Sierra Nevada Pale Ale - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada Pale AleSierra Nevada Pale Ale

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2,862 Reviews

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Reviews: 2,862
Hads: 10,438
Avg: 4.05
pDev: 11.6%
Wants: 237
Gots: 2,291 | 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: 2,862 | Hads: 10,438
Photo of tekstr1der
4.44/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Golden pour with white clingy head. Smells of fruit and slight pine. Crisp and slight bite initiallly with a smooth, semi-sweet (amazing) middle, and clean finish. Drinkable in quantity!

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Photo of Gbgbrouge
3.83/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from bottle, hazy pale amber with medium head. Aroma with notes of caramel, hay, citrus and some pine. Taste is mildly bitter, well balanced with a medium malt body and some bitterness in the rather long after taste.

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Photo of Franziskaner
3.79/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Light amber hued with fantastic clarity. A fingernail of off white covers the majority of the top. Light Brussels lacing. I smell citrus hops and marzipan. I taste a nice well balanced blend of amber malt and citrus hops. The mouth moderately carbonated and crisp.

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Photo of JJfreeou21
4.91/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is the hop heads equivalent of bud light. An everyday beer bursting with flavor and quality. Extremely accessible. My go to beer. Wonderful for all occasions.

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Photo of PhilHeinricke
4.79/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

The Wonderful Taste of Pale Ale in a Bottle

I'm new here. I don't know what I'm doing. All I know is what I like. I had been going to a local micro-brewery for about a year, and their beers had a very distinct taste, a wonderful taste, that I had never experienced anywhere else. I tried a variety of beers from that place, some were better than others, but I began to notice that beers described as IPA or pale ale had that wonderful awesome taste.

I had seen this in the supermarket for a while, but I was never particularly interested. I didn't know anyone who drank it. I had my favorites with which I was very content. But when I noticed that pale ales had that taste and smell that I had grown to love, I decided to try it.

The first thing you notice is the color as you're pouring it into your glass. It's a rich, beautiful golden brown with a tint of orange. Then the smell. It had that unmistakable pale ale smell, and I apologize that I'm not sophisticated enough to describe it better. I don't know hops from barley from wheat. But the taste. That's the taste. That's the taste I've been longing for. Men have died trying to get that taste. I'd be lying to you if I told you it was a good as the tap from the local micro-brewery, but it has that great pale ale taste, and it's in a bottle.

After I tasted this, I went back and got a case of this.

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

From a bomber into a Tallgrass tulip
A: peachy dark gold, 2 finger foamy head, great lacing
S: light caramel malts, earthy, floral hops, with a hint of lemon/citrus
T & M: like the nose, though the malts get a little more biscuity, and the finish is kind of grassy and floral and dry. Smooth and creamy mouthful, moderately bitter and spicy.

Overall: Hard to be impartial here...I've been drinking this as a standby for over 20 years, along with Summit EPA and Great Northern Porter. Though pales and IPAs have come a long long way, this is still so enjoyable.

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Photo of bmeehan
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

The only reason I don't rank this higher is because sometimes, I'll get a particularly bitter one. But I've had enough outstanding ones to know that this is a really good beer.

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Photo of taters21
4.31/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This is possibly one of my favorite craft beers. It has a great amber color for the pale ale style of brewing, an inviting floral citrus aroma, and an upfront hoppiness that fades at just the right time to a malty backbone, leaving a great balanced aftertaste in the mouth, with a moderately creamy mouth feel, all in all a great beer, one that I would buy again anytime, not to mention that this beer is a classic in the craft beer industry and certainly brought more awareness to craft brewing in the nineties.

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Photo of ogasnor
3.48/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A - Clear and amber gold, with about a finger's worth of head that had all but disappeared by the time I turned around from throwing away the cap. Leaves a thin, swirling foam, almost like soap bubbles. Laces decently as I drink it.

S - A light, pleasing smell of floral and piney hops, with just a hint of biscuity malt. Nothing really stands out in the aroma.

