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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.

9,337 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,337
Reviews: 2,734
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 11.88%
Wants: 161
Gots: 1,187 | 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:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 9,337 | Reviews: 2,734 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of oxmasterscream
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a light amber, clear color with a continuous stream of bubbles, seemingly feeding a tiny, creamy, white head. Nose is citrus and cascase with a sour, grainy thing happening. Taste is citrus up front, tangy and slightly fruity in the middle, bitter and dry for the finish... very balanced. Mouthfeel is very carbonated and medium to light. Great stuff from a big producer. The classic American Pale Ale.

oxmasterscream, Sep 05, 2004
Photo of MurphyMacManus
3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Amber with big, creamy off-white head that sticks all the way down the sides of the glass. Very impressive.

Smell: Spicy and lemon-y hops. Light on the malt in aroma.

Taste: Very light bready malt, with spicy and bitter hops in the middle and the finish. Stood up well to my spicy sausage and double Glouscester cheese.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, for a pale ale. I'd expect this kind of mouthfeel with a stout or a porter, but in an APA this is a very pleasant surprise.

Drinkability: This would be an excellent session beer; I could drink it all day, even with all the hop flavor I'm picking up, due to the fact that the hops enhance the experience, rather than pummelling the tastebuds.

MurphyMacManus, Sep 14, 2005
Photo of shaebs99
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%

shaebs99, Sep 11, 2014
Photo of Hokies
4.97/5  rDev +23%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: A nice pale red color with decent lacing

S: Very nice with a citrus note with an excellent hop aroma.

T: Probably one of the best Pale Ales I have tasted, with a nice citrus taste that finishes with a decent hop flavor

M: Nice carbonation that does not overpower.

D: Excellent example of a Pale Ale.

Hokies, Mar 15, 2008
Photo of trixdout
4/5  rDev -1%

trixdout, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of BigRob329
4.75/5  rDev +17.6%

BigRob329, May 24, 2012
Photo of DaveOB
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%

DaveOB, Jun 23, 2012
Photo of Das_Reh
2.24/5  rDev -44.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bottle into a glass.

This is supposedly THE original APA, and one of America's first craft brews. I was eager to try it after seeing the high reviews on BA.

Appearance - A nice, deep coppery color with a decent cream colored head. Lively carbonation, almost no lacing, which was disappointing. I noticed "floaties" in the beer as I poured, which settled to the bottom of the glass like bits of backwash... very unappetizing.

Smell - practically nonexistent... some citrusy hops and not much else.

Taste - Good grief... why are the ratings so high? It's a 1-note acrid bitterness with virtually no maltiness. The citrus/pine hop flavors are barely present, and a sticky, tart bitterness overwhelms the palette... I know Pale's and IPA's are MEANT to be hoppy and bitter, but there's no balance here. It's just NOT good.

Mouthfeel - Mouthfeel is medium, and frankly unmemorable.

Overall - A bitter, overhyped concoction of hops, hops and more hops. No balance, no complexity. This was my second one and I will not drink another. I'll stick to Two-Hearted.

NOTE: In retrospect I am under the impression that I may have been drinking bottles that were out of date. Will give this beer a proper re-review in the future.

Das_Reh, Nov 17, 2013
Photo of ZDSmith87
4/5  rDev -1%

ZDSmith87, Aug 14, 2014
Photo of Rcaisse
4.2/5  rDev +4%

Rcaisse, Oct 18, 2014
Photo of vaughtex
4.08/5  rDev +1%

vaughtex, Oct 19, 2014
Photo of tigerpaws
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is one of the better Pale Ales I have tried. The color is very pleasing and pairs well with almost any food or alone. Not much aroma here but very easy to drink and would recommend it highly...........CHEERS

tigerpaws, Jun 23, 2002
Photo of TripelJ
4.83/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Now Quaffing: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale

I am having a hard time stopping to type and start this review because I can't put this beer down. SN Pale Ale pours a nice deep hazy copper-gold with a nice thick, clumpy head. The aromas are clean and pure, a nice floral and hoppy (Cascade?) nose. The taste is what makes this beer stand out for me--an absolute redefinition of quaffable. The taste reflects the nose with a nice dose of hops, sweet malty middle, and some more hops in the slightly bitter finish. I wish I was more adept and describing my perception of this beer, but alas I will let it speak for itself. This is definitely my new 'session beer' and has a permanent home in my fridge (until I drink it and have to buy more of course). Much respect to the folks at Sierra Nevada!

