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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.

2,876 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,876
Hads: 10,531
Avg: 4.05
pDev: 22.22%
Wants: 246
Gots: 2,412 | 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: 2,876 | Hads: 10,531
Photo of kwm13
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This one pours a nice golden amber color with a decent head on it.

Without knowing the name of it, one might guess that this could be an IPA because of the strong hops smell. The scent also brings out citrus.

Tastes like a great Pale Ale, really hoppy, little carbonation. Crisp finish.

A great offering.

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Photo of bcolflesh
4.65/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Drank 2 bottles at Zendcon 2008.

Someone came from the free bar with one of these and I asked him how it was - he shook his head, "not so good, dude" - I saw him later enjoying a Corona.

This is really good - hints of many flavors, and a really slight bitterness, which I normally would not like - but it's almost nothing and disappears immediately.

I was eating various cheese cubes and mashed potatoes - but this would have been good on it's own I think - good beer.

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Photo of TonyVic
4.58/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The appearance is clear and pale gold. When poured it has a nice creamy, long lasting head. The aroma is citrusy and piney. It also has some lingering herbal notes that add to the complexity. The mouthfeel is full, creamy and smooth. Hss great taste and easy drinkability.

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

On-Tap, Served in classic Bar Pint Glass.

A: Nice, thick, two-finger head. Red-Amber in color, with lots of carbonation. This beer looks magnificent in the light, even better in the sun.

S: Piney hops, and a tinge of some floral in there, pretty light aroma.

T: Piney and Citrus somewhat subtle hops with a nice malt balance. Very good balance of hop and malt.

M: Nice and carbonated. Just how a Pale Ale should be. Crisp Mouthfeel, Light to Medium Bodied. Drinkable? Yes.

O: Great craft beer that is readily available. Highly Recommended.

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

One of my favorite staples, even brewed a copy of this and it was great also(maybe a little better but just cause fresh and on tap).
Pours dark orange with 2 fingers of white head
smells fresh, with strong citrus hops Very nice
Tastes very crisp, lot of hops with some light citrus and pine
body is little thick, not too thin perfect
Over all a very drinkable beer

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

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is a main stay for me.

appearance: Pale orangy (if that's a word) color. Nice head, Nice retention, average lacing

smell: citrisy pine. hint a lemon peel. Hops are definetly up front. Faint malt in the background.

taste: Hops a prevelent. Great citris characteristics. Slight bitterness in the finish that is attributed to those wonderful cascade hops. Very flavoful Pale Ale and well balanced

mouthfeel: light/medium bodied. Good carbination, smooth and clean in the finish.

drinkability: yes! Could stay with this all night.

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Photo of joozyboozy
4.23/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

this beer is a very clear golden orange color. the smell consists of fruit with a bit of a pine twist. the taste is great. it starts off very fruity with a hint of malts but mostly hops hops hops. i love it! the mouthfeel is smooth, lightly carbonated and a bit buttery. since it has a light alcohol rating a could drink a good amout of these before i get too buzzed

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

I've had the Pale Ale before this but time to sit down and really think about it.

Appearance - Light amber color with a very light haze of what appears to be carbonation bubbles. Light head formed, dissipating fairly quickly.

Smell - Hints of citrus fruit aroma with malt thrown in.

Taste - Really upfront fruit at the start followed by a mellower bitter taste and finally finishing with the fruit and malt.

Mouthfeel - very light, only coats the mouth for a second then goes away.

Having it again reminded me to keep having more, I have a hard time really finding anything wrong with it.

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Photo of swede96
3.94/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had one of these years ago in Reno straight out of the bottle. Tried another out of a pint beer glass. The head was just off white and about 1 finger with good lacing. I was surprised to see the beer was almost orange in color. The smell was very good with the hops and citrus coming through, tasted a lot like the smell, very good. Medium mouthfeel and drinkability was good, enjoyed this brew and will go for it again.
Went great with the burger....

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

Let me start by saying that I am a big fan of this beer. I especially love it after having put it in the freezer for about 15 minutes before drinking it. If you haven't had this one ultra ice cold, you are missing out.

I like to drink SNPA right out of the bottle..it has near perfect mouthfeel which I think can be attributed to the bottle conditioning. I feel like it loses something when you pour it into a glass.

