Dismiss Notice
Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...
Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest BeerAdvocate updates delivered to your inbox.

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada Pale AleSierra Nevada Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

2,847 Reviews
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,847
Hads: 10,362
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 9.85%
Wants: 230
Gots: 2,214 | 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: 2,847 | Hads: 10,362
Photo of Buebie
3.56/5  rDev -12.3%
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. (642 characters)

Photo of Jafne
3.56/5  rDev -12.3%
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. (1,079 characters)

Photo of BabyBastard
3.56/5  rDev -12.3%
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. (609 characters)

Photo of microbrewlover
3.56/5  rDev -12.3%
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. (700 characters)

Photo of newcastleme
3.55/5  rDev -12.6%
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. (438 characters)

Photo of gogreen99
3.55/5  rDev -12.6%
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. (259 characters)

Photo of depechemode1983
3.55/5  rDev -12.6%
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. (626 characters)

Photo of changeup45
3.55/5  rDev -12.6%
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. (289 characters)

Photo of genog
3.55/5  rDev -12.6%
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. (459 characters)

Photo of MinnesotaRIS
3.55/5  rDev -12.6%
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. (462 characters)

Photo of Westsidethreat
3.55/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Clean, golden. Oatmeal colored head started off big but is falling rapidly. Lots of lace clinging to the sides of the glas

S: Floral and citrusy, cascade hops.

T: Pine and cascade flavors lead to slightly malty and alcoholic flavor.

M: Decently smooth but some what prickly.

D: An American standard. A classic. (327 characters)

Photo of Jesswellick
3.54/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Fruity and refreshing smell. Slightly piney hints. Very bitter hoppy beer but has a great mouth feel that is very refreshing. The bitter taste gives a slight bite that makes it enjoyable and leaves you wanting more. The slight fruitiness and bitter bite make it a great beer. (275 characters)

Photo of jaycount
3.54/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I figured it's about time I reviewed this classic.

A - Light golden in color, looks like most pale ales... delicious!

S - Citrusy hops, only a slight bit of maltiness.

T - Alot of hops, especially sharp at the end of the swallow. I'm not sure if I drink mild IPAs or if this is a hoppy PA but this guy has quite a bit going for it.

M - Light, carbonated, refreshing.

This is a great drink for a hot, sunny Summer day. (422 characters)

Photo of Georgiabeer
3.54/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Let me say first off that I think this is a great beer. I really think they should be applauded for their role in the craft brewed revolution in this country. I think many of their products are excellent, and the snpa is the flagship. This used to be my favorite session beer. Why do I say used to be? Two reasons: first, I think this beer is not quite the beer it used to be. This is true both because it has stood still while great hoppy beers grew around it, but also because I think it has lost a little of its unique flavoe over the years. Second, I think this beer has had freshness and consistency problems as it has grown larger. I've had way to many snpas that were stale tasting if not downright skunky. This is particularly true on tap, but I've had some bad bottles too. I think its the beer, not the storage, but as snpas presence has become more ubiquitous, I'm sure there are more places that don't treat it right. Also, I think the tap beer is not as good as the bottles (Except maybe at the brewery- where its wonderful). The krausening in the bottles lends the brew a fruity yeastiness that is part of its charm. This is really lacking on tap, where an earthier taste comes through. When you find it really fresh and well handled, this can still be a near perfect brew, but its getting harder to find that way imo.

The beer came from the tap a beautiful copper color with a good head and excellent lacing throughout.

The smell is pretty good- earthy hops, but maybe with a little bit of a stale aroma as well. The draft lacks some of the fruity esters of the bottled.

The taste is still solid, fairly soft up front with a good earthy piney hop bitterness. A little stale on the finish.

The mouthfeel is fairly thin, but there is some creaminess there as well. The hops are pretty clean, but not a hop explosion. The thinner body helps the beer remain balanced.

Very drinkable, but best when really fresh. My scores are for draft at an average place. They would be higher at the brewery or in bottles. (2,033 characters)

Photo of 1Adam12
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is one of the first, if not THE first craft beers I ever tasted many years ago.

