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Sierra Nevada Pale Ale - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada Pale AleSierra Nevada Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,862 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,862
Hads: 10,438
Avg: 4.05
pDev: 22.22%
Wants: 238
Gots: 2,289 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,862 | Hads: 10,438
Photo of aleigator
3.25/5  rDev -19.8%

Nice white head, with an amber orange color.

Pleasant orange, grapefruit, pineapple and water melon aromas, perfect matching to the color of the beer.

A hoppy freshness in it, grassy and lime undertones. Floral hop aromas of orange, lime and grapefruits, followed by a decent, slightly underwhelming bitterness. Malt character is present but gently hiding behind the hops, adding a necessary body to the beer. Watery ending with only small hints of hops, which lingers long on the tongue. Carbonation adding a freshness to the beer, without being too present, well balanced. This ale does deliver as being an every-day IPA, without trying to offend in any way, by being to extreme on any of its ingredients.

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Photo of Urk1127
3.18/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

I do not remember this as it has been a while and would review it again at a later time. From memory. Orange color half finger head. Piney hops. Taste is same as smell. Lower carbonation. I liked it more than other IPAs but can't give it a correct review just off memory and will re do this at a later time

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Photo of SoulFroosh
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Great beer.
Kind of like a session IPA. You get all the hops, blended well with the malts, but sessionable.
Great balance. For some reason the hops really start to flourish (esp the bitters) the more you drink.
By the 3rd bottle it seemed like I was drinking an IPA.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
4.18/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 091114 at 40 degrees into shaker
Aroma weak, citrusy
Head large (7 cm), off white, creamy, slowly diminishing to 3 mm ring and layer
Lacing fair - complete wide rings of tiny bubbles
Body medium orange, clear, continualy rising bubbles
Flavor starts slightly bitter, flavor of less conspicuous citrus fruits like clemantines; no malt, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate light to medium, watery, lively carbonation

Appearance 4, Aroma 4, Flavor 4.25, Palate 4.25, Overall 4.25

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Photo of dmgeng
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

One of the flagships of the entire craft beer industry but I thought I would review it after having it again for the first time since 2012.

A - Crystal clear pale orange color with great white head. Perfect lacing. One of the most aesthetically pleasing beers I've ever seen.

S - Very nice hop nose with citrus notes, light pine, and a light floral character. Some caramel and malt along with some yeast fruitiness after the hops.

T - Similar to the smell but with more of the cascade hops shinning through. The definite grapefruit quality that is always mentioned with this beer and type of hops really comes through. However, this is definitely a pale ale and not an IPA since there is great balance with the malt profile and the caramel flavors that mingle with the hops. I would say that the flavors are perfect for a middle of the road type of beer.

M - Lighter-medium mouth-feel. Has some bitterness but mostly clean on the finish. Low-medium carbonation.

Overall, the hallmark of an APA style of beer. The balance, flavor impact, and drinkability make this beer great for any time and any place. Not my favorite beer or favorite style because I usually prefer big Imperial beers with more flavor impact but if you're looking for a beer to just drink with some buddies this is never a bad decision.

Glass- shaker pint

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Photo of JohnIrving
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

I struggle to rate this beer. If you go purely by taste.. then you basically have a showcase for cascade hops, which craft drinkers are familiar with and by now may find dull. But I can't drink it and not appreciate the contribution to craft beer history and the rise of good beer in America. This beer is a classic. I also give it points for being so highly available.

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Photo of RyanK252
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Bottle poured into Sierra Nevada pint glass

A: Pours lightly hazy deep golden amber with a frothy off white head that laces very nicely.

S: Citrus and pine hops, light floral notes, followed by light sweet malt.

T: Big pine and citrus hops, some orange and grapefruit, some very light pineapple, a bit spicy, with sweet bready/biscuit malt behind it.

M: Medium body, moderate carbonation.

O: This bottle isn't as strong as I remember this brew being. I think I'm gonna have to retry this one. For now though, not bad.

Edit: Retried out of a 16oz can into a Sierra Nevada pint glass

This is more like it. Pretty strong pine and citrus throughout with some spiciness, though not as bitter on the finish as I recall from earlier times drinking this, in a good way. Big bold APA for hop heads.

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Photo of Curlybash
3.68/5  rDev -9.1%

Picked this up in SN's Snowpack 2014- never had SN Pale Ale before this, even though i see it everywhere. I've heard and read good things about it, so I'm gonna drink up.

Appearance:deep copper leaning towards a more brown hue. faintly off-white head, about 1/2 finger, which remains throughout. collars and sheets of thin lace throughout. 4

Aroma: floral, clean hops dominate the nose. vague malt background, although im bad at detecting malt in hops-dominated beers. Seems a little one note, but it could just be me. 3.3

Taste: Starts with an initial hops bite, finishes with brown bread crust. aftertaste is malty with a slight bitterness that grows between sips. 3.78

Mouthfeel: medium with moderate carbonation. nothing overpowering or distracting, or particularly interesting. 3.6

Overall: A well balanced pale ale. No overpowering hops and a pleasant, subdued malty finish. Very drinkable but still a quality beer. Cheers!

