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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 AlfaMale
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My go to beer when a local craft IPA or Pale Ale is not on tap. Hoppy without being overly so. Smooth with just a hint of an aftertaste. The aroma is just like I always thought a proper beer would smell like. Certainly the best mass marketed Pale Ale this side of 30 West.

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Photo of wrb357
4.72/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

For awhile I had no idea that Sierra Nevada was regarded as such a wonderful brew. Being in Nor Cal, we get this beer EVERYWHERE. I have always enjoyed its pleasant taste and easy drinkability, but I guess I took it for granted because many are not as familiar.

I've drank this beer in every way imaginable, but best is out of a bottle into a pint glass.

A - Nice pale color to it, more orange than yellow. Always give a nice head.

S - Nice floral and citrus hop aroma. Doesn't smell bitter in the nose, just smells fresh.

T - Such a smooth, easy drinking beer. Some hints of pine, and some bitters, with a citrus hop finish. It has a taste that you will immediately enjoy, and it won't kick you in the mouth. However, the taste doesn't go away. It stays with you the whole time, very flavorful.

M - Easy in the mouth, doesn't taste watery or too bitter, has just the right amount of body to sip it slow or drink it very very fast.

D - It's everywhere for me, and it always pleases. It is so smooth yet flavorful, I can have one and be happy, or down a sixer and not fall flat on my face. Just a superb session drink, one of the best pales to drink a lot of.

To all my Nor Cal friends, be thankful for this amazingly cheap, satisfying beer! To everyone who has to stretch to find it, do it and enjoy.

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3.79/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a one finger head with little retention, and little lacing. Body is a light amber with medium clarity and no sediment. On the nose is citrus and piney, with slight boozy notes toward the end. On the palate is pine up front with some malt sweetness, followed with faint bitterness that rolls to the back of the palate. finishes crisp and semi-dry. Over all a good pale ale.

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Photo of Webby64
4.06/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I will be honest, I can't tell the difference between this and Goose's "Honkers Ale". Smell (to me) is faint, I don't smell much. Color is clear light copper, no head to speak of. Taste has a touch of citrus, slight malt and a dry finish. Has a bit of a kick to it. Overall, a very good beer, one that I am really enjoying. I will buy again!


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Photo of Rob6852
3.83/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beer came in a 12 oz. brown twist top bottle.
Poured a Golden-amber hue with minimal head and lacing.
This beers' dominant smell is of citric and hops .
For a person used to drinking stouts this was a refreshing turnabout. The taste of this beer is hoppy but not overly dominated by them. The malts even things out but the hops definatly dominate this fine brew. Leaves the mouth dry at the end waiting for the next drink.
I'm not really big on hops but am learning to enjoy them. This beer
may make a hop lover out of me yet.
I can drink several of these in a sitting and not feel overpowered by
A damn fine beer.

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

Pours a deep, but clear and consistent golden brown. Aroma is pleasant with slight flowery undertones. Taste is clean but not without flavor and the hops are generous but not overpowering. Hits the back of the tongue producing a round mouthfeel. Very drinkable. A clear example of a classic Pale Ale without overreaching in complexity.

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Photo of doctorjoeyboey
3.44/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Aroma is hoppy with a variety of fruity smells. It almost seems to smell like sparkling grape juice, although I doubt this is justified by its contents. Color is a little bit too orange for me to consider it amber or to find it truly attractive. Taste is full on the front palatte and tangy thin on the back palatte. Accordingly, the body feels medium on the front palatte and light on the back.

Technically this is a good pale ale and I could enjoy a few in a row but I have not yet acquired the taste for pale ales as a session beer and feel that ending a night on one, including a Sierra Nevada, is like ending a song off key and leaving the audience unsatisfied.

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Photo of musingmonkey
4.37/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

As this was to be my first APA, I decided to go with the Sierra Nevada given its reputation as a reliable benchmark. I must say from the onset that I was certainly not disappointed!

Poured from the bottle into an oversized wine glass, a sizeable, bubbly head quickly formed and almost as quickly dissipated, leaving no lacing to speak of... only a ring around the rim of the glass, and an island in the middle that was maintained throughout my drink by several rows of carbonation at the bottom of the glass.

The smell was amazingly fruity. Orange rind, grapefruit, and a hint of pineapple even before my nose was above the glass.

The first sip was sharp and assertive citrus and hops, with a brief but pleasant attack of fiz on the lips. Finish is bitter and more citrus, but seamlessly moved into a gentle floral bouquet... here I had to think for a moment, but the most memorable and lingering flavour was reminiscent of rose hip. Simply delicious.

Mouthfeel is a little thin but bolstered by an immediate burst of carbonation. It would be quite quaffable if not for the desire to savour every flavour. A complex and delightful drink.

