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Sierra Nevada Pale Ale | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

2,930 Reviews
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Sierra Nevada Pale AleSierra Nevada Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Generous quantities of premium Cascade hops give the Pale Ale its fragrant bouquet and spicy flavor.

37 IBU

Added by kbub6f on 07-05-2001

User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,930 | Ratings: 10,872
Photo of Skrumpy
3.59/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

I have been drinking this beer since the 90s and have have always considered it to be decent. It may not be a favorite, but I can remember so many occasions in which it was the best beer available, and I was truly grateful. The color is a nice amber color, and the smell is caramel malt and some grain. The flavor is malty, a bit sweet, with a bitter aftertaste. A bit watery on the finish. A solid beer though overall.

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Photo of Rock_Glenn
2.98/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

The Budweisser of Pale Ales? Maybe that's a bit harsh. The carbonation reminds me of a mass-produced American Lager, the malts seem non-existent, and the hops are an ugly mix of pine sap and bitterness. When I see this at a gas station, I grab it, because it's usually the best option you'll find there. Unfortunately it fits the mold of a gas station beer.

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Photo of Mitchmoore12
4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Looks a wonderful pale gold color with a great off white head. Left some nice lacing on the side of the glass. Smells of some citus hops but not enough to over power the sweet malt aroma. Tastes of citrus and pine but not overpowering. Leaves a nice bitter taste at the end. Apparent malt character. Feels smooth with medium carbonation. Overall an awesome pale ale, have had it many times and it never fails to be one of the best beers in the session.

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Photo of Kinger22
3.94/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark Amber with a very small head. The smell is subtle and balanced. The taste follows the smell, with no over powering hop profile. Overall it's one of the best national crafts.

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Photo of Riff
4.59/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into a shaker glass. Nice, dark, caramel coloring to the beer with a white foam head. Smell is mild and hoppy, lemon and a bit of pine. Good balance of flavors, a little bit of pine and some bread. A little lingering bitterness that doesn't last too long. Very drinkable, good all around beer. Certainly a summer time staple.

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

Well here we go, review #1801. . . and we have our second perfect 5 score.

Comes across an amazing beauty full of dark gold, caramel and amber appearance with just under 1" of white head. Aroma smacks of old school dry hopping with Cascades. Caramel notes from the malt.

Taste, just heaven, hoppy, yet a sturdy malt bill providing caramel backbone. Hop flavor is plenty of forest, grapefruit. A delicious bitter edge remains through the entire mouthfeel. A darker citrus edge throughout. Barely sweet malt presence that is smooth while the hops provide bitterness, and an almost Magnum hop like spice edge to it.

The absolute classic American pale ale.

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Photo of EnzoDamario
4.37/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I'm a big fan of happy beers. Aroma instantly got my attention. Cascades hops do their Job. Not impressed by the appearance, looks like a standard APA. Tastes just as it smells, great happy sensation but not over bitter. Carbonated to the right point, it produces a nice mouthfell. Nor dense neither watery.... nice bubbling. Very drinkable and refreshing. Aftertaste is asome. An excellent beer.

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Photo of MusaJames
3.56/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Right away I like the look. Much darker than I had expected doesn't develop a giant head. Hops are the only thing I notice when I smell as my nose isn't the best at these things. Once I start drinking it starts really refreshing with a lingering bitterness. I'm not a giant fan of hoppy beers but this one manages to win me over. The only thing that I don't care for is the lingering bitterness. Having said that it isn't a big deal. Sierra Nevada Pale ale is a beer I've seen all over the place and haven't given its day in court for some time. I now understand its popularity is well earned.

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Photo of Mikefilmerca
4.51/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This used to be my favorite beer. However I've been consuming local micro brews lately. . It was so refreshing to drink another one of these today after several years away. I'm going to start drinking it again! Not overly hoppy.

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Photo of Beertsipper
4.24/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Copper gold in color with a small beige/white head. Lots of bubbles going up the side of the glass. Smell is hops, bread, lots of pine, and some light fruit. Taste follows the nose.More pine. Great balance with the hops. Good carb, dry finish, and refreshing. Classic beer representing this style. Always available, and is also in many of the sports bars in my area.

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Photo of Sheppard
3.8/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a caramel reddish brown. Transparent, but not the color I would expect. Piney aroma that translates through to the flavor. There is a good amount of caramel malt sweetness. This is a solid and old reliable beer, but there are so many pale ales that I'd rather drink if in my fridge.

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Photo of Beginner2
3.88/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A well put-together ale.
But take it from me, take it from the experts.

MJ's 1999 "Guide" gave it 4 of 4 stars (very rare) and said "it has a teasing balance between the piney Juniper-tasting Cascade hops and the fruitiness of the top-fermenting yeast."
Listed in the "1001", this classic deserves to be there and craft brewing would be different today were it not for Sierra Nevada.
Reviewed also and favorably in Roger Protz' CAMRA classic "300 Beers To Try Before You Die!"

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Photo of 88caprice
3.88/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A few suspended particles away from crystal clear. Brilliant orange honey color, active bubbles, and thin foam retention along the top. Smells like a walk through a cool pine forest. Tastes piney and citrusy with a malty, biscuity finish. A biting mouth feel from all those bubbles. While not a complex or unusual brew, this strikes me as a quality, well-made APA that does it right.

