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Sierra Nevada Pale Ale - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada Pale AleSierra Nevada Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

9,304 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,304
Reviews: 2,733
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 11.88%
Wants: 160
Gots: 1,168 | FT: 3
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 9,304 | Reviews: 2,733 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Rob6852
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beer came in a 12 oz. brown twist top bottle.
Poured a Golden-amber hue with minimal head and lacing.
This beers' dominant smell is of citric and hops .
For a person used to drinking stouts this was a refreshing turnabout. The taste of this beer is hoppy but not overly dominated by them. The malts even things out but the hops definatly dominate this fine brew. Leaves the mouth dry at the end waiting for the next drink.
I'm not really big on hops but am learning to enjoy them. This beer
may make a hop lover out of me yet.
I can drink several of these in a sitting and not feel overpowered by
them.
A damn fine beer.

Rob6852, Jan 18, 2004
Photo of SwiftyMcBeer
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A nice darker yellow with a head that retained nicely. The smell was just typical beer type smell nothing outstanding, nothing bad either, a pefect 3. Fortunately the taste was better then the smell. Piney hops, not overwhelming like a hop bomb, but certainly present. Pretty complex flavor profile for a pale ale, it wasn't a one-note hit as you could sense the malts and a fruityness of some sorts. Seemed like it was a little overcarbonated to me, maybe it was just the tap it poured from. Despite the extra bubbles, this was extremely drinkable and went extremely well with my wings.

SwiftyMcBeer, Feb 28, 2009
Photo of iwantmorehops
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had to revisit this one as it had been a few years since my last one. I never thought it was particularly remarkable, but it gets so much praise on the forums here that it was time for another shot. A nice golden orange color with a small head, not much retention a tad of lacing. Smells not overly exciting, but its good, a little citrus and pine and some bready malt. Taste follows the smell with a very mild hoppy bitterness and a hint of citrus. Pretty carbonated and a nice light mouthfeel. Very easy drinking beer, a great intro to craft, and unlikely to offend anyone. Not my favorite APA, but certainly one I'll keep buying for a long time.

One note the first bottle I had I drank pretty quickly on a hot day and wasn't impressed at all, the next one was allowed to warm up a tad and the aroma and flavors were dramatically improved. Don't drink your pale ales straight out of the fridge or you wont taste anything.

iwantmorehops, Aug 03, 2011
Photo of johnnyirishman
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I was very happy with this beer, its been around for a good while and ive enjoyed it for a long time, but not untill recently have i actually savored every aspect of beer. Ive just recently started "tasting" beer for what it really is, delicious. I'd rank Sierra Nevada as a very drinkable beer but not for the "casual" drinker. Anyone whom enjoys a nice hoppy flavor with a slight bite(bitterness) will enjoy this beer. It delivers a nice pour with a head that dissipates to generous lacing, Golden brown in apperance, with an aroma of floral, the taste is slightly bitter with a hint of pine, and finishes clean.

johnnyirishman, Feb 14, 2008
Photo of TheBeerAlmanac
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a pint glass

A: Pours a bright golden hue and settles into a slightly darker yellow with a puffy white cloud of head and just the right amount of retention.

S: Aroma is lightly malty with crisp sweetness, just a touch of yeastiness and has some lingering hop bitterness with citrus and pine notes.

T/M: A medium to high amount of carbonation and a bright, brilliant body. Some slight bitterness is introduced up front followed by a refreshing bit of citrus hop and a biscuity, pilsner-like finish.

Not exactly a complex brew, but very revitalizing; the ideal pale ale. This is the go-to beer when you want something light.