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Photo of RobbDogg
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

Poured into a pint glass, orange and clear with an attractive thin head. The thin head lingered and there was some lacing. Smells OK, but honestly not much on the nose. A light feeling beer with a little to offer everyone. Light hop presence, a little bready malt, a touch of fruit and a subdued bitterness. I get a spicy, peppery finish more than bitter. An overall well crafted, balanced ale with not much in the way of wow factor. Solid, but nothing special, so I can't approach the 4.0 it is currently getting. To me a 4 is a beer I will seek out again, and this I probably won't.

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Photo of TCJ0100
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

Poured into Bloomington Brewing Company stange glass from a 12 oz. bottle from a fresh winter variety pack. Bottled on 9/1/14 which is about as fresh as I have ever had it. It pours clear with an orangish tinge probably due to the caramel malts. Had a decent head that quickly dissipated.

The smell is predominantly earthy hops with a distinct Cascade flavor showing through. I wouldn't really describe this beer as cirtrusy, but it has maybe a touch of grapefruit showing through.

The flavor is very balanced with malts at first, then a grapefruity finish afterwards. It is quite good, and it seems like a very modern sort of beer. Amazing that this was brewed in 1980.

This has changed my outlook on this beer. I drank a 12 pack of cans of this and was not impressed. It's either the freshness or the bottles that make this beer really shine. It is excellent, and it is a testament to how prevalent craft beer is becoming that I can buy this at my local grocery store for nearly the same price I would spend to buy Miller Lite.

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Photo of Gajo74
4.11/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a lovely golden Amber. Citrus hops and grains in the aroma. Bready and biscuity taste along with citrus fruit; an excellent balance. Good hops profile as well as yeast. Slightly dry finish with a slightly puckering feel. Medium bodied and smooth. So crisp, refreshing and drinkable. A truly outstanding classic. So flavorful. A staple in my fridge.

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Photo of Hoppsbabo
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

A: Clear light copper body. Nice bubbly off-white head.
S: Orange marmalade.
T: Not a whole lot of malt but it's nice and crisp. Getting a general impression of citrus and some orange marmalade. Bitter and an incy bit lager-like. Fairly dry. Towards the end it gets a bit funky, an off flavour that always reminds me of cottage cheese. Something to to with the yeast I think.
M: Not overly fizzy.
O: Nothing to write home about.

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Photo of corywalston
2.62/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

A. Aggressive poor 1 inch of golden head. Very little carbonation. Color is golden orange.
S. Hops, pine, citrus.
T. Little hops for a pale ale. Not much after at.
M. Crisp, watery, little dry.
O. This pale ale is very forgettable. It’s not bad, but there is nothing special either.

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Photo of Beerwolf666
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%

What a Gr8 Pale Ale...Just Amazing fresh flavors of Citrus,and nice Piney Notes,a stellar well crafted APA ,and @ a fantastic price point, 17 bucks a 12 pack! [eastern shore of Md] ,it is also a gr8 choice for those who perhaps want to venture into stronger APA's and IPA's down the road a bit...a gr8 stepping stone indeed~cheers!

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Photo of humuloner22
4/5  rDev -1.2%

I have had this beer a number of times. The first time I had it, I was not impressed. I drank it numerous times over the years and was still not impressed. In fact I held off buying Sierra Nevada products until earlier this year I was at a beer festival and tried a few others. I began being a fan and have since tried numerous offerings. This particular Pale Ale came out of the fall variety pack. You know, this beer still isn't spectacular, but it is better than I remember it being.

Smooth, hoppy, but not overly so, some pale ales have a tendency to be too malty, this one is well balanced. I think the key here is to get it as fresh as possible. Its a solid offering. Maybe its a good transition from all the bruiser summer IPA's I have consumed and the more malty fall/winter beers I tend to drink. I was bitching about them including this one in the fall mixed pack but I think it is a welcomed addition. Now, I hear the winter pack is also including it, although it would not be my ideal beer, as long as they are fresh I think I would be alright with it. Although I would still rather have something that is more of a transition beer from Fall to Winter.

Overall: This is one of the better Pale Ales out there and it is found virtually everywhere. I would certainly recommend this beer to those new to the craft brew scene.

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Photo of logicalparadox
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

I like this better than Torpedo. Less bitter. Grainy. Medium to lighter in body. A bit thin. Bitterness is mild, with a good balance of hoppy aroma.

A classic? Maybe. If you revere a beer for its history to the craft movement then, sure. Flavor-wise, I'm underwhelmed and not likely to crave this any time soon--though, it's worth another try if nothing more interesting is on tap.I can see how in an earlier age if might have made waves; nice, but it's not rocking my boat.

