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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.

2,877 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,877
Hads: 10,542
Avg: 4.05
pDev: 22.22%
Wants: 248
Gots: 2,419 | 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: 2,877 | Hads: 10,542
Photo of spinrsx
4.07/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pint at cafe deluxe at the venetian in las vegas for 6.50$

Appearance - Clear yellow colour with a large white fizzy head. There appears to be an average amount of carbonation and there is some fairly decent lacing. The head lasted for 3 minutes before it dissipated.

Smell - Hops, citrus zest, pine and corn syrup

Taste & Mouth - There is an average mount of carbonation and I can taste light citrus and a bit of woodiness. There is also a bit of grapefruit/lemon rind mixed with corn syrup and hops. It ends with a slight dry/bitter aftertaste.

Overall - Probably my favourite beer to session. The taste is perfectly balanced and the beer is highly drinkable. My go to pale ale that I was happy to finally try on tap.

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Photo of bark
3.89/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The colour is brown-copper-red. The liquid is a bit cloudy, as the beer is bottle fermented. The pale yellow foam quickly dissolves into thin air.

The smell is very nice with a dominating sourish note. But there are also some fragrances like coffee, diacetyl, white bread and aroma hops.

The carbonation is quite strong, but not sharp.

The taste starts off with a mild malty taste, but that is soon replaced with a growing, fruity bitterness. The body is liberal with notes of bread, herbs and diacetyl. The finish and aftertaste is a mixture of mild hops (cascade?) and a sweet-sour note that reminds me of lemon curd.

A nice “micro” pale ale from a not-so-micro American brewer. On the whole, one may call this a nice beer.

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Photo of dgilks
4.02/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pale amber colour with a small white head. Moderately poor head retention. Clear.

Moderate floral, citrus hop aroma. Moderately-low malt profile. Clean and crisp.

Moderately-low hop flavour with a solid, biscuity malt backbone with hints of caramel. While there is substantial bitterness this is a very balanced APA with lots of malt to hold it up. Medium-dry finish.

Medium body with moderately-high carbonation. Fairly smooth.

A quintessential APA. While it is maltier than expected it ticks all the boxes even if it isn't spectacular. It could have more hop aroma and flavour to help carry the beer to greater heights.

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Photo of Brad007
3.2/5  rDev -21%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer pours a light amber color. There's a faint aroma of hops and not much else. The beer tastes kind of hoppy at first but then fades into a sweet malty backbone. From what I gather about pale ales, they should never be too hoppy or too malty.This one is well balanced but I would think that it would taste better straight from a tap.

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Photo of sweemzander
4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle poured into an imperial pint. Bottled sometime in Jan 2010 I think.

(A)- Pours a clear caramel colored amber that produced a large white head that dissipated down to a light frothy layer. Left tons of sticky webbing behind in the process.

(S)- Citrus of lemon, lime, & pineapple with a good piney background. Bits of honey-like caramel sweetness; very subtle though.

(T)- Great dry pine with a burst of lemon citrus. Light honey/caramel sweetness. Bitter, but fits the level for the style.

(M)- A good carbonation level & balance to it. Crisp & refreshing. A great mix of dryness, citrus, bitterness, & malt. Smooth.

(D)- A superb example of the style. An easy drinker for sure. Not overly bitter, malty, or dry, but just right. Always a great summer APA in my opinion.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.88/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Can you believe after 1400 beers I haven't had this one yet? Facepalm!

A - A nice hard pour scored me a 1/2 inch of sticky white head. Lacing is pretty nice. Color is a bright orange yellow tint.

S - Nothing offensive good amount of citrus hops twang with a decent pale malt profile.

T - Well I could see why Daisy Cutter is the new edge pale this one is somewhat boring with mild piney hops (they do stick to the palate for quite a bit) then malts.

M - Goes down easy enough. It's more drinkable than Daisy cutter with more ABV. Plus hella cheaper.

