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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.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

7,348 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7348
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: 7,348 | Reviews: 2,624 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of walder
walder

New Jersey

1.3/5  rDev -67.9%
look: 1 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

i see this beer often in various beer stores, so i figured it has to be ok,no way it can be bad for that price right?i just bought a sixer just in case it backfired...and im glad i did. appearance looked good to me,smelled of casual ale ,now being that is was out of a green bottle i figured it might taste a little tarty,skunky,little did i know my first gulp i was shocked i thought it may have gone bad or a bad batch dude this stuff tasted rotton, didnt get better as drinking went on neither every gulp was a bad experiance,i was confused why it is so highly reviewed i was sure it was a bad batch,so some time later im at this bar and had it on tap i figured id give it a second chance ,bad move even worse second time cause i paid 4 bucks for one anyway long story short drinkability a @#$%&@ zero

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2011 00:23:24 | More by walder
Photo of baddogrudy
baddogrudy

Indiana

1.6/5  rDev -60.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

An extremely obnoxious brew. way overpowered on flavor and alcohol content. The alcohol content alone will give this brew many tall reviews, but if your looking for drinkability this is not your beer. This is definitely an aquired taste. Hair on the chest types? haha

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2013 00:51:25 | More by baddogrudy
Photo of Kjos29
Kjos29

Illinois

1.8/5  rDev -55.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Drank it in a Bottle
Appearance yellowish brown hint.
Don't remember the smell.
Too tart for my taste.
You could drink pretty many.
Overall I think this beer company gets way too much attention for something that doesn't taste very good by beer standards.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2007 04:04:52 | More by Kjos29
Photo of Wogs
Wogs

Alabama

2.03/5  rDev -49.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

I think this beer is way over hyped.

A- Off white head, pretty good lacing and a amber color

S- Citrus smell to it

T- I did not enjoy the bitter after taste. The taste of it did not warrant the sharp bite.

M- Good carbonation and not too thick.

D- I can drink it but I would rather have something else.

* This is my first review hope its ok.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2009 02:08:41 | More by Wogs
Photo of gnoff
gnoff

Sweden

2.05/5  rDev -49.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

(350 ml bottle)

Clear golden color with a big lasting white to cream colored head.
Hoppy mixed with a sour acid scent.
Taste has the same acid in it, also a bit strange bitterness.
Could it be infected? Though I find that hard to believe. Perhaps it's just supposed to smell and taste this way?
High bitterness, gives it a dry and bitter after taste.
Medium, almost to the low watery side, mouth feel.

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2006 21:21:23 | More by gnoff
Photo of bvburnes
bvburnes

Nevada

2.05/5  rDev -49.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

It may be I'm a beer philistine, but this beer was so bitter that my mouth and ass simultaneously pucked so badly that they met each other someplace in my body. Seriously, I couldn't taste anything but the bitter.

Liked everything about this beer except the flavor. And it goes without saying, I wouldn't, or couldn't attempt this ever again.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2009 22:20:47 | More by bvburnes
Photo of Kestrel452
Kestrel452

Illinois

2.05/5  rDev -49.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

If you're relatively new to beer, I would highly recommend you steer clear of this brew. You will most likely find it way too bitter to drink, and maybe even so much so that you cannot even take another sip. Before you venture out into the realm that is known as pale ales, try some more balanced/milder beers like Honker's Ale before going for this. The beer was great except for the flavor, it was just sickeningly bitter.

I realize this is widely regarded as an excellent beer, but it is NOT something a beginner should drink. Pale ales are inherently pretty bitter, but this one is extra hoppy/bitter. You'll end up turning yourself off to pale ales and possibly ales in general by making this your first go at an ale.

If you want to get used to beer that employs a good amount of hops, drink Sam Adams Boston Lager. It's well balanced, but it also does have a substantial enough hop character to fit the bill. It's about as bitter of a beer that's enjoyable to me.

In time, you may develop a palate for extra bitter beers like SNPA. However, let me reiterate that this beer should be avoided when you're starting to try out different varieties of beer. Happy Drinking!

Serving type: bottle

09-23-2010 19:48:58 | More by Kestrel452
Photo of Das_Reh
Das_Reh

Florida

2.24/5  rDev -44.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bottle into a glass.

This is supposedly THE original APA, and one of America's first craft brews. I was eager to try it after seeing the high reviews on BA.

Appearance - A nice, deep coppery color with a decent cream colored head. Lively carbonation, almost no lacing, which was disappointing. I noticed "floaties" in the beer as I poured, which settled to the bottom of the glass like bits of backwash... very unappetizing.

Smell - practically nonexistent... some citrusy hops and not much else.

