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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
90
outstanding

8,968 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,968
Reviews: 2,711
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 11.88%
Wants: 149
Gots: 1,025 | 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:
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: 8,968 | Reviews: 2,711 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of biegaman
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A deep bodied yellow shaded in with tones of amber. A seemingly infinite number of tiny bubbles sprout up from the base and race to the top. Clarity exist but in a somewhat blurred state. The top half inch is peach hued and adhesive enough to envelop the glass above it.

Notes of citrus, grass and pine combine for a pleasant effervescence. It is a soft fruitiness that includes orange blossom and a squirt of lemon juice. The hop character is pronounced but moderate - it's not a smack to the sinus but rather a gentle tickling of the nostrils.

Hints of grapefruit and citrus fruit are noted in the flavour, too. More prevalent now, however, is the taste of lightly toasted, caramel laced malts. It's not exactly a rich, gooey presence but it adds an extra shot of flavour to what is otherwise a very simple beer.

The hops might snip at those not accustomed to bitterness but should definitely be considered restrained. The modest 37 IBU's add a nice underlying quench to each sip. Crisp mouthfeel and good carbonation only adds drinkability to what was already something quite tasty.

Sierra Nevada is rightfully regarded as the grandfather of the American craft beer revolution. Their pale ale was particularly inspirational for a generation of craft brewers that were now re-inventing old world styles and hopping at levels previously unheard of - All hail it !

biegaman, Nov 12, 2008
Photo of rab53
3.25/5  rDev -19.6%

rab53, Dec 07, 2011
Photo of plaid75
4.47/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a nice copper hue, with a one finger head. Good head retention and lacing.

The smell was rich with hop and grapefruit character. A light and airy aroma, which is inviting, in my experience, to non-craft drinkers.

The taste was crisp and dry. A very nice hop to malt balance, accented by grapefruit and flowery flavors.

The mouthfeel is crisp and clean, not too full and not too thin.

A very drinkable Pale Ale. In fact, I have found this to be a cross over beer for many people who are not experienced in craft brews.

In my opinion, a staple. I use this beer as a standard from which I measure every American Pale Ale I try. While few have exceeded this one in flavor and aroma, most fall short. Another plus is that it is readily available in most areas of the country I have visited.

plaid75, Apr 25, 2006
Photo of Latarnik
4/5  rDev -1%

Latarnik, May 25, 2014
Photo of tdm168
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Lynnwood Grill

Arrived a copper color with one finger of head and nice retention. Smell is pretty hoppy for a pale ale, very floral. Taste is also quite hoppy but does not overpower. Mild malts and floral, piney hops are extremely well balanced. Medium bodied with good carbonation; a little dry but very refreshing.

A great beer. One of my favorite pale ales.

tdm168, Jul 30, 2011
Photo of billab914
3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was surprised to find I haven't ever reviewed this one, so I picked one up the other day specifically for this review. Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Ithaca glass. It had a really nice golden amber color to it with a thin but frothy head to it.

The aroma has a nice balance of American hops and pale malts. There is some good citrus notes to it, along with a little pine. The pale, bready malts give it a nice base.

The taste shows off the Cascade hops nicely. It's got notes of grapefruit, lemon zest and a little pine to it. Again the pale, bready malts give it a nice base and provide a good balance.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with carbonation being moderate. Overall, it's a classic version of the style and probably the benchmark for all other versions. Sure, there are newer beers in the style I like better, but sometimes revisiting a classic is just as enjoyable.

billab914, Jul 13, 2012
Photo of Kelp
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%

Kelp, Jan 17, 2013
Photo of beerthulhu
4.47/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Poured a brilliantly clear orange with a soft, creamy 1 finger dirty white head that settled rather quickly to a thin, sparse covering. Visible carbonation was very light.

S: The nose started out with a dry grassiness at first before giving way to a sweet citrusy nature.

T: The initial flavor starts out with a great graininess with a citrusy and light pine hopping. Quenching citrusy bite. The crisp, pale malting truly stands out here is never overshadowed by the bright citrusy nature. Finishes with a touch of grassiness and dried grapefruit. There is a reason why this is considered the staple per style. To many modern pales have been bastardized by amercian's lust for hops while neglecting the true intended crisp pale nature of the drink. This one offers a great balance with a crisp malting with a touch of malt sweetness and hopping that is balanced perfectly.

M: medium, oily viscosity with a nice feel and light dried citrus hop fade.

