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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.

9,328 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,328
Reviews: 2,734
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 11.88%
Wants: 161
Gots: 1,181 | 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: 9,328 | Reviews: 2,734 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of zacharius
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer pours a light amber that is something slightly less than brillantly clear. White head sits on top. Smell is of citrusy hops. Taste of beer is of Cascade hops with a slight malt background, finish is all hops. Slight hint of mineraly water. Very drinkable and smooth beer with a nice body. Definatley a session beer.

zacharius, Oct 31, 2004
Photo of Fenris244
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear copper in color, .5 finger head, decent retention leaves a thin lace on the surface of the beer, thin lines of bubbles are seen in the glass

Not much in the nose some hop character and some malt maybe but that's about it

Very hoppy up front, terrific malt character following it up, the grainy bread like sweetness is a perfect balance to the hops. The hops give the beer some of the usual ipa flavors but the great malt backbone is the star of this beer for me

Light in body and very crisp, the medium carbonation helps out in the mouth feel. The alcohol isn't to high and the flavor is just right to make this a damn drinkable brew

Fenris244, Feb 28, 2011
Photo of mooseo
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into pint glass.

A - Golden copper, looks a bit cloudy. Has a decent, foamy white head with average retention.

S - Big floral hop aroma mixed with citrus and sweet malts.

T - Roasted, bready malts up front, followed by grassy, floral hops. While well balanced, the hops are plentiful and provide a mild hop bite. The finish is rather dry with some bitterness, leaving a lingering citrus/malt flavor.

M - Crisp and smooth. Light-medium bodied.

D - Highly drinkable, making this an extremely sessionable ale. Bold, robust flavors for a pale ale. Everything seems to work well together. An all around great beer.

mooseo, Sep 08, 2011
Photo of johnrobe
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A true modern classic and one that started me on the path to better beer. Others have improved on the original, IMHO, but as the trend has been "bigger is better" in craft brewing, SNPA retains high marks for drinkability; simply one of the finest session pale ales around. Once I began stockpiling Celebration every year I stopped buying this beer, so this is a homecoming of sorts. It pours a light orange amber with a frothy white head that leaves rings. The aroma is light but dominated by citric hops. The taste is mostly citrus with some pine and is pleasantly bitter. A simple sugar, candy-like sweetness makes a brief appearance on the palate but the malt doesn't develop like some of the bigger PAs. Mouthfeel is light-medium bodied and slightly creamy but not heavy, an excellent lunchtime brew.

johnrobe, Feb 02, 2004
Photo of hermit990
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Had on-tap, served in a pint glass.

Appearance: Orange/light amber color, mostly clear with a slight haze. About a finger of white head, leaving a great lacing down the side of the glass. Moderate carbonation bubbles rising through the beer.

Smell: Some slight pine and citrus hop aromas start those nose. A bit of underlying, bready malt character follows. Finishes with some subtle spiciness.

Taste: Citrus bitterness at the front of the tongue, flavors of grapefruit and orange rind. This is followed up nicely by some big pine flavor and a little bit of malt sweetness, providing a decent balance. Finishes with some light floral, spicy notes and a parting bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Good body to this one, gains a bit of an oily, resinous feel as it warms up a bit. Light carbonation and a slightly dry finish.

Overall: This is a classic pale ale that still holds up today. Readily available and affordable, and quite easy to drink. Always a solid choice to have on hand.

hermit990, Mar 28, 2013
Photo of eporter66
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle (I like the SN stubby bottles) into a pint glass.

A - Golden amber color, poured to a 1/2 finger head that quickly dissapates to a ring. No real lacing left on glass.

S - Citrus and hoppy - pleasant but fairly mild smell overall.

T - Good fruit flavor on tongue, the hop bites and lives a bitter fruity laced aftertaste, and stays in the back of your throat.

M - Crisp, good carbonation tingle, medium bodied

D - I do not think of myself as a hophead, and read that this is a good introduction to IPA's. I certainly get the bitter flavor, but enjoyed the fruitiness. I assume the bitter aftertaste is what the hopheads enjoy. This was a an enjoyable beer, and certainly can be followed by a few more. I can see this one catching up to you after a few.

eporter66, Dec 03, 2008
Photo of JamesMN
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Hazy golden/caramel color with a thin off-white head.

Aroma: Bready malt and a hint of earthy hops.

Taste: I remember drinking this when I first got into craft beer and thinking it was a bitter hop bomb. It's actually a very well balanced Pale Ale. Lots of biscuity malt and some nice earthy and citrus hop flavors. Both malt and hops share the palate and make for a very good APA. Smooth throughout and tasty without being too complex.

