Sierra Nevada Pale Ale - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada Pale AleSierra Nevada Pale Ale

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BA SCORE
91
outstanding

2,829 Reviews
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,829
Hads: 10,282
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 9.85%
Wants: 222
Gots: 2,115 | 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
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Reviews: 2,829 | Hads: 10,282
Photo of beerman1
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice dark copper color with large white head, and good lacing. Aroma is of caramel malts and a touch of citrus smell. The taste is similiar to the nose with sweet malts up front. There is a little bit of hops bitterness in the middle and it finishes with a bit of citrus.
Mouthfeel is on the lighter side. (314 characters)

Photo of WeissGary
4.45/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is an exceptional beer! It features a fantastic amber colour, a somewhat grassy aroma, and complemented with a ’bitter but sweet’ taste. It feels like this has a lot going on in terms of its taste, body and aroma. In terms of drinking, this beer has sipping qualities; a very easy to drink yet rewarding and complex beer! I would absolutely suggest you pick this up if you get a chance, I know its quite well established in the USA but it seems to be picking up over in the UK today, if you spot it, give it a shot! (524 characters)

Photo of Falcynn
4.42/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Probably my favorite anytime beer. Poured from a bomber into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Beautiful. Pours out a rich slightly hazy gold/copper with an off-white head that holds up nicely and leaves a nice lacing.

Smell: Citrus, piney, floral hops, with just enough malt to balance it out.

Taste: Almost exactly like it smells with some notes of grapefruit and grassiness. The bitterness is very nicely balanced by the somewhat sweet maltiness in the background.

Mouthfeel: Very crisp and refreshing. Finishes clean.

Overall: Nothing about this beer really pops out and makes me go "wow", but by no means is that a bad thing. What I love about this beer is that everything is very balanced. It's a very easy to drink beer, but still has plenty going on to make for an enjoyable experience whether out with friends or just sitting down to a well prepared meal. (870 characters)

Photo of Isrealite
4.59/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

This is the only beer at the gas station next to where I work that is not a two year old, forty ounce, malt liquor. Despite a purchase made out of complete desperation, this turned out to be a great American pale ale due to it's absolute simplicity. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is like a good burger. It would not be prudent to add too many other toppings and over complicate things. The aroma is amazing, the taste of hops is perfectly balanced, and this beer goes down really smooth. The price is fair, and this one is about as easy to get as my women. There are only 175 calories in a 12oz. bottle, and since its loaded with hops, it's also loaded with healthy polythenols, that will hopefully balance out the damage my liver takes whenever I buy this beer and end up drinking too much! This A.P.A. should be enjoyed straight out of the bottle, in my opinion. A solid brew for sure. (880 characters)

Photo of theman336
4.4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I'd never had this until recently, when a six pack was given to me as a gift. I wil forever be greatfull to Tess, as her present turned me on to a top quality brew. The hops jump in from the get go and don't leave until the bottle is empty. There is less sweetness than you expect, but there are hints of it which help to balance out the bitterness of the hops, which is definately present from the beginning of the sip until the beer is swalowed. The hops aren't overpowering, just up front and even. It's beer the way it was meant to be. Absolutely fantastic stuff. (574 characters)

Photo of geckointhebox
4.76/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

What is to say?!? The more I write the more I want to run to fridge to get another (just to make sure I am reviewing it properly). If you like ales, this is a fine one. (169 characters)

Photo of zebedee
3.79/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Now, I’ve always been ignorant of American ales, until I discovered this site, mainly because the only American beers I’ve ever seen here are the usual Bud/Miller shite. Suffice to say, this ale was part of a new line in my local, evil supermarket, so I thought, what the heck, I’ll try it.

This ale poured a marmalade orange colour, with a one finger head of weak, brilliant white foam. There was little noticeable carbonation. The head quickly dissipated until there was but a thin film covering the beverage.

The smell, I found intriguing. Parma violets initially came to the fore, with some sherbet and a hint of liquorice. This gave way to oranges and lychees. Quite an aroma I thought.

Despite the smell, which I feared would be a precursor to a sickly sweet drink, I actually found it fairly delicate. It tasted like I was drinking a liquid bouquet, with violets and lavender, with some sour apple thrown in for good measure. The finish was quite dry, and slightly sour.

I felt little carbonation on the tongue, but it does hit the back of the throat on the way down. I feel this adds to the dryness, which isn’t a bad thing at all. It felt thin in the mouth, but not in a negative fashion.