D: By style one of the best. Crisp, refreshing with a great malting and true to style. Case worthy by all means a go to for that summer picnic to quench the thirst with a citrusy blast.

beerthulhu, Dec 23, 2008
Photo of sendbeer
5/5  rDev +23.8%

sendbeer, Dec 15, 2012
Photo of dmorgan310
4/5  rDev -1%

dmorgan310, Feb 03, 2012
Photo of Bighuge
4.47/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This light amber brew throws out dense white head that clings nicely to the glass as I drink. Wonderful blast of hops on the nose. Tasting this is a treat. Great hop character. And great understated bitterness. Underlying malt is sufficient. Pretty clean tasting for an ale. A very quaffable brew. One of my favorite Pale Ales.

Bighuge, Jun 10, 2002
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.85/5  rDev +20%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

So I never reviewed this? This is probably my "if you could only have one beer etc. . ." type choice. The world gold standard.

Pours a great dark yellow and amber hue, minimal head, not much lacing. Aromatic whole flower hops. The three C's.

Taste, unlike anything else. The most mass produced hoppy bitter beer out there. Pine and citrus. Tastes like Chico. Great throughout. Drinkable for days, great price. And unmistakable mouthfeel of bitter hops and unique as hell tree/pine kind of flavor going for it. So much caramel and yet the bottle conditioning keeps the carbonation peppy and perfect so that the caramel is never heavy.

The first time I drank this beer (UC Davis keg party in '93) I was a senior in high school, and I hated it. I asked the party host if he washed his cups because the beer tasted like it had soap in it. What a noob. . .

Beerandraiderfan, Mar 26, 2010
Photo of JohnGalt1
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz picked up at the Boise Coop for about $1.35... shared with a coworker... my half poured into a Delirium tulip.

Short lasting white head... atop a crystal clear lite golden brew.

Aroma is perfect blend of pronounced citrus hops and pale malts.... with just a touch of yeast fruitiness.

Flavor is as good as a an APA can be... cascade hops... balanced pale toasty malts and bitterness.... finish is more cascades and a little fruitiness. Body is perfect medium/low with the right carbonation.

Really not anything somebody can say bad about Sierra Nevada pale... I really don't buy it much anymore unless I am at a gas station and this is the only micro they have.... but writing a review makes me think about just how quintessential this brew is.... a classic if there ever was one.

JohnGalt1, Dec 14, 2007
Photo of Zaphog
4/5  rDev -1%

Zaphog, Mar 07, 2012
Photo of KAF
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%

KAF, Jul 06, 2014
Photo of DrJay
4.03/5  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.

DrJay, Feb 28, 2005
Photo of PEIhop
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%

PEIhop, Nov 19, 2011
Photo of iL0VEbeer
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

iL0VEbeer, Mar 09, 2012
Photo of rolltide8425
4/5  rDev -1%

rolltide8425, Jul 25, 2012
Photo of Derek
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The Pacific Northwest Pale Ale that defined the style. Certainly more subtle than newly developed products.

A: Golden bronze with a little head, no lace.

S: Nice American hop citrous.

T: Citrousy, biscuity malt.

M: Light-to-moderate body, fairly high carbonation.

D: Suitable for a wide range of beer drinkers.

Derek, Oct 31, 2005
Photo of harpus
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

harpus, Apr 09, 2014
Photo of HuskyinPDX
4/5  rDev -1%

HuskyinPDX, Nov 06, 2013
Photo of Tone
4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear golden/yellow color. Decent head with little retention and little lacing. Smells strongly of hops. Fits the pale ale style quite nicely. Strong bitterness of hops with average carbonation. Could have a little more flavor, but overall very good beer.

Tone, Dec 05, 2008
Photo of beertunes
2.93/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into straight pint glass. Poured 1/2 inch of bright, white head that left a medium amount of lacing. Bright, light orange/deep yellow color. Not much malt in the nose, but solid hop presence. Flavor matches aroma closely. The lack of body is noticed right away. Very drinkable, but the flavors becomes unnoticeable quickly. This is a solid go-to beer that never lets you down, but rarely thrills the drinker. I have long maintained that, due to the prominence of hops and lack of malt body, this should be called an IPA, not a pale ale. I seem to be in a very small minority in this view.

beertunes, Jan 11, 2009
Photo of GarthDanielson
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a tumbler pint, the beer is an orange-copper coloring with a thin, filmy, sparse white coating on the surface. Aromas of citrus sweet and herbal spicing on a roasty, caramel backbone. The beer is smooth and crisp in mouth, thanks to the carbonation and the hops bitterness. Flavors are roasted caramel and a touch of smoke in the backbone, supporting a resiny, bitter hops profile that highlights alongside a citrus blend of lemon and grapefruit. Very well balanced, with a bitter, slightly drying aftertaste that again showcases some of the herbal highlights. Smooth, drying finish with some of the bitter and spice left to linger until the next sip. As I said of the former Draught Style, this brew is a staple of the APA style. Very tasty, and very sessionable.

GarthDanielson, Sep 22, 2012
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 8,968 ratings.