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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.

2,863 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,863
Hads: 10,448
Avg: 4.05
pDev: 11.6%
Wants: 236
Gots: 2,310 | 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: 2,863 | Hads: 10,448
Photo of muldersha
3.58/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Had from a 12oz brown glass bottle with a packaging date of 05/05/15. Purchased in Portland, OR

Pours a lightly hazy (but mostly clear) orange/amber color with a decent white head. Not very good retention and only a wispy lacing.

Orange and pine dominate the nose right out the gate. However, with a bit of agitation this brew really sings with boisterous aromas of orange zest, sweet orange juice, pine, white grape, Meyer lemon, Oro Blanco grapefruit, pomelo, oregano, green tea, Lemonheads candy, tangerine soda, buddleia flowers, mineral salts, and petrol. Almost like someone took a young, quality Mosel Riesling and mixed it with a West Coast IPA.

Unfortunately, I think my zealous agitation left the brew a little flat. It's medium-bodied, but lighter than expected. The flavor is also very sharp, peppery, herbal, and abruptly bitter. It felt a little thin and watery in the mid-palate. The finish is pretty weak with subtle peppery nuances of orange and bitter herbs.

I've had this beer hundreds of times, but I have to confess, I rarely really taste it. It definitely didn't taste like how I thought it was going to taste. It really opened up aromatically as it warmed a little, and it really needed that somewhat aggressive agitation to really open fully. It was also much thinner and lighter than I thought.

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Photo of jethrodium
3.58/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap. Pours a clear golden copper with a small off white head that has good retention and leaves some light lacing on the glass. The aroma is floral hops, some light citrus, caramel, a light mineral note, and some light pine. The initial taste is sweet with caramel, and a bit of sugar cookie. Then comes some tangerine and floral hops. The finish has a light bitterness. Medium body. Medium carbonation.

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Photo of Floydster
3.58/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle from Ralphs

Poured into a cold pint glass

Dark brown with a white head and a nice strong smell

Nice strong pale ale that can be found almost anywhere

Good beer for the summer time at packs more a punch than a lot of the widely distributed microbrews

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Photo of Ochsenblut
3.58/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a hazy light copper with a bone white head that immediately dissipates to sticky lacing with big soapy bubbles.

Floral, aromatic and a spike of citrus peel come through.

This beer is dry and bitter to the end, allowing light grapefruit notes to peek in through a mineral-rich body. It's only slightly crackery as it fades to a brief sourness in the aftertaste.

The mouthfeel is medium with a medium to high amount of suspended carbonation.

I would suggest this beer to anyone as a stepping stone into pale ales.

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Photo of xtremejammn
3.58/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Not bad.

Pours a deep brown, with a head that dosn't fade too quickly but isn't very long lasting either.

smells very flourescent, a bit wheaty.

Tastes very bitter, with a strong flourescent taste.

M: bubbly but not too bubbly, very nice.

the bitterness makes for a little harder drinkability, but other than that it's not bad. Very nice.

Bottom line is that it's overall a very acceptable ale, I reccomend this to anyone just to try, it's worth it

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Photo of Chizoad
3.58/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I think I'm spoiled by Sierra Nevada's Torpedo offering.

Pretty dark amber in a tall flute of a glass with a nice off-white cap of foam. Kind of mellow smell. I could detect decent hops but only the bitter kind, not particularly floral.

Similar taste. Kind of bland really.

Good body with good medium carbonation, and a relatively drinkable beer. At places without great selection of brews, this and Blue Moon are the standouts of the widely available beers.

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Photo of washburnkid
3.58/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I have a love/not so much love relationship with this beer. It's good sometimes, especially on tap. But when you get a bad bottle, you really get a bad bottle. The latest SNPA case I bought this last week fits into the "not so much love" category. Here's the review for the bottle, and I'll review it on tap in the near future.

A: Big white frothy, creamy head over a slightly hazy golden. Super sticky lacing and some frothy retention.
S: Toasted malts, fresh grains, some metallic, and a hop aroma that is really trying to push through but can't quite make it over the malts.
T: A few more hops on the tongue than the nose would have me believe. A bit piney and herbal, but that fades quickly and the taste turns into a wet grainy and slightly skunked character. Some woodiness in there.
M: Light-bodied with medium carbonation.
D: This baby is lacking in the flavor I know and love. The bottle just doesn't do this brew justice. Get it on tap...many of them!

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Photo of kitch
3.58/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A 12 fl oz bottle with a packaged date of 17th March 2015 and poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: The beer poured an extremely clear copper colour with a two finger slightly off-white head that dissipates fairly quickly leaving some stringy lacing.

Aroma: Mainly a piney smell along with some citrus lemon and grapefruit. Some bready malts also come through.

