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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.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

2,843 Reviews
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,843
Hads: 10,345
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 9.85%
Wants: 226
Gots: 2,193 | 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: 2,843 | Hads: 10,345
Photo of UnionMade
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The beer pours a bright golden amber, topped with a thick ivory froth. Great head retention, keeping an even coating throughout the entire glass. Sticky sheets of foam cling to the glass with tenacity. perfect lacing.
The aroma is impeccable. Soft toasty malt balances citric cascade hops. Very clean, with only a touch of floral esters.
The standard for american pale ale. The hops are artfully placed, with impeccable balance. Simple, but effective.
The flavor starts with an incredibly clean toasty malt. Chico yeast is a wonderful thing. A touch of lemon, apple and strawberry into the finish, where it meets a solid, fairly bitter citric hopping. The balance on the finish is a thing to behold. The malt maintains it's sweetness, while allowing the citric hopping to even out the balance. A lingering soft grapefruit finish. Medium bodied, with a mild, even carbonation. A very smooth mouthfeel, the standard for american beer. Drinkability? I've had more of these than I can count, and loved every one of them.
The standard for american pale ale. The best thing about this beer is that it's widely available, and you can find it at a chain restaurant or run-of-the-mill liquor store anywhere. It's a solid brew, not really stetching the boundaries. The amazing thing is that it establishes the boundaries, and it's a tried and true piece of american brewing, even after all these years. (1,397 characters)

Photo of Bierguy5
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear copper color with a white foamy head. The head stayed on this beer for a long time. There was a great amount of lace on the glass at the end. Smells like a grapefruit, with hints of slightly toasted malt. The taste was sweet up front, with a big hit of Cascade hops. Even though this is a well-hopped beer, it had great balance. Medium body, with modest carbonation. Overall, this is the textbook APA. It goes down great. I would have this again and again. (470 characters)

Photo of meathookjones
3.78/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

There is already hundreds of reviews for this beer so I will keep it brief and to the point. Pours a nice golden amber color with a slight white head that left some nice lacing. Hops are definatly present in the smell with citrus notes. The flavor is very similar to the smell with the hops being upfront but not too much so and a bit of malt and spice is present too. It also has a slight bitter after taste and the mouthfeel is good. The best thing about this beer is its availability, this can be found either on tap or atleast in the bottle and a wide variety of establishments. A good beer to covert macro drinkers over with in my experience, a good taste but not too aggresive. (683 characters)

Photo of rlcoffey
3.08/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a gold to amber color. Virtually no head despite noticeable carbonation. Very slight lacing. Floral aroma that isnt overpowering and wasnt that pleasant. Taste is very average for an APA. The hops are there, and leave a pleasant aftertaste, but they dont stand out like in many APAs. Good "structure" to the beer, the mouthfeel is there, but the taste is nothing special. Above average drinkability, I may have another despite being unimpressed. Its been a while since I have had an SNPA and I didnt remember it being anything special - and it wasnt.

Its a slightly above average APA. (593 characters)

Photo of usualpulp
4.42/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice amber color with a small white head, which leaves laces down the glass.

Most noteable smells to this beer are hops hope and hops, though there are some great floral undertones, but the number one thing that sticks out is the cascade hops.

The taste of this beer is just great, it starts fruity and flowery with a slight bitterness, then ends with a whallop of hops that hit nice and clean.

This is one refreshing beer, that is one of my standbys and which I almost always seem to have around. This is truely the beer that sets the standard for american pale ales. (586 characters)

Photo of Hunter
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A solid representative of the style. Coppery color, white pillowy head that regenerates well upon agitation. Lovely lacing. The hops come out in the smell, leaving little else for the nose to pick up. Taste reinforces that smell - a nice mild bite of hops, some traces of malt and spice, finishing in a pleasant bitterness and clean aftertaste.

