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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.

2,863 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,863
Hads: 10,440
Avg: 4.05
pDev: 22.22%
Wants: 237
Gots: 2,299 | 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: 2,863 | Hads: 10,440
Photo of julian
4.48/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Just bought a kegerator and my first keg is a 1/6bbl SN Pale Ale. w00t!

This stuff is seriously delicious from a keg. I don't think I've ever tried it on draught, and I gotta say...wow. This is a whole different beast. It's smooth, delicious and everything I'd expect from a world class pale ale. Wow. No comparison. I'll definitely be buying kegs of this stuff from now on, possibly as a regular rotation.

A: Absolutely crisp copper color with perfect clarity. Generous off white FLUFFY head, with the most decorative lacing I've seen in awhile. Beautiful.

S: Has that distinct Sierra Nevada earthy yeast aroma. Cascade hops mixed with an earthy mild citrus.

T: Mild bitterness from the perle and magnum, but leveled out nicely with some cascade in the finish, perfectly balanced malt bill. This isn't in your face like some pale ales that border on IPAs, it packs enough floral and mild earthy citrus flavor to quench your thirst and leave you wanting more.

M: Perfectly carbonated, great balanced mouthfeel all around, goes down really smooth...too smooth almost.

D: I'm not sure you can get much more drinkable than this. This is THE quintessential American pale ale. It's delicious, smooth and highly drinkable. Perfect session ale.

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Photo of SpencerSauce
4.49/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

i love just chilling out with a nice sixer of this on the boat, or on the couch, or wherever.

Pours amber with what looks to be slight sediment. From yeast and protein coagulations consisting of B12 vitamins. This is normal because its a bottle conditioned beer usuing the purest ingredients.

The smell is more hoppy than i expected. Pine and slight citrus. Not a grapefruit type of citrus though. But at the same time lots of caramel.

Taste floral and piney hops, balanced well with malts. Lip smacking good. Honestly Smack them lips.

Easy drinking and leaves me wanting more. CLean and crisp mouthfeel with a slightly bitter aftertaste. Its a hoppy devil of a pale ale.

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Photo of mvanaskie13
4.49/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tall glass: color is copper, with golden edges and frothy head with mixture of bubble sizes, head color is light tan, head dissipates to bubbles and light froth with some lacing.

Aroma is pleasant, simple: clean malt, light biscuit and malty aromas; hops are grassy, earthy. Combination is simple but very enticing.

Taste is where this beer comes through to define american pale ales: clean malt flavors, not sweet, light biscuit and subtle caramel malts, some bread like flavors; hops are grassy, earthy, simple and easy.

Mouthfeel is on the bitter side with some good lingering hop bite while the malt flavors, presence and life enhance as the beer warms.

Overall, simply one of the best pale ales ever, flavors are simple, clean and enticing; great beer to turn you away from lagers and something you can drink all day.

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Photo of forsakenpariah
4.49/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My first beer review.

Serving type - 12oz. bottle poured into pint glass.

A - Pours an orange-golden color with a fluffly, off-white, roughly one-inch head with good retention and moderate lacing.

S - The nose is dominated by bold, crisp, citrusy hops. A hint of floral and sweet scents are present as well.

T - The first sip is like a sucker punch of sharp, bitter hoppy glory. Lots of citrusy and floral hop flavor. There is a bit of caramel malty sweetness. Some hints of biscuit and earthy flavors as well. The flavor tends to sweeten and mellow as you drink.

M - Light body with moderate carbonation. The hops leave a lasting refreshing impression on the palate.

D - Good drinkability; this is an excellent session beer. This is overall the best pale ale I've had by far. I'll definitely be drinking it again.

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Photo of KroMagnon
4.49/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Clear, color is a light reddish-golden (on tap it seems darker to me though). The head is white and dissipates a bit rapidly. The aroma is clean with a bit of maltiness and a nice citrusy hop smell. The flavor is crisp, clean, with a slightly sweet malty base followed by a piney, resinous hop note and a solid bitterness. Several years ago this was the hoppiest beer I had regularly; since then its hoppiness has been surpassed by others, but I don't think any beer is as well balanced and compliemented as this one. This is a great beer and delicious.

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Photo of ExtraStout
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've had this brew many times. Luckily, when most places stock only the standard crap, I am fortunate to find this lone beacon of quality due to SN's great distibution system. Although I am a bigger fan of their Torpedo Extra IPA, I have no issues with this Pale Ale.

Dark golden color, long-lasting and just slightly off-white head. Above average lacing. A touch of yeast clouds the glass when swirled and poured into a pint glass once the head recedes far enough.

Malty sweet, but balanced by the grapefruit zing of Cascade hops. Not as bitter as other APA's I've tasted.

