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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.

2,876 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,876
Hads: 10,530
Avg: 4.05
pDev: 22.22%
Wants: 246
Gots: 2,411 | 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
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Reviews: 2,876 | Hads: 10,530
Photo of walder
1.36/5  rDev -66.4%
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

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Photo of baddogrudy
1.66/5  rDev -59%
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

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Photo of Kjos29
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.

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Photo of gnoff
2.06/5  rDev -49.1%
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.

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Photo of Wogs
2.11/5  rDev -47.9%
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.

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Photo of Kestrel452
2.2/5  rDev -45.7%
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!

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Photo of bvburnes
2.2/5  rDev -45.7%
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.

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Photo of Das_Reh
2.25/5  rDev -44.4%
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.

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Photo of Crosling
2.26/5  rDev -44.2%
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.

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Photo of CraftDanny
2.3/5  rDev -43.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

I've seen this bottle coming in many pubs in London so I decided to try it. Looks great, shinny orange, nice bubbles. The taste is very strong, really bitter but fresh, fruity, there is ginger everywhere, smells acid, mouthtaste stays for few seconds. It took me long to finish the glass, not very used to this kind of flavor but was ok.

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Photo of BlackAngus
2.32/5  rDev -42.7%
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.

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Photo of Kooz
2.33/5  rDev -42.5%
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.

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Photo of VietPong
2.43/5  rDev -40%
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

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

A: Nice label. Color of beer is dark yellow and looks ok to me.
S: Smells alright, nothing special. A bit tangy.
T: Very bitter. Hoppy as f*ck! 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.

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Photo of ivanwatling
2.45/5  rDev -39.5%
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.

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Photo of Sixpack595
2.45/5  rDev -39.5%
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.

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Photo of jbweld
2.48/5  rDev -38.8%
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.

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Photo of dunit697
2.51/5  rDev -38%
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.

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Photo of bcgoldtoe
2.56/5  rDev -36.8%
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.

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Photo of thelagerheads
2.6/5  rDev -35.8%
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.

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Photo of corywalston
2.62/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

A. Aggressive poor 1 inch of golden head. Very little carbonation. Color is golden orange.
S. Hops, pine, citrus.
T. Little hops for a pale ale. Not much after at.
M. Crisp, watery, little dry.
O. This pale ale is very forgettable. It’s not bad, but there is nothing special either.

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Photo of BlackHaddock
2.63/5  rDev -35.1%
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.

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Photo of jtierney89
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.

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Photo of JohnBeerRun
2.71/5  rDev -33.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I tried this beer in Athens georgia because I had heard good things about it. The overall look was great and the smell and mouthfeel was good but it's just the taste of pale ales I can't get past. I'm more into dark roast or cream tasting beers. Not knocking this beer at all it's just more for pale ale drinkers.

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Photo of breslaubrewer
2.72/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I know this is the classic example of an American pale ale ,but.... in the midwest it becomes oxidized on the retail shelves and doesn't hold up well. I've had one six pack I really enjoyed (nice piney floral aroma, dry finish, bitter spicey taste). I usually won't buy unless I know it's fresh because I get a cardboard/oxidized taste that I can't overcome and usually throw the rest out.

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Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,876 ratings.