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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.

2,876 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,876
Hads: 10,527
Avg: 4.05
pDev: 22.22%
Wants: 246
Gots: 2,407 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,876 | Hads: 10,527
Photo of Curlybash
3.68/5  rDev -9.1%

Picked this up in SN's Snowpack 2014- never had SN Pale Ale before this, even though i see it everywhere. I've heard and read good things about it, so I'm gonna drink up.

Appearance:deep copper leaning towards a more brown hue. faintly off-white head, about 1/2 finger, which remains throughout. collars and sheets of thin lace throughout. 4

Aroma: floral, clean hops dominate the nose. vague malt background, although im bad at detecting malt in hops-dominated beers. Seems a little one note, but it could just be me. 3.3

Taste: Starts with an initial hops bite, finishes with brown bread crust. aftertaste is malty with a slight bitterness that grows between sips. 3.78

Mouthfeel: medium with moderate carbonation. nothing overpowering or distracting, or particularly interesting. 3.6

Overall: A well balanced pale ale. No overpowering hops and a pleasant, subdued malty finish. Very drinkable but still a quality beer. Cheers!

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Photo of Holyterror
3.68/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is one of the few beers I drink that has a screw-on cap. It took me a while ot notice that. Go figure.

Sierra Nevada makes some of the best mass market beers you can buy, so my expectations were high. I was not disappointed. It poured a hazy golden orange, very appetizing color. The head was moderately thick, good for this style, and settled into a thin white cap and laced the glass pretty well. I lack the vocabulary to properly describe the aroma, but the hops became evident even before the first taste. It had a very grainy taste, heavy on the hop oil, which lingered on into the aftertaste. The hops are very prominent, a plus for me. It is still balanced, and washes down smoothly without leaving excess bitterness on the palate. Good mouthfeel, perfect for this kind of beer. About halfway through the frist glass, it becomes very drinkable. Definite candidate for a session beer, especially if you like the style (which I do).

Definitely recommended as an introduction to the American Pale Ales. Another widely available brew to fall back on as well.

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Photo of strattor
3.68/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served to me in a pint glass a slightly cloudy golden-red with a white head.

Smell of citrus hops dominates.

Taste is of citrusy hops, but without much bitterness. There is also a slight biscuity flavor.

Light body with nice effervesence.

Very easy drinking. It would be easy to down a few of these without any problem.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.68/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The classic Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. I remember sitting at the Keystone Pub when I ordered my first one back in 2007. It was probably one of my first pale ales. I can't recall having one prior to it. Anyway, it pours out as a lightly hazed yellowish gold color. The head is strong and leaves a good lacing on the glass. The smell of the beer has a really nice hop aroms on it mixed with some malts on the nose. The taste of the beer has a good bitterness to it with a dry hoppy aftertaste. When it comes to the mouthfeel it's a highly drinkable beer. It's got a good body to it and it's not overly heavy. Overall this beer is worth checking out if you haven't already, It's a pioneer pale ale, it really holds it's own again many competitors.

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Photo of Dave1999
3.68/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Looks decent enough in the glass a dark amber with a white head.

The smell is floral hops and grass.

Tastes is much the same as the smells. It's hopy with very slighty sweet finish.

The mouthfeel is light and well carbonated.

A decent beer at a decent price.

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Photo of mwa423
3.68/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Upon realizing that out of the many beers I have rated, I have never looked critically upon the famed SNPA. So, picked up a bomber from the store around the corner.

A - Poured a good two fingers of frothy white head, the beer as it is poured looks like it is out of a beer commercial, lots of bubbles floating to the top, hazy straw color and the perfect mix of clear and watery.

S - Crisp slight hops, little else, very easy on the nose.

T - Very slight citrusy hops hit the tongue immediately. Not like the grapefruit type of citrus but more of a lemon/lime zest from the hops. It is followed quickly by malty sweetness, when you swallow another burst of the limey hops hit the tongue.

This is a real easy drinker and with its wide distribution it is a go to for when the options are this and BMC. If this is what defines and APA, I'm ok with it.

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Photo of everetends
3.68/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle I got out of sixer that is available everywhere, sad that this is my first sixer of SNPA. I just never got around to it and was overly critical SN for quite a while.

A: Poured a golden almost amber color. Had a decent amount of carbonation activity. Poured a fluffy white head that was a bit suprising as it had good retention. Pretty good looking brew.

S: Smell is of pine, citrus hops and touch of sweetness coming from the malt.