Very drinkable, the hoppy but fairly sweet taste and classic ale mouthfeel bring the bottom of the glass all too quickly, this beer was exceedingly good for the style.

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Photo of Troyone
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an apple juice color with a copper hue, three inch head that dissipated within minutes, and some carb action.

Smells like a light/moderate toasted caramel malt with grass/resin grapefruit/orange hops and hints of honey.

Taste has a light sweet acidic toasted caramel malt with the same hoppy taste as the smell and the background may have a slight licorice and cola flavor.

Has a medium body, dry slightly syrupy texture, soft and lively carbonation, and a slight metallic finish.

My choice of beer when at a bar with mostly a commercial beer selection, perfect session beer.

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Photo of FrankWBurnsIII
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It has been some time since Sierra Nevada's pale ale has graced by taste buds, but I wanted to be sure to give it a shout out on BA.

This was probably one of the first craft beers I ever had and my love for the whole category took off after that.

Among the pale ales I have had, I would say it's the best one. In fairness, I do not drink a lot of pale ale.

Among my non-craft drinking friends, this seems to be a favorite just the same, so the beer is really offering something for everyone.

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Photo of goochpunch
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours out an apple juice color with a fluffy white head and a hazy body containing moderate carbonation. Citrus rind hops and bready malt fill the nose. Close to perfect, but I've had pales with a bit of a stronger presence in the nose. Malts are sweet but not cloyingly so. There isn't as much of the brightness I tend to associate with American pales. From the hops I get mostly citrus flavors with some floral notes. Perfect mouthfeel from a pale. Enough carbonation to keep it from being a still beverage, but it's not intrusive, on the other hand. Moderate body. Perfect "session" beer.

Although not as over the top as some American pales, this one is textbook.

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Photo of Spikester
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A 24 ounce bottle about 55 deg. F. Aroma is grassy some breadiness.

Finally a pale ale with perfect balance between hops and malt. I hate to rate a California brew above the Northwest micros but I must.

The pour yielded a huge head. The lacing was plentiful completely covering the glass. Good level of carbonation. Nice light amber color. Nicely hopped with a somewhat bitter taste but due to sweet maltiness the hops don't overwhelm. The aftertaste is just slightly bitter.

As far as drinkabilty is concerned this one could be habit forming. Am very much looking forward to trying the draft version. One of the very best of the style.

Another plus is the consistency. Always good and an excellent value as well.

My favorite Pale Ale at this time. If I were only allowed one beer for all time I guess this would be it. For an everyday craft beer it is at the top of the pedestal of APAs.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is a very fine bottled beer. The appearance is beautiful, with a nice head and a good, brown color. Aroma is pleasant, taste is excellent and just bitter enough, and mouth feel is good, with wonderful body. Overall, this is an exceptional product.


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Photo of Brewndruid
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

Clearly one of the bestpale ales out there! This one is the standard by which most, if not all, others are judged. The only reason I didn't give this A perfect five was because I don't think any beer can be perfect, where does that leave room for improvement, there's always room for improvement and a beer.

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Photo of StevieW
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another one of my favorites, revisited it recently. I think it is the standard for American Pale Ales. Looks very inviting with orange/yellow color and off white head. Perfect hoppy smell matched with the fruit and florals. The taste is maybe on the hop side for some, but I find it perfectly balanced, flavorful, and refreshing. SN always produces a quality product, and this one is readily available. This matches well with all foods, and I recommend it to newbies like me.

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Photo of cdrogers
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle to pilsner glass. Serving temp was about 35F.

Was a very nice golden amber with an almost 2 inch foamy head. Head stayed for most of the glass and stuck to it nicely. Was a very well-balanced brew. Very hoppy aroma as well as taste, but not too overwhelming where I couldn't drink this regularly. Probably the best APA I've had to date.

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Photo of shand
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint bottle

Appearance: A nice orange-amber with three fingers of head. The head retains pretty well, and is a great beer.

Smell: Smells great, floral hops and citrus dominate.

Taste: Tastes amazing. Hops are the star of the show here for sure, but they're perfectly balanced for an APA. The malts do a great job at keeping them in line. Just a great tasting pale ale, no gimmicks.

Mouthfeel: Super smooth and feels really good.

Drinkability: Very drinkable, very good.

This is probably the best widely available pale ale. A great introduction to the style that can be found just about anywhere. Highly recommended.

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Photo of AleWerks
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ah SN pale ale. What can you say? Aroma is nicely balanced between hops and caramel. Appearance is light copper with a white head. Flavor is hoppy and balanced. Mouthfeel is bright and hoppy, finishing clean. Overall, this beer is the epitome of the American Pale Ale style. I drink this beer every chance I get.

