Sierra Nevada Pale Ale - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada Pale AleSierra Nevada Pale Ale

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10,186 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 10,186
Reviews: 2,944
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 11.66%
Wants: 218
Gots: 2,028 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 10,186 | Reviews: 2,944
Photo of RedLion
3.97/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap. Medium amber color, head quickly disappeared. No lacing on the glass. Smelled slightly malty to me. Taste was very good. I liked the bite on the tip on my tongue, and very nice bitterness on the back. Kinda like grapefruit. Very ful feeling in my mouth. Great drinkability! I'll buy again.

Photo of Schwarzbart
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was one of my favorite beers years ago, but it has been a long time, The beer is darker than I remember with a copper amber color and lots of carbonation. Hop aroma is strong with a faint smell of fresh lettuce? Taste is of that typical Sierra Nevada malted barley, a strong hop flavor for an APA and orange rind which I don't remember from the past. Taste is good with a little bit of bitterness at the end. Mouthfeel is smooth and easily drinkable. A true classic APA in my opinion.

Photo of beersarang
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Probably the most solid example of the American Pale Ale.

This APA pours a nice copper with a froth white head that holds its sticky lace well.

Nose is of citrusy hops. Cascade all over the place.

Lightly toasted malts enter the palate, but the citrusy hops coat the palate, and leave on the exhale. Goes down pretty smooth and mildly astringent.

Medium bodied, pretty drinkable.

A very respectable APA.

Photo of MrSeth
4.23/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Red gold body with a 1" white head. Honeyish malt with very mild spice in the nose. The flavor has smooth malt at the start followed by an excellent balance of hops towards the end. The hops come across better with more sips. Gotta love the balance, nothing is overstated. The mouthfeel is light-medium bodied, very carbonated and it has a refreshing effect. I wonder about the drinkability.. while it would be great to have one or two, and they would be a very drinkable one or two.. having much more than that would be over doing it for me.

Photo of tgbljb
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured a bright orange color with robust head that reduced to minimal white lacing. Has a nice hoppy smell without being overpowering. The taste has a pleasant hoppiness that fells great in the mouth. leaves a nice dryness that makes me want more. A very drinkable pale ale that would be a good session beer

Photo of nota
4.19/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was very happy when I first seen this beer make it to my store shelves. This beer IMO sets the the standard for all other pale ales. You can review my complete and detailed review of this beer at:

Photo of Skidz
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Some times, you just have to go back to the basics...

Pours out bright golden orange and sits amber-tinted gold in the glass, moving from the lightest golds to the deepest ruby-amber in the tulip. Good sized white head, fades to a thin skim, leaving lacings around the glass.

Smells of fresh citrus, oranges, lime and bits of fresh ruby red grapefruit. The slightest hint of pine hangs around. Caramel blends in, and holds some fruity esters, mainly apples, bright and vibrant. All lightly toasted.

Citrus comes out immediately in the mouth, big notes of grapefruit and orange, displaying a tangy pine resin inbetween. Malts seem cleaned out and sterile, providing light sweetness, with faint reaches of carmel sitting on a near crackery core. Finish is nicely bittered, still holding on to grapefruit oils and bits of pine.

Crisp and lively in the mouth, it fails to dissapoint. Medium-light in body overall with vibrant carbonation.

It's just that easy to drink. Simple, yet elegant. It's nice to know there will always beer a beer like this to fall back on.

Photo of kegerator
3.81/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured out a haz yellow/bronze color with a nice 1 inch head that dwindles but leave a little lace.
Aroma was all hops, citrus, herbal and clightly pine notes. Taste was mostly herbal citrusiness that finshed off dry, crisp and bitter and a nice lemony/citrus aftertaste that lingered around.
light bodied, crisp and refreshing

Photo of Chadbrew
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I would be OK I think if I could only drink from one brewery and that brewery was Sierra Nevada.
Pours out a honey colored slightly hazy beer with mild carbonation and little to no head.
Definitely some hops in this beer, you can smell them first and then some sweet malt.
The taste is a quick bitter-sweet that lends way to a nice malty flavor. Then there is a wash of floral hop aroma followed by a bitter-dry finish and a lingering citrus taste.
Mouthfeel is very good for this style. I expected a thinner beer but this has decent body.
A very drinkable beer. I had a couple with dinner and I think a couple more are on deck for the evening at least.