TheBeerAlmanac.com

TheBeerAlmanac, Sep 25, 2011
Photo of ommegangpbr
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

SNPA... Snuh Puhhh... In my experience, one of the most readily available brews to be found in bars outside of Bud Miller and Coors.
Quite the change up from the common three.
This actually has color, aroma, and quite a backbone when it comes to flavor. This one spits in the face of all that is typical macro flavor.
This brew has balls.
Big ones.
It's not afraid to jiggle them.
SNPA isn't my favorite beverage... the bitterness that lives there isn't for me. But I like knowing that it's out there.
Kind of like the drunken irishman that will beat the hell out of the frat boy that gets out of line.

ommegangpbr, Jul 23, 2005
Photo of tito42
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle to a Boulevard tulip. Bottled 29 APR 2011.

A: Copper in color with unfiltered, bottle conditioned particulate in suspension. Active carbonation and a fluffy, off-white head. Decent lacing and retention.

S: Earthy hops, grain, and a sweet orange citrus aroma.

T: Earthy hops with tart apple and a hint of sweetness, and a kick of alcohol at the finish. Malt presence throughout.

M: Smooth and creamy up front with a very dry finish.

O: The standard-bearer for the APA, and for good reason. Great looking and smelling, with above average characteristics all around.

tito42, Jul 29, 2011
Photo of NA1NSXR
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Light amber/dark golden, medium size foamy head, medium-light lacing.

Smell - Smells great, sweet with a lot of citrus aromas, some caramel comes through as the beer warms up.

Taste - Starts hoppy, ends malty/bready. Balanced flavor with medium bitterness, citrus aromas contribute lightly to taste without adding tart. It is all very good, but lacks any defining element of the taste.

Mouthfeel - Medium consistency, carbonation is enough to strike a feeling in your mouth but not too much.

Drinkability - Overall very good. Drinks a bit below its abv. Its simply a very solid beer with some slight additional bitterness and citrus overtones.

NA1NSXR, Mar 26, 2010
Photo of Bendurgin
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured this one into a pint glass. This one s a pale golden straw color with lots of visible carbonation about an inch of pillowy white head.

This one has a grainy malt aroma with a little bit of candied citrus in the aroma. This lacks a good hop aroma though, it's there and it's piney but it's not what I would expect. The hops are more present on the pallet. Start to finish it has a nice piney hop aroma with a nice grainy malt body. Really a solid brew.

Nice light and crisp body on this one. The carbonation is a bit sharp on this one though. Overall a solid brew that I've had countless times. Really a good brew that I'll continue to buy.

Bendurgin, Apr 19, 2011
Photo of Gatch
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap @ The Horseshoe Pub in Hudson, MA. Finally reviewing the quintessential craft beer & Pale Ale.

A: Copper-amber in color with a nice, off-white head. A bit of lace but no retention.

S: Malty, spicy and roasty with a hint of hops. More of an Amber/Red nose.

T: Big, pale malt, subtle hops. This is a true Pale Ale. Almost seems more English than American. I was surprised how un-hoppy it actually is. Earthy, spicy, hearty.

M: Plenty of carbonation, good flavor and body, and easy to drink.

O: The beer that started it all. I got away from it for many years and this reminds me why. Good beer but it just doesn't have the flavor I'm looking for. To each their own. A great gateway brew for any novice craft beer drinker.

Gatch, Aug 19, 2012
Photo of BethanyB
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: The beady, off-white head has a creamy top and real staying power. The color is a medium amber, and clarity is slightly hazy, presumably due to dry hopping.

Smell: Floral citrusy hops are nicely balanced with grainy malt. A touch of honey is detected as the beer warms.

Taste: Toasted biscuit malt with a touch of caramel. Bitterness is medium-high and lasts through the finish, but still allows the malt to come through. Citrus hop flavor plays a soft, yet noteworthy secondary role.

Mouthfeel: Medium mouthfeel and medium-high carbonation. Good balance of smoothness on the palette and dryness in the finish.

Overall: A solid example of an APA. Sessionable and balanced, but at the same time, diversified enough to keep things interesting.

BethanyB, Aug 14, 2013
Photo of Haybeerman
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Clear golden color. Poured with a two finger puffy white head that dissipated slowly. Light lacing.