Yes, as you've heard a thousand times before, this is the beer that got me, and almost everyone else into craft beer. So it holds a special place in my heart and fridge. Since I first tried SNPA many beers have came in went in my fridge yet SNPA remains eternal. It's hard to describe the taste except to say it's just straight goodness. To be a bit more specific, it's a little dry, a little floral, a little citrusy, a little bitter, and not very malty/sweet, but it has just enough of a malt backbone..exactly what an APA should be. There may be a handful of better APA's out there, but chances are you can only find them in like 3-5 states, or they're only availabe once a year when the moon is full, and jupiter and saturn have aligned. SNPA can be found at almost every single liquor/grocery store. Many times when I try a 6er of something new I wish I just bought the SNPA. Which is why before I venture out into the great unknown of craft beer, I make sure I have some SNPA in the fridge just in case the next beer is better suited for the bottom of my drain than the bottom of my stomach.

Also...the perfect beer for a BBQ.

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Photo of schmoyer1
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Nice amber color, half assed head and a nice hoppy smell.

This is a good, drinkable beer any season and seems to show up at a lot of places as the "fancy" beer so you can avoid drinking crap, water beer.

Definitely a keeper.

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Photo of SteadySippin
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle to a chilled glass.

A - Golden, slightly bronze color. Minimal lacing on the glass. Pours with a nice thick white head about three or four fingers. Once it settles, it leaves a nice thin white head. I noticed some small particles floating around after I poured, no big deal.

S - Very subtle scent on this beer. Slightly sweet with a hint of citrus. I also pick up a very subtle bready scent.

T - This is where this beer really shines. It is ever so slightly bitter, yet it yields a nice citrus flavor that covers the whole pallet. The bitterness really shines through just after you swallow the beer. It quickly fades and you find your mouth begging for another gulp. It really delivers in this category.

M - Medium bodied, perfect carbonation in my opinion.

O - I am pleasantly surprised by this beer. It is my first brew by Sierra Nevada and definitely not my last. At 5.6% ABV I could drink this beer all day. Easy beer to drink, but really delivers in the taste department. This is probably my favorite pale ale that I've tried. I definitely recommend picking this one up if you have the opportunity, no regrets on this one.

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Photo of Pete_2112
5/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Ah, a classic. With a beautiful light amber color, and a smell that is orgasmic, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale tastes of perfect balance. Caramel, citrus, and pine. Just the perfect balance here. Great mouthfeel and overall perfection. I can't say anymore.

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Photo of chrishickman
3.86/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Having finished my Old Chicago World Beer Tour, I decided I was now to the point where I was going to drink beer I liked for the most part, and not be too adventurous. Sadly, I didn't take any notes so I have to rely on my feeble memory!

After having one of my favorite local beers, Millstream Schild Brau (Amber Ale), I decided I wanted something with some hoppy kick to it and saw the SNPA on tap. Boy, I got what I asked for and more! You can't ask for more hop flavor out of a "all year" beer, I mean there was not too much subtley to describe, just knock you on your ass hop clean and fresh hop flavor.1 This beer goes down easy and has a nice head for the style, great lacing. I have no idea why people would drink something like Bud (which laughably touts its high quality hops in their commercials) when stuff like this is available nationally. This will definitely be my "go to" beer when I want something hoppy, though usually I like something a little mellower in this area. Great beer though.

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Photo of thepitch
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A special beer to me. The first craft brew I ever had, this beer cultivated my taste for hoppy brews. If I could rate this beer based on memory alone, it would be straight 5's all the way. But, let's get on with it.

Presentation is awesome. I love the fresh-looking green label.

Poured the beer into a pint glass. It formed a small, white head that faded relatively quickly. It has a nice, but not robust, clear, copper color.

Initially, it smells great. A spicy, floral bouquet of hops. The beer tastes good, but not as good as I remember; maybe my tastes are changing, or maybe this is from a bad batch. Hoppy, spicy, floral, bitter but lacking in overall body with a quickly diminishing aftertaste. It tastes like an awesome beer, but maybe a bit watered down.

Sierra Nevada Pale will always be my first beer love, but I am anxious to find out what else is out there.

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Photo of rlparker3
3.34/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

1-Jan-2009 Nordstrom Cafe, Short Pump, VA

Served with a glass... nice touch. Poured golden, small bubbles throughout. Smelled slightly "off" but this could be environment. Flavor was not as intense as I recall but carried a nice, pleasant hop bitterness... otherwise balanced. Drank cleanly & easily; nice compliment for turkey sandwich.

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Photo of codyw
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one of the best beers you can find at almost every gas station.

A: Nice medium amber color. Two finger head that quickly dissipates to lacing.

S: Nice floral and pine mix. The hops are definitely present, but not in an over bearing way.

T: Complex pine, citrus, and spice. The hops hit you at first, but then the malt character show you that the drink still has some body.

M: Not too dry, but has a fairly clean finish.