The quality of this ale matched with its relatively wide availability makes it a godsend when stores/pubs see fit to serve only this, Bud, and Budlight. (500 characters)

Photo of Dukeofearl
4.57/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Oh, boy, where to start... This is a very good hoppy beer for someone who is not partial to hoppy beers- that's how good it is. Pours a nice dark golden color with a small off-white head. Aroma is floral, slight citrus, and nice hops. The flavor is its best aspect (that's a good thing) and very enjoyable. The smooth flavors follow through with pine and herbal-oily notes. The hops are present throughout the taste, but end very nicely. Moderate clean mouthfeel with some creaminess, but not as much as some others I have had. Leaves a bitter aftertaste that just begs to be covered up by some more SNPA. This is my first 5.0 on drinkability (642 characters)

Photo of LarryKemp
4.47/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It has been a long time since I have tried this pale ale. I had forgotten what a well made beer it really is. The beer poured a deep golden with a firm tan head. The head faded fast and is probably the least impressive aspect of this beer. The aroma of hops comes through but with each sip the smell of the malt gets stronger. What a joy. The hops on the tongue are not overpowering and the chocolaty, malty taste comes through very strong. The mouthfeel is medium with a tingle of carbonation that lasts throughout the beer. This is a delightful beer that is a joy to drink. No aspect of it rules which makes it a pleasure to sip with a meal or while typing a review. I will most certainly be buying more of these for the fridge. (730 characters)

Photo of joecast
4.44/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

re-review 11/5/06
ahh snpa. good to know its available down here. pretty surprising seeing it sitting next to mgd and bud ice, the only other us imports we get. (and its not out of date, score!!)
not much to say about the beer. ive probably changed a lot more than the beer since my first review, well, my tastes at least.
upped the drinkability .5, other than that, i hope it keeps coming.
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wonderful copper in color with a thin layer of white foam for a head.
great nose filling hop aroma.

hmm. i think i can actually taste the hop oils in this. it must have been dry hopped with the stuff. really nice.

flavor and aroma compliment each other very well.
this beer is packed full of mouthwatering flavor. but i couldnt honestly call it a session beer, if only because my pallate isnt quite trained up to handling it long term in one sitting. seriously hop accented but enough malt to back it all up. (920 characters)

Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Innsbrook Capital Ale House.

Clear and golden in color. Thick white lace persists for awhile, leaving a splash of lace on the glass. Aromas are crisp, with citrus and floral notes dominating. Flavor starts with a malty sweetness that is quickly usurped by the cascade of hoppy bitterness. Quite well-balanced and a brisk and short finish that satisfies and keeps you wanting more. A beer that I have no reservations about ordering, as I know this will always please. (483 characters)

Photo of BadBadger
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A very pleasant pale ale. Pours a very nice amber color. A nice white foamy head arises at initial pouring, though this decreases to about a quarter of an inch rather quickly. The smell is pleasant, which hints of the hops and malt contained within. The taste is nice on both the palate and tongue: both bitter and sweet. A nice crisp finish. Seek this one out and enjoy! (371 characters)

Photo of cypressbob
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

350ml screw top bottle

Pours with a murky amber body, thick foamy head with good retention and lacing

Smell is hoppy, lavender and summer fruits, tons of cascade hop aroma

Taste is full of hops, nothing too powerful and mabye a little bland, limited, bit one dimensional compare to anchor liberty ale for example, but goes down well, great use of cascade hops. very cascady, very little else but still fantastic, some lemony bitterness

A great and refreshing session ale, very drinkable, fresh tasting even over here in ireland (539 characters)

Photo of Holyterror
3.68/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is one of the few beers I drink that has a screw-on cap. It took me a while ot notice that. Go figure.

Sierra Nevada makes some of the best mass market beers you can buy, so my expectations were high. I was not disappointed. It poured a hazy golden orange, very appetizing color. The head was moderately thick, good for this style, and settled into a thin white cap and laced the glass pretty well. I lack the vocabulary to properly describe the aroma, but the hops became evident even before the first taste. It had a very grainy taste, heavy on the hop oil, which lingered on into the aftertaste. The hops are very prominent, a plus for me. It is still balanced, and washes down smoothly without leaving excess bitterness on the palate. Good mouthfeel, perfect for this kind of beer. About halfway through the frist glass, it becomes very drinkable. Definite candidate for a session beer, especially if you like the style (which I do).

