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Sierra Nevada Pale Ale - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Sierra Nevada Pale AleSierra Nevada Pale Ale

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7,334 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7334
Reviews: 2622
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 11.6%

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

37 IBU

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 07-05-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 7,334 | Reviews: 2,622 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Wildman


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

This beer poured a golden amber color and formed a small white head that didn't hold and left little lace. Some carbonation present. If had an aroma of hops with a slight bit of citrus. The flavor was of hops with some malt. A bit of citrus aspect. The finish was slightly sweet/citrus with a bit of a bite. A good beer, but I find the local pale ales on tap to be better as well as some others I had.

Serving type: bottle

07-26-2002 16:55:47 | More by Wildman
Photo of DarthMalt


4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

UPDATE - 11/18/02:

Thanks to the recommendations of all you beer dudes on hoppy beers:


a six-pack of Hop Ottin', one Brutal Bitter, and an Old Crusty here and there, I am happy to say, "I have seen the light!" and am now ready to give SNPA its proper place in my heirarchy of brews.
Beautiful yellow amber, with ample hop head (ha! ha! get it?). Scent of hops is obvious, but also a prevailing lager-sulphur snort (could be the hops) pervades. Smooth malt body with a noticeable alcohol puff on the front bumper leads in malty and very fruity on the mid section. Finish bites out with a little hop scrape, but, overall, malt fruits predominate and demand another!
[How could I have been so jaded?]


Egad! What's wrong with me?

I read all these glimmering reviews, and I wonder why I can't be a part of the experience. I don't think I'm a slouch when it comes to puttin' out for a righteous brew, but man, beers like this just rip my tongue off and throw it down the drain. In all honesty, it tastes like I'm eating grapefruit skin extract when I drink a beer like this--and I love grapefruit juice!

Of course it's the hops that do it, but Lordy, can't they put a warning label on there or something?

WARNING: This beer may cause they eyebrows of malt lovers to blow off like firecrackers upon the first sip!

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2002 11:18:54 | More by DarthMalt
Photo of BeerBob


4.58/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

All aboard for the hops flavor train!

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is exuding floral hops form the nose, from the palate, and after taste, and maybe into the after life.

Pours a golden amber from a 12oz bottle. Carbonation is fair, and leaves one to wonder what it would be like if the cap weren't a twist off.

The next time I drink this Beer, I’m going to do a roast duck with an orange sauce, the two should pair up eminently.

Aromatics abound from Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, and you will be bound to try this marvelous brew again.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2002 17:49:09 | More by BeerBob
Photo of BillyBrew


4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

What else can I say about The Sierra Nevada...hre are a few... The most idealistic golden brown/orange colour. A fantastic, sticky, chunky, creamy head that keeps full coverage the whole way through while leaving rings in its wake. Scents have heavy hops and fruits, a pleaseantly soft mixture. My palate held a perfectly balanced malt base with a less bitter, more complex hop profile. A fantastic, velvety smooth, medium body. This brew drinks the best so far! This beer nearly shoots through my ratings roof, held back only by my imagination's ideal of unrealized brews to come (or, sadly, never). My best so far. Cheers!

Serving type: on-tap

07-02-2002 13:30:18 | More by BillyBrew
Photo of BitteBier


4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice, lacy head and effervescence that remains to the bitter (and fruity) end. Pleasant and well-integrated mix of flavors and good mouthfeel make this a versatile, very drinkable beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2002 19:04:46 | More by BitteBier
Photo of ElGuapo

New Jersey

2.98/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

drank a few at work on a hot summer day with the wind at my back and the sun in my face. it was a special day, and this was not quite a special beer. i am not a huge fan of pale ales, but it was pretty good. i won't be a return customer, but it was good for a day

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2002 14:37:02 | More by ElGuapo
Photo of goindownsouth


4.33/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a real staple when it comes to pale ales. This brew is crisp and clean, with a mild hop aroma. This was the first pale ale I got into when I started drinking beer. From the initial sip to the bottom of the glass, it is clean and refreshing with a very balanced amount of hoppy flavor and aroma. A solid brew for any HopHead starting out.

Serving type: on-tap

06-24-2002 03:02:17 | More by goindownsouth
Photo of tigerpaws

South Carolina

4.22/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is one of the better Pale Ales I have tried. The color is very pleasing and pairs well with almost any food or alone. Not much aroma here but very easy to drink and would recommend it highly...........CHEERS

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2002 09:41:18 | More by tigerpaws
Photo of Mark


3.65/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'm sorry to all the fans of this brew but I find it overated. I just don't buy it Prefer the smoother british beers. As for American Ales, I'll take Anderson Valley and North Coast. I realize I had underated this brew quite seriously. While I have upped it's numbers I still feel it is a vastly overated beer. I'll jump over this beer to get at Bear Republic, North Coast, and English ale without hesitation.

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2002 07:14:18 | More by Mark
Photo of doerickson


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

Light amber color. Thick white head that sticks around. Hops in the nose, with some citrusy notes and slight soapy smell.
I found it hoppy enough to be just barely this side of an IPA, although still nicely balanced by a pleasant malt flavor. I realize now what all the fuss about Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is about.

Serving type: on-tap

06-18-2002 22:11:52 | More by doerickson
Photo of beerluvr

Ontario (Canada)

4.38/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the original micro-American Pale Ales, I remember scoring a sixer of this way back in 1984 (I'm on the East Coast) Seems to me to have become a little sweeter, a little more tame since I first discovered it. Pours nicely into the glass with a tight white head, with a golden color after things settle down. Nose is a bit yeast/fruity, with mellow hoppiness detected. Taste is sweetly malty, fruity with oh-so-sublte Cascade hops leaving their mark. Smooth, medium-bodied, and a pleasure to drink.

