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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.

9,331 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,331
Reviews: 2,734
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 11.88%
Wants: 161
Gots: 1,183 | 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
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Ratings: 9,331 | Reviews: 2,734 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of harryhops
3.88/5  rDev -4%

harryhops, Nov 19, 2014
Photo of rowew
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at a local wing joint. Almost as tasty as from the bottle, but I feel like the hops don't show up quite as well on tap. Still very drinkable, quite crisp and refreshing, and leaps and bounds better than most of the taps at typical bars in SoCal

rowew, Mar 02, 2005
Photo of EnojysAnyBeer
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Good beer with a flavor that's too overpowering for me alone. Goes well with spicy food.

A- Classic amber that's a bit dark for a pale ale. Clear.

S- Smells yeasty and malty along with good citrus grapefruit ester

T- Too much grapefruit to drink without food. Good flavor after you acquire a taste for it. Great with pizza and spicy foods

M- Feels clean and smooth with a bit of citrus pinch

D- Drinks good but the grapefruit is too much for me to pound this beer down

EnojysAnyBeer, Apr 17, 2008
Photo of Overlord
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a (not surprisingly) pale yellowish amber with a nice head. Floral and pine scent, which blends into ... floral, hop, and pine taste overtones. This is one of the benchmark pale ales, and it stands up well on a price per taste ratio. Certainly not my favorite beer, but does have a nice blend of party affordability and taste.

Overlord, Sep 17, 2007
Photo of SSBrennan
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light golden color with great clarity and moderate carbonation. The head is not particularly impressive, a little thin.

A fairly weak odor, wet grains with a distinctive floral hop flavor. More subtle than I would expect.

The taste is far richer with an initial sweetness that yields to complex hopes and finishes with bitter hops. Well balanced with a good initial bite that finishes smoothly.

The mouthfeel is smooth with nice carbonation.

I can see having a few and in the past have.

It may just be the familiar nature of the beer but it seems better than the scores I've given its components would suggest.

SSBrennan, Jun 29, 2007
Photo of Jsteez
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this beer from a bottle and on-tap.

A-Copper and dark orange hue with slight light brown. Medium-high carbonation, very refreshing. White-tan head and creamy lacy sides around the glass.

S-Fresh hops, caramel, a little malty, sweet and citrus. Notes of pine.

T-Sweet and citrus going in. Aftertaste is dry and slightly bitter. Notes of hops, grapefruit, and caramel linger on the palate.

M-Carbonation is moderate. A little wet, which provides this brew with the refreshing quality it holds on a consistent basis. Lovely aftertaste.

O-This is a great beer to have on tap, from a bottle, in a glass, now in a can. I have not tried it from a can yet, but I will soon. This was one of the first brews that introduced me to the microbeer world years ago. It complements any type of food you want! Drink it! Cheers!

Jsteez, Jun 03, 2012
Photo of Mdog
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Gold, good carbonation bubbles, ok head.

Smell: Piney, citrus.

Taste: Nicely balanced between caramel sweetness and piney/citrus bitterness.

Drinkability: I could have a few in a sitting.

Finally got around to reviewing SNPA. I don't drink it much since we have a good local APA in Summit but the 6er was on sale so I picked up some. Nicely balanced, nothing too exciting these days, but would have been amazing 20+ years ago.

Mdog, Sep 01, 2009
Photo of barleywinefiend
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One good Pale ..Poured a orange color with a finger-width, creamy white head that leaves lots of lacing as you drink. Scent is surprisingly not as hoppy as I would have thought. Lots of fruit and a woody/grassy aroma I couldn't place. Palate is crisp, clean and very dry. Not as hoppy as a lot of Pales and IPAs. You get a slight hop burn on the tongue, but it's balanced enough to let the grapefruit and spices come through.

barleywinefiend, Oct 28, 2008
Photo of TheHopMonster
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sierra Nevada has some very respectable beers that they produce and their Pale Ale is probably their most famous.

The appearance is a darkish amber with 2 fingers of foam that surprisingly stayed around for a while. The retention was lacking though maybe it was the pint glass I was using.

I definitely noticed pine and citrus aromas most likely from cascade hops. I definitely enjoyed the overall aroma of this beer.

Taste was what I expected, but I thought it was lacking in the hop bitterness category. I'm definitely a hop head so pleasing my hop craving is kinda hard to do. But it was overall a very enjoyable drinking beer.

An average Pale Ale I know there are better ones out there.

Serving type: bottle

TheHopMonster, Dec 03, 2010
Photo of zhanson88
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Copper colored, one finger of eggshell white head with a medium amount of lacing.

