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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.

7,350 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7350
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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 7,350 | Reviews: 2,624 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of danieelol


3.15/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours golden orange, not a colour I'm particularly enamoured with but good head and lacing.

S: Nuttiness on bottle opening, which pops up again intermittently. Vague citric lemon-lime zest hops. Some nondescript malt to sniff. Alcohol intermittently.

T: First sip was really sweet. Then it's just subtle hops with present but nondescript malt. Hop bite in the finish, with some alcohol occasionally.

M: Ok?

O: Mmm, this stuff really doesn't wow me in the slightest. LCPA beats it at its own game IMO, and I've had several better local examples like Pacific Ale and Hart's House Pale Ale. Very average on the whole.

Serving type: bottle

08-09-2011 13:06:05 | More by danieelol
Photo of ThreePistols


3.13/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pale golden color, frothy white head that diminishes fairly quick. Hoppy, citrus, slightly sweet, some floral tones, yeasty, aroma. Flavor is citrus, bitter, hoppy, slightly yeasty and moderately acidic. Finish is bitter and slightly dry. Could have been balanced better. I would have like to have experienced more malt. Overall this is a good beer however it is not my style of beer. Too hoppy for my taste but I enjoyed it all the same.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2002 13:25:14 | More by ThreePistols
Photo of maddogruss

New Jersey

3.13/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this tonight at the business get together. Wasn't sure if it was an English pale ale or an APA when I was there, so I figured it was an English pale ale because it tasted very malty. It had a good look to it: dark amber color with a decent, white head that retained throughout the beer. Smelled very malty; did not notice any kind of hops at all. Tasted malty as well; once again, no hoppy traces even noticed in the aftertaste which led be to believe that it was an English pale ale. A pretty nice mouthfeel; pretty thick, similiar to a Sam Adams in regards to mouthfeel. A good, drinkable beer, but did not taste like a good APA; I would have expected at least a little bit of a hoppy taste, at least to balance the malt, if I knew it was an APA when I was drinking it.

Serving type: on-tap

12-14-2006 04:03:55 | More by maddogruss
Photo of Beerocrat69


3.13/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

It had been awhile since I've had one of these, and my memory was better than the bottle I just tasted. Maybe I got an old bottle (trying to give them the benefit of doubt.) I doubt anything has changed at the brewery. Beer looked golden-copper colored with a white head and nice lacework on the glass. It had a resiny, pine-like aroma. The hop bitterness was lacking and it tasted more sweet than usual. Not as dry as I remember. This beer was balanced - in a bad way. It normally finishes more dry. Maybe the bottle-conditioning never took off on this batch or this bottle. I'll try again soon.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2010 23:39:43 | More by Beerocrat69
Photo of Jammies


3.13/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a golden color with about 3/4 an inch of foam. Great carbonation and pretty decent retention. Strong lacing. Still visible by the end of the beer.

S- A light floral small. Smells more like a pilsner.

T- Hoppy and mild. Good balance but somewhat dry.

M- very light, but still decent body. Hops leave the mouth dry. Slightly bitter.

O- Solid go to beer. Light and hoppy plus available year round. Not my favorite pale ale, but good.

Serving type: bottle

07-09-2011 13:51:09 | More by Jammies
Photo of rlcoffey


3.1/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a gold to amber color. Virtually no head despite noticeable carbonation. Very slight lacing. Floral aroma that isnt overpowering and wasnt that pleasant. Taste is very average for an APA. The hops are there, and leave a pleasant aftertaste, but they dont stand out like in many APAs. Good "structure" to the beer, the mouthfeel is there, but the taste is nothing special. Above average drinkability, I may have another despite being unimpressed. Its been a while since I have had an SNPA and I didnt remember it being anything special - and it wasnt.

Its a slightly above average APA.

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2004 23:19:32 | More by rlcoffey
Photo of MbpBugeye


3.1/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Clear amber gold. The head is sticky, leaving tons of white lacing. It fades to a pillow, fueled by tie laser etched Perfect Pint.

The smell is straightforward. Lightly doughy malts under floral hops.

Sweet floral and citrus hops start things off nicely. A toasted grain malt presence takes things until some bittering pine finishes it.

Very sharp carbonation, its way too much for me. The body isn’t too thin though.

Not the end all and be all pale ale, like everyone claims.

Serving type: bottle

10-04-2011 05:38:56 | More by MbpBugeye
Photo of Boozeisfood


3.1/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

I haven't really had that many Pale Ales but this was a treat. i didn't happen to pour it into anything other then my mouth.

The smell was quite Ale-ish, i noted the smell of grapefruit rind among other citrus sents.