Taste - Good grief... why are the ratings so high? It's a 1-note acrid bitterness with virtually no maltiness. The citrus/pine hop flavors are barely present, and a sticky, tart bitterness overwhelms the palette... I know Pale's and IPA's are MEANT to be hoppy and bitter, but there's no balance here. It's just NOT good.

Mouthfeel - Mouthfeel is medium, and frankly unmemorable.

Overall - A bitter, overhyped concoction of hops, hops and more hops. No balance, no complexity. This was my second one and I will not drink another. I'll stick to Two-Hearted.

NOTE: In retrospect I am under the impression that I may have been drinking bottles that were out of date. Will give this beer a proper re-review in the future.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2013 23:48:26 | More by Das_Reh
Photo of Crosling
Crosling

Colorado

2.28/5  rDev -43.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Amber color with a large covering cream. Stinky, doughy and sweaty yeast aroma, which hints of medicine and vitamins, unsuccessfully attempts to disguise itself with a lightly aromatic, herbaceous and floral hop scent. Light caramel in the nose as well, but pretty much just stinky yeast and dulled hops. I still find the yeast character to be obtrusive upon tasting, though not as bad as the aroma. The malt flavor is very light and grainy and to me, doesn’t blend well at all with the mildly aggresive hop flavor and bitterness. The hops which shift from herbaceous, to floral to piney (on the finish) are moderately pleasing, but overall, this is just a poorly balanced beer, plus the yeast stinks or something.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2006 07:34:23 | More by Crosling
Photo of BlackAngus
BlackAngus

Indiana

2.3/5  rDev -43.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - Light copper color, crystal clear. Nice fluffy head that lasted a while.

S - Citrus and floral aroma, but there's a subtler note of something unpleasant. I smells, I swear, like sweat. Not sure why. And not just this bottle. Every time I've had this beer, I've smelled this musky sweaty funk just below the hops. No malt aroma whatsoever.

T - Meh. Yeah, there are hops here, but nothing else. Maybe some very light sweetness.

M - Light body, extremely clean.

D - I can drink it, but there are many, many better beers out there. The best thing I can say about this beer is that it's the best thing Wal-Mart carries in the beer aisle.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2007 18:39:01 | More by BlackAngus
Photo of Kooz
Kooz

New York

2.3/5  rDev -43.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Lots of high ratings for this beer. Makes me wonder if I got a bad batch. I didn't enjoy it nearly as much as everyone else seemed to.

Taste was just too hoppy. I get it, people like Pale Ales to be hoppy, but this was so overly hoppy that I had trouble getting past it. This goes for both the smell and the taste.

Appearance was nice. It was a light, nut brown. And the mouthfeel was okay, but a bit too bubbly. Over-carbonation is never a plus. But I wouldn't say the mouthfeel was bad.

As for drinkability, I wouldn't have more than one.

Serving type: on-tap

10-30-2009 14:31:14 | More by Kooz
Photo of VietPong
VietPong

Connecticut

2.38/5  rDev -41.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I found this beer to be super bitter. I do like beers with a slight bitterness, but this definitely seemed overpowering. It wasn't as crisp as i expected and the aftertaste was bitter in combination with the beer. I traded it for something new and couldn't finish the first one

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2010 18:24:45 | More by VietPong
Photo of ivanwatling
ivanwatling

United Kingdom (England)

2.38/5  rDev -41.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Appearance: Wonderful rich, deep amber. No head whatsoever which is a negative for me.

Smell: Delicate floral notes with undertones of citrus fruit.

Taste: First taste is fruity, a bit like a soft drink. Biterness then takes over and becomes almost too much.

Mouthfeel: Dry, sharp bitter aftertaste like lemon rind. Carbonation feels like very small bubbles, akin to pop.

Drinkability: Too bitter for me, not balanced. Will not try again, might not even finish the whole bottle.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2010 21:29:20 | More by ivanwatling
Photo of Sixpack595
Sixpack595

Michigan

2.4/5  rDev -40.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Tastes like an overhopped macro. If your only complaint about Bud is the lack of hops, try this beer. If you like a full bodied beer with a strong malty backbone skip it. Very floral aroma, strong hop flavor, but not much else to it. American Pale Ales like this seem to much like a 1 trick pony. Try to back up that hop with some malt.