Mouthfeel: Smooth with medium body and good effervescence. Above average drinkability.

Final Thoughts: No complaints here. A standard in APAs. Would I drink it again? Most likely, although I rarely seek out APAs.

JamesMN, Oct 20, 2012
Photo of AleWatcher
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured into standard pint...

I've been drinking this for a few years, so I figured now that is in the Top 100 list (context: minimum reviews was changed to 1000 in order to be considered a top 100 in the world beer), I felt it was time to review it!

This brew pours a coppery color with orange hues and an off-white head of three fingers that had respectable retention. Thick glaciers of lace cling in huge slow moving masses of micro bubbles.

Smells of a sweet malt-- like a Hawaiian bread and sweet caramel note. The hops come across as mostly citrus and floral. The nose translates well on the taste with a good upfront sweetness that gives way to a grapefruit and citrus hip note with a slightly spicy floral note towards the finish. The finish is clean and pleasant.

Nothing rough or uneven about this beer-- very well balanced and easy to drink. There is probably a reason that this is one of the biggest gateway beers into the world of craft-- it is a mighty fine beer.

The body is medium with decent carbonation. I'd actually prefer a little more carbonation, but this is certainly respectable.

AleWatcher, Aug 10, 2010
Photo of BBS323
3.88/5  rDev -4%

BBS323, Oct 11, 2014
Photo of kbeals
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beer is a copper color with plenty of fluffy white head. Excellent lacing and clarity. Smells of earthy, piney hops, a bit of a malt background but not much. Taste is again hoppy, some light citrus taste too it with a bit of a grainy finish. Beer is very smooth and pretty light-bodied with not a ton of carbonation. A very tasty brew and one that I could drink for awhile.

kbeals, Mar 12, 2009
Photo of martino_cappachino
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz pottle into a pint glass.

Fingertip and half worth of fuzzy head. Head was slighlty yellow in color, and slowly diminished.

A full-colored golden wheat amber in appearance, like a lightly varnished deck. Sweet and hoppy in aroma

Very clean tasting, excellently carbonated and slightly spicy. Hoppy-tasting, but wasn't overwhelmed. Pine flavors with hints of lemon, grapefruit and a soapy astringency. Slightly bitter aftertaste. Bready and biscuit malts present.

An excellent brew for pairing with food I must say. Thoroughly enjoyed with some home-prepared belgian endive smoked salmon boats.

martino_cappachino, Apr 13, 2012
Photo of soju6
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer pours a clear copper color with a full head and good carbonation. The aroma seems to hint of herbal with citrus. The taste is crisp and bitter up front with a trace of citrus. The feel is creamy, quite smooth and refreshing and finishes dry. This is a nice drinkable brew and one of my default brews when I want something comfortable, not overpowering.

soju6, Apr 23, 2010
Photo of FosterJM
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16th review on BA
Bottle poured into a pint glass.

App- Has the color of an orange sunset with a high carbonation level in the glass, poured a 1/4 in white head with good retention and some nice lacing.

Smell- Yeasty with the spicy hops and a bit of pine.

Taste-Very crips and gentle pale ale. Was one of the 1st craft beers I had a long time ago. It was nice to grab a bottle last night from my brother in law at a family party. The right taste to help people get into beer. One of the best Pales out there.

Mouth- Its up there with the better pales, even though people consider this one of the run of the mill beers for people to try.

Drink- Could have had more than 1 I tell you that. Too bad for the 1hr half drive home and the fact there was none left. May have to run to the store to pick one up.

FosterJM, Oct 24, 2010
Photo of Doiv
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought in London.

Brief off-white head with the hazy coppery amber appearance. I get the feeling I may have used a slightly wet glass.

Aromas are a little weak, but hops are noticeable. Malts and citric notes are apparent after a good inhale.

Taste of floral hops, then somewhat biscuity malts, caramel and citrus fruits, with a spicy hoppy end.

The mouthfeel was nice and it is easy to drink.

Doiv, Jul 01, 2004
Photo of Mark_Robinson
3.88/5  rDev -4%

Mark_Robinson, Sep 24, 2014
Photo of
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle

Clear, deep gold. Medium to large, rocky, off-white head.

Scents of bread dough and lemon. Pine popped in. Pretty straightforward.

Nice hops - grapefruit. Biscuity. Bit of sweetness - caramel. Hint of pine. Pepper at finish.

Light in body. Medium + carbonation. Dry.

A nice pale. Very well hopped. May have to start keeping this in the fridge!

