1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.

8,182 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,182
Reviews: 2,668
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 11.63%
Wants: 111
Gots: 639 | FT: 3
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:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 8,182 | Reviews: 2,668 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Spineypanda


4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

By far one of my favorite beers.

This is the beer that got me started on the path of the hop.
It has a great light amber color and smells of citrus and delicious hops.
It is bitter, but a wonderful bitter, with a hint of citrus flavor but mostly the hoppy wonder that I have come to love.

One of the few beers I actually buy often!

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2009 22:36:16 | More by Spineypanda
Photo of muddyh2oblues


4.5/5  rDev +11.4%

12-31-2011 22:22:05 | More by muddyh2oblues
Photo of twkirkby


4/5  rDev -1%

12-22-2011 01:59:42 | More by twkirkby
Photo of ThrashMaster


4.75/5  rDev +17.6%

07-27-2013 22:52:33 | More by ThrashMaster
Photo of goz


4.43/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a golden orange, with a decent sized white head that somewhat lasts, and laces quite well on the descent. Aroma is all about the cascades - floral, piney, citric...maybe a tiny hint of bready malt in the back. Flavor starts with a small bit of malt, and then come the beautiful flavors of the cascade hops, rolling all over the tongue. Medium bodied, extremely easy to drink - one of the best of the style.

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2003 19:26:40 | More by goz
Photo of musicforairports

New York

4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Copper color, one-finger head never really disappears and leaves a bunch of lacing.

Smells of lemon-orange citrus and some sweet malt.

Flavor is hoppy for the style but still with a strong malt backbone. Citrus hop characters dominate, and sweet caramel hits strongly on the end.

Mouthfeel medium, well carbonated and otherwise quite perfect.

This is one of the beers that turned me on to craft beer, and while it's no longer a ridiculously flavorful beer to me compared to some, it's still a really good one and a great example of its style.

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2011 03:07:16 | More by musicforairports
Photo of brewdoc75


4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I decided I'd go with one of my all-time favorites for my first review on this site. I've had it bottled and on tap and it is better on tap, however I'm rating the bottled version here.

Appearance: Clear orange in color. 1/2 to 3/4 inch head w/ lively carbonation eminating from below. Quite inviting indeed.

Smell: A nice clean citrusy perfume. Doesn't scream of hops, but lets you know there's some good ones in there. There is a faint sense of malt as well, but not overly present.

Taste: Outstanding. This is what does it for me. The beer has a signature hoppy bite with a pleasantly clean citrus flavor that follows. A touch of light sweetness from the malt that brings you towards the end of the drink. The finale is a enjoyable bitterness which slowly fades until the next drink.

Mouthfeel: Light, refreshing, and always making my mouth crave more.

Drinkability: I usually have the option to buy this in 6 or 12 packs. I can never bring myself to by only 6 as I know that I'll end up going back to the store.

Overall, this beer is the reason why I am now an aspiring beer geek. It made me cross-over from the mass-produced garbage I used to drink so much in college. Now, as I try a multitude of other great craft brews, this beer is still there. I compare it to the original 3 episodes of Star Wars. I can experience it over and over again and never be let down. In the end, it will always bring me happiness.

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2007 01:52:45 | More by brewdoc75
Photo of SammyJaxxxx

New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

04-28-2014 05:48:46 | More by SammyJaxxxx
Photo of Jim_DemonDeacon

3.75/5  rDev -7.2%

03-10-2012 20:39:30 | More by Jim_DemonDeacon
Photo of longisland1983

New York

4.5/5  rDev +11.4%

09-06-2013 23:18:51 | More by longisland1983
Photo of jdklks


4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- amber golden with a soft white head that leaves a thick lacing on the glass.

S- citrus fruits and hops. one of the better smelling APAs ive had.

T- again, citrus fruits and hops. the aroma tells of the taste, and it is more than satisfactory. a nice finish that leaves you reaching for more.

M- light to medium bodied. about exactly what an APA should be. extremely smooth.

D- i drink this all the time. it is my "go-to" beer after i have had my chosen beer of the night, and it never stops flowing. it will accompany you to bed, begging you to just take one more sip.

im not all that into APAs, but, aside from deschutes' "hop trip", this is my favorite pale ale. it is delicious and comes highly recommended if only for its drinkability.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2009 08:26:13 | More by jdklks
Photo of thespaceman


4.43/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz stubby bottle into my Otter Creek pint glass

Appearance: A nice gold hue, a nice head that entered into a small wisp of lacing, nice retention and good glass lacing.