T: Taste is also of a touch of pine, a good amount of hops (a bit more than I was expecting), and is rounded off with the sweetness of some good malt.

M: Light to medium in body, good carbonation for the style. The slight creaminess of this brew really allows some sticky hops to hang around. Pretty crisp and refreshing.

D: Really good brew for a majorly produced micro. It really does deliver and really impressed me for the amount of beer they pump out. Sierra Nevada is about 10 bucks a sixer here and I tend to stay away from it because I can get some good brews for about 2 bucks less around here. Sill this is a good beer and my opinions are changing.

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Photo of Tom_Banjo
3.68/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

1 12 ounce bottle followed a couple of weeks later by a 26 ounce bottle. Poured into
a Spiegelau stemmed tulip glass. Have not had this beer in years (for no particular reason that I can recall) and was very pleasantly surprised by how much I liked it. The smell was a bit "off" with respect to the 12 ounce, but there was no such problem with the large bottle. Really nice balance without the over-hopped quality I find with some APAs. No knocks. Could see this becoming an all year long staple for me.

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Photo of Maestro
3.68/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is available all over the place, so that shows progress as a culture. It has a nice golden/orange color. The nose is a nice balance of hops and malts. Very clean smelling. There is little to no head, but I think the bartender poured it incorrectly. The beer has good carbonation. The hops selection gives the beer a good overall bitterness that combines well with the plentiful malts. This beer is quite consistent throughout and is quite refreshing. Finishes clean and smooth.

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Photo of Smithson49er
3.68/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Golden, Amber and some nice carbonation leaving a pretty foam lace

S: Not over powering but the cascade hop note is present and smells great

T: Balanced and smooth with enough of a hop character to really be enjoyable

M: Fresh and crisp it really hits the spot when you want to slam a few craft beers and go enjoy the great outdoors

O: This being one of my first reviews I had to do one of my old standbys you really cant go wrong with this beer.

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Photo of mattster
3.67/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Opened 12 oz bottle, poured into nonic glass.

Nice large foamy head of say 2". Dies down at a moderate pace to create a nice thin layer of foam across top of brew. Color is light amber, mostly clear with good bubbles in it.

Smell is very clean with some hops and slight citrus notes. Taste follows through with very clean crisp hoppy taste, although I don't detect citrus on my palate. Beer has a nice mouth feel and is very drinkable. I may have another before calling it an evening.

I'd been worried for sometime that Sierra Nevada was becoming to mainstream, but it appears that even though more mass markets are carrying their beer, they are still able to produce a quality product.

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Photo of Wisconsinality
3.67/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- This one pours a hazy golden color with about 2 fingers worth of head. A bunch of tiny bubbles coming from the bottom of the glass.
S- The thing that jumps out at me is the zest of the ale. The smell of grapefruit is pretty predominant. Also a hint of yeast.
T- This is a pretty good example of a pale ale. Grapefruit can be picked out right away. There may also be some other fruit like orange in there and a hint of yeast.
M- Pretty good overall, a nice medium body with a good amount of carbonation and a little bit of bite from the perceived grapefruit.
D- I could have a few of these but I think after that my taste buds would be a little worn out.

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Photo of maddamish
3.67/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

AP: This is a very good pale ale. Amber in color. Almost no head to speak of. Even with an aggressive pour this was no lacing to speak of.

Smell: Orange pulp and hops

Taste: This beer is one big hop bomb with a hint of orange peel. This is a very complex beer.

Mouth Feel: Very smooth. A bit watery but nothing to complain about.

Drinkability: Nice starter beer.

Notes: I heard a lot of good things about this beer so I went and picked up a 12 pack. Boy am I glad I did.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.67/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

the sierra nevada flagship brew, more of an ipa than a straight pale ale, but a delicious beer nonetheless. a complex and robust hop nose is enticing, and the balanced flavor, medium body and effervescent carbonation make this a staple in most good bars. this is much hoppier than other american pale ales, but is not heavy as some can be. it is highly drinkable with a slightly bitter finish and an extraordinary crispness. the colder the better

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Photo of jwc215
3.66/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours orange/amber- nice clarity - with a creamy, lasting head that leaves rings of lacing down the glass.

It has a floral/citrusy aroma.

The taste is of mild citrus - lemon and orange - with a sweet malt balance. The hop bitterness has an edge over the sweetness, but is fairly well-controlled, as per the style. It's on the lighter side of medium-bodied.