TripelJ, Sep 06, 2003
Photo of guitarmage
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clear and dark orange amber color. Not bright and vivid like mirror pond, not at all cloudy. Head was some what reluctant, white and thin with decent retention.

Smell: Floral esters and subtle leafy hops, very pleasant, not especially fragrant.

Taste: Tastes of mild orange, esters, nice touch of hoppiness that fades quick and finishes clean with a touch of breadiness.

Mouthfeel: Medium carbonation, light to medium bodied.

Drinkability: Clearly a great pale ale. Not especially complex or flavorful, which is nice, very drinkable. I can drink many of them without my mouth getting saturated with flavors.

guitarmage, Jun 07, 2006
Photo of ebby82
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It's difficult to review a beer I have drank so much, but I shall try.

Pours a dark golden hue into a pint glass with a bit of head. The smell is of sweet hops, with just a hint of malt. The taste is a mellow, slightly hoppy deliciousness. It's body is on the light side, and it's drinkability has been proven time and again. Not the best pale ale I've ever had, but one of the best, and at it's price and availability, it really can't be beat.

ebby82, Oct 14, 2010
Photo of jpkoch1962
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured at cellar temperature into pint glass. Pours a deep, rich golden orange. Thick, light beige head topped things off. Aroma was a complex of floral and citrus hints with a slight malty background. This ale begins with a rich, lightly sweet taste profile that quickly blends with a citrus bitterness. The middle throuh the finish is a smooth competition between the malty sweetness and hops. Very well balanced and satisfying ale. One of the best examples of an American Pale Ale out there.

jpkoch1962, Aug 28, 2006
Photo of troobie
4.75/5  rDev +17.6%

troobie, Nov 24, 2011
Photo of templar316
3.84/5  rDev -5%

templar316, Aug 20, 2014
Photo of diabecktic
4.13/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I couldn't pour all of the 24 oz. bottle into my 16 oz. glass at one time, but each pour left me with ~3 fingers of creamy white head. Though lacing was simply "good," the retention was excellent. The beer itself is a honey/orange color with a little bit of haziness.

The nose is anchored by a sweet, bready barley malt. Notes of hops, citrus, and caramel lend a sweet, piney character that provides an excellent compliment.

This beer's flavor, for the most part, resembles the nose. The citrusy, piney hop notes accent a bready, caramelly base. The balance is excellent, as both bitter and sweet notes become apparent at once. A slight spiciness ties all of the notes together.

The beer is fairly thick for my taste. The sweetness is likely responsible for the thick, sugary body, with bitterness largely present in the aftertaste. Both characteristics linger, though, so things are largely kept balanced.

Though a bit on the thick side, the alcohol remains well-hidden. Hence, this beer definately warrants sipping over time.

I find this beer to be close to an IPA. It's fairly hoppy, but also rather sweet and buttery (more apparent as the beer warms). I suppose that interpretation of this is subject to the taster's palate, but this is still a very good beer. I'll close with what others before me have stated - it's a very good APA. It's also definately worth trying if you haven't done so before.

diabecktic, Feb 23, 2011
Photo of mjw06
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Golden color with a light amber hue, small, white, light head that leaves quickly and gives little to no lacing.

S - Light smell with light hoppiness, some elements of sweet corn and florals.

T - Simple clean taste, that finishes sweet with elements of rose and a little citrus as well. Also finishes with a slight bitterness that is pleasant.

M - Crisp mouthfeel with carbonation that compliments taste perfectly. Medium bodied and slightly creamy feel. Great mouthfeel.

D - A refreshing brew that is delightfully simple. As stated earlier the bitterness is initially pleasant, however it seemed to wear on me after awhile. Nonetheless the taste was still pleasing. Very drinkable and would definitely have another to refresh.

mjw06, Jan 08, 2009
Photo of wchasse222
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%

wchasse222, Mar 06, 2012
Photo of r3o
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%

r3o, Jan 01, 2012
Photo of psmithmkt
4.75/5  rDev +17.6%

psmithmkt, Jul 17, 2014
Photo of dogfish7
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%

dogfish7, Jul 18, 2012
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 9,337 ratings.