D: Definitely high. Not too expensive and easy to take down, with a great taste.

I like it with extra sharp cheddar cheese

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Photo of Insomnicat
4.02/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - A really beautiful pale ale. The glass really showed off the carbonation and a good 2 fingers of fluffy white head

S - Smells flowery and hoppy

T - I'm only now starting to open up my tastes to beer, so it could have been that this beer was too hoppy for my tastes. It could be that my tastes are more malty than hoppy. All that I know is that it tasted hoppy like a kick in the teeth.

M - surprisingly crisp and refreshing! Definitely a superb mouthfeel.

D - I didn't have enough to really tell on drinkability, but I do know that it didnt fill me at all. That combined with 5.6% ABV and I would imagine this is a great session beer if you're used to the hops.

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Photo of BrewitYerself
2.86/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a frosted glass before I could stop the bartender.

Pours a clear dark copper, thick dense head, some lacing.

Smells of bready/slightly sweet malt with fruity/floral hops and mild esters.

Taste is pungently bitter and sour upfront. Pithy and herbal, almost vegetal. Finishes pretty clean with a moderate lingering pithy sour-bitterness. Not much malt on the palate - just a touch of breadiness and very slight sweetness.

Mouthfeel is very thin, overcarbonated.

Overall it's too bitter and sour, and not enough malt to balance. Hop aroma and flavor are a bit lacking. The flavors it does have taste stale. As it warms it releases more of a malty-sweet aroma, but there still isn't much more than bitterness on the palate. If someone offered me another, I'd take it, but I wouldn't order it.

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

A: Thin white head and yellow-amber beer. A fine-looking beer.

S: Citrusy hops, caramel, and malt. Smells delicious and fresh. Makes one salivate.

T: Sweet, caramelly malt up front followed by citrusy, herbal hops. Moderate hop bitterness. Touch of grain adds depth. Every flavor is lively and fresh and the beer is well-balanced overall.

M: Fine carbonation and light-medium body with an oily finish.

D: Extremely drinkable with perfect balance and surprising depth. One of the most flavorful American pale ales I've had.

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

served in a mug between 45-50 degrees

great frothy 2-inch head which fades down to about a quarter of an inch after a minute...very little lacing left, great amber color

sweet smell of hops and citrus

sweet, the faintest bitterness...

slight carbination yet remains smooth/soft all around, it's crisp!

fantastic! finishes quickly with not much of an aftertaste

Thoughts: I'd been hearing a lot of good about this but always skipped over it at the liquor store just because I had never tried it. I will always take this drink
into consideration when I'm buying something now! A great beer and for the price you can't go wrong. I would probably enjoy this even more in the summer months
as I'm sure it would be refreshing in the heat.

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Photo of NuggetNectar22
3.98/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a staple in my beer rotation. This is one that you can party with. It isn't too high ABV which allows you to enjoy a few. I drink this on a warm afternoon. It has been commercialized, but still stays delicious. It is a ligher color and finish.

Enjoy. -T

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Photo of TheMirrorOwl
3.63/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Honey golden amber, voluminous white head, lots of lacing. Tons of carbonation visible, dissipates quickly.

Smell: Floral, citrus fruit and sweet malt.

Taste: Moderately bitter grapefruit flavor leads into sweet floral earthy malt. Pine in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Lighter on the medium-bodied scale. The carbonation dissipates quickly, which I like, but that leaves the beer somewhat sticky feeling. Fairly astringent.

Overall: The hop potency is more akin to an American IPA, which is what I'd call this by traditional standards. No denying this is a great brew. There are finer, but for the money, this is a well crafted IPA that doesn't disappoint. A solid go-to for hop heads everywhere.

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Photo of Michaelcbyrnes
4.23/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - golden orange with slight haze, nice lacing.

Aroma - clean citric dominate aroma with some sweet floral aroma underneath both of which are layered over a malty grain base.

Taste - clean hop bitterness balanced against a malty grain sweetness. With a dry finish which verges near to being harsh, but instead manages to get your attention without overwhelming you.

Mouthfeel - clean and sharp, there is not really any of the round feel that one would expect from the aroma. Dry finish.

Overall - hop forward, classic APA, smartly balanced against a strong grainy malt base. Very very good APA.

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Photo of Augusta3
4.04/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: dark blonde/golden with about a 1 inch head
Aroma: citrus fruity smell with a slight hop
Taste: somewhat bitter malt but overall pretty well balanced- not too hoppy

Overall: I personally prefer pale ales that have more hop and are a little less bitter... but you can never go wrong with Sierra Nevada Pale Ale!

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Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,876 ratings.