Taste: Pine hop taste along with some bread, biscuit and caramel malt. There’s also a hint of orange and some bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

Overall: I’d drink this pale ale again, but I do prefer my pale ales with a slightly less pine, and more tropical fruit flavours instead.

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Photo of atrus138
3.58/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice amber color with a bit of head and plenty of lacing.

Smelled plenty of hops, with some floral aromas and hints of citrus.

Tasted nice and bitter, like a good pale ale should, though it isn't overwhelming.

Very easy to drink. Not too thin, but has lots of flavor. When a place has very few taps, this is usually the best they have to offer.

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Photo of JizackFH
3.58/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a nice gold almost amber color. Decent white head that didn't stick around too long.

S: Good smell with some citrus notes

T: There is a nice hoppy flavor, but i definetly think that it could use a stonger hop flavor. Im not saying to make it and IPA or anything I just think that a little more hops would improve the taste. Also has nice citrus notes.

M: Medium bodied and crisp is how I would describe the mouthfeel of this one.

D: Like i said i like something a bit more hoppy, but I could see myself drinking quite a few of these on a nice hot summer day.

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Photo of corby112
3.57/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark golden orange color with copper/tangerine edges and a one finger, frothy white head that quickly settles into a thick, lasting ring.  Streaks of lace left behind.

Earthy floral hop aroma with some grassy, resinous pine and subtle citrus countered by bread/yeast and pale malt sweetness.  A touch of grapefruit and citrus peel followed by some caramel malt and toffee.  

Surprisingly full bodied for the style with a blast of dank, sticky hops giving off strong dry bitterness that lingers over the yeast and sweet malt notes into a dry finish.  Hop flavor is a bit one dimensional with bitter earthy character.  Lots of grass, pine needle and spruce tip with very little of the citrus/tropical fruit notes found in the nose.  It's there providing subtle sweetness but is overpowered by bitterness and strong malt flavors.  Hop bitterness is countered by bready yeast and malt sweetness.  Lots of caramel, bread, toffee and nut.  Well balanced with some nice hop flavor but it's not really light or easy drinking and doesn't really feel like a pale ale.

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Photo of stxp
3.57/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance: light amber hues, orangy in light, large head, some lacing

smell: cascade, pac-northwest style, floral, slightly fruity, slight toast

taste: pine, very floral, citrus, grapefruit, slightly bitter but balanced, fast, clean, estery

mouthfeel: carbonated, slightly foamy, medium filling, hidden alcohol, hearty

overall: refreshing summer beer, great citrus hops balanced

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Photo of haddon
3.56/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- pours a golden brown with a good two-finger head that doesn't hang around too long. good lacing all the way down

S- not a whole lot going on here. little hoppy on the nose with a faint smell of malt and citrus. very faint aromas all around

T- hoppy and bitter at first that dissipates quickly with not much aftertaste at all.

M- best part of beer. light and crisp with a good balance of carbonation. sits on the palate well

D- good beer. unfair to compare with an ipa if you are expecting more hops. actually got better as the beer warmed a bit.

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Photo of DrunkMcDermott
3.56/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served at InField's, Chicago Loop. Good to see this style-setting beer at more places in my neck of the woods. Pours an appealing amber body under a thin pale ale head. Originally had a mild taste, but I felt that I was "tasting" the glass more (maybe it wasn't rinsed correctly), but the fine balance of hop and malt came through. Definite northwestern hop profile with spice, bitterness and a light fruity touch. A good, toasty malt blend that's just a little sticky on the palate. Leaves a nice aftertaste and a little alcohol warmth to enjoy afterward. Not "extreme" by any means, but an excellent session beer.

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Photo of Jesse13713
3.56/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - A very whipped cream-like head with poor lacing. Pours a pale orangish yellow, almost a clear urine color.

Smell - Slight hop notes, but not much else is going on here.

Taste - Slight bitterness turns over to a sweet and smooth aftertaste. A delicious caramelized pine note that has a very smooth hoppy aftertaste. A well balanced lemon-squeeze aftertaste as well.

Mouthfeel / Drinkability - Well balanced and smooth. Quite easily drinkable; so much so that I could easily drink a six pack in a night. I guess I would call this my 'go-to" beer.

Verdict - Defintely a tasty and delicious beer. When I'm just in the mood to have a beer in general, this is what I reach for. I have had it several times; bottled and on tap.

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Photo of Buebie
3.56/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a brown stubby bottle into a pub glass. The semi-rigorous pour reveals a 1'' white head. Receding to leave a thin cap of retention. Sticky lace drapes all the way down leaving a few rings.
The color is a glowing orangish copper with some golden tones. Mostly transparent with a bit of chill haze.

Aroma is kind of subdued with citrus notes and plenty of malty sweetness.

Taste upfront is orange peels, hops are mild but present upfront. Becoming increasingly bitter through the swallow, lingering with bitter pine. Carbonation tickle throughout.