Definitely recommended as an introduction to the American Pale Ales. Another widely available brew to fall back on as well. (1,072 characters)

Photo of irishmoss
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Pours a light golden to slightly amber color that's crystal clear. It has a one-finger head that dissipates to a nice rocky covering and a white ring around the edge.
The aroma is light floral hops and a bit of citrus hops as well
The taste is just a well-blended balance of hops and malt, which is as smooth as can be. Finishes crisp and at this low ABV, can be enjoyed for the entire night, and I have done that plenty of times.
There just isn't much to say about this American staple that hasen't been said already.... (527 characters)

Photo of abcsofbeer
3.68/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours nice medium amber color. I am editing my review about the head and lace. When poured properly there is a very nice 1/4 head that leaves a nice lace down through the glass. Aroma is fairly hoppy and pleasant. Taste is very smooth, but with a definite hop presence. Carbonation is noticeable but light. I have read mostly good reviews about this brew, never a bad one. This is a good standby favorite, one that will be one of my all around favorites.

Taste is moderately spicy, but smooth. I think that pale ales are my preference in beer. (547 characters)

Photo of andyo
4.07/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

this beer has become a standard at my house. My wife loves it, so, it's usually what we get.

What else can I add to the reviews? This one poured really nice, an orange/copper color, with a nice, thick slightly orange head.

This pale ale has a slight bittersweet taste, with grass and citrus notes. Definate hoppy taste, yet not over powering this beer. Very crisp, and very refreshing. A good American Pale Ale- a standard for this style.

After a few years of drinking this beer, and trying many others, the "specialness" of this beer is sort of lost for me. Still a good beer, but it just doesn't "wow" me anymore. (625 characters)

Photo of TagoMago
4.02/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12 oz. short bottle.

Appearance: Pours a rich golden orange color with some haziness. Nice head and lacing.

Aroma: Very earthy with zesty lemon and slightly grassy herbal notes.

Taste: Nicely sharp citric hop bitterness up front, with some bready malt. The mouthfeel is quite smooth and balanced.

Overall: This is the classic American pale ale. It's one of those beers that is good any time of the year. I always have a case of this stuff on hand. This is also a very good beer for those just breaking through into the world of craft beers. It is a very accessible, drinkable beer. (607 characters)

Photo of HochFliegen
4.24/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

What a great beer. It pours a nice clear golden color with a good head. The smell is very strong of hops. Very floral and powerful. The taste it really dominated by hops and the bitterness at the end is quite nice. Its not too rough but does have a nice bite to it. Its a very smooth beer that is a joy to drink. (312 characters)

Photo of sprackops
4.07/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours gold with a nice white head which sticks around for quite a while, leaving lace when it dissipates.

Smell: Beautiful grapefruit hops and gentle honey-like malt aroma with additional grainy notes.

Taste: Slightly bitter on the first sip leading to a full grapefruit/lemon taste provided by the cascade hops and an underlying malty sweetness perfectly complimenting one another. Some biscuity and fruity notes round out the taste nicely. Dries nicely on the finish. The most balanced beer I've had in which cascade hops are generally thought to take center stage.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and medium bodied with good carbonation feeling slightly prickly on the tongue.

Drinkability: A great session beer for all the right reasons.

The quintessential APA. (778 characters)

Photo of chriscolby
4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep golden color, clear and with a moderate, lasting head. The first thing I notice in the aroma is the Cascade hops with an almost tobacco-like edge to them. The sweet, crystal-malty aroma follows immediately. It's flavor is moderately malty with a hint of sweetness balanced with a clean bitterness and just enough hop flavor to tilt the malt/hop balance slightly to the hop side. Moderately full mouthfeel. Malt flavors quickly dissipate, leaving a nice hop flavor in the aftertaste.