This ale is light and crisp, and I would certainly be able to sink a few in a sitting. It lacks the sickly sweet taste I feared it would have, and is overall a nicely rounded drink. This would go down just chipper on a warm, dry day, which we seldom have here:(. All in all, I was very pleased with this beer as an introduction to American pale ales, and I hope I continue to have good fortune with them in the future. (1,637 characters)

Photo of escapements
3.02/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A=Nice color. Looks like beer, nothing special.

T=Hoppy as a pale ale should be (however, not my favorite), citrus & pine. Slight bitterness with a clean finish. Only slightly malt, could use more. Slight alcohol taste.

S=Citrus & hops

M=Smooth & dry which makes you want another sip

D=Not a bad overall beer, but lacks any outstanding qualities. (358 characters)

Photo of carsonplunkett
3.8/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Yuengling pint glass that my roommate took from her job. Haha.

A: Pours a deep amber color with an inch or so of tan, off-white head. Very nice lacing.

S: Lots of hops and grass. Smells pretty average for a pale ale.

T: This pale ale really stands out in my opinon. Has a bitter taste with the perfect balance of hops and a smooth finish.

M: Perfect amount of carbonation. Great mouthfeel.

D: Decent drinkability. A little too expensive to be a session beer for me though.

I've had this pale ale on tap and out of a bottle and must say it's a little bit better on tap. (588 characters)

Photo of RoadLizard
4.57/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Orange-ish color with a fairly chunky head and decent lacing. This beer smelled very good to me. Lively floral odors. Yum.

Excellent "upfront" hop-bite that becomes calming as it goes down. Slight maltiness at the end of the swig mixed with a little orange peel bitterness for some complexity. This is a beer that happens to be very drinkable & pleasant.

Packs a decent alcohol punch so enjoy it in moderation :)

Simply a GREAT Pale Ale!!!! (443 characters)

Photo of drums4matt
3.82/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up - as I often do - on a hot day after making some moves on a Summer-like day.

Poured almost totally clear (other than perhaps a little chill haze) from the bottle into a Scaldis tulip. Looks nice; it pours a typical, goldenrod ale color with a one-finger, white, slightly fizzy head that only remained for a moment. Minor, though quite pretty, lacing is left around the apex of the glass.

Smell has significantly less to offer than other "micros" right off the bat, but after sipping one slowly and allowing for some warming-up this beer really shows its colors. There's a sweet graininess right out front with some west-coast hops just peeking their way through the soft, fragrant bouquet. Mmm. That smell sits SO nice with a hot afternoon.

The taste is nice. It offers more than the aroma would let onto. There's some nice fruity flavors right out front - tastes like a combination of the malted grains and phenoly, almost vinous, flavors. Delicate hops leave a lasting impression of floral and slightly citrusy flavor with a palate-coating oiliness.

Sierra Nevada is one of the beers that turned me onto beer. It has such well-defined characteristics - it nearly defines (or possibly ACTUALLY defines) the style of American Pale Ale. The refreshing drinkability (and not in the Miller Lite sense, either) meshes so well with the malt and hop to yield something that has become a classic. (1,410 characters)

Photo of AleWerks
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ah SN pale ale. What can you say? Aroma is nicely balanced between hops and caramel. Appearance is light copper with a white head. Flavor is hoppy and balanced. Mouthfeel is bright and hoppy, finishing clean. Overall, this beer is the epitome of the American Pale Ale style. I drink this beer every chance I get. (312 characters)

Photo of 8Punisher8
4.27/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Between this ale and Boulavard Pale Ale, they're the beers I can always count on for a great hop taste/smell. When there is nothing else good in stock, these two are my 'fallback' beere. Between the great taste and smooth hoppy finish, this one is a winner, which is why it's one of the industry standards when it comes to American Pale Ales. (342 characters)

Photo of knucks999
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a traditional nonic pint glass. Two fingers of foam on the pour, lacing as I drink it. Great aromas of grapefruit and other floral hops. Very smooth taste, the malt and the bitterness blend very well together. The finish is quick and clean that makes you seem more thirsty as you drink. Very balanced, great beer. (332 characters)

Photo of dasmith52
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

One of my favorite Pale Ales.

A: A beautiful light golden/ pale color that has a nice head.

S: The hops are the main taste here. A great hops and malt smell with a slight hint of citrus.

T: Crisp and refreshing. Again the hops is the main star, but the bitterness is balanced well with the malts and makes for a very nice overall beer.

M: Flows well, but nothing special as far as the feel goes. Still nice.