Overall I was going to bash the guy below for giving this a lower score but it's kind of true. It's a beginner IPA that plays off like a pale ale. Damn tasty regardless.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.73/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I've had this so many times, it's bizarre I've never rated it yet. Tonight I had it on tap with dinner in Mountain View, CA. Nice clear orange color with 2-3 finger thick white foam. Good light aroma of hops, nice APA aroma. Flavor is also light, on the hoppy side. Excellent drinkability, a very nice session beer.

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Photo of clayrock81
4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Have had this numerous times, and I was at a bar and got a draft and had a pen on me, so I wrote a review. A rich, copper hue with a one-finger mountain head that dies so slowly, leaving a lace ring down the entire glass. A hop smell is prevelant, floral and citrus, with some malts in there and a light alcohol smell. Full-bodied and creamy - delicious - with a coffee/bread malt taste on the back, blended with some hops for a semi-dry backbite. Has a citric taste going down before the, like orange and maybe lemon (MAYBE) and some sweetness in it like there's caramel or honey in it. A quintessential microbrew to be enjoyed by everyone.

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Photo of claspada
3.83/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aroma is initially piney and floral hops with a slight citrus; a little pale and biscuity malt as well.

The taste begins with light breadiness, a hint of sweetness but gently dominated by the floral and piney hops. Lesser amounts of grapefruit bitterness with a hint of complex, ripe fruit left over in the finish. A pleasant bitterness and not too dry. Full almost chewy.

The mouthfeel is medium with average carbonation. Slight stickiness on the lips. Overall it's good but not what I would consider the be all and end all for APAs. I prefer Great Lakes Burning River and Deschutes Mirror Pond.

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Photo of glid02
3.98/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this on tap at Dark Horse Tavern in Atlanta.

Pours a dark copper color with about a one finger head. Diminshes into a small layer of bubbles with not very much lacing.

This has a good floral smell with some of the bitters that are to come. Not as aromatic as some other APA's I've had, but certainly pretty nice.

This tastes pretty similar to how it smells. Some floral taste with a lot of the token Cascade bitter. Not a whole lot else going on, but what's done is done well.

Mouthfeel is alright, good carbonation and a pretty good thickness. Could be just a little thicker, although I may be expecting more of an IPA thickness than an APA. I'd wager that I'm not, but if I am then sue me.

This is a very drinkable beer. Goes down smooth with no unwanted aftertaste. The bitterness is expected and welcomed.

Overall if you haven't tried this, try it, but really who hasn't? It's a little better on tap than what I've had from the bottle - looks prettier and the flavors are a little more subdued and crisper. Definitely worth a try on tap if you've only had it from a bottle. If you've never tried it then definitely try it, be it from a tap or from a bottle.

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Photo of avalon07
3.8/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had an amber color and a clear texture. There was a decent amount of foamy head and OK lacing.

S: Had a fruity, malty aroma.

T: Tasted of citrus, malt and hops (a little hoppier than you'd expect from a pale ale, but it still had a nice flavor).

M: A decent amount of carbonation with a very dry finish. Light-bodied.

D: One of the more drinkable mass-produced beers out there. Goes down easy and has a decent taste.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.43/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I drank this from the bottle into a chalice.

The beer pours a dark gold, almost orange with a decent white head that stays for awhile. There is good lacing.

It smells light and hoppy with a tad bit of citrus.

This taste like your typical pale ale, light, hops and citrus with a bitter end.

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Photo of Gusler
4.44/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

It's with a certain amount of shame that I must admit, that I rarely drink my favorite beers like SNPA, as I'm to busy with all the new beers, or some over the top beer that has caught my fancy, its a shame when we forget our "Old Friends", whether it be beer or people, something I plan on rectifying in both cases.