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Photo of beerbaron1967
4.58/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Finally get a chance to try this beer. Heard good things-now my turn to try.
The colour is almost see thru-very light amber. You can smell the light aroma of the hops.Not pungent at all.
The taste is amazing---so glad i tried this beer.
Mild carbonation-which of course means you don't feel bloated after drinking this ale.
Overall very impressed

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Photo of brewandbbq
4.12/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle.

Pours light copper with a white, tight head. Nice lacing and a solid skim coat throughout the glass. Light hops in the nose. Orange citrus, pine, and light grapefruit. On the light side of medium bodied. Crisp but smooth. Light malt lays down the base on the palate with a balancing bitterness and pine-rubbed orange. Finishes fairly dry and quick with fading citrus.

The first I had this beer I was blown away by it's bright citrus and solid bitterness but after years of palate shift, it just comes off mild and average.

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Photo of Raidersox
4.74/5  rDev +17%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Packaged on 6/2/15, old I know but was in a hurry and grabbed a 12 pack of a trusted brew. Chilled to 38 degrees, poured into large wine glass.

Look: Hazy gold orange with 1/2 inch off white head that dissipated quickly leaving a ring of foam and light lacing. Good carbonation.

Smell: Overtones of citrus (orange and tangerine), spice and a light pine resin.

Taste: Citrus and pine hops balanced by a light malt sweetness. Spiced Dry finish. Lightly grassy aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and well carbonated, sharp.

Overall: Despite the age of this sample I was pleasantly surprised. This is a very drinkable pale ale but I want to try a fresher bottle and compare this review to the new one. This deserves a second look to see if the legend of this brew holds up.

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Photo of chuckpalka
4.34/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have had this beer many many times so what can be said about this classic outstanding brew that hasn't already been said expect that it is near perfect. The look is amber/copper with a nice white head. The smell is subtle with a nice balance of hop ,malty combo. The Taste is even better that starts very easy and finishes with a easy hop bitterness. Feel is again a great combination not thin and not strong.... just right Overall this well balanced pale ale is very hard to beat.

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Photo of mgwagman
4.85/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

One of the first "micro brews" I started with 20 or so years ago. Strong pale ale with lots of hops. Balanced but very piney. One beer is almost enough, but two usually are the limit for me.

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

After all this IPA, it's nice to return to a traditional style. A dry but refreshing beer you crave walking off the 18th hole after a sweltering round. Nice balance, pleasant taste and an effervescent finish. No wonder it's been popular for so long.

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Photo of akolb
4.11/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A nice, classic beer. The aroma is subdued citrus, and the taste strikes the right balance between malty and bitter. A beer that goes great with food and sets the standard for the style.

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Photo of Sconnie25
4.29/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I purchased a bottle of this from a Trader Joe's in St. Paul, MN. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale pours an orange hue with a moderate head that leaves behind a nice lacing. The scent has a bit of a sweet breaded malt with a bit of hops as well. The taste is malt forward at first and then finishes with a slight spicy hop bitterness. This is very refreshing and I would definitely have this again.

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Photo of cosmin
4.87/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I wish we had more of Sierra Nevada's product in Canada. I was never really a fan of pale ales until I tried this one on tap in the States. Wow. This is truly the bench mark for American style pale ales. Beautiful colour. Wonderful smell. Even better taste. Very refreshing and hoppy! At first I must admit I thought I was drinking an IPA. And at 5.6% ABV this is truly a remarkably balanced beer. I've been searching for similar products but cannot find anything comparable. A++ for this one.

We have this available in bottles in Canada (at the LCBO in Ontario) however it's pretty pricy at $15 for a 6 pack! None the less, I always keep a few in the fridge. I only wish they would bring Sierra Nevada's Torpedo IPA to the LCBO!

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Photo of davidperez
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Served in a nonic pint, it pours an ultra-clear orange amber color with a frothy one-inch head with good retention.

The aroma is of citric, piney notes, with malty sweetness, caramel.

Upfront you meet a high and pleasant carbonation. Malty sweetness, along with a hint of biscuit, citric and piney flavors, hoppy bitterness. A very balanced beer, all the flavors are blended in perfectly.
Long finish. Medium to light body, smooth. Very refreshing and fully flavored.

I could drink this any day of the week.
Awesome beer this classic of classics is.

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Photo of Amateurbrewmaster
4.32/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Wanted to see what the hype was about. Definitely worth picking up again (or cloning yourself). From a can in to a pint glass. Nice light amber color with a decent white head. Smells absolutely amazing. Bold citrusy, pine, hints of malt. Taste follows smell to a T. Little bit of malt, punch in the face hoppiness, clean, bitter dry finish leaving me begging for more.

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Photo of Mont14N
5/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This historical Beer deserve a max. rating. Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. ( and Anchor Steam Br. ) started the craftBeer revolution in the USA. On every visit of me in the States I want to drink one SNPA. Ken Grossman and Steve Dresler started to brew hoppy Beers in the early '80-ties. Now you have a lot of well hopped Beers. This make the hopfarmers and our tastebuds happy. Every american Beerlover should be proud of the story of this Beer & Brewery.

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Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,930 ratings.