Smell: Fairly heavy on pine and hops. Underlying caramel malt backbone.l

T: Pine and citrus up front with a hint of malt, and a pleasant amount of hops at the finish. Classic taste, and still a solid APA.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: Slightly-heavier-than-light body with nice carbonation. Drinkable beer that has more flavor than a lot of the crap you will find. This beer is a classic and one of the founding American craft beers.

zhanson88, Sep 19, 2010
Photo of Gagnonsux
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great beer, although I have to admit I expected a little more when I heard this was the prototypical APA. I guess I was expected the best APA ever, but I've had a few I liked better. Taste is nicely hopped, very full and complete. Citric hop tastes finish the sip appropriately. This is a perfect beer for slow sipping at a bar or at home, thankfully this is available almost everywhere. I have nothing more to add that hasn't been said numerous times already.

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

Bottle poured into a glass.

A: An amber color with a whitish head; the beer appears to have small (perhaps proteinaceous) particles floating throughout the beer. good lacing and moderate head retention.

S: A citrusy hop nose

T: Moderately high hop bitterness and piney notes. Very subdued malt character makes a brief appearance before being struck down by the overtly hoppy bitterness in the finish.

M: Light-medium body with good carbonation.

Notes: For some reason, I remember that this same exact beer tasted a lot less hoppy and bitter when I had it this past weekend. One big difference is that I did not pour it into a glass last time, but this time I did. It is amazing how much the drinking receptacle can change the experience of the beer. I much preferred this beer IN the bottle. The bitter hops were more balanced by the malts.

kevinjosephlee, Feb 17, 2010
Photo of Mit
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A pours a nice golden colour with a rapidly dissapating head.

S subtle grapefruit and piney notes. Very mild malt character.

T light hoppy bitterness, finishing off with a spicyness and very slight malt flavour at end.

Mouthfeel is very typical of a 5% beer

D very drinkable-could have serveral in a session

Mit, Jul 11, 2009
Photo of B33R501
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

friday night sierra tasting craft beer outlet ne philly, the hop flavor just popped, so i finally sat down and tried this, new cans, just one. easily best in class of the pales ive had.

pretty amber beer, good head, retension, lace. fresh hoppy aroma and taste, nice pale malt background. finish is clean and dry, balanced, refreshing, very smooth and drinkable.

B33R501, Apr 25, 2012
Photo of kinger
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Definitely a nice surprise, I had a feeling this ale would be good but not this good! Pours a nice copper color with decent creamy head and an abundance of lacing. The aroma is highly hopped with a nice malt scent. Mouthfeel is thick and filling with an unbelievably smooth crisp finish. The flavor is the perfect balance of bittering hops and malts for a pale ale. This is a great standard for the pale ale style and an exceptional example.

kinger, Aug 01, 2008
Photo of JustinBathurst
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured clear orange-copper with 1 cm white crown. Good lacing.

Smells of citrus, red licorice, and dry cereal (think Cheerios).

The mouthfeel is crisp, with good carbonation.

The taste is hoppy and floral, with a nice malty sweetness, grapefruit, and a slight sourness. The aftertaste is nicely sour and bitter. A good brew.

JustinBathurst, Sep 09, 2008
Photo of titty_mcbitty
3.89/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Golden orange. Not very yellow like some other IPAs (an unattractive color in my opinion). Not much lacing.

S: This beer has a very fresh aroma to it. It's nice. Floral wet hops!

T: I love the earthiness to this beer. The hops are fresh and the citrus tones dance around your mouth nicely. There's a very slight malt backbone.

M: Medium to heavy side of light. Very refreshing. It's got kind of a crunchy feel to it, if that makes sense.

O: Always a classic. This beer is fortunately sold just about everywhere over here in Texas, and it's always a treat to have.

titty_mcbitty, Aug 07, 2014
Photo of dar482
3.89/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer comes in a clear light ruby amber.

The aroma has sweet candied grapefruit and orange peel, floral, lots of malt, a big candy sweetness.

The taste goes the same with lemon, grapefruit peel, a medium bready malt in the middle, a punch of potpourri, spicy on the back, a hint of dry grainy quality in the back.

