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Sierra Nevada Pale Ale - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Sierra Nevada Pale AleSierra Nevada Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

7,334 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7334
Reviews: 2622
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 11.6%

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: 7,334 | Reviews: 2,622 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of joehop67


4.6/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

One of my favorite beers. The bouquet is not overly strong, which is somewhat deceiving. The bright hoppy flavor is what I look for in my beers. I don't get the "piney" flavor that some of the other reviews refer to but nonetheless an excellent example of hop flavor in general.
Readily available, even in pre-free the hops Alabama.
On tap this beer presents a nice head without a long wait for settling. Important when you are really in need of a cold brew! The copper-gold coloring represents this beer well. The flavor, texture, and overall drinkability of this beer makes it the perfect go-to beer for any beer lover.

Serving type: on-tap

06-13-2009 20:11:20 | More by joehop67
Photo of jpeterman


4.47/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

--Poured from a 12 ounce, brown snub-nose bottle into a shaker pint glass. No drink-by date visible on bottle.--

Appearance- A hard pour yields a sizable, fluffy, off-white 2 finger head, likable to a pillow. Light golden-amber liquid, perfectly clear with no haze whatsoever. (I poured the sediment in, so it is visible, creating a bit of a blur at the bottom of the glass.) Head stays around for about 3 minutes, leaving a nice sticky web of lacing as it goes. A spectacular looking APA.

Smell- Floral hops and pine hit the nose hard at first. A fresh, sweet-yet-sharp grassy scent is dominant, also. Comparison: A perfect summer day. In the background are light malts, and a smidgen of sharp sourdough bread as it warms a bit. Yeast is also prevalent, and some fresh fruits come about with every other whiff or so. Overall an irresistible aroma.

Taste- Just as with the nose, the sharp hop bite comes first; piney and very crisp. A light, sweet malt catches the back of the tongue, along with the yeast. More malt comes in as it warms. A near perfect balance for an APA. Extremely well constructed. My only qualm is that the finish is a bit slick. However, it is by no means drastic.

Body/ Mouth-Feel- Light and crisp, with perfect carbonation and just enough weight on the tongue to keep me interested. Again, a bit slick, but nothing to really complain about.

Drinkability- Easily a session beer. A 6 pack on any evening would be an absolute treat. In my opinion, this is a perfect example of an APA, along with being a classic!

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2009 02:08:04 | More by jpeterman
Photo of Dorian


3.9/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

had my fifth SN pale ale tonight thought id have another for reviewing purposes and same as always it goes down very smooth very clean light hops aroma with a piney finish taste. even though i love this beer i do think its an extremely drinkable all around beer just a bit hyped maybe?

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2010 08:37:09 | More by Dorian
Photo of ckimchi


4.43/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from bottle poured into a Pint Glass

Beautiful amber color. Clear as glass. Pours into a nice 1 1/2 finger head that has good retention throughout. Nice lacing throughout the whole drinking session.

Citrus (mostly grapefruit) and pine are the dominating smells. Smells refreshing and gets my mouth watering in sheer anticipation of the glorious hops to hit my palate.

Hop citrus dominate the flavor (but do not overwhelm) backed by a nice malt that is not sweet nor overly dry. Well balanced and not too bitter. Enough complexity to keep it interesting but not extraordinary Most macro drinkers cannot take the bitterness down although I feel it's not that strong. Finish is medium and doesn't stick around too long.

Nice body without being heavy. Great for the style. Goes in and out very easily.

This is my favorite session beer. Not too heavy and it's crisp and refreshing properties makes this a dangerous beer to have around in cases. They just keep going down and down.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2010 09:07:52 | More by ckimchi
Photo of thasnazzle


4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - slightly cloudy deep amber with a small head that sticks around the glass

S - Sweet citrusy notes with just a hint of pine.

T - citrus pine-y floral hoppiness in abundance with what I have always thought is a smidgen of blueberry in the background, a tiny bit of malt, finishes with a dry bitterness.

M - At once crisp and refreshing, goes down smooth and finishes dry.

D - I could drink these all day and all night.