It's a nice brew, but nothing special. A decent choice when the other choices are mostly macros. This is an easy-drinking APA.

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Photo of Mark
3.66/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'm sorry to all the fans of this brew but I find it overated. I just don't buy it Prefer the smoother british beers. As for American Ales, I'll take Anderson Valley and North Coast. I realize I had underated this brew quite seriously. While I have upped it's numbers I still feel it is a vastly overated beer. I'll jump over this beer to get at Bear Republic, North Coast, and English ale without hesitation.

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Photo of PittBeerGirl
3.66/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- light rust colored translucent body with bubbles everywhere. Beautiful creamy white head with great retention.

S- light pine hops

T- Pine hops upfront and and remain until the aftertaste. Clean finish with some sweet malt remaining.

M- high carbonation and medium weight body. Goes down pretty easy.

D- This is really drinkable and I'm glad I had it. I will have it again.

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Photo of SensorySupernova
3.66/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Turbid tan/yellow.

Smell: Very mild hoppy smell.

Taste: Moderate bitterness, well balanced. Aftertaste fades very quickly.

Mouthfeel: Light and very carbonated.

Overall: Good pale ale, especially if you don't tolerate much bitterness. Not my beer of choice (I prefer stronger), but a solid choice at open bars when my only other options are the standard lagers.

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Photo of sevineyes
3.66/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle with a light green label.

A: Honey in color with an ample head and some lacing.

S: Some hoppiness, but not a big aroma overall.

T: Citrus between grapefruit and orange. Big hop flavor with a clean finish.

M: Coating mouthfeel with a distinct carbonation presence.

D: Very drinkable. No problems there.

Overall: A nice APA. Clean and doesn't have too much of an overbearance of hops even though hops is the dominant presence in this beer.

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Photo of Rhynes2
3.66/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Took a few tries to get into this beer to be honest. Clear, light colored beer when poured out. Little head retention. Very citrusy in flavor. I am normally a fan of the grapefruit flavor in a beer but this beer was a bit too sour for my tastes. Aftertaste is a bit too unpleasant. I really liked the bottle condition aspect here. It really helps this beer stick out and be unique. Had very high expectations for this one but it didn't impress me much.

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Photo of oberon
3.65/5  rDev -9.9%
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.

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Photo of silver0rlead
3.65/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a pale amber color with a small white head that dissapates quickly. Smell is floral, piney hops with a grainy malt background. Taste is very similar to the smell with a floral and resiny hops taste that gives way to a grainy, bready malt flavor and ends in a dry, slightly bitter finish. Overall a pretty standard pale ale, but nonetheless an original as it was one of the first craft beers to become widely available.

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Photo of jeffjeff1
3.65/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I usually pick this up in bulk at Costco or Sam's Club. I just realized I have never done a review for it so I decided I would do one.

Appearance- amber color, thin head

Smell- First thing to hit was the malt then I got some piney hops.

Taste- subtle hop flavor, some malt

Mouthfeel- medium bodied

Drinkability- This is a very good pale ale. It is Sierra Nevada's flagship beer and probably the beer I drink the most because I buy it in bulk. I always have a case of it at my house. Highly recommended

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Photo of Tyrawlings
3.65/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. Bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Slightly hazed orange in color with copper hues. Dense white head pours two fingers thick. Good retention. Thin sticky lacing clings to the sides of the glass.

S: Citrus juice. Citric and pine hops. Bread. Caramel malts.

T: The taste of grapefruit and a hint of apple are followed by citric and pine hops that give off a pleasent bitter bite. Sweet balancing malts chime in with a bread like flavor. Touch of grain is followed by a soft citrus presence and the beer finishes slightly dry.

M: Crisp and refreshing. Medium carbonation. Slightly dry.

D: A session beer all the way. Nothing over the top crazy and that is what makes it good. Worth a try.

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Photo of Globetrotter
3.65/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Sampled at the Sophisticated Otter in Johnson City, TN, my SNPA came out a clear slightly reddish gold under a very thin white head that lingered well and left very good lace. Subdued flowery hops greet the nose, while the mouth is met by a very pricky medium-bodied sensation. Smooth malt contends with distinctive flowery hoppiness right from the start, with the hops winning out in the end. There's a very nice bite in the finish, followed by a good lingering bitterness. There's a reason why this is a solid stand-by brew. Can't go wrong here.

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Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,876 ratings.