A light hoppy pale ale with a substantial yet relatively clean malt profile. Incredible that this recipe is almost 35 years old! Obviously it has been outshined by many world class brews, but this still stands on its own hoppy feet.

dar482, Jul 07, 2014
Photo of silverevo9
3.89/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First time i drank this brew I was put a little by the spike in carbonation from the aftertaste. Had the opportunity to drink this on tap in San Luis Obispo. Had a much better experience with it there, much smoother. But, I have the bottle again and reviewing from that. This beer is really great due to the bottle conditioning. The carbonation spike is probably due to the conditioning of the brew, which I've come to like. It does offer a different flavor profile from it. The carbonation being one. The second, being a thicker flavor profile. Citrus and pine flavors persist. On the nose and mouth it feels like I'm getting the raw form of all the ingredients put into this brew. Although I do prefer the Torpedo IPA, i would have no problem purchasing this beer again, if on tap. But as long as the Torpedo exists, i will not purchase the bottle version again. Lacing is sticky and has a nice hue to the head. Flavors get more intense as it warms. 5.6% alcohol keeps you stable for the long haul. Overall a awesome brew!

silverevo9, Jun 25, 2014
Photo of Jason
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12oz short brown twist cap bottle. Thin layer of sediment from bottle conditioning.

Appearance: Rich golden orange in colour with a slight chill haze, a white lace lays on top and clings all over the glass.

Smell: Slightly rustic, raw and mildly pungent hop aroma of leaves, flowers and heavy on the citric fruit. An undertone of grain is in the background also.

Taste: Creamy smooth with a soft malt crispness that cradles a bready malt flavour. Hop bitterness is more than ample and shows off a bit yet there is an underlying sweetness that seems to put everything back together. Esters through a shadow of alcohol down which make a potential heady night. In the finish is a citric hop flavour with a touch more sweetness from the residual sugars, though this brew seems to dry up a little in the end.

Notes: The typical American Pale Ale ... The classic American Pale Ale basically as far as what people know. A good and solid ale for what I think.

Jason, Mar 04, 2003
Photo of Kraken
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes from my rainy South Caka-Lacka (SC) adventure.

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a standard pint glass. Firm pour yields a 2 finger head that diminishes quickly. No lace to speak of. Beer pours a nice orange/golden amber.

Nose- Citric hops, not over whelming, but strong enough to let you know what you are in for.

Taste- Muted citric sweetness, followed by tart and tangy citric hops. Carmel malts rear their head. Nicely balanced, dry and bitter finish. Very nice.

Mouthfeel- Tart and tangy, highly carbonated.

Drinkability- Very high. An easy drinking pale ale. My go to at bars with a dubious beer menu.

Kraken, Sep 05, 2008
Photo of mattffrost
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into glass.

Appearance beer is a clear light amber color. The white head does not last long. Some lacing.

Smell I hardly smell anything at all. Some grassy floral hops smell.

Taste Nice mellow Pale Ale. Nothing over the top. Some piney taste that finishes a hint bitter. Good quality beer. Not an abundance of flavers but sometimes simple is better.

Mouthfeel: Very clean and tasty on the palete. Light bodied.

Drinkability: Very Very Drinkable beer that is clean and refreshing.

mattffrost, Dec 12, 2008
Photo of niknar
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a amber/copper color with a pretty decent off-white head. Strong lacing down the side of the glass, and much better than average head retention put this beer among the top. Smell is a category I always struggle with. Having said that, I do detect some hops and citrus notes... possibly some malt in there as well. Overall a pleasant smell. Taste is well above average. Strong hop bitterness balanced by a sweet maltiness and some citrus flavors. Though not overly complex, I feel this is still a very delicate balance that makes it a very good beer. True to the style, it finishes with strong hop bitterness in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is excellent as well. Light and crisp without being over carbonated or too thin. I consider this a very strong offering worthy of a special occasion or everyday consumption alike. Definitely a beer that any craft beer lover should try. Maybe a good beer for someone who was recently converted from macros, but I wouldn't make this one part of such a program too early due to the bitterness!

niknar, Jul 31, 2004
Photo of BranfordBound
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear copper with an almost two finger white head that recedes to a covering. Pretty good carbonation with decent lacing.

The smell is interesting, I'm hit with a caramel sweetness at first, which gives way to the typical hoppy smell - bitter and floral with citrus.

The taste is similiar to the smell, but the sweetness is missing. The rest of the taste is typical IPA - bitter at the end and hoppy and citrusy at the front. The beer isn't overly bitter, though, pretty decent for the style.

The mouthfeel is light and refreshing, the bitterness clings a little bit, though.

Drinkability is fairly decent, IPA is probably my least liked beer style (Gasp!), however, the not-overly bitter nature of SN Pale Alr made it fairly drinkable for me, especially in these hot summer days. This is a staple of the IPA style, nothing bland, but nothing over the top. I most likely won't buy it again (Due to my style preferences) but I won't turn one down.

BranfordBound, Jun 10, 2010
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 9,331 ratings.