Everything in this brew is fine-tuned to perfection. There is definitely a reason it's so widely seen as the standard-bearer for pale ales.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2010 01:57:13 | More by thasnazzle
Photo of tealeaf


2.9/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

well i have tried this beer on two occasions only, and both times i was not impressed. maybe it is because i am not a big pale ale fan.

Its a nice rustic gold, amber color.

i picked up alot of hops in the smell, there may have been a little hint of citrus in there too. i actually really liked the smell of this beer.

the taste is what throws me off.
the hops sort of punch out in the beginning and theres an after taste of more hops with a little bit of fruitiness, to me at least.

like it may be because i am not a big fan of pale ale even though there is a few i enjoy.

for me this beer was bearable for about half a glass and after that i had to struggle to drink it.

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2010 22:07:38 | More by tealeaf
Photo of BBMuffins


4.47/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a beer that I've gone back to again and again as a great, refreshing summer beer.

Appearance - It's a nice golden color with fizzy carbonation.

Smell - Smells almost exactly like it tastes, a nicely toned bitterness with some citrusy grapefruit and perhaps a bit of an apple or orange peel scent. I know those are two distinct smells, but it has a bit of both. Apples might just be me, though.

Taste - Taste is as described for smell, exactly like a nice, juicy grapefruit and some malty undertones. It's such a well balanced beer, the bitter and the malts blend perfectly to provide a nice solid beer, while not overwhelming to a standard non-IPA or DIPA craving palate.

Mouthfeel - A pretty dry, fizzy drink. One of the more carbonated beers I've ever had. I love it.

Drinkability - This beer is an excellent example of an American Pale Ale, it's easy to drink, tastes great, feels great, and it's just a fantastic standard. I love this beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2010 10:54:44 | More by BBMuffins
Photo of 18alpha


3.4/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I usually only drink this beer if I'm in a bar with no other craft on tap. I used to be a big fan of this beer but I think they changed their formula several years ago. It is still a good beer but not what it once was. It obviously didn't hurt their sales but if you are looking for great beers, check out some of their limited releases and seasonals.

Serving type: on-tap

11-05-2011 00:17:09 | More by 18alpha
Photo of Nrod


4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Amber color with nice white head.

Smell: In my opinion, it`s a very "hoppy" smell.

Taste: Really excellent taste. Perfect balance between hops and malt. Tipical american pale ale taste (the good ones).

Mouthfeel: MOderate carbonation. Nice bitterness.

Overall: Great American Pale Ale, highly recommended. Unfortunately Ì'll have to travel abroad to try it again

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2011 22:53:43 | More by Nrod
Photo of nschueller


4.47/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Beautiful, clear, light amber beer with bubbles rising through the mug to the thin one finger hear. Head is moderate in duration with light lacing. Head will not keep volatile aromatic molecules in beer.

Aroma: Caramel Malt. Not overly hoppy.

Taste: Caramel Malt and piney cascade hops. As far as I can tell it tastes like the bill is simply 2 row, caramel 60ish, and cascades. Wonderfully simple, wonderfully ideal. Piney but not bitter (for the style)

Mouthfeel: Very carbonated. Clearly an American PA (in this respect and others). Light. Worth swishing over the tongue once or twice.

Overall: One of the better brews a gentleman can find in nearly every liquor store in the country. My favorite example of the american pale ale. Strangely won a few awards for english pale ale even though the hops are obviously american cascade and the beer is very bubbly. One of the few beers I am comfortable sitting down with and sticking it out with for the entire night (if not weekend) - a "desert island beer".

Notes: Yeast in bottle a top fermenter and is pretty active and can be cultured pretty easily.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2011 19:39:06 | More by nschueller
Photo of RonnieBear


3.58/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up at the liquor store due to its reputation. I've tried around 25 craft beers now, and this seemed like one I had to at least try before I went too much further down the rabbit hole. Really like the label design and color scheme for some reason. Just looks like it's going to be good.

Pours with a nice foamy head. Amber color, can see right through it. Can't really smell much of it at all.

Tastes like a good, basic, beer, which is what I was expecting. Figured it would be a decent, unoffensive crowd pleaser, but girlfriend and roommate both really did not like it, and they are fairly into craft brewing as well. Kinda weird. I thought it went down easy, and I drank mine quite fast.

