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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.

2,863 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,863
Hads: 10,439
Avg: 4.05
pDev: 22.22%
Wants: 237
Gots: 2,297 | 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: 2,863 | Hads: 10,439
Photo of Denali
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had a bottle of this at the Wildhorse Saloon in Nashville, TN. I was there to cheer on my Titans. The Titans won. On to the beer...

Clear Orange amber with beautiful, lucious, foamy, yellow-tan head. Sweet aroma of caramel and bready malt. Very nice array of interchanging flavors of sweet malt, caramel and citrusy hops, with a bitter and nutty aftertaste. Wonderful malt backing - a nice quality like other Sierra Nevada beers I've had. Medium carbonation. Extremely drinkable - I had a few of these. Very nice brew.

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Photo of Rootdog316
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was a great pale ale as far as I'm concerned. I had it straight off the tap in a pint glass. Had a little bit of an amberish color to it. Although I thought it was a great beer, it tastes very similar to the Rock Bottom Brewery's Potomac Pale Ale (my last review). Sierra Nevada however is definitely in my top five of favorite pale ales.

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Photo of oxmasterscream
3.88/5  rDev -4.2%
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.

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Photo of BrewMaster
3.95/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer was served from the tap with a dull amber color and a thin 1cm head. The aroma is a nice malty one with a bit of floral hop scent mixed in. Being that I've had this beer so much here in CA I've never really stopped to notice the beautiful aroma of this beer. But this time I did and I appreciate it much more now.

The flavor has a mild sweet malt profile with touches of cascade hops. A soft nuttiness is also present, but not in an overpowering or oily fashion. The beer is smooth and certainly suitable as a daily drinker.

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

Served at InField's, Chicago Loop. Good to see this style-setting beer at more places in my neck of the woods. Pours an appealing amber body under a thin pale ale head. Originally had a mild taste, but I felt that I was "tasting" the glass more (maybe it wasn't rinsed correctly), but the fine balance of hop and malt came through. Definite northwestern hop profile with spice, bitterness and a light fruity touch. A good, toasty malt blend that's just a little sticky on the palate. Leaves a nice aftertaste and a little alcohol warmth to enjoy afterward. Not "extreme" by any means, but an excellent session beer.

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Photo of cptnjck101
3.7/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Well I finally got around to this American classic. It wasn't bad, it wasn't great, above par in every category, but I couldn't drink more than a few of these. Can't really say anything about this that hasn't been said before, good for the style, but nothing to write home about. A must try for any connoisseur of the cold ones.

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Photo of claytri
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Well after I finished my Newcastle Brown I finally got the Sierra Pale that I had ordered. Maybe the knockout I got from the Newcastle caused my Sierra impressions to suffer, but this was purely slightly above average across the board.

It poured clear gold with a white head. It smelled of hops and malt. It's taste was clean and sharp with a malt start and a hop finish. It was light and dry in the mouth. A decent beer, but not one I'll be searching for.

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Photo of fdrich29
4.4/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Short brown bottle from Dick's Last Resort after I was allowed to leave work early because business was so slow (which I directly attribute to their lack of Dogfish Head and Stone products).

Hops and lemons fill my nose and the taste is hops galore, although not to the point that it's intrusive. Definitely a good starting brew for folks who are getting into the hops.

This is a standard nowadays, a true American beer and style to boot. This baby is dangerously drinkable, make sure you pick up enough to satisfy your thirst.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
4.6/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

What can I say that hasn't already been said?? This is the best APA around and quite honestly my favorite domestic beer. Pours out of the bottle with a small head that doesn't stick around long. Smells of those wonderful Cascade hops...how I love them. The taste is smooth and hoppy. Great on a hot summer day, or any day for that matter. This is what beer should be.

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Photo of kmpitz2
4.22/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of the first non-macro American beers I ever had back years ago. Its been over a year since I last had this one, so lets see where this takes us. The beer pours a light golden color with about one finger of head that falls quickly. The nose is hops and more hops. Just what I want in a good APA. Theres some floral and some citrus in the hop character...it just comes together and smells good. I guess I have come along since I last sampled this beer. The hop character is nicely balanced with sweet malts. Just a good beer. I would like to see a bit more hop carry through in the flavor, but it doesn't detract from the beer. The beer is not too thick or too thin in my mouth. Nice all around. This is an easy session beer. I'm glad I revisited it after taking some time off from it. Just a good offering.