Photo of BigRedN
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Poured from the 12 oz stubby twistoff bottel into a standard pint glass. Color of the beer is an orangish/copper hue with a 1/2 inch white head. Dissipated to a thin covering left good lacing down the glass. Clear with some carbonation evident.

Smell: Hoppy, mostly citrus fruit with some floral notes. There is also a hint of sweet caramel malt, but I notice mostly the hops.

Taste: Outstanding. Hoppy on the outset, balanced by a firm maltflavor in the middle. It finishes hoppy. What I want in an APA, very well balance and not too strong in any diredtion (although it maybe leans a little towards the hoppy side which for me is good for the style).

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, lightly carbonated. Smooth and well balanced beer.

Drinkability: I believe this is the first 5 I have ever given. Just a perfect beer to drink. I was wrong in a previous review. This is the APA by which to judge all other APA's. Helping this beer out is that it is available practically all over (I have seen it in gas stations) . Purchased a six for $5.99, practically a steal.

Photo of maek228
3.38/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is the only craft beer I've seen sold at Phillies or Eagles games.

Appearance: Bright vibarany Yellow. Quarter of a finger head with a lace that stuck around for the whole drink

Smell: Hops, floral aromas

Taste: Tastes of lemon rinds, chamomille tea, with a small twang of sweetness in there. Hops are strong and prevalant, but don't totally overpower the tastebuds.

Mouthfeel: A medium bodies malty feel

Drinkability: Not that easy to put down, but the above average taste provides motivation.

This is the standard Pale Ale I suppose

Photo of Litterbean
4.54/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Been drinking this beer for a while, haven't gotten around to reviewing it. Now that I have, I realize why it's one of my favorites.

Pours a amber orange with a nice head that dissipates quickly. Still, a great looking pale ale.

The smell hooks you in. The cascade hops smell citrusy and fruity and inviting. Beneath those is a sweet malty flavor that balances it out, resulting in what I consider the "real beer smell."

Great taste. Sweet, fruity, citrus hop flavor. This is backed up my a warm malt flavor that isn't truly balancing but just enough where the hops don't overwhelm. Still, not bitter and very smooth.

One of my favorites. w00t!

Photo of bucko
2.8/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

SNPA pours a copper color with a light white head and has a nice, faint citrus aroma. Tipping back the bottle and taking a sip, I find a nice, crisp bite, and while the flavor is good, it's not remarkable. I've had better, I've had worse... good, not great. It's a tasty brew and I'd certainly be willing to buy more, but this just isn't a standout in my book.

Photo of troutmask96
3.59/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A decent pale ale, nothing too special here. Pours a dark golden translucence with a large head. Very hoppy smelling, with notes of pine and citrus. Taste is actually quite bitter, much like an I.P.A. All in all, a good session brew and an one of my favorite choices when I have to shop at the grocery store and can't make it to my local bottle shop.

Photo of monkeybutler
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The consummate APA, to which all other APAs have to be matched up against. It's so deeply ingrained into what my idea of a solid APA is, it's almost a chicken-egg conundrum. Was there an APA before Sierra Nevada Pale Ale? Was there Sierra Nevada before there was an APA? The answer is yes, of course, but I wouldn't know because I'm 24 years old.

So what up-makes this APA? The answer seems obvious; all them west coast hops. That's the flavor, primarily, and the malt could only get in the way if it were to present itself any more strongly. We don't want any of those stinky esthery sweet flavors coming through to ruin our nice green, resiny American hop experience.

Photo of matdot
4.45/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on-tap from Pastis in Dunwoody, Georgia. Accompanied by Filet Mignon and Truffle mashed potatoes.