The beer disembogues the stubby brown 12-ounce bottle a slightly hazy amber color, the head portly and off white in color with the left over lace a fine velum like sheet, that obscures the glass. Oh what a wonderful nose, malt, citrus crisp, hop floral, and just plain sniffable, with the start rich in malt and somewhat sweet, top is middling in its feel. Finish has a determined acidity, the hops wonderfully spicy and the aftertaste desert bone dry. Sorry "Old Friend" if I have ignored you lately, it was not intentional.

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Photo of barczar
3.79/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a brilliant caramel copper color with a dense, foamy half inch ivory head that slowly correlates, leaving solid lacing.

Pine, muted citrus, and lightly toasted malt form the initial aroma. There's a bit of fresh cut grass, resin, and light floral notes.

Flavor reveals underpinnings of grapefruit and orange pith, with slightly bready, toasted malt at the backbone, carrying into a somewhat bitter, lightly resiny finish. Tastes a little watery, perhaps oxidized. Could be the tap lines. Skunky and floral hops emerge as it warms.

Body is moderate to a touch watery, with moderate carbonation, a touch of warmth, and slight astringency.

Very sessionable brew. Fairly balanced, but leans slightly toward the bitter/hoppy side.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.36/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottles purchased at Wegmans. Some chugged while playing Mario Kart Drunk Driving, one enjoyed later in a bit more relaxing manner. Poured into a shaker pint.

Pours a golden copper color, with a one inch head. Nice lacing down the glass.

Very floral and piney aromas here. A little bit of citrus, but this feels brash and earthy.

The taste is similar. Classic resinous pine bitterness that Sierra Nevada is known for, with some fresh cut grass and black pepper. Great hop flavors here from Cascade.

Very drinkable, one of the most drinkable hoppy beers on the market. Crisp, medium bodied, well carbonated.

The classic, and still a champion 30 years later. This one never gets tiring.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
4.31/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-Amber with a textbook head.

S-Citrus and pine hops combined with bready malts.

T-Nice citrus hopslap accompanied by some pine and a refreshing malt base. Just exactly how the style should taste. Perfect balance. Still quite hoppy too!

M-Medium and well carbonated.

D-Very, very easy to drink.

Forgot how awesome this guy was. A PA/IPA hybrid in my book. Haven't had one of these in a while but am very glad I went back for some more. Absolutely one of the most important beers period. Never a bad choice, never reluctant to drink it either.

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Photo of THECPJ
3.85/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Reviewed from notes:

Appearance: golden orange with 2 finger white head that dissipates fast.

Smell: citrus, hops,

Taste: citrus, hops, caramel malts,

Mouthfeel: Dry bitter, mild carbonation, clean, crisp

Drinkability: very nice pale ale. I think this could be a game changer for the non craft beer drinkers.


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Photo of dirtylou
4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz single

an old favorite...as is the norm, one of the first "micros" i ever had when i was 16ish, probably purchased off a hippie lot vender!

appearance: pours a hazy pale amber color with a slight beige head and spotted lacing

smell: floral hoppage, sweet malt, grainy, citrus fruit aromas, earthy and natural

taste: great balance...i haven't sat down and analyzed one of these probably ever. a nice floral hop profile matched by some solid sweet and toasty malts...a dry spicy finish and a sweet and bready taste overall

mouthfeel: bready medium body, dry and spicy finish

drinkability: webster defines session beer as SNPA

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Photo of tbeckett
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Fluffy, eggshell white head of about two fingers. Going down slow but leaving nice lacing. Golden colour with carbonation towards the heavy end of the spectrum.

S - Nice aromatic hops. Piney.

T - Lot's of hop bitterness up front mixed with a little bit of maltiness and decent bitterness lingering. Yummy. Not as well balanced as I'd expect but the presence of the malts is good. Finishes really piney but starts with a really nice, mellow hop flavour.

M - Light to medium body. Can't feel any carbonation in the mouth.

D - This is a good hop fix. Really nice and piney. I like some more citrusy hops but I could drink a few of these.