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Photo of Roguester
4.32/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very good beer, and in fact the beer that got me into micro to begin with. This beer has it all, great smell, great hoppy taste, and can be found anywhere. Always a safe bet while beer shopping. It suprises me that Sierra Nevada can produce so much of this beer while having such a fresh hop flavor and incredible smell.

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Photo of tempo013
4.61/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased at Subs and Suds which is a six pack shop at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. I purchased a six pack of twekve ounce bottles.
Apperance- the apperance is a warm amber color with a nice full thick head and the carbonation seemed full
Smell- the smaell of this ale was aggressive. it was full of aromaatic flavor
Taste- you can taste the fullness of this beer during every sip you woulld take
Mouthful- every mouthfeel had a pure taste to it
Drinkability- the dinkability of this beer was to say one could drink it over a nice dinner and understand its flavor.

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Photo of surcorx
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance--pours a copper golden amber with a slight foam that doesn't last. Nothing too interesting.

Aroma--Medium pine hops and more hops. Citrus notes. Slight grassy notes. Complex.

Taste--Clean, bright and refreshing. Mildly bitter and dry. Pine, citrus and very mild malt. An expected slight bitter aftertaste. More complex than most. A great beer.

Mouthfeel--Perfect for the American style if not somewhat light in body. Mild carbonation and crisp.

Drinkability--Highly drinkable. The classic step up beer for nubies.

This is clearly one of America's finest beers. Everyone should be able to find it and should drink it. In this category I also enjoy Goose Islands Honkers Ale which is slightly more popular in the midwest.

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Photo of Exner83
3.23/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A crystal-clear, golden color with a subtle flowery smell. Above-average activity with a solid head and light lacing.

The taste is an estery, acidic fruitiness--lightly oily with a remarkable bite. This is a pungent, hop-favored brew. A stinging, slick finish caps off the quaff.

I'd prefer more malt balance. This brew's one note short of a chord: A little more hop-to-malt harmony, and I'd be dancing.

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Photo of Frosthazard
4.7/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a nice tall "beer mug"

A- Clear with tiny particles after pour, beautiful amber color. Medium head that dissipates quickly. Nice lacing. Very enticing.

S- Nutty malt and piney hops, just what I would expect from a good American Pale Ale. Slightly citrusy and yeasty. Very well rounded.

T- Slightly piney, but it a very good way. Hoppy, a little bitter, but well balanced. one word-delicious.

M- Nice carbonation, has a little bite, which I like, lets you know your drinking it. Medium body.

D- Very drinkable, wish the alcohol content were slightly higher, but this is definitely one of my favorite beers.

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

Pouring Pale Ale into a glass, one will see an amber liquid with a half inch of bone colored creamy foam that lasts about a minute. The view of looking into the glass gives the viewer thoughts about clarity and character: a brew that isn't hiding anything and can stand up for itself.

Smelling your freshly poured drink reveals a light floral smell that invites you to taste. One's tongue is given a bath in clean flavors with a light bitterness that sticks around until your next sip. Subsequent sips cause the front clean flavors to blend with the initial sharp aftertaste, causing the taste of bitterness to mellow which creates a cooperation of flavors that keeps your mouth from getting bored.

This is definitely a drink that can be enjoyed in multiples due to its building flavors on top of itself, so I look forward to my next trip to the store.

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Photo of lweaver18240
4.71/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow, this may be my favorite beer.

A- Amber, yet clear enough that you can read through it. Pours with a light head that maintains with each mouthful.

S- Smells like high quality hops to me, not much else prominent.

T- Tastes like heaven. Starts off sweet and hoppy, simplistic and perfect. Then the flavor of hops rolls along the tongue and lingers for a bit, but not overly intense.

M- Lightly carbonated and incredibly smooth leading to a high level of drinkability.

D- Very sessionable. Drank a sixer before bed and it went down easier than water. Woke up and drank one at room temperature, and it was equally delicious. Not many beers can pull that off.

A very well done ale that isn't overly bitter, nor is it overly complex. A great beer to enjoy casually and often.

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

Appearance - Pours a nice golden yellow with an inch and 1/4 head. Looks tasty.

Smell - Very sweet and citrusy.

taste - Has an immediate sweet taste, with a flowery and citrusy after taste.

Overall this is a very drinkable, yet flavorful beer. It didn't blow me away, but it may just make my top 15 or so. Only time will tell.

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Photo of dopehousex3
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Has to be one of my favoret pale ale's I have ever drank. The taste is great you could really taste the hopps and taste so good nice and cold. This makes me want to go to 7/11 and buy a 6 pack lol. There's nothing like drinking a Sierra Nevada in a open glass just go pick on up you'll end up really liking them.

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

Bottle into pint glass.

A: Light head, a little lacing. Cloudy light amber body.

S: Orange, citrus.