T - Starts with some spicy, piney hops, which then gives way to the floral that is in the smell. Finishes with the biscuit malt, and a clean bitterness. At 5.6%, it certainly isn't a "big" beer, but there is no taste of alcohol at all.

M - Very mild carbonation leads to the impression that this beer is watery, but combined with a dry, clean finish, it is very refreshing.

O - If I had to describe this beer in one word, it would be "inoffensive." Which makes it, I suppose, a good example of a Pale Ale, not as hop forward as an IPA, which is the point. I always say "This is my least favorite Sierra Nevada beer," but despite that, this is not a bad beer. It would make an excellent "Gateway to Craft Beer" beer.

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Photo of TreyIsWilson
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - Pours a clear amber with a one-finger creamy white head. The head disapates leaving some light soapy lacing.

S - Aroma of sweet malts and hops.

T - Flavor starts with some sweets malts. The sweetness fades into some nice citrus and earthy hop bitterness.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Crisp mouthfeel with a smooth finish.

O - An American classic and the gold standard pale ale. Just as good as ever.

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Photo of 1angrydwarf
4/5  rDev -1.2%

If you are a big fan of american style pale ales then this is going to hit the spot for you. I gave this a 4 just because it is a great example of the style of beer but my personal tastes have changed and I no longer crave pale ales.

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Photo of NHPC
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

You won't go wrong but its not that special. beats lots of craft beers but you don't feel like you found a gem. Easy go to beer cause you see it everywhere.

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Photo of mikeborglum
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Excellent hop aroma of citrus, caramel, color of light amber, hazy, white foamy head; taste is medium bitterness, with nice full body, creamy, soft carbonation, bitter dry finish. Excellent brew that I keep a regular supply on hand.

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

Purchased at The Token Lounge in Levoina MI. Served at 6deg C in a water glass

A- Opens well and pours a high head. Dark gold.

S- Pretty good hop base. Nice malt

T- Good blend but a bit turned down. Nice balance between hops and malt. Obvious winner

M- Pretty much the expected dry tongue

O- Nice beer. I always buy when it's on the menu and not much else

Food Pairing

Sorry didn't eat at the bar so no pairing


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Photo of Alpha309
3.91/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tulip.

Pours a very clear almost transparent straw color. About 1 finger of head that dissipates almost immediately and leaves a very small layer on top of the beer.

Smell is exclusively pine needles.

Very piney in taste. Like chewing a pine one. Little Maltiness on the back.

Very carbonated. Almost as much as a soft drink.

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Photo of the_awesometeer
4.05/5  rDev 0%

Appearance - It has a great golden color and a very thin foamy head. Despite the thin head the beer laces the glass well. There is some minor carbonation.

Smell - The beer has a nice hop smell and smells sweet at the same time.

Mouthfeel - Smooth and medium bodies. Nothing to really note other than it is refreshing

Taste - Nice flavor of fresh hops with a nice fruit after taste. As some one who is not always a fan of bitter beers I felt this had great flavor and was well balanced.

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

12 ounce bottle into signature pint glass, bottled on 9/10/2014. Pours slightly hazy/cloudy golden orange color with a 1-2 finger dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a light amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of lemon zest, orange peel, grapefruit, caramel, bread, light honey, floral, grass, pine, and floral/grassy earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of juicy citrus/floral hops and moderate dark/bready malt sweetness; with good strength. Taste of lemon zest, orange peel, grapefruit, caramel, bread, light honey, floral, grass, pine, and floral/grassy earthiness. Fair amount of pine/grassy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of lemon zest, orange peel, grapefruit, caramel, bread, light honey, pine, and floral/grassy earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice balance, robustness, and complexity of juicy citrus/floral hops and moderate dark/bready malt sweetness; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, moderately crisp, and fairly creamy/sticky mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent pale ale. All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of juicy citrus/floral hops and moderate dark/bready malt sweetness; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

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

LOOK: Perfect Golden Amber Ale with a 3/4 inch Foamy White Head that only Decreases Slightly as you drink, Excellent Lacing of the Entire Glass that remains Through-Out.