Overall, much more refreshing than I was expecting. This beer seems like it would be best outside on a hot day or after a long day of work. A solid offering that I would buy again.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2011 00:18:14 | More by RonnieBear
Photo of cole2


4.4/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Gold and a little cloudy. Holds on to a one-finger head with spotty lacing the whole way down.

S: Hits the nose hoppy. There's some sweet maltiness here, too, as well as some citrus. A nice clean smell.

T: Pretty hop-heavy with plenty of fruity sweetness. Not a terribly complex flavor but that's not the point here. Very crisp and refreshing.

M: Medium-bodied with moderate carbonation. Easy to drink.

O: A great pale ale. Pretty dry and straightforward, this is definitely a favorite APA.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2011 05:00:30 | More by cole2
Photo of breslaubrewer


2.73/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I know this is the classic example of an American pale ale ,but.... in the midwest it becomes oxidized on the retail shelves and doesn't hold up well. I've had one six pack I really enjoyed (nice piney floral aroma, dry finish, bitter spicey taste). I usually won't buy unless I know it's fresh because I get a cardboard/oxidized taste that I can't overcome and usually throw the rest out.

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2011 19:54:22 | More by breslaubrewer
Photo of jhchan

Ontario (Canada)

3.25/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Ontap at United Airlines lounge at SFO Terminal 3
appearance - beautiful golden brown
Smell - pleasant citrus smell
taste - grapefruit, not much hops
mouthfeel - sits on your tongue
overall - if you like grapefruit, you'll love this. Overall I'm not a fan because there isn't much hops. (personal preference)

Serving type: on-tap

12-21-2011 20:30:21 | More by jhchan
Photo of davidsumner


4.33/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Preamble - Pale Ale or IPA ? Hmmmm.... doesn't really matter to me; at the end of the day, it's good no matter how you name it. I prefer this over Torpedo; as Torpedo is a tad too heavy for me. Sierra Nevada's Pale Ale is world class and a mainstay in my beer fridge.

Poor - Good frothy poor leaving a generous two finger head. Decent lacing. The color is a warm amber; carbonation is great and because it's bottle conditioned, there is of course sediment resulting in a slight haze.

Nose - Nice light pine/resin hops with a light sweet malt backbone. Pine,citrus,floral.

Taste - Hop forward; piney, resiny, faint of citrus, biscuit and tea. Just how I like it; I'm a hop head and I prefer heavier hops, lighter malt. All and all, very nice, light quaffable beer.

This is a great sessionable, all times of day beer. It goes with almost any meal, but has enough to be an after dinner Ale as well. One of my goto beers and usually at a great price.

Serving type: can

04-10-2014 17:51:26 | More by davidsumner
Photo of Dusty8807


4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Well, this is my first review attempt and I figured this was a pretty good beer to start with. A friend of mine in Minnesota has been pointing me to it's reviews here and raving about it lately.

My first thought upon pouring it out into my glass is the look. I love the crystal clear Amber color this beer has, and the nice white/light brownish colored head it produces, which seems to last for a good few minutes.
I'm not too great on getting the scent of a beer, but I would say this had a nice almost flowery aroma to it.
The taste is good, a slight bread flavored bitterness followed by a very slight tangy taste that I can only describe as fruity, almost apple and citrus flavored.
I'd say this beer is quite drinkable, this being my second one tonight actually. It goes down smooth and tasty. Friends of mine all found it to their liking when I let them taste it as well.

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2008 03:24:29 | More by Dusty8807
Photo of 12NattiBottles

North Carolina

3.95/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: Classic label and logo, with short stout bottle, decorated in green with yellow accents, fitting the hoppy, citrusy, American Pale Ale style.

Appearance: Very nice orange color, with a tint of amber, a little foggy at first. Flatter one finger head, and ok lacing. Moderate carbonation.

Smell: Piney, with a very familiar scent of citrus, refreshing and clean.

Taste: Full of flavor, strong hop taste at the start with a malted barley finish, medium-bodied; Bitter hints, including heavy notes of citrus grapefruit and a peppery taste at finish that accompanies the beer as it seems to sweeten.

