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Sierra Nevada Pale Ale - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada Pale AleSierra Nevada Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

7,961 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,961
Reviews: 2,659
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 11.63%
Wants: 102
Gots: 540 | FT: 3
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: 7,961 | Reviews: 2,659 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of climbhighnz

New Zealand (Aotearoa)

4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have heard and read that Sierra Nevada is regarded as such a wonderful brew. I'm from New Zealand, we don't get this beer anywhere in stores. I have been buying this and many others (1 beer at a time!) from a NZ website that imports beers from all over the world. I love APA's for their pleasant taste and easy drinkability, and this was no exception

A - Nice color to it, more orange than yellow.

S - Pleasant floral and citrus hop aroma. Doesn't jump out at you but it's subtle. Doesn't smell bitter on the nose, just smells fresh.

T - Such a smooth, easy drinking beer. Some hints of pine, and some bitters, with a gentle citrus hop finish. It has a taste that I immediately enjoy, and it doesn't overpower the pallete. The taste lingers. It stays with you the whole time, very flavorful.

M - Easy in the mouth, doesn't taste too bitter, has just the right amount of body to sip it slow or drink it fast to quench your thirst.

D - I can have one and be happy, or down a couple and savour the flavour. A great session brew

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2011 06:36:30 | More by climbhighnz
Photo of JDFish


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

Bottle poured into a pint glass:

A: Golden color, perhaps a little hazy. 2 finger fluffy foam with decent lacing.

S: Unique smell. Can't quite place it...biscuity malts maybe. Slight piney hops smell

T: Delicious and smooth. Malts dominate here, with a little sweetness covered by low to moderate piney hops. Great, great balance

M: Medium to me, about right, part of the great balance

D: Extremely drinkable and affordable. Why drink Bud or Miller when this is around. Great brew, very serviceable and available.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2011 03:48:21 | More by JDFish
Photo of SuperSpy


4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Golden-orange and slightly hazy. A small white head with plenty of lace.

S - Citrus and spicy hops. A slight hint of biscuity malt. Simple and enticing.

T/M - Medium bodied and smooth with floral, citrusy and earthy hop flavors mingling perfectly. The flavor smoothly meld to that same hint of biscuit that was in the aroma with a dry bitter hop finish.

D - More please.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2011 00:18:33 | More by SuperSpy
Photo of AllFineThings


4.68/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

One of my everday favorites.

Pours an orangeish, yellowish hue. Has an inch to two inch head that dissipates after a few minutes.

Laceing is noticeable as you drink down your glass.

The smell is of citrus and some hops.

Tastes like citrus and some hops and malt coming through.

Can drink these every day and is quite sessionable, is affordable and can be drank in any kind of climate at any time of the year--kinda my miller-LOL!

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2011 02:03:17 | More by AllFineThings
Photo of GehenHerzog

North Carolina

3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in Dogfish Off Centered pint glass.

A- Pours a golden, orangish with a bubbly white head.

S- Citrus smell with a little bit of alcohol

T- Great flavor and good balance. Citrus hops really shine in this beer with a nice maltness hint coming through. There is a very little detection of alcohol at all.

M- Very smooth and medium bodied. The carbonation is solid for the style.

D- The abv (at 5.6%) makes it somewhat of a sessionable beer (not really) but I could drink quite a few of these.

This is one of my go to beers that I normally always have in the fridge. For the price you can't really beat it.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2011 23:00:58 | More by GehenHerzog
Photo of TheBear11D


3.8/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

24oz bottle

Pours a clear golden orangish yellow color with plenty of visual carbonation. The creamy nearly white head has hardly changed since the pour (roughly 10 minutes) and leaves layers of lacing.

Citrus is easily the most noticeable of the aromas thanks to the hops, but there is some caramel that also stands out.

The citrus hops are toned down a bit in the flavor from the aroma although they are still present. Malt is also noticeable in the flavor.

Medium to thin body with plenty of carbonation.

Pretty drinkable and worth having again.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2011 22:49:15 | More by TheBear11D
Photo of logmacschlog15


4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Served in Dogfish Off Centered pint glass.

Appearance: Pours 1 1/2 fingers of white, creamy head. Golden amber, dark straw colored. Lively carbonation. A little bit of lacing.

Smell: Fruity cascade hops are showcased with a subtle sweetness from the malt. Hint of alcohol.

