubbles.

S - the smell is hoppy, with a bit of floral.

T - the taste is balanced, with a light pineyness to it. I love the bitterness.

M - slightly heavy on the palate, the bitterness does mask the overall taste a bit.

i think this beer is very drinkable. i think it is perfect for the style. i always try and keep a few of these around.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2008 23:55:52 | More by baseballrock
Photo of chickencoop


4.68/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Classic and in my book in the HOF of beers.

A & S - Golden brew with a nice foamy head. Strong hop with citrusy and flowery notes.
T/ M/ D - high hop flavor with low malt character to allow the hop flavor to come through. Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth finish with complex hop citrus and flowery notes. Very drinkable, and perfect for any occasion, one of the only 2 beers that I allowed at my wedding.

Serving type: on-tap

08-20-2009 19:34:18 | More by chickencoop
Photo of pascopotter


4.68/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Just new to the beer market. My brother in-law bought me a six pack of the Pale Ale to try out. By far, some of the best beer i've tried. I've tried a few Pale Ales, but none quitt as good as this brew. Would like to try more of the Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. beer. Would highly reccomand this beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2010 23:17:11 | More by pascopotter
Photo of bundy462


4.68/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Copper with a huge frothy white head. Fantastic retention and lacing.

S: Slight grain makes up the base, but this is all about the hops. Lots of piny spicy hops with a nice dose of floral hops along for the ride.

T: Very well blanced. Toasty malt crushed by piny and floral hops. Slight citrus. A definite leafy and grassy character. Very good.

M: Thin and prickly hops. Smooth and nicely carbonated.

O: Very drinkable, a great brew ffrom a great brewery.

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2010 19:39:17 | More by bundy462
Photo of airheadmtrcycle


4.68/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I would be remiss if I didn't review this excellent pale ale despite its ubiquitous availability. I guess this beer is old news and boring to the beer vets searching for that holy grail and hard to get limited releases.

It pours lovely in a Sam Adams Perfect Pint. It's copper color is filtered and clear with bubbles rising constantly into a lovely white, foamy head. The lace is pretty and lasts for a while.

Smells fruity with a classic West Coast flavor. The hops are excellent yet lack the bitterness some demand. There is a soft bitter finish but nothing over the top. I love bitter IPAs and DIPAs, but sometimes this is the perfect call. Probably the perfect beer to introduce macro drinkers to craft beer.

The mouthfeel is never thin or watery, but medium with great carbonation, very refreshing. I can't imagine a more drinkable craft beer.

Highly recommended for just about everyone. Don't dismiss this just because it's been around forever and so many great beers have been produced since its release. To me it's amazing it's remained so consistently great with such a wide distribution. Long live Sierra Nevada!

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2010 19:42:46 | More by airheadmtrcycle
Photo of AllFineThings


4.68/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

One of my everday favorites.

Pours an orangeish, yellowish hue. Has an inch to two inch head that dissipates after a few minutes.

Laceing is noticeable as you drink down your glass.

The smell is of citrus and some hops.

Tastes like citrus and some hops and malt coming through.

Can drink these every day and is quite sessionable, is affordable and can be drank in any kind of climate at any time of the year--kinda my miller-LOL!

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2011 02:03:17 | More by AllFineThings
Photo of charlescorley4


4.66/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This will always be my favorite Pale Ale. Absolutely lovely citrus and floral aroma, with one of the most perfectly balanced flavors. A biscuity undertone is countered by the flavor of magnum and cascade hops, giving it its piney, citrusy flavor. Not too overpowering of a hop aroma. As I said before, it is perfectly balanced. It is JUST RIGHT. Truly a classic. This will always be my go to when I'm in the liquor store and not quite sure what to get.

Serving type: can

08-07-2013 19:34:18 | More by charlescorley4
Photo of coasterfreak75

North Carolina

4.65/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I was really impressed by this beer from the start, my wife purchased it for me as a Christmas present. When I read the label and saw it was bottle conditioned, being a homebrewer, I was excited. The color, a nice copper, was very impressive. The fruity aroma was the next hint I was in for a great drink. The only fault I find is the head retension, there was none. But overall I was greatly impressed with this pour.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2004 04:43:46 | More by coasterfreak75
Photo of ArcTeryx


4.65/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice golden-orange hue. There is a small white fizzy head present. An absolutely delicious citrusy (mostly grapefruit) smell. The aroma is evident even without putting your nose too close to the glass, and it's one that makes me salivate.

There is a hoppy, citrusy taste throughout, but the aftertaste is where this beer really shines. It is oh so crisp, and very hoppy and dry. Makes you want to smack your lips. This beer has a great mouthfeel as well, and you can tell that this beer has substance.

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale has recently grown to be my favorite all-around beer. It is well-priced, available most anywhere across the states, has highly drinkable session-like qualities, and it just plain tastes good.

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2006 20:06:47 | More by ArcTeryx
Photo of bigpatvoodoodad

South Carolina

4.65/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pale Ale is probably my favorite style, second only to English Brown Ale, and this beer in particular is my favorite of Pale Ales. As silly as it may sound, I like the serene green color of the label and artwork. Now, as far as the beer itself, well it is just spectacular. It is very refreshing and not overly heavy. I simply love the spicy taste and the pleasantly bitter aftertaste always leaves me wanting another after I've finished a bottle or pint. Needless to say, this is a very drinkable beer by my standards and what I consider the bench mark when comparing other American pale ales.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2006 17:51:17 | More by bigpatvoodoodad
Photo of OtisinAZ


4.65/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Great beer! Poured a perfect head even when slow pouring to keep the dregs where they belong, in the bottle.
great color with a strong hop aroma making you want to try it.
The taste was of a light malt with a blast of hops very refreshing on a hot AZ day.
Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2008 21:42:45 | More by OtisinAZ
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 7,347 ratings.