Mouth feel: Good bite, refreshing, very crisp.

Drinkability: All together relatively smooth with a mild bite, easier to drink with sweetening aftertaste; very enjoyable.

Overall: Enjoyable, One I won't hesitate to pick up from time to time for sure. Good Drinking!

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2008 01:35:51 | More by 12NattiBottles
Photo of dstrand


4.72/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A - Medium gold/amber color. Had a pretty good foamy head with noticable lacing.

S - FLoral notes, malt, with a bit of citrus. Hoppy, but not too much. Also smelled a little piney.

M - Medium body, good carbonation.

D - Great drinkability. A good summer beer, I enjoy all year round. One of my favorite brews, as well as anything from SN.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2009 02:46:06 | More by dstrand
Photo of kjh5040


4.28/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Always a classic and have yet to meet somebody who loves beer and doesnt enjoy a snpa. Light amber/copper small amount of carbonation and head. Nice, lighter aroma and taste with a hoppy bitter finish to it. Cant taste the grapefruit like some people have. A great go to beer since its found almost anywhere and is relatively cheap. Wish i had another sitting in my fridge...

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2009 01:53:39 | More by kjh5040
Photo of qpHalcy0n


4.33/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served chilled into Pilsner glass.

Pours ambery/orange with perhaps some greenish hue at glancing angles with a 1 finger head. Moderate lacing.

Malt aroma hits first followed by hops and grapefruit and almost gingery smell.

Extremely earthy taste. Bitter citrus fruits like grapefruit hit first and finishes with a piney/gingery taste. A very refreshing beer, especially on a hot 100 degree Texas summer.

It's got a little bit more bite to it than I'd like, but the excellent taste/finish overcomes this for me. Moderate carbonation.

This is a very earthy beer that is very refreshing to drink. I haven't tried many Sierra Nevada beers but I'm looking forward to more. Makes for a wonderful summer beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-27-2009 04:34:32 | More by qpHalcy0n
Photo of GaryKing28

United Kingdom (England)

4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Classic pale ale. Very eazy to slam , aromatic and refreshing. I'd recommend SNPA to anybody.

Smells of x-mas tree pines. Grass ,spice and hop residue.

Nice light amber ,with flakey cream top.

Handfuls of chewey ,grassy hops-with grapefruit like bitterness. Its waxy and dry in the finish. Subtle maltiness.

Very eazy and likeable.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2010 19:56:07 | More by GaryKing28
Photo of mentz99


3.8/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

Color: Copper-orange with a slight cloudiness. Nice white one inch head.
Aroma: Citrus and piney hops with a caramel malt base.
Taste: A very smooth and drinkable beer with a slight citrus taste. Slightly bitter, but not over-powering. Very well balanced.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and well carbonated.
Very flavorful and balanced beer. A really good APA.

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2010 01:19:04 | More by mentz99
Photo of Redemption10


4.43/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A classic American pale ale and one of my standards. Still better than many of the new to market American pale ales. Solid in appearance, nose and taste. One of the best "gateway" beers for those trying to get off of bland and boring adjunct beers...

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2012 19:57:02 | More by Redemption10
Photo of Smithson49er


3.68/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Golden, Amber and some nice carbonation leaving a pretty foam lace

S: Not over powering but the cascade hop note is present and smells great

T: Balanced and smooth with enough of a hop character to really be enjoyable

M: Fresh and crisp it really hits the spot when you want to slam a few craft beers and go enjoy the great outdoors

O: This being one of my first reviews I had to do one of my old standbys you really cant go wrong with this beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2011 21:15:12 | More by Smithson49er
Photo of DanL133


3.9/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1st ever review.
Poured from a undated 24 oz bottle into pint glass.

Color is bright honey with a slight bit of haze. Nice white cap the dissipates but remains present & good lacing down the glass.
Smells like beer - Nothing overpowering. The taste is clean and balanced with Med to higher carbonation and good mouth-feel with a bit of a bitter hop lingering. This beer is easy to find and a solid option for any occasion. I will continue buy and enjoy this offering as you can't go wrong with this one!

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2012 00:53:08 | More by DanL133
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 7,334 ratings.