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Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.74/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer seems ubiquitous in America and the rest of the free world but believe it or not, its hard to come by in Ontario, Canada (thanks to our silly language laws with regards to product labels).
I was expecting a lot and was pleasantly surprised. All I can say is wow!

Pours a light bronze color with a small wispy head and minimal lacing. The aroma is amazing. A flawless boquet of aroma and bittering hops with a solid bready malt background. Lots of cedary and citrusy hops without being too harsh. The taste is very hoppy but a bit more restrained than Liberty Ale. Along with hop and malt flavors there's fruits like melon and grapes evident. Incredibly Complex and well rounded with hops clearly up front.

The mouthfeel is exceptional with subtle carbonation (thanks to the bottle conditioning I suppose). This beer is excessively drinkable and as good as I imagined. Thank god they sell it in western Canada.

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Photo of FormatKid
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This one came served to me from the bar in...a Mason jar? Yep, ah well, it's a treat to find some halfway decent draught offerings in my little town.Filled to the brim of a 16oz Mason jar so not much head to speak of, although there is a sturdy layer of foam on top of the ruby-hued amber body.The scent was a bit of caramel malt, with a hefty dollop of Cascade hops, piney and grapefruit. The taste was really nice, seemed to be really fresh, resinous hops with enough malt presence to back it adequately. Mouthfeel was about medium-light, and makes the beer really refreshing. This beer had more hop presence than a local IPA I was having afterwards, so I ended up returning to it. When I had it this time it just really seemed to be pushing Pale Ale into IPA territory. Delicious, and as ever a real go-to beer.

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Photo of stevef
4.06/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serving style bottle at about 40 degrees from the refrigerator.
Pours a nice slightly off white head.
Pretty amber color.
Very slight smell of malt and a light hop aroma.
The taste is spicy and slightly peppery with a very pleasant hop bitterness at the finish. The malt is hardly noticeable at the beginning but as it begins to warm it becomes more apparent and a slight sweetness is detectable. The spiciness and peppery taste grows slightly as it warms too and I detect a very faint hint of clove toward the end.
This is the beer that got me started on my quest for better beer and still one of my favorites. It's only fitting that it would be my first one to review.

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Photo of EvilFlyingCow
3.65/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I just bought a sixer of this. Poured a yellow-orange color with a thick light-tan head with alot of rising bubbles. Malts and hops with some lemon are very noticable in the smell. The taste is malty at first, with strong hops at the finish. The mouthfeel is strong and malty, coating the tongue with its hoppy aftertaste. I will definately buy this beer again when I am in the mood for a nice pale ale.

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Photo of benmiliron
3.82/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Paid $1.29 for a single bottle.

This is the classic pale ale. The quaffer/session beer for the rest of us. Good price, good brew, I'd keep this around if you're looking to get a bit tipsy for less than $7.00.

Other than that, it's really nothing special. Nice hops, but not fantastic. Not something to go for if you're looking for the unique brew. It's good, but nothing spectacular.

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Photo of crookedhalo
3.9/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a golden amber colored with a thin off-white head. Cascade hop aroma and some muted caramelly malt notes, too. Not particularly bad in any sense, but nothing to email home about, either. I feel this brew shines in its drinkability. It's been a while since I had this beer, and maybe I'm being a little sentimental, but it's good. It's good so revisit some old stand-bys every now and then. Good carbonation. Lacking a bit in malt complexity, and thin in the middle, but Cascades are good...

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Photo of ppoitras
3.95/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on tap at The Pub, Amherst, MA.

16oz pint glass presentation. Hardly a head, but what was present was a white film over a dark amber brew, with no lacing. Light pale malt aroma coupled with a bit of hops, with the flavor carrying on where the nose left off, and an overall acceptable feel. Mouthfeel and drinkability excellent.

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Photo of jvajda
3.73/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Good orange-hoppy look.
Smell: Mostly hops on the nose.
Taste: A tasteful amount of hops and bitterness make this a well-balanced ale, from the perspective of a hop head.
Mouthfeel: High carbonation and bitterness make this beer very active in the mouth.
Drinkability: Well-balanced means easy to drink frequently.