The taste was quite alright, had the bitterness for sure and the citrus i smelled came thru in the taste aswell. i dont really have too much to say about this beer other then it's good to try but nothing i would buy again and again.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2011 07:44:54 | More by Boozeisfood
Photo of Frozensoul327


3.08/5  rDev -24%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I really like SNBC's beers, but this one didn't do anything for me. Poured out to a golden color with decent carbonation. Odors of spices were most present, and were slightly overpowering. Taste was complex, as i'm sure that's what they were going for. Flavors of bitterness, floral notes and hops were present. Finished with a smooth, yet strong bitter aftertaste. In no way a bad beer, but i've had better APA's. Still worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2005 12:14:26 | More by Frozensoul327
Photo of jdhilt

New Hampshire

3.08/5  rDev -24%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a two finger white head that fades quickly to a thin layer leaving traces of lace. Crystal clear amber color. Good carbonation and medium bodied. Citrus hop nose. Flavor is citrusy, no sweetness, light bitter hop finish. $1.60 for a 12oz bottle from Beverage Warehouse Winooski, VT.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2010 22:17:58 | More by jdhilt
Photo of Zorro


3.05/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I have a love/hate relationship with this brew. Some of the best and worst beers I have ever had were this brew. I believe that this is one beer that is very temperamental about how it is transported and stored.

Pours a clear orangish gold color.

Smell is malt, vanilla and hops smells bitterer than it tastes.

Taste is very mild yet full. This has a floral hop taste with a bit of oak flavor to it. A dry ale, I remember this being a bit sweeter in its draft form.

Mouthfeel is thicker than you would think.

Drinkability is good, but I prefer a Fuller's to this.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2004 02:13:10 | More by Zorro
Photo of ElGrecoVerde


3.05/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured an orangish yellow, which matched the scent and flavor pretty well.

A lot of fruit peel smells in this one. Kind of grassy, too. When I took a sip, my first thought was "overkill". The flavors are good, but there's no balance and they just sort of swish around with no where to go.

It had a good feel. Like some people say, good with food as it's pretty damn crisp. But it leaves me with too much of a fruit peel aftertaste to enjoy. Reminds me a lot of gin in that way. Finished a bit harsh too.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2008 02:12:56 | More by ElGrecoVerde
Photo of weissbierdrinker


3.05/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pale copper color with a two finger light tan head that leaves very nice lacing around the glass.

Smell is slightly soupy with some malt notes.

Taste starts out hoppy with a very nice bitterness to it, then turns to a bit soapy dry finish.

Overall it's a very good beer that I would drink again.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2008 01:12:40 | More by weissbierdrinker
Photo of tjsmith910


3.05/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A bit of a weird dynamic here in my opinion. I purchased this product on a referral by a friend. I was fairly disappointed the first night as I finished off 3 of them. The next night, I just wanted them out of my refrigerator so I decided to finish the other 3. Big change from one night to the next. The first night, They seemed to taste like chilled thin cough syrup. But the next night I poured them into a pint glass and it is like the flavors mixed and matched and moved around to produce a rather tasty beer.

A - Pure transparent Orange color with off white 1 finger head that dissipated in about 2 minutes, leaving a light lace.

S - I rate all beers a 3 because of my lack of the sence of smell

T - Strong, lightly bitter and almost like sourdough bread.

M - Smooth follow through for an APA

O - Impressed by the ending of the product, glad I gave it a second round.

Serving type: bottle

07-08-2011 20:10:25 | More by tjsmith910
Photo of Raebies


3.05/5  rDev -24.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2011 10:50:42 | More by Raebies
Photo of Kulrak


3.03/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a golden orange color with absolutely no head. Smells of hops, cascade, I think. Strong hop flavor with some munich malt flavor. Somewhat citrusy with a bitter back end. I really taste almost nothing but hops. There's a little tongue scraping from the carbonation/hops. It's drinkable, but I wouldn't drink it every day.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2006 08:21:56 | More by Kulrak
Photo of escapements


3.03/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A=Nice color. Looks like beer, nothing special.

T=Hoppy as a pale ale should be (however, not my favorite), citrus & pine. Slight bitterness with a clean finish. Only slightly malt, could use more. Slight alcohol taste.

S=Citrus & hops

M=Smooth & dry which makes you want another sip

D=Not a bad overall beer, but lacks any outstanding qualities.

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2006 00:56:26 | More by escapements
Photo of dmfrench


3.03/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

An average and forgettable APA.

A: Nice golden color, but the head is tiny and fleeting.

S: Not much there, save for a bit of citrus hops.

T: Fairly strong citrus hops with a creaminess underneath. The flavors are not well separated, and the overall presentation is somewhat cloudy like a wheatale and not very crisp like an APA, IMHO, should be.

M: OK, if not a bit grainy

D: Average

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2009 01:20:11 | More by dmfrench
Photo of Ragingbull


3/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer is another one that I would put on the "tough to review" list because of its familiarity. I had been drinking this long before a wide variety of microbrews became available likely due its wide distribution. Here is my attempt.