, May 10, 2007
Photo of CoSMoSYS
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy golden amber with a quarter inch size tannish head that slowly disappears through the beers life. Minimal to no lacing. A lot of carbonation bubbles rising.

Right away, I can detect the hops. They smell of citrus with a dash of pine. Very interesting smell. I also pick up on a bit of malt.

The taste was quite surprising. This beer, even though it is an APA, to me it was very balanced. Don't get me wrong, the hops was there but not as much as I thought it would be. I also picked up on the pine taste. Very refreshing.

Feels like a light to medium bodied beer. You can feel the carbonation as it rolls around. Very clean and crisp.

I'm not a hop head by any means whatsoever, but I found this drink really enjoyable and look forward to my next encounter. Hopefully, on a warm day just after I've mowed the lawn.

CoSMoSYS, Oct 23, 2007
Photo of Anthony1
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured into a perfect pint

pours a nice amber color with a creamy head. Smells very hopsy as wall as a strong hops taste. was a strong taste, but not overwhelming. almost like a mild IPA. medium feel with lots of carbonation, good feel.

Liked this beer, reminded me of a mild IPA

Anthony1, Jun 22, 2009
Photo of Alex-Alkis
3.88/5  rDev -4%

Really tastes like an APA should. Plenty of grassness in the flavor with an acceptable consistency.

Alex-Alkis, Jun 18, 2014
Photo of mjohn27603
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours yellow golden from a 24 fluid ounce bottle. Aroma is of piney hops with with some sweetness. Head develops into 1 head and then goes away within a minute or two. Sip reveals a piney hops flavor with some bitterness if held in the mouth for a while. Hops seems to dominate here. A very solid beer that you can find in many run of the mill places. Not citrusy hops flavor. Still a pale ale without running into the IPA category. Some slight sweetness too.

mjohn27603, Jul 16, 2005
Photo of afausser
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a hazy deep amber with a finger of head. There is TONS of carbonation that is persistent even as the beer sits, which results into a fluffy, bubbly, foamy head that lasts a decent amount of time. There is also a very nice sheet of fine lacing.

Smell: Piney, yeasty, and light, with faint citrusy hints of tangerine and orange.

Taste: Again, piney and citrusy, with oranges, lemons, and grapefruit that blend nicely with the hops. There is also a floral/herbal element, out of which I'm picking out oregano and mint. I'm actually also getting a very faint hint of strawberries out of it. Pine, oranges, lemons, and hops in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Light--but the carbonation makes it start out a bit foamy. This, fortunately, improves as it sits.

Drinkability: The mouthfeel knocks this down for me a bit, I think, but the taste is light and nice. I remember not liking this beer before I got into craft beers, and I'm glad I gave it another try.

afausser, Dec 28, 2009
Photo of BeerManDan
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

So much better than "on-tap". Not as bitter in the aftertaste and while drinking it. Although the flavor is not as intense as "on-tap". With the bottle, it has a balance flavor without the big bite!

BeerManDan, Aug 27, 2002
Photo of Fuller
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - orange copper colored body with a small head that dissipates quickly leaving only a small ring around the rim of the beer.

S - floral and fruity hops are the most noticeable smell.

T - floral hops and citrus. The hop bitterness and sweetness are a nice balance. Nice bitter aftertaste.

M - crisp and smooth with a dry finish. medium bodied.

D - excellent drinkability.

Fuller, Sep 17, 2006
Photo of mjw06
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Golden color with a light amber hue, small, white, light head that leaves quickly and gives little to no lacing.

S - Light smell with light hoppiness, some elements of sweet corn and florals.

T - Simple clean taste, that finishes sweet with elements of rose and a little citrus as well. Also finishes with a slight bitterness that is pleasant.

M - Crisp mouthfeel with carbonation that compliments taste perfectly. Medium bodied and slightly creamy feel. Great mouthfeel.

D - A refreshing brew that is delightfully simple. As stated earlier the bitterness is initially pleasant, however it seemed to wear on me after awhile. Nonetheless the taste was still pleasing. Very drinkable and would definitely have another to refresh.

mjw06, Jan 08, 2009
Photo of TheTrevor
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a light copper color with a big beige head and lots of visible carbonation. The smell is mostly floral and citrusy hops, very pleasant. The taste starts off with some sweet bready malt that gives way to some floral spicy hops and some malt comes back for the finish. The mouthfeel is slightly thick with some moderate carbonation. This is a very drinkable beer, and probably one of the most popular beers in the style for a reason.

TheTrevor, Apr 24, 2009
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 9,328 ratings.