A solid pale ale, definitely a thirst quencher on a hot humid day like today.

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Photo of Jafne
3.56/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Poured a medium amber, well carbonated, decent head. Left a good amount of lacing. Poured clear till the bottom of the bottle, where some suspended particles and foginess entered the mix - my favorite part.

Smell- To my nose it smelled piney, resiny, and a bit citrusy.

Taste- Tasted much like it smelled; piney, citrusy, maybe a little grassy. I tend to like maltier brews. This Beer is not malty, caramely, nor sweet. I'd say more antiseptic, clean, and biting. Maybe it's just hoppier then malty. I did not review the beer till after my third time trying one. Third one was the charm, maybe an acquired taste for me. Definitely on the citrus side, pungent, with a bitter taste that lingers.

Mouth feel- Well carbonated. Smooth on the swallow, but a definite bite to the tongue.

Overall- This is my first review here. Overall it's a great beer. Has a nice bite. I personally like maltier brews and had to give this a few tries before really appreciating it. Right now, I'm thinking of having a second one. Plan on having some other pale ales, so I can compare.

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Photo of BabyBastard
3.56/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light amber into glass, small, white head forms but retreats fairly quickly. Ale appears hazy, nice lacing sticks around for awhile, this is a good looking ale.
Smells of malt, light citrusy hop aroma, nothing too over the top.
Taste is similar to the smell, maltiness with a slight hop bite.
Mouthfeel on this one is good, perfect carbonation, feels great on the tounge, nice and tingly. Very refreshing.
I'd have to rate the drinkability high on this ale, there is nothing too outstanding about it, but it is very nicely rounded. Moderate alcohol content makes it a cakewalk to have a few in a row.

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Photo of microbrewlover
3.56/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew pours a bright brown/orange color with a two finger head which settles into lacing which stays on top of the brew and clings to the glass until the end.

The smell is strong with citrus and floral hops. There is also a pine smell.

The taste starts with floral and citrus hops, a bit of mint, moves to sweet malts and carmel then finishes with a pine like taste. Pine hop resin stays on the tounge after swallowing.

The mouthfeel is bready and chewy, hop oils dominate.

This is an average Pale Ale, not bad just average. The mix of flavors that I am used to smelling and tasting with this style are not present. It is a well put together brew but I believe Sierra Nevada could do better.

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Photo of newcastleme
3.55/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This was an excellent ale. The only problem is that it may be too sweet of an ale.

Appearance was a pale standard ale.

The smell was moderately sweet.

Taste was the most appealing factor of this beer. It was strong with nice hints of fruit.

Mouthfeel was medium bodied and not to strong.

I would drink this beer again and feel it has incredible potential for food pairings. I would pair this with seafood and some chicken dishes.

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Photo of gogreen99
3.55/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Dark caramel in appearance almost orangish red. Very light carbonation with a minimal yeasty aftertaste. Definitely has nice aromatics, very thick head. Minimal lacing on this beer. Head had a little bit of clumping. Found this beer to be surprisingly mellow.

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Photo of depechemode1983
3.55/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Beer is an orange copper color. The clarity lets for visible carbonation. The head is off white withe decent retention and leaves small patches of lacing.

S - Semi bitter hops in the nose. A good balance between citric and floral hops. The malts balance it out even more with a touch of honey sweetness.

T - Taste is soft and bitter with some honey undertones and a bitter orange bite. Finish is mostly bitter but with very pronounced orange flavor.

M - Mouth feel is medium bodies with soft carbonation and a smooth finish.

O - Not a bad beer. Lots of good flavors and the mouth feel was great. Went down very smooth.

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Photo of changeup45
3.55/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap, out of the bottle, I always enjoy this beer. Copper color with moderate off-white head and some lacing. A bit floral, nicely hopped, with grapefruit, moderate bitterness and some sweet malt for a nicely balanced beer. This is a solid beer and probably easy to find for most people.

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Photo of genog
3.55/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had this the other night for the first time in a long while. One of the first craft beers I ever tried a few years ago.

Pours a rich golden color that leaves a white head for a short time.

Smell is floral and some fruit

Taste is a nice blend of bitter with the bite of strong hops. Very rich in flavor.

Leaves a nice carbonated feeling on the tongue. I enjoy this beer.

Smooth pale ale, that can be enjoyed over the evening in several bottles.

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Photo of MinnesotaRIS
3.55/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours with average body. Golden bit a little bit more sturdy than pale. Shimmering head and foam residual. Low lacing but some. Medium low carbonation.

S malty and average hopping for APA. no diacetyl or dms. Light and clean.

T a touch sharp. Low maltiness and good bittering. Not much hop flavor.

M&D not the best but not the worst. Low dextrin. Could use more body to finish a bit stronger. A bit watery. Very drinkable and could be a staple drinkin' beer.

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Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,863 ratings.