Rich roasted gold color with light head and some prickle. Mildly hoppy nose. Hops forward flavor and almost a hoppy attack. I am guessing the nose affects the initial attack as the smells from the glass impact the flavor. It stays hoppy through the finish but in a mild way. The aftertaste allows the hops to fade with a bubbly mouthfeel that dries and vanishes. My wife offered the comment that the aftertaste made her feel as if she had just licked an envelope. This beer is certainly one to throw in the cooler for a backyard BBQ, but it isn't likely one that I will keep on hand in my beer fridge. I think that I find myself lumping into the "old standards" by which everything else is judged and would have to call it average for that very purpose. There are going to be better beers and far worse beers. If you have nothing else to choose from you won't be disappointed, but if there is something else on the menu you haven't tried its probably worth trying the new beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2009 14:35:38 | More by Ragingbull
Photo of apbarwood


3/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A bright, brownish-gold color with a small pure-white head. Retention is lacking with only the finest amount of lace. It takes a pretty aggressive pour to get some head. Aromas are faint but pleasant nonetheless. Ditto that on the flavor. You get what you'd expect basically but in small amounts with a good balance between fruit bitterness and pine with some herbal hop notes and just enough malt to hold everything together. The body is mediumish and the feel is slightly undercarbonated. The thing that this beer has going for it is that it's balanced exceptionally well, but it isn't going to knock anyone's socks off. I really wanted more out of it particularly from the hops. This is definitely brewed with the larger market in mind. That being said, it's not bad, there's nothing offensive about this beer at all and I think it's a good training wheel pale ale but fans of more flavorful styles of pales will be well suited to look elsewhere.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2010 23:00:30 | More by apbarwood
Photo of ChadQuest


3/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The flagship for the style, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.
Pour is a copper color with a quick showing of a head that settles down into a collar. translucent.
Aroma has some grains and cereal malts with cascade style hops. The flavors of 'Merica. Some citrus gives some brightness to this ale and the malts keep it about perfectly balanced.
Mouthfeel is crisp enough to meet my desires.

This is the base that all other pale ales get judged to.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2011 02:31:46 | More by ChadQuest
Photo of ElGuapo

New Jersey

2.98/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

drank a few at work on a hot summer day with the wind at my back and the sun in my face. it was a special day, and this was not quite a special beer. i am not a huge fan of pale ales, but it was pretty good. i won't be a return customer, but it was good for a day

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2002 14:37:02 | More by ElGuapo
Photo of Damian


2.98/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Drank on-tap at Sully's Pub, Hartford, CT

Poured a clear, reddish amber with a one-finger pillowy head. Some bits of spotty lacing.

Smell was hardly detectable initially. As the beer warmed, the aroma became somewhat more pronounced. Musty with a touch of citrusy hops in the background.

The taste was somewhat similar to the smell. Not much happening on the front end except maybe a touch of malty sweetness. As the beer moved to the rear of the palate, it became increasingly bitter but lacked the citrusy hop flavor that should have accompanied this. Somewhat grainy and resin-like on the back of the palate. Aftertaste was hoppy and bitter (orange peel was noticeable) and lingered on forever. (This was unquestionably the most impressive part of the beer.)

Mouthfeel was fairly creamy, smooth and full-bodied.

Overall, this beer was a disappointment, as it lacked the flavors and aromas needed to make up for its intense bitterness.

Serving type: on-tap

12-02-2006 14:56:14 | More by Damian
Photo of ThreeWiseMen


2.98/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sampled this on-tap at the brewery this past Thursday (09-03-2009). For those that don't know, every Thursday is cask night at the brewery. Following review written from notes.

Appearance: Two fingers of dense white head sit atop a hazy caramel body. When held to light, shimmers of yellow-orange appear around the edges. No apparent carbonation. Head retention is shorter than expected - quickly settles as a mere crown. Thick spotty lace.

Smell: Wow, lame. Hops have completely fallen out of this one. I get estery alcohol and toasted malt - that's all. This would hardly cut it as an English bitter. Boring.

Taste: Toasted malt and wood, with mild hoppy flavors in the finish. The bitterness and crispness are gone. The hops still affect the flavor profile and consistency, making the beer mildly piney, citrusy, and oily. Finishes grainy and grassy - a touch sour, a touch bitter.

Mouthfeel: There was actually more carbonation to this cask ale than I expected, which was kinda nice. Malty, chewy, light, and clean. The aftertaste is mild and centered around the barley.

Drinkability: I was pretty let down by this one. I was hoping that this cask conditioned SNPA would showcase the beer's malt profile; and while it did bring the malt side into the spotlight, I feel like this beer's shortcomings were just exposed. I didn't have a problem drinking this, but given my time constraints that night this felt like a waste. Oh well, now I know.

Serving type: cask

09-08-2009 04:57:43 | More by ThreeWiseMen
Photo of mcgwire756

New Jersey

2.98/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a pilsner glass.

I have had this beer on multiple occasions and finally decided to review it.

Pours a golden yellow/orange with a large 3 finger head. Lacing is ok, but honestly this looks like almost any beer similar to this. No really stong smells but what is there is a bready malt with a little bit of pine. The taste is more bready malt at first, but after a while it just overbears your taste buds and it becomes a very bland malt beer. The mouthfeel is too prickly for more liking, and really brings down the drinkability after a while. It is ok for what it is, but not a great craft beer in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2011 13:32:31 | More by mcgwire756
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 7,350 ratings.