There's a reason this beer is the benchmark for the style. Totally smashes the Old World definition of pale ale.

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Photo of barnzy78
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, PKGD 03/17/15. I've had this dozens of times & I was shocked to see that I had never reviewed it!
A - amber colored ale with a creamy ivory head that slowly fades to a foam
S - caramel malt with pine and grapefruity citrus, faint fruit and yeast
T - well balanced with caramel, bready malt, pine, grapefruit, and yeast
M - creamy but resinous on the piny & spicy hop finish
O - classic American Pale Ale. I drink this often and love it every time!

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Photo of ccrida
4.77/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is my favorite pale ale, because it's basically an IPA. Today I'm in vegas slurping these out of the 24 oz bottles, so no comments on the appearance, other then memory telling me that it looks fine, with tons of lacing from the hops.

Smell is good, bright cascades baby - there's a reason these are the classic west coast hop!

Taste is as good as it gets for an APA, nice crisp toasted malt with a huge hop backbone, but where it differentiates itself in my book is that it's not just a bitter bomb, but plenty of hop FLAVOR, with a clean finish.

Mouthfeel is crisp and snappy, this is a great hot weather beer, not to heavy in the stomach, I can and have drunk way to many of these in one sitting, very easy drinker - an exceptional world classic!

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.63/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada Imperial Pint.
5.6% ABV, 09099 - (April 8th).

A - Very slightly hazed with fine particles, constant carbonation flows up from the etched hop nucleation point to the huge three-finger egg-shell colored, densely packed head. The beer itself is a deep goldenrod color. Overall appearance is near unbeatable as the well-formed head diminishes slowly leaving lacing all over the glass.

S - Crisp floral hop aroma that has a touch of spiciness - a bit of pepper perhaps - with a solid sweet honey and pale malt base. Crisp and light but sweet and robust. Very well balanced.

T - The hops impart a citrusy, pine flavor that lingers for quite a while. While the hops are the obvious showcase for this beer, the malt base does a good job of supporting the hop flavor and bitterness. The background has a lightly sweet touch of honey aspect to it.

M - Crisp and citrusy right away, the malt base comes in to round it out to a medium body but the hops finish out dry and moderately bitter. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is very refreshing.

O - This is an incredibly crafted Pale Ale with great drinkability - it's one of the superior examples of the style available and a classic. Bottom line, it should be tried by all.

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Photo of Jwale73
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle served at 53 degrees in a standard pint glass. Pours a bright, translucent copper with a half inch, loose, creamy, bone white head. Head disperses into a broken slick. Nose is very subdued but expresses a light caramel malt character as well as an earthy hops presence. Taste follows nose with that addition of a mild citrus character that intersperses itself through the flavor profile. Moutfeel is light in body with an assertive carbonation that lightly burns the back of the throat. This is my go to beer when I'm out and the beer list is limited. Solid and quite drinkable; definitely a classic.

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Photo of xnicknj
3.98/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass

A - Pours clear golden orange with plenty of carbonation. Somewhat thin head fades to film with some nice wavy lacing.

S - Piny hops, citrus, a touch of malt sweetness.

T - Begins with some pine hops and a bit of citrusy oil. Not overly bitter or overwhelming as the beer strikes a nice balance. Malt base holds its own, but allows a touch of sweetness in the middle. Clean finish with some dryness.

M - Very bubbly, somewhat creamy, little lingering feel.

D - The smooth creamy touch makes these even more drinkable than it would be otherwise.

A solid, go-to beer. Hard to go wrong with this one, although it's not particularly exciting.

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Photo of rfgetz
4.17/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As a supplement to my recent review of it in a bottle...

Differences to note:
- brighter and cleaner looking
- much fuller, fresher hop flavor and smell
- carbonation much more balanced

As close as an APA can come to IPA in hop smell, flavor and bitterness. Overall, the draft version exceededs the bottle by a mile.

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Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,877 ratings.