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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.

7,345 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7345
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: 7,345 | Reviews: 2,624 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of freed


4.75/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I consider this the benchmark. The continental divide. Beer flowing to the east should go back to the drawing board. Beer flowing to the west is how life should be. And those beers are tributaries that flow into the great standard. I don't mean to make SNPA sound like an amalgamation of beers, but its really just one of those great confluences of smell, appearance, taste, and enjoyment.

It pours a rich golden color. As the pour slows, the head billows up with a turbulent cap that settles with a nice crisp rim of foam. The aroma is of ample fresh hops, bursting is bright green flavors. The first sip is crisp, malty, and satisfying. Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter, its always the same taste. With a nice malt background the hops are a wonderful compliment. The biscuit and the citrus are a wonderful mix.

Maybe its the years of practice, but when in doubt, pick up a sixer and you'll be set.

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2003 22:39:21 | More by freed
Photo of Napone


4.75/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance - golden amber with a nice head. Not 'orangish' like some Pale Ales.

Smell - mild to moderate aroma, not too intense

Taste - great going down with a complex finish

Drinkability - a very drinkable beer, similar to some of the India Pale Ales I've had in the past

Sorry about that lack of technical terms, this is my first ever review.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2009 21:37:20 | More by Napone
Photo of mafiasentinel21


4.75/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Balanced, balanced, balanced...

A: This beer has a beautiful golden amber. The head is about a finger and a half that dies down to what looks like a crashed wave that sits beautifully on top of the brew.

S: Hops & fruit. Citrus. Faint malt.

T: What a refreshment. Sierra's trademark hoppiness definitely resonates in this beer as does some citric acid. Doesn't linger around a whole lot, and finishes crisp.

M: Medium, carbonation has an opening strength that backs off slowly and pleasantly.

D: Perhaps the scariest part of this beer, a sessionable for sure and one I would never turn down. This beer always makes its way to my fridge.

-It was the brew that got me into any and all craft brews. A great, great beer that deserves all of the acclaim it has received. If you want to try to get a friend off of Coors, Bud, or Miller serve one of these quaffable beauties.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2009 05:51:07 | More by mafiasentinel21
Photo of lweaver18240


4.75/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow, this may be my favorite beer.

A- Amber, yet clear enough that you can read through it. Pours with a light head that maintains with each mouthful.

S- Smells like high quality hops to me, not much else prominent.

T- Tastes like heaven. Starts off sweet and hoppy, simplistic and perfect. Then the flavor of hops rolls along the tongue and lingers for a bit, but not overly intense.

M- Lightly carbonated and incredibly smooth leading to a high level of drinkability.

D- Very sessionable. Drank a sixer before bed and it went down easier than water. Woke up and drank one at room temperature, and it was equally delicious. Not many beers can pull that off.

A very well done ale that isn't overly bitter, nor is it overly complex. A great beer to enjoy casually and often.

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2009 17:38:58 | More by lweaver18240
Photo of CptAubrey

New Jersey

4.75/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Thin white head and yellow-amber beer. A fine-looking beer.

S: Citrusy hops, caramel, and malt. Smells delicious and fresh. Makes one salivate.

T: Sweet, caramelly malt up front followed by citrusy, herbal hops. Moderate hop bitterness. Touch of grain adds depth. Every flavor is lively and fresh and the beer is well-balanced overall.

M: Fine carbonation and light-medium body with an oily finish.

D: Extremely drinkable with perfect balance and surprising depth. One of the most flavorful American pale ales I've had.

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2009 20:46:36 | More by CptAubrey
Photo of Pballa4lyfe


4.75/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- terrific amber/copper color, light head

S- nice hoppy aroma

T- hops hops hops, delicious..can taste a bit of fruityness

M- yummy, nicely carbonated, full

D- nice beer, could drink a few of these in a night, my safe beer choice

Overall, my favorite beer hand down...i try to drink this beer as much as possible...absolutely love it

Serving type: on-tap

10-02-2010 05:57:12 | More by Pballa4lyfe
Photo of SeattleBeerBlog


4.75/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Grew up on this stuff and figured I should finally make a formal review!

A- Great light copper Color, slightly hazy from bottle conditioning and dry hopping but still very clear, nice one inch head that dissipates a little too quickly but great lacing and a tad bit of white head remaining.

S- Grapefruit, pine, sweet malt, floral. awesome pale nose

T-Bitterness hits right up front with great grapefruit, pine, citrus notes supported by a great dry malt backbone, lingering bitterness is great, much hoppier than I remember, and so tasty.

M- nice carbonation (perhaps a bit low but good) and alcohol level is unnoticeable, medium bodied.

O- there is a reason this is one of the top selling beers in the US. It was the first American Pale Ale in the world and is still a fantastic beer, I don't drink this as often as a should and it is so good out of the bottle (Kegs are CO2 conditioned). Best pale hands down.

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2011 00:20:07 | More by SeattleBeerBlog
Photo of danreitz

New York

4.73/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap at Mona's in New York City. Pours golden amber with a floral aroma. The taste is marvelously balanced; there is just enough of that piney, slightly bitter cascade hop flavor is to counter the thick sweetness of the malt. Crisp, slightly citrus aftertaste.