Serving type: bottle

09-01-2003 07:30:29 | More by Sixpack595
Photo of acemaverick
acemaverick

West Virginia

2.43/5  rDev -40%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A: Lovely label. Color of beer is dark yellow and looks ok to me.
S: Smells alright, nothing special. A bit tangy.
T: Very bitter. Strong bitter aftertaste. This beer is not enjoyable to drink.
M: Sharp, lots of carbonation.
O: Overall I did not enjoy this beer. It is way over hyped. I would not buy this beer on purpose.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2014 06:42:02 | More by acemaverick
Photo of dunit697
dunit697

California

2.45/5  rDev -39.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I saw on Beer advocate that this was an A- so I was pretty excited, after tasting it I really couldn't see why. I also judge beers quite a bit on the balance of alcohol. I want it to be there but not so obvious, this beer did not mask its alcohol very mask it alcohol very well making it less enjoyable for me personally, especially considering it was only 5.6%. I think there is plenty of better stuff out there, but its not a bad beer.

Serving type: on-tap

12-13-2011 19:30:01 | More by dunit697
Photo of bcgoldtoe
bcgoldtoe

Michigan

2.48/5  rDev -38.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

As one of the highest rated pale ales, I looked forward to a great balanced beer. I was, however, disappointed to see that the complexity I seeked was sorely lacking.

A= Solid, beautiful golden color with hints of amber

S= Better than a macrobrew but this was the first hint something wasn't right

T= Way overhopped. Needs more malt and fewer hops. Bitterness does fade into slight sweetness but does it have to take so long?

M= Excellent, one of the better balanced mouthfeels. Not too thick, not too thin

D= It's ok, once you get past the overpowering hops.

If you're not a fan of strong hops, avoid this beer. I do agree with the comment about this being Budweiser with hops. If you want a great microbrew pale ale without huge amounts of hops, I recommend Dogfish Head amber ale or Fat Tire.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2007 19:14:29 | More by bcgoldtoe
Photo of jbweld
jbweld

Nevada

2.49/5  rDev -38.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2

WTF pale ale!?!

I am writing this review because I am concerned about Sierra Nevada. I am a huge supporter of craft beer especially Sierra Nevada, but today I noticed something... Earlier today I enjoyed a pale ale in the can and it tasted great just as I would expect. Hoppy, balanced, a typical SN pale ale. Later in the day I had a pale ale in the bottle (bottling code 319311014) which was totally different. It was malt forward and sweet. The hop character was subdued. It almost tasted like fat tire or Sam Adams. What's going on Sierra Nevada? I have heard that Sierra Nevada was adjusting some of its recipes... I hope this is not the future of the beer I love.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2013 22:03:31 | More by jbweld
Photo of thelagerheads
thelagerheads

Michigan

2.55/5  rDev -37%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Fishbine, we meet again. I've said this before with the Bell's Two Hearted Ale and I reiterate it here: I simply don't get the appeal of pale ales with their citrusy rind taste. It's an intentional thing but comes through like a tragic mistake. Why muddle an otherwise smooth and creamy beer with a brunt anvil of flavor? It warms a lot better than the Two Hearted Ale but the sugar-sucked lemon-orange squeeze of bitterness gives me no joy. Stan Heironymus, send in the Trappist Monks, the abbey has been overriden by a bitter toucan named Sam.

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2006 00:39:00 | More by thelagerheads
Photo of kojevergas
kojevergas

Texas

2.59/5  rDev -36%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

2000 reviews and I somehow haven't done this one yet. Go figure. Bottled February 1st according to the bottle code. 5.6% ABV confirmed. 12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard ("Use Bottle Opener"!) pressure cap acquired at a local Trader Joe's and served into a conical Samuel Smith's pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average; I'm rarely impressed with Sierra Nevada, but this is indisputably a classic craft beer which did a lot historically. Regardless of what I may or may not think about the beer after enjoying it, I do respect it.

Served straight from the fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

Not paired with food.

A: Pours a four finger beige colour head of nice cream and thickness, and good (~5 minute) retention. Little lacing as the head recedes. Body colour is a fairly vibrant pale copper; transparent and translucent. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. It's generally appealing and is typical of the style. There's nothing unique or special here, but there are no overt flaws.

Sm: Floral hops, ejected shell casings (seriously), artificial pine, soap, and pale malts. The soapiness is bothersome, and becomes more reminiscent of detergent the more I smell the beer. Bubblegum. Yeah, this spent too long in primary. An average strength aroma that isn't particularly appealing.

T: Okay. Muted citrus, dominant soapy character, light artificial pine, and some mild floral hops. Bland pale malts form the foundation. There's not a whole lot going on here, and I'm none too keen on what is. Imbalanced and badly built for the style. A bit too bitter for the style as well, but it's also too sweet up front.

Mf: Way too dry on the finish, eradicating any refreshing feel that it might have had prior. Smooth and wet up front. Too thick all around. Overcarbonated, to boot. Weak. Doesn't suit the flavour all that well. Palate presence is okay.