Smell: Citrus fruit pop out in a big hop profile, passion fruit, grapfruit, pear and a tinge of esters make this one a nice beer to smell. A nice floral aroma takes over.

Taste: Good blend of hoppy flavors to an excellent carmelized profile. This beer has a mellow alcohol backdrop that is muted yet begging to pop out. Citrus notes from the nose play a big part in this finish.

Mouthfeel: Decently carbonated to make the hops nice and bitter in the finish, keeps a nice balance and doesn't lose it's body on the tongue.

Drinkability: An excellent beer from SN that will continue to get praise. Behind Celebration Ale, this is the best dose of good hops I've had in a while. A creeper beer that is highly recommended in my book.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2008 06:01:52 | More by thespaceman
Photo of JSkone09


5/5  rDev +23.8%

11-22-2011 19:56:48 | More by JSkone09
Photo of Matthewpakula


4/5  rDev -1%

01-29-2014 03:29:37 | More by Matthewpakula
Photo of umustdrink


4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Clear orange-yellow color. Pours a thick head, fades to an eighth inch. Average lace.

S - Bitter hops, slightly piny, with an earthy malt balance.

T - Clean balance of bitter hops with sweet brown sugary malts, hints of cinnamon and pepper. For a pale ale this is very hoppy.

M - Very smooth but with some carbonation to give it a little bite.

D - One of my favorite everyday beers, easy drinking, high sessionability.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2007 02:28:57 | More by umustdrink
Photo of wnh


4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a bright golden amber, full of suspended yeasty sediment but still clear, capped by a thick, foamy, pristine white head.

Typical Sierra Nevada hop notes on the nose--pithy underripe citrus zest and pine resin--with a touch of leafiness. A nice toasty, biscuity malt backbone holds up the hops.

Sweeter on the palate than the nose indicates, with a fruitiness that suggests yeast rather than malt. A fleeting note of caramel-like malty sweetness shows up mid-palate, then fades into a bitter but faintly sweet underripe citrus note. Finishes clean but mildly yeasty, with just a touch of lingering bitterness.

Light to medium in body and relatively soft; very quaffable, perhaps the most quaffable pale ale I've had. There seem to be two extremes in pale ales: those that rely almost solely on the hops (Lagunitas, for example), and those whose hops are all muddled up in the rest of the beer. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale manages to land right between those two paths, with hops that make themselves clear but don't dominate the beer.

Worthy of its place in the American craft beer pantheon.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2010 19:09:46 | More by wnh
Photo of rkf1976


4/5  rDev -1%

05-04-2013 02:33:37 | More by rkf1976
Photo of akinsja


5/5  rDev +23.8%

11-28-2011 21:23:08 | More by akinsja
Photo of nootch23


3.5/5  rDev -13.4%

09-18-2013 11:11:45 | More by nootch23
Photo of Pelicanrocks

United Kingdom (England)

4/5  rDev -1%

06-08-2012 22:02:05 | More by Pelicanrocks
Photo of SD-Alefan

South Dakota

4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

01-18-2014 05:41:35 | More by SD-Alefan
Photo of jrand2621


4/5  rDev -1%

04-28-2014 11:37:13 | More by jrand2621
Photo of hmmmbeer10


3.25/5  rDev -19.6%

04-07-2014 23:17:47 | More by hmmmbeer10
Photo of mjc410


3.43/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12 oz brown glass bottle

Appearance: Small white head over a deep amber-orange body.

Smell: Overpowering hops. I can't smell anything past it.

Taste: The malt shows up here, barely. Slightly sweet, bready. Then the hops kick in and wipes the floor with the malt. The hops are bitey, citric, high-acid. It's a dry, bitter, tough finish.

Mouthfeel: Pretty average.

Drinkability: Tough on the senses. The hops are too much for me. I had to rate it a little above average because it has a respectable power and bite.

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2005 03:46:08 | More by mjc410
Photo of jadpsu


3.98/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light clear copper/amber with a good head and solid lacing.
Staying true to its style, hops pretty much dominate the aroma providing some hoppy bitterness. Definite citrus piney notes come through strong. Tart.
Moderate mouth feel and bready maltiness taste adding balance and enjoyment.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2008 03:08:04 | More by jadpsu
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 8,182 ratings.