A fantastic beer. Perfect yet unassuming, like a Fender Stratocaster. Refreshing and bold-flavored. Highly recommended.

Serving type: on-tap

11-14-2012 19:35:57 | More by danreitz
Photo of CAMRAhardliner

Ontario (Canada)

4.72/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer seems ubiquitous in America and the rest of the free world but believe it or not, its hard to come by in Ontario, Canada (thanks to our silly language laws with regards to product labels).
I was expecting a lot and was pleasantly surprised. All I can say is wow!

Pours a light bronze color with a small wispy head and minimal lacing. The aroma is amazing. A flawless boquet of aroma and bittering hops with a solid bready malt background. Lots of cedary and citrusy hops without being too harsh. The taste is very hoppy but a bit more restrained than Liberty Ale. Along with hop and malt flavors there's fruits like melon and grapes evident. Incredibly Complex and well rounded with hops clearly up front.

The mouthfeel is exceptional with subtle carbonation (thanks to the bottle conditioning I suppose). This beer is excessively drinkable and as good as I imagined. Thank god they sell it in western Canada.

Serving type: bottle

08-17-2004 22:59:41 | More by CAMRAhardliner
Photo of CVC


4.72/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Came in a dark brown 24 oz. (non-twist-off) bottle; served in a pint glass.

Pours a copper color with a two-finger white head. Dies somewhat slowly, and leaves some thin lace. Smells hoppy and herbal. Tastes really hoppy for a pale ale--also has a woody taste. Pretty carbonated. You know what SNPA tastes like. A balanced mouthfeel.

Ahh, the classic pale ale. The taste of this brings back good memories. This beer goes so well with any meal, especially pizza. Mmm. Anything by Sierra Nevada is always welcome in my pint glass.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2005 05:19:08 | More by CVC
Photo of cameraman


4.72/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An amber/copper color, with a nice white susatining head. A wonderful aroma of flowers and citrus comes through on the first scent. Feels slightly watery in the mouth, the hop flavor comes through from start to finish, with hints of malt and barley. The hops dominate the palate. This is the standard for all other pale ales, intense hop flavor, but not to overwhelming. This is a beer I can never get enough of, truely an excellent beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2006 01:44:26 | More by cameraman
Photo of jeffthecheff


4.72/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pour is golden copper color with a nice, bottle conditioned head that covers the surface the entire time.

Good aroma full of cascade hops. Strength is moderate from the dry hops. Smells great but makes you wish for a stronger nose.

This is the best tasting pale ale out there, no wonder its the most popular. Light bodied but with a strong hop taste and moderate bitterness. This got me addicted to hops. The citrus/pine/grapefruit flavors are all there.

Mouthfeel is great all the way through. Carbonation is right on, where other pale ales have too much. Bite from bitterness is welcoming and doesn't make you cringe. Drinkability is excellent. If I want a 6 pack for one night this is a good option.

Overall this is a great beer and has to be the top american ale to start off on if your getting into craft beer. I won't leave this behind either.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2008 03:33:48 | More by jeffthecheff
Photo of heath1agnew


4.72/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

appearance- pours a nice light amber color with a two finger head that eventually settle down to one. Carbonation bubbles can be seen.

smell- wonderful hops with a hint of citrus

taste- AHHH. pretty dang good. the hops are not over powering and the citrus is just right in the background. has a wonderful slightly bitter finish.

mouthfeel- just perfect for it's style not to thin and a nice kick of carbonation. also has a great dry finish.

drinkability- it's a no brainer. it's easy to drink and the dry feel to it leaves you wanting more.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2008 22:41:38 | More by heath1agnew
Photo of Frosthazard


4.72/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a nice tall "beer mug"

A- Clear with tiny particles after pour, beautiful amber color. Medium head that dissipates quickly. Nice lacing. Very enticing.

S- Nutty malt and piney hops, just what I would expect from a good American Pale Ale. Slightly citrusy and yeasty. Very well rounded.

T- Slightly piney, but it a very good way. Hoppy, a little bitter, but well balanced. one word-delicious.

M- Nice carbonation, has a little bite, which I like, lets you know your drinking it. Medium body.

D- Very drinkable, wish the alcohol content were slightly higher, but this is definitely one of my favorite beers.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2009 20:55:22 | More by Frosthazard
Photo of dstrand


4.72/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A - Medium gold/amber color. Had a pretty good foamy head with noticable lacing.

S - FLoral notes, malt, with a bit of citrus. Hoppy, but not too much. Also smelled a little piney.

M - Medium body, good carbonation.

D - Great drinkability. A good summer beer, I enjoy all year round. One of my favorite brews, as well as anything from SN.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2009 02:46:06 | More by dstrand
Photo of jazztoloc


4.72/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 OZ bottle poured into a pint. Love the colors on Sierra Nevada´s bottles and caps.

A: Light copper, nice head and lacing. This is a very nice looking beer. Love at first sight.

S: Hops, hints of manila mango, spicy herbs, lots of herbs.

T: Very smooth, some fruit. Love the the bitter mango finish, great!