Appearance: Golden orange with bubbles and a small one inch head. Bubbles filled the sides of the glass and were not trying to escape.

Smell: Sweet, caramel and butterscotch.

Taste: The taste of caramel and sweet malt.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, not heavy at all.

Drinkability: Great I drank three pints and it did not leave me bloated like other "filling" beers. Bring another!

Photo of BrewRunner
4.06/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was the first Sierra Nevada beer I have had. I enjoyed it all around. The color was a nice gold, with an orange hue. The taste was bold, but not over powering with a very small after-taste, which is by no means unpleasant.

It goes down smooth, both when drank slowly and quickly. Highly recommended, and I’m looking forward to trying other Sierra Nevada beers.

Photo of Troyone
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
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.

Photo of UncleJimbo
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on-tap at the Overdraught in Cambridge, MA.

This pale ale poured a clear, amber color with white foam that clung to the glass. The smell was a very nice, floral hops aroma with some maltiness poking through the hops. The taste was malty but with a very large dose of flowery, floral hops and bitter hops especially in the finish. The mouthfeel was smooth and very pleasing to the palate. The body was medium with moderate carbonation feel. The fruity and floral hops lingered in the finish. This is a very, very nice pale ale, and one can see why it is considered a classic in the American Pale Ale style. I can't believe it took me this long to get around to reviewing it. I am going to have to remember to drink this one more often, or at least whenever I see it on tap.

Photo of rowew
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
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

Photo of ypsifly
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 24oz bottle.

Bright orangish amber with a small white head that sticks around leaving light lacing.

Has that west coast floral/piney hop aroma with some malt and grains underneath.

Also tastes like what one would expect a west side PA to taste. Dry and very hoppy with just enough malt to bring balance. The moderate carbonation is in line with a medium mouthfeel. Long dry finish that lingers but doesn't wear out its welcome.

A very drinkable brew that ,IMHO, sets the bar for west coast PAs. If you like Liberty Ale or Two Hearted, give this one a try.

Photo of DrJay
4.02/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Very clear amber colour topped by a thin lace of white head. Moderate retention and stickage. The aroma consists of floral, citrus and spicy hops with a bit of biscuit and grain. The flavour is balanced on the hoppy, bitter side. Mild sweetness with some maltiness, but mostly citrus and spicy hops with a dominating bitterness. Dry finish with a firm bitterness. Medium body and carbonation. Slightly crisp and acidic from the carbonation, but without having a coarse texture. This is a great session beer -- clean and full of flavour.

Photo of Shultzerdugen
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured golden-orange with a large frothy head.

Smelled of pine, grapefruit, with an underlying sweetness.

Assertive hops give a citrus bite at the top, creamy sweetness in the middle, then a long malty finish.

Smooth and creamy on the palette, little bit of carbon dioxide sting as well.

Nothing shabby about this beer, a great example of an APA, and one I look forward to having again, regardless of the time of year.

Photo of allengarvin
3.98/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Golden amber color, frothy head, and many fine bubbles. Aroma is fresh hop with a touch of sweet grain. Huge citric hop flavor up front with a lot of drying bitterness. Somewhat fruity, with a very mild malt character. Finishes clean and dry. Light, drinkable body.

Not as interesting or shocking a beer as it was 15 years ago, back when many of us had never had an American beer that was decent tasting, but it's still an emminently drinkable beer and an excellent session PA.

Photo of paterlodie
4.21/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poors in without a head and having a orange/peach color.
Nose is delicate; having a lot of hoparome that's mostly citrussy, some maltnotes and a nice yeastesterpallet mixed beautifully together. Taste is very smotth but still fresh; malts( pils and munich), litle sweetish before going into that citrussytaste and aftertaste again. Mouthfeel is great; probably as good as it was fresh but cause of the age( exp date 31-01-05) is freed from any edges( if there ever were...). Drinkability is good, only negatively influenced by the enormous price of 4 eur for a 350 ml botle.

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 10,186 ratings.