SMELL: Nice Blend of High Grade Hops, Pine, Bready Malts, and Citrus Aromas

TASTE: Smooth Refreshing Taste, Malty Grains, Spices and a Faint Bitterness with Every Sip.

FEEL: Refreshing and Smooth for the Pallet, Great Balance of Carbonation.

OVERALL: Quality Medium Bodied Ale that has an Easy "Drinkability" about it....Makes for an Excellent "SESSION BEER"... I Highly Recommend and Enjoyed this Delicious Pale Ale which is Widely Distributed, Affordable, and Readily Available in the United States.

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Photo of FLima
3.53/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Amber color with a thin head with medium retention.
Light fruity aroma with notes of papaya, caramel and a maybe hint of red fruits after warming up.
Citrusy flavor with notes of papaya, mild grapefruit, tea leaves, light spices and some earthiness. Dry and bitter aftertaste.
Light body with appropriate carbonation.
Classic milder tangy APA, definitely American, but closer to the British-US transition compared to younger generation.

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Photo of Brewndruid
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

Clearly one of the bestpale ales out there! This one is the standard by which most, if not all, others are judged. The only reason I didn't give this A perfect five was because I don't think any beer can be perfect, where does that leave room for improvement, there's always room for improvement and a beer.

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Photo of HamdenHector
4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: crystal clear; copper colored; 1 finger off white head that receded slowly to a very thick cap; nice lacing;

S: nice balance between malt and hops;

T: malt sweetness up front; hop - earthy with a little grapefruit - come in mid-palate; bitterness builds from mid-palate through the finish; bitterness is a little astringent;

M: medium bodied; moderate carbonation;

O: the standard bearer; never disappoints;

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Photo of Ag-Hag
5/5  rDev +23.5%

The king!

Taking the best of the craft/micro breweries, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale has achieved an APA that is supreme in flavor, mouth feel, and finish.

A marvelous color and body greet you at the tap or glass-pour. Beautiful staunch head and matching foam greets your lips as you sink into one outstandingly smooth and full-featured beers.

I knew it as soon as I tasted this. You cannot get a better beer. You can pay more, but you can't get a better one. Absolutely solid, glass after glass. MOST impressive. Exactly what this kind of beer should be.

Sam Adams introduced the American Micro Brew style into mainstream acceptance over 20 years ago, and Sierra Nevada has taken it to it's next step. A truly masterful brew in every respect. Absolutely my favorite for excellent reasons.

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Photo of mchegash
3.98/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Date: 8/26/2014
Other notes: Packaged 7/21/14

Appearance - 4/5
Deep orange in color. Extremely clear. Can see a few particles floating around in the beer, but not too many. Extremely minimal head retention. Can see a lot of carbonation floating up at a quick pace.

Smell - 3.5/5
Lots of piney hops smell. Perhaps a little citrus smell as well.

Taste - 4.25/5
Tastes of pine hops, but different from all other pine flavors I have tried. It's not as intense, but rather a little more subtle, like in the background...but yet still in the foreground. I like the pine taste in this beer better becaue I find the pine taste is usually overpowering in most piney beers. But here the pine taste is nicely balanced. There is a little sweetness, maybe some citrus flavors

Mouthfeel - 3.5/5
In between creamy and crisp. A nice carbonation kick, but not too overpowering. Medium body.

Overall - 4.25/5
This was a pretty good beer. I like the piney taste in moderation, but most beers with pine tastes have an overpowering pine taste. This beer had just the right amount of pine taste. I will definitely be turning to this beer if I want a piney beer.

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

Poured a clear deep golden/yellow with a nice two fingers of thick white foam that lasted for quite a long time before fading away, with some nice lacing down the entire glass. Aroma is of citrus and floral hops, with just a touch of bready malt. Taste has a lot of floral hops with a bit of orange notes and just a touch sweetness from the malt, very well balanced. Mouthfeel is somewhat light and crisp, with a nice dry finish. I can see why this beer has kinda been somewhat of a standard to which all other Pale Ales are measured.

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Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,862 ratings.