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Photo of Ahhdball
4.02/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Slightly hazed orange with a off white to beige head capping off the top.Malt, crisp citrus and hops bleed aroma into the nose with refreshing ease.Malt hits the tastebuds first but are doomed to a quick end by the tidal of hops. Caramel soon joins and smooths out the rest of the drink. Very nicely balanced. The entire drink shalaqs the mouth with great malt and hops. I'll have this again.

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Photo of Beaver13
2.91/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The SN Pale Ale pours a bubbly golden orange with a decent white head that has good retention and laces the glass.

Its aroma is malty biscuit with some metallic hops.

The taste is biscuity malts up front with some faint floral hops and then a fairly harsh bitter aftertaste. It is medium bodied with a sticky finish.

Overall, I'm not too impressed. I was expecting more fruity notes to balance the bitterness. I can respect what this beer has done for the microbrewery business, but I've never been able to get into it.

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Photo of niknar
3.88/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a amber/copper color with a pretty decent off-white head. Strong lacing down the side of the glass, and much better than average head retention put this beer among the top. Smell is a category I always struggle with. Having said that, I do detect some hops and citrus notes... possibly some malt in there as well. Overall a pleasant smell. Taste is well above average. Strong hop bitterness balanced by a sweet maltiness and some citrus flavors. Though not overly complex, I feel this is still a very delicate balance that makes it a very good beer. True to the style, it finishes with strong hop bitterness in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is excellent as well. Light and crisp without being over carbonated or too thin. I consider this a very strong offering worthy of a special occasion or everyday consumption alike. Definitely a beer that any craft beer lover should try. Maybe a good beer for someone who was recently converted from macros, but I wouldn't make this one part of such a program too early due to the bitterness!

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Photo of nortmand
4.4/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Sierra Nevada is known to many as a standby and a gateway to great beer. This alone gives it high marks.
Pours amber with a finger of white head.
Smell of citrus and raisin.
Raisin-like initial flavor, with a bitter, back of the tongue finish.
Nicely carbonated, with a slightly astringent "stickiness" mid-tongue.
Very drinkable, nice balanced, hoppy Pale Ale.

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Photo of Gusler
4.44/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

It's with a certain amount of shame that I must admit, that I rarely drink my favorite beers like SNPA, as I'm to busy with all the new beers, or some over the top beer that has caught my fancy, its a shame when we forget our "Old Friends", whether it be beer or people, something I plan on rectifying in both cases.

The beer disembogues the stubby brown 12-ounce bottle a slightly hazy amber color, the head portly and off white in color with the left over lace a fine velum like sheet, that obscures the glass. Oh what a wonderful nose, malt, citrus crisp, hop floral, and just plain sniffable, with the start rich in malt and somewhat sweet, top is middling in its feel. Finish has a determined acidity, the hops wonderfully spicy and the aftertaste desert bone dry. Sorry "Old Friend" if I have ignored you lately, it was not intentional.

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Photo of Enygma
4.17/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: The bottle pours a nice amber color, with a nice frothy head that dissipates slowly into the beer as you drink it.

Smell: Strong citrusy hops with definite floral notes, the cascades come through quite strong and beautifully. the malt comes through very slightly, but is largely overpowered by the hops.

Taste: Slightly sweet malt tickles your taste buds and is quickly overpowered by the cascade hops, leaving a bitter and spicy finish to excellently balance the beer. The mouthfeel is medium and supplemented by a medium to strong carbonation.

Overall: Definitely solid beer. This one has long been one of my mainstay beers, I can find it almost anywhere I go, and pretty cheaply at that. Furthermore it's a great session brew, I can and have had many of these throughout the night, and I often feel like i just can't get enough of it.

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Photo of bigbeerdrinka
4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was truly the brew that got me started on good craft beer, and to this day its still a favorite. Pours a beautiful amber with a nice white head about an inch thick. Aromas are of citrus and bitter hops, with a bit of doughy bread malt. For flavor this beer has it all. Initially this beer shows off a barrage of hops, some citrusy, some piney, a just a little that provide some nice bitterness. Somewhere in between all of it some bread and dough like malts sneak their way in to provide a perfect balance. But just as the malts appear, the hops come back into the picture to finish this beer in perfect pale ale fashion, leaving just a bit of spiciness to make you crave another sip. The body of this beer is nice and light with a crisp carbonation. Very well balanced.

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Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,863 ratings.