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Photo of abgba121
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: pours a golden color, slightly hazy with about an inch or so of head that dissipates fairly quickly and leaves behind a thin lingering lace.

S: great hoppy smell, nice and floral with a little citrus

T: beginning sweetness with light hop flavor and a lingering very light hoppiness on the finish, not much for bitterness

M: medium texture, good carbonation

O: great beer, a definite regular in the lineup

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Photo of crob3888
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an orange-gold with a nice beige head. Some lacing. Aroma of biscuit, orange-citrus zest, lots of floral hops. Flavors of citrus, bready malt, and orange-zest and even a hint of caramelized sugar. Smooth mouthfeel. An excellent pale ale.

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Photo of Megahertz
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dated March 22, consumed on Aug 16.

A - Brilliantly clear bright amber with a large, frothy head and medium carbonation. Lots of lacing in a clean glass.

S - Aroma hits from arm's length - citrus and slight pine. Super fresh aroma evan at almost five months old.

T - Initial slightly sweet caramel and moderate carbonation hit the palate. Mid is slightly bready, slightly toasty, slightly caramel. Finishing is bitterness and bone dryness.

M - Medium to light body with good carbonation.

O - The classic, quintessential american pale ale - the inventor of the style.

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Photo of BoilerMo
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

This is the standard American Pale Ale and am glad it is widely available. It is correct to form in everyway with bite of hops and strong finish nice hoppy aroma. I ahev had better American Pale Ales but they are all much harder to find and only marginally better. Great fridge beer.

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Photo of rhollman
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Deep amber

Smell - Floral hops

Taste - Crisp with a faint bitterness

Mouth Feel - Smooth

Drinkability - This is a great beer. Nice to gulp down when you are hot & sweaty. Perfect with a variety of foods as it compliments but does not over power your food. Crisp, flavorful, then a wonderful faint bitterness on the finish - Cheers!

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Photo of PaulietheBrit
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

My dear wife picked this up for me on a whim, noticing, as she was, that I was drinking some good pale ales of late.
It poured a beautiful clear amber with medium fizz building a great finger of white tight head, which subsequently fell quickly to leave its lacy story on my goblet wall.
The aroma of pine and citrus notes first caressed my olfactory organ, then dominated with a malty caramel segue.
Its flavors wash my tongue with hoppy grapefruit, leaving my taste buds awash with a dry bitter finish.
I really enjoyed this APA and could keep drinking them, they don't over do any aspect, keeping a balance that keeps you wanting another mouthful.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Original review (10/10/02)
What can I say? This beer is well known by anyone who has been bold enough to venture outside the confines of American megabrewers. A wonderful teasing light aroma that gets the mouth watering *right now*. Initial taste sends the citrusy components evenly across the palate. The hop bitterness patiently waits its turn, then smoothly transitions the mouth experience, allowing one to easily pick up the full hop flavor. Outstanding. Once it all subsides, there is just enough trace bitterness residue in the mouth that it begins to act like a magnet to whatever vessel currently holds the remainder of the brew. I can't explain it, kinda like the commercial says, 'It's like (beer) science, you can't mess with science".
An experimental beer aged for 3+ years...

Appearance - pours a honeyed orange/gold color, quite nice. A quick life to the head, it leaves a few nice ropes of lace but quickly ends up a loose cover. 3.5

Aroma - a rather average hop aroma, mildy citric, decidedly underwhelming.2.5

Taste - ahhhh, that's more like it. A brief play of sweet malts, swept over by the appropriate wave of piny hops, enough to keep this beer fresh for quite a long boat ride. Ends with a strong grapefruit rind finish which become more prominent as the beer warms. All the requisite elements of the long program have been met with minimal deduction (my ode to the '06 Olympics). Yum. 4.5

Mouthfeel - hefty carbonation, sturdy body. 4.5

Drinkability - my palate tends to tire of IPA after a while but this is one I could drink several of. 4.0

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Photo of Spineypanda
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

By far one of my favorite beers.

This is the beer that got me started on the path of the hop.
It has a great light amber color and smells of citrus and delicious hops.
It is bitter, but a wonderful bitter, with a hint of citrus flavor but mostly the hoppy wonder that I have come to love.

One of the few beers I actually buy often!

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Photo of warbird07
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed in my New Belgium globe...thanks to the Kroger around the corner for providing this to me for 2.99..

amber pour, nice white head, quick lacing..looks like a pale should..

deep piney hops hit the nose, fresh smelling, malt as well..

taste is nice, crisp hoppyness, lingers a bit..

smooth mouthfeel..the malt backbone provides a nice bed for the hop character..

this is one of my favorite, drinkable pale ales..

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Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,863 ratings.