Pours an orangish golden color with a half in head. Smells very earthy. Has a bit of old sock smell about it. Hops are very noticeable as well as a bit of citrus. Taste is hoppy with a lot of earthiness. A tad bit of bitterness on the back end. Not a very complex brew, but good. This is a bit over carbonated for me, but very satisfying. Overall, this is a good everyday beer, or good session beer. (485 characters)

Photo of hubsluvsbeer
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

bottle. pours dark yellow with a solid white head. grassy and slight citrus aroma. taste is very bitter lots of fresh cut grass and some sweet sugar malt. had this on tap at the clarkston union and cant believe i have not rated it yet as it is a very true to style beer. it may not have the hop wallop that zombie dust has but the malt that is there plays a very nice roll in balancing out the hops. (399 characters)

Photo of ImusBeer
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer of the Month this November at my local Taco Mac.

It arrived in my 20oz glass a light copper color, very clear with an off white head, very wispy. Small lacing appeared on the side of the glass as I drank.

The aroma of light pine hop with a clean grains dominated. The taste was mild with just a hint of pine and some sourness on the finish.

It had a light crisp medium bitterness with a light feel on the tongue. Nice drinkable beer, this one could carry you through the evening easily. (494 characters)

Photo of tone77
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a dark golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is dominated by hops. Taste is hops, some bitterness, a bit of malts at the finish. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall I tried this before and was unimpressed but now I found it to be a pretty good beer. (291 characters)

Photo of nocheinsbitte
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

purchased a 1/6 barrel from the local bier store for my kegerator.

A: Pours a rich, slightly dark, golden color with a good foam head that hangs around for a long time.
S: Pretty hoppy, acid like. Nothing great, but you can tell it is a pale ale.
T: A little bitter with a moderate after taste. Leaves your mouth dry.
D: Since I have it on tap, it will be easy to drink. However, I don't ever go out of my way to buy it at the store or in a bar.

Overall, a decent pale ale and one that I think everyone has had already. A recommend. Prosit. (544 characters)

Photo of FriarPrickly
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into pint glass. Aggressive pour with < 1/2 foamy tan head that disappeared quickly (less than two minutes) with minimal lacing. Beautiful giold honey and clear appearance.
Smell of freshly cut grass after a spring shower. Some citrus noted.
Taste opened with a bubblegum that quickly moved to and remained lemony pepper.
Felt sandpaper on tongue with the carbonation being high and watery mouth. Finished slowly with bitter hop taste remaining.
Overall I was stepping outside my zone on this one. I am trying to be objective and keep my mental filters clean. OK.... I know others love this beer but for me it was average or slightly above at best. I bought a 12 pack but it will be a long time before I repeat the purchase. It is always quite possible my taste buds are burnt out. (803 characters)

Photo of paulfear
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

it poured a nice deep golden almost copper color, the head was about 3/4 of an inch but the head disapated quickly.

it had a slight hoppy aroma. upon drinking, it had a nice sweet bite and not much of an aftertaste in my opinion. overall pretty pleasant with a nice light body. (281 characters)

Photo of xzqrut
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer poured from the tap, a nice copper color, with excellend head, retention, and lacing. Gave a mild hop aroma and taste, but felt it lacked a little in the bitterness category compared to other pales. Gave a nice crisp mouthfeel, good drinkability. All in all an very good beer. (281 characters)

Photo of rockdick
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was my first pale ale to try and it wasn't too bad. Had a good light copper color with a decent head. Taste and smell was a hint of spiciness, but mostly sweet. Went down pretty easily. I don't think it belongs in the Top 50, but it is worth have a 6 pack on hand for pale ale drinkers. (291 characters)

Photo of Rabersutton
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A standard pale ale for craft beer, Sierra Nevada's pale ale is hoppy, yet with a juicy, citrusy sweetness that doesn't leave your mouth dry. Piney refreshing taste makes this classic a must have for hop heads. (210 characters)

Photo of adammills
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I poured this 12 ounce bottle in to a glass beer mug to see its straw yellow color and slight head. It is citrusy with a bit of bitterness to chase it. It has a nice hoppy flavor that is not overpowering. The mouthfeel is solid, making it a pretty drinkable beer. This is a solid choice. (287 characters)

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,847 ratings.