Dr: I'll finish this bottle, but it's really not that drinkable for a pale ale. I'm shocked at how underwhelming this beer is given its influence on the style. I'll try to revisit this on-draught; maybe this was just an off bottle arbitrarily. As it stands, this is rather pedestrian and I see no reason to get it again. Hides its ABV well. Another disappointment from Sierra Nevada.

C-

---
After the bottle review above, I tried it on-draught when it was the only decent option at a bar in Las Vegas. I actually found it to be much better on-draught, and would have given it a high C+ but wasn't in a reviewing mood at the time. I'll plan on revisiting this beer; it's so ubiquitous it'd be criminal not to.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2013 05:19:46 | More by kojevergas
Photo of BlackHaddock
BlackHaddock

United Kingdom (England)

2.6/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Brown 350ml bottle, best before mid Oct 2007, drank late March 2007.

Imported into the UK and sold in a lot of supermarkets, thought I'd see what all the fuss was about with Sierra Nevada beers.

Poured into my Corsendonk tulip glass it looked a bright traffic light amber, almost terracotta orange colour. A tight white head sat on top, bubbles replenishing the head from the base and side of the glass.

An aroma of sour hops, mashed with an iffy yeast culture, attacked my nose, obviously not a Brit Pale Ale, thats for sure.

Young, green taste, the beer isn't ready to drink yet. Made me burp straight away, which also indicates to me it isn't the finished article.

Dry and metalic aftertaste, sorry, not for me.

Not too sure what I was expecting from this beer, something smoother perhaps, certainly not the young, dry, tinny flavours which I found. I will try another in the summer maybe, to see if the warmer weather helps me see it's characteristics in a better light.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2007 20:24:20 | More by BlackHaddock
Photo of jtierney89
jtierney89

New Jersey

2.65/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a semi clear orange hue with a fluffy white head. Piney grapefruit nose. Medium in body, extremely clean. Slightly tinny taste and just a touch soapy on the finish. Fruit comes through a bit on the tip of the tongue but more of the pine. Balanced. Flavors aren't as pronounced on the tongue as they are on the nose.

Clean and balanced but with some off flavors. I know this thing has made a name for itself but so has stone, anchor, and rogue, and id take a stone ipa, an anchor steam, or a rogue dead guy over this. Its decent, but its reputation made me expect not to find these strange off flavors and overall dullness.

Not saying id never drink again, it is decent, but just Idk, somethings missing.

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2012 02:05:02 | More by jtierney89
Photo of kindestcut
kindestcut

North Carolina

2.68/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The SN Pale Ale pours a clear and pale golden amber. The head is quite frothy but dies a brave death in only a few minutes. Quite a refreshing looking beer before the first taste.

The aroma is, as would be expected, spicy and very subtle floral with strong hops. The flavor is not particularly smooth but with a bitterness that is not overpowering.

Ultimately, I think that the SN Pale Ale is not delicious but it can be refreshing...if you were very thirsty.

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2003 07:58:13 | More by kindestcut
Photo of AdamBear
AdamBear

Pennsylvania

2.68/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-pale gold with a hint of orange. thin white head. there are some bubbles

S-very hoppy, but very bold and striking. its not that citrusy but i'm getting a hint of orange. there's a good strength to it.

T-starts with an oddly bitter mixture of hops and barley. there's a bitter after-taste of barley. this is quite the simple and unexciting beer.

M-medium to high carbonation which is creamy. finish is a tad dry

D-it doesn't get any worse than the initial taste but it doesn't get any better. i've heard a lot of good things about this beer but i was really let down. this is nothing special and doesn't beat the other commonly found beers.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2011 19:21:54 | More by AdamBear
Photo of PorterLambic
PorterLambic

Florida

2.7/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours clear and bright, golden in color and topped by a full inch of off-white foam. Good retention, decent lace.
Smell is hoppier than expected with notes of herbs and citrus and a very light malt in the background. Would like better balance.
Taste is at least similar to the scent in that the malt takes a 'back of the bus' approach with the hops driving. Light citrus (grapefruit) note accompanies the heavy herbal/floral/medicinal hops. Less balanced than the nose.
Medium bodied with a somewhat sharp effervescence in the front. Dry finish, astringent. Hops mellow in the aftertaste but remain the main ingredient. Warming didn't improve this one, quite the opposite. Sadly, this is a pale ale more in name than in the glass. Drinks like a good lager should. Too bad it isn't labeled as one.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2011 23:48:13 | More by PorterLambic
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Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 7,348 ratings.