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2002 18:58:38 | More by beerluvr
Photo of RonfromJersey

New Jersey

4.68/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Rocky, white head that rises above the glass. Golden orange body revealing nice carbonation. Yeast particles floating down against the bubbles. Excellent lacing. Bracing floral and citric hop nose. Plenty of malt backbone to hang the hops on. This beer has balance, though it definitely leans to the hop side. Some grapefruit, but not enough for puckering. A beer I could (and have) drank all night. Not an example of an American Pale Ale, but the beer which defined the style. We must be careful not to take a craft brew cornerstone like this for granted. I am a grateful man that my favorite restaurant has this on tap.

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2002 20:16:46 | More by RonfromJersey
Photo of Bighuge


4.47/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This light amber brew throws out dense white head that clings nicely to the glass as I drink. Wonderful blast of hops on the nose. Tasting this is a treat. Great hop character. And great understated bitterness. Underlying malt is sufficient. Pretty clean tasting for an ale. A very quaffable brew. One of my favorite Pale Ales.

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2002 19:41:03 | More by Bighuge
Photo of CharlesRiver


4.38/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Crisp and hoppy with a light amber color. Not much of a head to start with but still very refreshing. Kind of jumps in your mouth. There is a slight floral and fruity smell that isn't over powering. Great on a hot day.

Serving type: on-tap

06-07-2002 08:47:29 | More by CharlesRiver
Photo of ebraun


4.63/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My new favorite pale ale. The perfect balance of hops, sweetness and citrus. The rust colored brew seemed a little weak on the nose... but it's Texas in Spring so it could be my nose that's the problem. The beer itself was pleasantly herbal and peppery. For me the finish on the beer seemed to mimic a big slice of grapefruit, it was really wonderful.

Serving type: bottle

06-03-2002 09:40:02 | More by ebraun
Photo of StevieW


4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another one of my favorites, revisited it recently. I think it is the standard for American Pale Ales. Looks very inviting with orange/yellow color and off white head. Perfect hoppy smell matched with the fruit and florals. The taste is maybe on the hop side for some, but I find it perfectly balanced, flavorful, and refreshing. SN always produces a quality product, and this one is readily available. This matches well with all foods, and I recommend it to newbies like me.

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2002 14:49:46 | More by StevieW
Photo of psugrad98


4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Light golden orance in color with a hint of cloudiness. Smells like orange blossoms and somewhat fruity. Slightly hoppy with a nice malt sweetness, kinda has a fruit taste to it. Very refreshing.

Serving type: on-tap

05-31-2002 07:48:40 | More by psugrad98
Photo of Suds


4.38/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a resolutely enjoyable beer. Appears as a very pale, clear, burnt-golden color with small wisps of yeast swirling beneath the head. Crisp hops aroma and bitterness. This beer deserves praise as an example of rock-solid craft brewing consistency.

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2002 16:30:20 | More by Suds
Photo of jackndan


3.55/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Sierra Pale Ale: Good looking beer, cloudy caramel, had a big white head that disappeared in a few minutes. Wonderful aroma, sweet, with a little hoppiness. Hits the tongue with a little sweetness, and then a nice bitter hop bite. Several sips later, it seems the hops dominate. I can tell this is a fine beer, but the bitterness is a touch to much for me.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2002 20:03:14 | More by jackndan
Photo of John1985


4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful gold color, fresh hop taste, malt tries a bit in the middle but gives up to the hops for the finish. Very refreshing and unique. As the beer warms the malt does come out a bit more to make the beer balanced. A take-no-prisioner pale ale!

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2002 05:08:15 | More by John1985
Photo of packetknife


3.25/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I grabbed this with huge expectations. I heard all this wonderful stuff but I was sorely dissapointed. It doesn't have a lot of character. It's rather run-of-the-mill. The exception being it didn't leave any aftertaste so it was readily drinkable with a meal. I feel like I should be at a farm when I have any pale.

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2002 05:22:13 | More by packetknife
Photo of jtw5877


4.43/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a nice amber color with a decent head, hops are in your face. This is the beer that got me into hoppy pale ales, I love it, and it is readily available in my area. What else can I say... A real good beer to convert your macro friends.

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2002 13:10:59 | More by jtw5877
Photo of mickeymac


4.43/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

SN Pale Ale is an American classic: full of hops and topped with a beautiful white head. Out here on the west coast, it can be found in just about any drinking establishment, even those that stock primarily macrobrewed lagers. I've never had a bad one.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2002 21:09:58 | More by mickeymac
Photo of jonnylieberman


4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is a staple. Bread, water, salt, butter and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Nothing wrong with this beer at all.

I can drink it all day and all night and sometimes do.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2002 10:55:01 | More by jonnylieberman
Photo of Murph


4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This has to be one of the best examples of an American Pale Ale out there. Pours a nice orangey-gold with a nice creamy head. Smell is nice citrusy/floral hops from the cascades. Huge cascade hop flavor that is nicely balanced by some malt. The malt is not strong enough to really be perceptable but it prevents the beer from getting out of balance. A nice crisp and clean mouthfeel and the beer is highly drinkable. As I said before, almost a perfect example of an APA. Highly recommended to all.

Serving type: on-tap

04-05-2002 15:32:38 | More by Murph
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 7,334 ratings.