M: Medium carbonation and body, nice balance.

D: The drinkability of this beer is very high for me. This was the first time I had this and it was a very nice surprise. I wish I coud get it in Mexico in a near future.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2009 23:11:16 | More by jazztoloc
Photo of hunthearin


4.72/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

P - 12oz Brown Bottle, Colorful Green label with a Nature Scene
A - Reddish, Copper color that looks nice in the glass
S - Hoppy and Sweet Smell
T - Knockout! Quite refreshing with hues of grapefruit and other assorted citrus flavors
M - Refreshing with a bite to the tongue
D - A beer to savor, a six pack would do me just fine

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2010 07:58:57 | More by hunthearin
Photo of mash4077

New York

4.72/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

From a bottle into your standard 16oz glass.

A- Pours a dull copper/orange, with spots of gold in the light. Translucent with mild cloudiness. About a finger of head which disipates relatively quickly.

S- Hops are the most noticeable smell, right up front, with an orange scent coming out strongly as well.

T- Strong hops taste for the style, almost imediately, with less of an orange presence than expected considering the smell. Finishes off with playful maltiness and definite spicy flavors. Well balanced, all in all, but the hops do stand out on their own (in a great way). The malts are much more noticeable as it warms.

M- Definitely creamy, but not too heavy for the style. Well carbonated, but not overly fizzy. More "relaxing" than "refreshing".

D- Very drinkable, a midpoint between a session and an IPA. I'd reccomend it to timid macro-drinkers and Pale Ale enthusiastes alike.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2010 18:51:06 | More by mash4077
Photo of gilman

New York

4.72/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of my favorite staples, even brewed a copy of this and it was great also(maybe a little better but just cause fresh and on tap).
Pours dark orange with 2 fingers of white head
smells fresh, with strong citrus hops Very nice
Tastes very crisp, lot of hops with some light citrus and pine
body is little thick, not too thin perfect
Over all a very drinkable beer

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2010 22:12:40 | More by gilman
Photo of JayS2629


4.72/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

While this is not my favorite style I have to give high points because I believe this beer sets the bar on what this style should taste like.

A- Nothing exceptional on its looks. Transparant amber color. It does have a nice foamy head and great rentention and lacing though.

S- Floral and citrus, orange peel, hops, sweet grasses, and pine.

T- Mellow bitter hops on the front. Hints of pine and honey with a sweet undertone.

M- The balance is what perfects this beer. Slightly on the hoppy side, but very well balanced out. Slightly thin, but nice crisp and refreshing with a small hops bite.

D- Very drinkable. This is a favorite for hoppy beer lovers and still drinkable for those that are malt fans. Very well balance makes this beer top notch.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2010 01:37:08 | More by JayS2629
Photo of SteveoNY

New York

4.72/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

P - 25 Oz Bottle, day code stamped on front label.

A - Almost crystal clear golden honey color, huge off white frothy head with very sticky lacing.

S - Faint smell of malts & citrus to florals.

T - Theres nothing pale tasting about this ale! Instant rush of malty sweetness followed by a bitter finish.

M - smooth & creamy body with good balanced carbonation.

D - would create some mighty fine beer goggles..

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2011 05:20:19 | More by SteveoNY
Photo of breakofdawn


4.72/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm going to be a bit biased here: this is my all-time favorite beer. But to be honest, the first time I tried SN Pale Ale...I hated it!

Beer pours a golden/orange color. Some lacing left on the side. Smell of hops and pine notes.
More hops upon tasting, not overwhelming, but enough to get the point across. More pine notes, maybe a hint of citrus (almost grapefruit-esque). Some malt and barley mixed in as well.

Dry mouthfeel, definitely has you wanting more!

Overall, an impressive 4.5/5. Highly recommended, and a fine beer to enjoy year round.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2011 01:16:11 | More by breakofdawn
Photo of jhartley


4.72/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle to a pint tumbler.

A-Great looking bottle in the SN fashion. Pours a nice hazy golden/orange color. Thick 1 finger head that leaves nice lacing in the glass.

S-Citrus, pine, hops up front with malts right behind it.

T-Malt leading into immediate hops.

M-Right amount of carbonation, bottle conditioned of course. Goes down nice and smooth.

O-Great lasting hop flavor. Just a great APA from a great American brewery. Go and buy this right now!

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2012 02:04:06 | More by jhartley
Photo of Jordan


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

Mildly sweet at start strong hops bitterness finish, enough malt keeps it creamy. Grapefruit-like aftertaste lingers, does not turn me off. Smells like the outdoors. I love seeing the sediment floating around in my glass.
Excellent brew.

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2001 19:23:44 | More by Jordan
Photo of Marty


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

Nothing makes me happier to see this beer on tap next to Bud, Guinness and the like at a bar. I consider it the finest mass produced pale ale in the United States. Consistently crisp and refreshingly hopped, with great big lingering head. When I need to stock my refrigerator, in the event that I'm having company or that I just need a reasonably priced drinkin' beer on hand, this is the stuff... that is, unless Celebration Ale is in season.

Serving type: on-tap

03-25-2003 20:35:19 | More by Marty
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 7,345 ratings.