S : Citrus hops up front. Biscuity malts and a pleasing lightly sweet caramel note.

T: Crisp citrus; orange flavor plus lemon peel. Floral and spice hop flavors.

M: Medium body. Nicely balanced with sufficient carbonation.

D: Decent APA. Frankly, some are better, but some are worse. Where choices might be limited, this would be a solid choice.

Haybeerman, Feb 07, 2011
Photo of jamescain
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Duvel tulip glass

Appearance: Light brown with a white head about two fingers thick that slowly fades into a thin lacing over the top of the beer

Aroma: Slight hint of piney and citrus hops breaking through the malty background.

Taste: Moderate hopping provides a hint of citrus and a bitter finish, but the taste is mostly malty and toffee like.

Mouthfeel: Moderate carbonation dry finish and easy to drink. Enjoyable and refreshing.

Overall: It’s a good beer. It’s affordable, available, and tasty. This is my go too beer if we’re having people over for a party because I can grab a bunch for guest and myself. It’s also often the only craft beer at a BMC bar besides SA and I don’t always want a lager.

jamescain, Jun 20, 2011
Photo of dbmernin83
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'm reviewing this beer out straight out of the bottle, as I've had it many times before. I know, every beer deserves to be drank from a glass, but sometimes, a beer just suits the vessel it arrives to you in and is perfect from it.
The stout, green-labeled bottle sweats (everything looks better wet) obviously out of fear/nervousness while it awaits its undoing
A chilled fog "genies" its way out of the bottle and I inhale it. Grassy, piney hops and biscuity malts.
A hop PING! with a malt SWANG!. This beer is delicious. Balanced, flavorful, and refreshing. A go-to in ANY sistuation, especially after they start canning (everyone likes it in the can).
Cower in shame Budweiser, this is America's REAL king of beers.

dbmernin83, Jun 08, 2011
Photo of pvsob
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

-A- Crystal clear, gold with a one finger head that fades slowly leaving a thin film and little lacing.

-S- The main aroma is that of citrus with hints of pine and just enough sweet malt to balance things out.

-T- It starts off with some sweetness, but this is quickly overpowered by the hop bitterness. This beer also has a very clean finish. There’s nothing much more to add about the taste, except that this brew is very balanced.

-M- Medium feel with some carbonation.

-D- The classic APA this is solid in every aspect of the style. I've been drinking this one for years and will continue to do so. Cheers!

pvsob, Jul 07, 2008
Photo of jettjon
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Highs: Clean hops flavor
Lows: None

I stumbled back onto this beer by accident at a bar where I was trying some different beers. I had forgotten if I had tried it before, and was glad to get reacquainted with this excellent ale.

From the bottle, pours a red-orange/amber color with a copious foamy light tan head. Head fades at a moderate pace down to a thin sheet: good retention, and good lacing here. Nose is marked by a definite hops presence as well as some fruity—apples and grapes, maybe. Taste is solid hops all the way back, bold, but not overdone or over-bitter. Mouth is watery but substantial; pretty decent. Finish is again hops with a light bitterness. Drinkability is good if you apprecate a hopsy ale.

Overall: A decent hopsy ale, recommended.

jettjon, Apr 30, 2006
Photo of THECPJ
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Reviewed from notes:

Appearance: golden orange with 2 finger white head that dissipates fast.

Smell: citrus, hops,

Taste: citrus, hops, caramel malts,

Mouthfeel: Dry bitter, mild carbonation, clean, crisp

Drinkability: very nice pale ale. I think this could be a game changer for the non craft beer drinkers.

Cheers,
The CPJ

THECPJ, Mar 02, 2011
Photo of charlatan
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a simple, but good beer. There are no frills. The appearance (amber, medium head, a little lacing) is nothing special, and the smell is rather clean and slightly herbal. Hops are the focus here, and while the initial flavour may seem one dimensional, I have rarely found a better hop flavour (again it is very clean, herbal and fresh). The carbonation is good and the finish is pleasantly creamy with a hint of raisins coming through.