There are many beers I used to enjoy that no longer taste that good to me. In contrast, every time I grab a six-pack of SNPA, I am pleasantly surprised all over again at what a great beer it is. Yummy. (692 characters)

Photo of 99bottles
3.72/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had one of these the other night and I can't believe that I never bothered to review this beer that I drink pretty frequently.

Apperance: SNPA pours a golden-amber color and had a nice inch of white sticky head that laces the glass. What I think of when I think pale ale.

Smell: This guy smell like he tastes. Hoppy and slick, with some small malt footing.

Taste: Mmm, mmm. Good old SNPA. This has a ton of Cascade hops pushing a tangy bitterness. They hit hard at first sip, but then they settle down and stop attacking your tastebuds. A good malt base of sweet biscuits balances this over time.

Mouthfeel: Slippery hop oil is the most dominant factor and gives this beer a somewhat heavier mouthfeel than most pale ales.

Drinkability: Yes please. This beer has such a wide distribution, I find myself getting it a lot at restaurants and bars that whose selections are only American macros and this. I could drink these for awhile, but if I had other more exotic beers to choose from this would easily be passed over. The classic American micro to whom we are all indebted. (1,092 characters)

Photo of mrpicklerelish
3.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Apperance - Pours a very nice brownish copper color, very nice to look at. Nice size head that leaves behind some nice tight lacing.

Smell - A small hint of bread aroma followed by some citrus.

Taste - A nice hop kick with a nice side of citrus taste to it. Not an overly hoppy brew but very nicely balanced.

Mouthfeel - A very smooth pale ale, very crisp in the mouth.

Drinkability - Very easy to drink. A great beer to just sit back and enjoy a few. Also a great starter beer to the land of craft brew.

Comments - This is one of my all time favorites. One that I am constantly going back to at least once a month for a revisit. Very accessable in my next of the woods as it is with most palces now and I take full advantage of it. (747 characters)

Photo of dedalus
4.42/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

coppery golden in the glass, swirled the last few drops in the bottle and poured it in the glass hefe-style, just in case any yeast was clinging to the bottom of the bottle. pillowy white head that could have stuck around a bit longer. bright clingy lacing.

aromas of fresh, grapefruity hops, orange/lemon peel, and an earthy, fruity, yeasty, damp soil scent lurking subtlely in the background.

mouthfeel is thin but not watery. very refreshing.

the flavors were all cascade hops up front: citrusy, juicy, and flowery. some malt came through in the middle but not enough to draw attention away from the hops. the almost wheaty malt and tangy, fruity yeast came back in the finish. loads of fresh hop flavor with enough bitterness to contrast the fruity, earthy, wheaty tastes.

a beautifully structured beer, perfect for the warmer weather. the bitterness here is only one of many flavor elements that build to achieve an effect greater than the sum of its parts. a true masterpiece that also happens to be widely available. i shied away from this beer in the past fearing that the bitterness would be overpowering and that the beer would lack character, but i am pleased to say my fears were unfounded. also great with a farmhouse cheddar and a loaf of real wheat bread.

cheers,

s.d. (1,304 characters)

Photo of gentlebubbles
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Looks just like a beer ought to: a clear and golden with a nice white head. The enticing orangey fragrance drifts from the glass and hangs in there. Crisp malt. Bracing bitterness, if a bit sour from time to time. Surprisingly fizzy and sharp for a bottle-conditioned. I could have a few of these.

This one just does the right thing. (336 characters)

Photo of Billolick
4.27/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

24 ounce bomber bottle, ( a nice touch) no freshness dating to be found. Not much I can add to the other 400 or so reviews. This is the classic pale ale, so good it defines the style. One of the first micros to be had back in the day. If you havent sampled this tasty quaffer, you are missing alot. Goes great with spicy BBQ. Cheers! (333 characters)

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,843 ratings.