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Photo of Hoptometrist
4.18/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from the bottle into a nonic glass.

A-Poured a mostly clear orange color with lots of streaming carbonation, bright white frothy head left lots of dense splashy lace.

S- Nice orange citrus and floral hops, some grapefruit and a caramel malt.

T- Quite a bit of floral hop and citrus hop character, grape, bready notes and caramel malt backbone.

M- Prickly carbonation, effervescent , very refreshing, smooth, and medium body.

O- One more can you say about the quintessential American Pale Ale. It has wonderful balance of bitterness and sweetness with strong hop and malt flavor. It is incredibly refreshing too.

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Photo of jellikit
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Appearance: orange. Clear. Medium-thick, foamy head. Sticky lacing.
Smell: light citrus. Light floral. Light malt.
Taste: easy on the malt. Maybe some light roasted notes. Grapefruit rind hop flavor. Herbal and pine on the bitterness.
Overall: well balanced. Easy to drink. Will buy again. Easy to find, easy to drink.

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Photo of Tuck_leepulin
4.11/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz Brown Bottle with pry-off cap bottled on "06/26/2014". Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear copper with 1 and 1/2 finger of head

Smell: Earthy pine hops

Taste: Pine hop bitterness that never gets too sharp with some bread malt to balance out

Mouthfeel: Medium body and carbonation that gives a slight creamy feeling and finishes dry

Overall: This is the prototypical American style Pale Ale and what I judge all pale ales to. This is the best beer to introduce the flavor of hops with your friends unfamiliar with craft beer. There is plenty of pine and citrus hop flavor but not too much and the bitterness is restrained, especially compared to most modern pale ales. This is a great hop forward ale that is consistent in quality and easy to obtain.

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

12 oz. bottle poured into a tumbler
How did this one slip past my reviewing for so long?!

A- Copper, well filtered. Dense off white head retains at about an inch. Spotty lacing.

S- Citrus and pine. The cascade is great in here. Truly the beer to make these hops iconic. There's a faint and mellow toasty malt aroma in the background.

T- Follows the nose. Spicy pine, with a subtle juicy citrus. Backed by a bready and toasty sweet background.

M- Medium-light body. Semi-dry finish. But still so drinkable and refreshing.

O- Really, one iconic craft beer. This one is fantastic, and one I go to when I want to stock my fridge with a single beer. It just doesn't get old. This is the one I point to when my macro friends want to try something craft.

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Photo of WAbeerfiend
5/5  rDev +23.5%

Bittering Hops: Magnum, Perle.
Finishing Hops: Cascade.
Malts: 2-row Pale, Caramel.

38 IBU.

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tumbler on 01.23.14.

A: See through orange. 1/2 finger head.

S: Grapefruit. Not as strong as other APAs.

T: Pine, biscuit.

M: Crisp. Nice and bubbly on the tongue.

O: This is definitely a softer APA in terms of hops than others, but that is an unfair comparison since it is from an earlier time than more current hop-heavy APAs. It is a very well balanced, easy drinking beer. This is a classic, a standard, and a piece of craft beer history that you can drink today. Amazing!

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Photo of SitkaSteve
4.22/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

It's hard not to say something on the currently most widely reviewed APA on Beer Advocate.
I poured this into a pint glass.
The appearance was a nice glossy amber to orange color with a one and a half finger white foamy head that dissipated within about a minute. Light lacing roamed around the glass nicely.
The smell had a nice sharp to sweet citrus to spice with an underlying malt to balance nicely.
The taste copied the smell pretty much exactly the same way.
The mouthfeel was slightly sharp and spicy to add a nice harshness over my tongue. I would say this was pretty sessionable.
Overall, ya know this budget beer is more than solid.

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Photo of WillWillows
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%

Wow. I went on a Pale Ale pilgrimage and think I found it. This had a very nice taste to open matching the initial smell. I bottle drank this and it was crisp with good hop taste mellowed by some slight piny taste. This won the pale ale competition hands down. Sad that I only drank two. Recommend this to anyone.

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Photo of sierratwohearted
4.7/5  rDev +16%

appearance - pale golden-yellow, not too hazy. nice finger or two of head.
aroma - floral, slightly piney.
taste - balanced. taste very similar to the smell- floral hops up front, a little piney. solid malt backbone to make this such a well-balanced pale ale.
mouth feel - medium body, smooth.
overall impression - this is my staple pale ale, i've been drinking it for years, but just kinda started reviewing beer. its a classic and i compare many pale ales against this one - which i think says a lot.

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Photo of BenwayPHD
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Poured a one finger head slightly browned egg shell white head. The beer was a copper orange color with elegant clarity. The smell is peppery and lemony with a backbone of dried mandarins. The flavor starts with a bright Bitterness that gives way to the sweet malt before fizzing into a piney dry finish. Very nice. Very classy.

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