This is what run of the mill pale ales should be imitating. Good stuff!

charlatan, Aug 01, 2005
Photo of sabrills70
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle with no apparant freshness date. Pours a medium gold/slight amber with a 1 finger head that faded rather quickly and just OK lace. Nice grassy hop aromas mixed with a good amount of malt smells as well. Not as hoppy as I thought. Again a good hoppy grassy flavor, a bit citric but not as prominant as I had thought. Perhaps a bit watery. Nicely balanced. A good solid pale ale - nothing special, but solid.

sabrills70, Apr 05, 2006
Photo of mostpoetsdo
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Light copper coloring, with a decent head and nice lacing.

S: Citrus and hoppy.

T: Incredible amount of hops up front, especially for a pale ale. Strong floral and citrus taste as well.

M: Light to medium body with a nice crisp feel to it.

D: Easy to drink, and a great pale ale.

mostpoetsdo, Jan 07, 2010
Photo of aravenel
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

What can I say that hasn't already been said? While not one of the best beers I've ever had, it is nonetheless one of my favorites. Why? Very good taste, especially considering its wide availability and (relatively) low price. For what it is, and especially coming from what is essentially a macro-brewer, its damn good. It has a permanent space in my fridge.

aravenel, May 29, 2007
Photo of akahn
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Amber golden color with lots of streaming bubbles. Off-white head of big bubbles. Sticky and lasts as an irregular skim. Some spotty lacing.

Mellow citric hop aroma, with a broad citric hop flavor. This beer has a serious hop bite, bitter, but not offensively so. Barely a hint of malt coming through, expressing itself as an underlying sweetness. This shows up more as the beer warms. Juicy, rather than dry.

Affirmative supporting carbonation that compliments the hops well, and a solid medium body.

Definitely drinkable, sessionable, but speaking from countless experiences this eventually leads to a sticky, unpleasant feeling in the mouth. But I guess that's a problem with lots of hoppy beers. This is probably THE beer that got me interested in beer, and returning to it after a long time was interesting. This beer is the same as I remember it, but I can appreciate it even more now. I'm glad to have a few in my fridge.

Edit: I'm having another one of these at considerably lower temperature. This allows a lot more pale malt and caramel malt flavors to come through. Also, I'm now noting the hops to be somewhat spicy.

akahn, Feb 13, 2006
Photo of mjn5036
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. This one pours a golden, light orange color with a substantial head. The head is bone white and soapy, but lasts mere moments before fading away. Left behind is some sparse soap-scum lacing, which is quite appealing to the eyes.

Nose is a bouquet of delicate floral hops, rich malts and citrus.

Bready malts and fresh hops intrinsically work together in this beer. A great example of an American pale ale.

SNPA is medium body and oh so easy to drink. It is smooth and creamy on the palate with an abv slightly too high to justify it as a session beer. Sierra Nevada Pale is one of the quintessential beers that got me into craft brews.

mjn5036, Feb 22, 2011
Photo of noproduction
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%

noproduction, Oct 10, 2014
Photo of NHGrafx
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 24oz brown bottle.

Pours a copper color with a decent head, which does not last long at all and minimal lacing.

This one has a lovely aroma. There are some nice floral aromas mixed with a nice citrus aroma which smells like grapefruit and mandarin orange slices. As it warms, aromas of yeast come through as well. Very pleasant.

Taste starts off citrusy which then yields to the bitterness from the hops. There is also some malt flavors in there as well, but they seemed hidden to me. The finish has some nice bitterness to it and is also very dry. Mouthfeel is relatively smooth. Moderately drinkable, for me anyway.

Overall this is very nice example of an American Pale Ale.

NHGrafx, Sep 13, 2008
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 9,304 ratings.