T: Malt and orange up front with hops, spicy finish.

M: Nice carbonation, full bodied taste.

O: Very good APA, will never turn one down.

Six Pack Pier LQ

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Photo of DuffManOhYeah
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

If you're in need of a delicious beer that will rock your socks but not your wallet, Sierra Nevada's Pale Ale should be your beer of choice. It is the American Pale Ale in its near-perfect form. My favorite beer to bring to parties.

A- Quintessential golden amber with a beautiful head

S- Very floral and slightly citrus

T- Very smooth and not too hoppy. Enough hops to make you realize it is a pale ale but not too much to make it bitter. There is a certain sweetness behind the hops that just pulls the overall taste together beautifully. Absolutely delicious.

M- A nice crispness and carbonation

D- Very drinkable, especially in the summer. It always seems to leave me feeling refreshed but then reels me back in for a sip seconds later.

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Photo of forsakenpariah
4.49/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My first beer review.

Serving type - 12oz. bottle poured into pint glass.

A - Pours an orange-golden color with a fluffly, off-white, roughly one-inch head with good retention and moderate lacing.

S - The nose is dominated by bold, crisp, citrusy hops. A hint of floral and sweet scents are present as well.

T - The first sip is like a sucker punch of sharp, bitter hoppy glory. Lots of citrusy and floral hop flavor. There is a bit of caramel malty sweetness. Some hints of biscuit and earthy flavors as well. The flavor tends to sweeten and mellow as you drink.

M - Light body with moderate carbonation. The hops leave a lasting refreshing impression on the palate.

D - Good drinkability; this is an excellent session beer. This is overall the best pale ale I've had by far. I'll definitely be drinking it again.

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Photo of TonyC
5/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A wonderful Pale Ale that hits the spot in every way. This one deserves to be in everyone's fridge.

A: A nice dark copper color with a nice, thick and creamy head that stays with you to the end.

S: A subtle hop smell that allows you to smell the sweet malt profile.

T: A very nice balance of hops and malt flavors. A ry nice sweet flavor that allows just the right amount of bitterness to come through.

M: Excellent carbonation with a slight hop bite. So very balanced.

O: Excellent beer. It has a great balance of malt and hops, and it allows you to just sit back and enjoy it.

Being a hop head, you wouldn't think this would be up my alley, but I do concede to perfect flavor when it warrants it. And this one does just that.

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Photo of khensley
4.12/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Apperance was as expected, with a thin head that kept as the beer disappeared. Color was a wee bit hazy straw yellow. Nice legs on the way down the glass. More sediment than expected from a big brewery, but I dont mind.

Smell: tones of grass, yeast, and a faint bit of rust.

Taste was impressively hoppy for a pale ale. Tasted a lot like an IPA with citrus, pine notes. Begining flaver had notes of graham cracker, the middle got grasssy, with a grapefruit finish. Malt was a bit thin, but the hop finish was delightful. The bitterness fades to a tinny aftertaste.

Mouthfeel was a bit big for an ale of this style. Plenty of little bubbles to punch the tongue.

Overall this beer is a solid one to buy when the selection is limited, and if you want to pair with nice hot sandwich. More like an IPA in my opinion. 24 0z. a serving is just right.

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Photo of CraftDanny
2.3/5  rDev -43.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

I've seen this bottle coming in many pubs in London so I decided to try it. Looks great, shinny orange, nice bubbles. The taste is very strong, really bitter but fresh, fruity, there is ginger everywhere, smells acid, mouthtaste stays for few seconds. It took me long to finish the glass, not very used to this kind of flavor but was ok.

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Photo of JohnIrving
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

I struggle to rate this beer. If you go purely by taste.. then you basically have a showcase for cascade hops, which craft drinkers are familiar with and by now may find dull. But I can't drink it and not appreciate the contribution to craft beer history and the rise of good beer in America. This beer is a classic. I also give it points for being so highly available.

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Photo of Holyterror
3.68/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is one of the few beers I drink that has a screw-on cap. It took me a while ot notice that. Go figure.

Sierra Nevada makes some of the best mass market beers you can buy, so my expectations were high. I was not disappointed. It poured a hazy golden orange, very appetizing color. The head was moderately thick, good for this style, and settled into a thin white cap and laced the glass pretty well. I lack the vocabulary to properly describe the aroma, but the hops became evident even before the first taste. It had a very grainy taste, heavy on the hop oil, which lingered on into the aftertaste. The hops are very prominent, a plus for me. It is still balanced, and washes down smoothly without leaving excess bitterness on the palate. Good mouthfeel, perfect for this kind of beer. About halfway through the frist glass, it becomes very drinkable. Definite candidate for a session beer, especially if you like the style (which I do).

Definitely recommended as an introduction to the American Pale Ales. Another widely available brew to fall back on as well.

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