D: Very easy to throw back a bunch of these and very refreshing. Good pairing with food or separate. (518 characters)

Photo of mazstar
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: slightly cloudy, typically amber, pours 1-finger head and sustains .5 finger head with some froth managing to cling along the way

S: floral hop aroma, with elements of sweet malt at the end

T: opens with slight hops, elements of sweet malt and finishes with a lasting yet subtle bitterness - well balanced

M: feels rich, froths easily when swirled in mouth

This is a great APA - coming from Australia I was afraid the journey over, storage and not being a macro-mover might make this over-rated experience but it held well and tastes and smells great.

Common becnhmark here in Oz is Little Creatures Pale Ale and this easily meets, if not slightly exceeds that benchmark.

Cost at $20 is a little more than your usual six-pack is one small factor detracting from it's appeal. (785 characters)

Photo of hayes31
4.29/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A great smell to this beer, followed by a great taste. It's got a sweet aftertaste to it which makes it extremely refreshing, and it goes great with whatever food you may be eating since it washes everything away with a pleasant twang.

Its availability is a great upside. (313 characters)

Photo of emmasrue1
3.79/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Love this beer anytime but particularly on a nice warm Summer day. It won't knock your socks off and it sure is refreshing. I like the can so that we can take it on the boat. This beer and Torpedo are two of my top 10 favorites. You can drink more than 2 of these and still feel in control. Nice smooth taste. (309 characters)

Photo of Kestrel452
2.2/5  rDev -45.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

If you're relatively new to beer, I would highly recommend you steer clear of this brew. You will most likely find it way too bitter to drink, and maybe even so much so that you cannot even take another sip. Before you venture out into the realm that is known as pale ales, try some more balanced/milder beers like Honker's Ale before going for this. The beer was great except for the flavor, it was just sickeningly bitter.

I realize this is widely regarded as an excellent beer, but it is NOT something a beginner should drink. Pale ales are inherently pretty bitter, but this one is extra hoppy/bitter. You'll end up turning yourself off to pale ales and possibly ales in general by making this your first go at an ale.

If you want to get used to beer that employs a good amount of hops, drink Sam Adams Boston Lager. It's well balanced, but it also does have a substantial enough hop character to fit the bill. It's about as bitter of a beer that's enjoyable to me.

In time, you may develop a palate for extra bitter beers like SNPA. However, let me reiterate that this beer should be avoided when you're starting to try out different varieties of beer. Happy Drinking! (1,178 characters)

Photo of StoutyMcStouters
3.91/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

24 oz bottle, poured into a plain round table glass.

Poured with a gorgeous dark golden color and two fingers of head, head retention was good with lacing that stuck around for a while.

Smells very much like flowers, like a garden in a cup.

The flavor it packs was way more than expected, it has an awesome bitter citrus infused taste, really more than I could have asked for with the price I paid. It is hard to describe how natural but redefined it tastes. Bang for the buck is huge with this beer.

Easy to drink with a super smooth mouthfeel to it. I wish the aftertaste was a little less pronounced; The bitter overpowers the good taste of the beer as the flavor fades.

Overall a very solid, tasty beer, wish I had tried this beer sooner. Seems like it would go very well with a nice chicken or fish dinner. (816 characters)

Photo of audiodav
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Pilsner glass

A - Nice, transparent medium copper/amber color. Approx. finger sized off-white head after pour. Decent lacing.

S - A citrus/fruity smell with a decent aroma of caramel/malt.

T - The hops get you right at the top with definite tastes of citrus but clears quickly to reveal the malts.

M - This is a fairly dry ale, but not too dry. Carbonation is pretty low. On a scale of 1-10, carbonation is probably about a 3.

O - This is a great tasting Pale Ale, one of my favorites. Not too hoppy and with a nice blend of malts. A great 'go to' beer if Ale's are your thing. (597 characters)

Photo of Hopilator
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured a twelve oz. bottle into a pint glass, backed by natural light, revealed a light copper color, with a white head. A floral nose, well balanced malt to bitterness on the tongue. Good carbonation, and lacing. Very delicious, I would drink this beer anytime, with anyone. (277 characters)

Photo of davidsumner
4.29/5  rDev +5.7%
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. (954 characters)

Photo of bshotbox
5/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I love this beer, by far one of my favorites. any trip into a bar with this on tap and it is a must have for at least one pint. I have always been a pale ale kinda dude and this one really sets the bar for me. a perfect gateway beer for anyone that wants to get into craft beer (277 characters)

Photo of kristen56
3.83/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

The color is a dark, golden bronze-ish brown. It has a very light smell, not over powering at all. There are some fruit notes coming through. The citrus tones are definitely apparent. Definitely can taste the hops, and I'm surprised it doesn't smell a little more hoppy. Still isn't overbearing hop in the taste. It has a very clean finish. Easy to drink, and crisp. Very good!! (378 characters)

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,829 ratings.