Taste: Super flavorful with a good balance leaning toward the hoppy side of things. Nice malt sweetness with some biscut/bready undertones. Juicy, grapefruity hop with some floral notes. Slight bitterness and a hint of alcohol on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Smooth medium body. Carbonation dances on the tounge.

Drinkabilty: Very drinkable. The 5.6% ABV makes it just low enough in alcohol to drink for longer periods of time. A classic go to pale ale.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2011 00:16:31 | More by logmacschlog15
Photo of bucklemyshoe


3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle at 42 degrees into a pint glass.

A: It pours a mostly transluscent golden-orange color with a finger and a half of white head that has decent retention and laces well.

S: It's quite hoppy for an APA; citrus, floral hops, caramel, and biscuit.

T: Floral hoppy bitterness up front with citrus, sweet malty flavors, and a dry, bready finish.

M: It has a medium to medium-light body with some foaminess and a crisp finish.

D: This is a decent go-to brew but it isn't great in quantity because it really seems to dry the palate quite a bit.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2011 20:25:31 | More by bucklemyshoe
Photo of Chadpaq

North Carolina

4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ahh, the beer that started it all for me. Figured it was time for a review. Poured from a bomber into a...um...solo cup. Nothing's clean! I'm sorry, Sierra Nevada, I know this hardly does you justice. But I'm confident you'll be just as delicious in plastic as you are in glass.

Huge, billowing head that's hardly receded in three minutes. Is this a product of the solo cup, or a too-ambitious pour on my part? I somewhat like it. It's very serene, and makes the beer's surface appear cloud-like. The beer heavens, as it were. Salvation in a solo cup. Unfortunately, I can't see through said clouds to make an assessment on appearance, and the impermeable walls of the cup allow zero insight to the matter either. Ahh, I've finally caught a glimpse as a ray of artificial, 60-watt sunshine makes its way through the cloud cover: Golden honey comb with a touch of lemon zest. Very pretty beer, something I'd expect from the staple American Pale Ale.

I used to think this beer smelled "piney," and I still do. However, I've come to regard it as a positive connotation, something that wasn't always the case. It has a very natural, pure aroma.

I need two words to describe this beer, and two words only: Drinkable Satisfaction. Often, a tasty brew isn't as drinkable as one would like because it's so darn heavy. On the opposite end of the spectrum, a beer may go down as easily as water...but it may taste like just that. This beer falls neatly in the spectrum of...well, Drinkable Satisfaction. It's damn tasty. Bitter, fresh hops with a fair amount of grain and a bounty of other fresh ingredients. But, the body isn't huge, nor is the alcohol content, so it's very sessionable.

I've always felt that this beer had a good amount of carbonation, but not too much, allowing one to truly appreciate the copious amount of hops present within it, as well as the yeast and barley. It feels quite fine on the palate.

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. The beer that started it all for me, craft-wise. I feel like there should be a sixth rating category for this beer: Nostalgia. If I could, I'd certainly give it a 5 here.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2011 03:39:11 | More by Chadpaq
Photo of walder

New Jersey

1.3/5  rDev -67.8%
look: 1 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

i see this beer often in various beer stores, so i figured it has to be ok,no way it can be bad for that price right?i just bought a sixer just in case it backfired...and im glad i did. appearance looked good to me,smelled of casual ale ,now being that is was out of a green bottle i figured it might taste a little tarty,skunky,little did i know my first gulp i was shocked i thought it may have gone bad or a bad batch dude this stuff tasted rotton, didnt get better as drinking went on neither every gulp was a bad experiance,i was confused why it is so highly reviewed i was sure it was a bad batch,so some time later im at this bar and had it on tap i figured id give it a second chance ,bad move even worse second time cause i paid 4 bucks for one anyway long story short drinkability a @#$%&@ zero

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2011 00:23:24 | More by walder
Photo of Erish


3.8/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured this bottle into a large wine glass.

A; cloudy honey-amber color, eggshell-colored head quickly falls into a gorgeous cap with very good lacing.

S: honey, bread-like sweet malt, slight citrus aroma, some floral/ester yeast funk.

T: sweet bread, earthy yeast funk, and citrus up front, the middle has a sweet honey, nutty core, and some of the juniper, floral, and orange flavors wake up, the finish starts with a vanilla/oak flavor, then moves to lemon and pepper, and then a grassy and juniper tinge. As it warms I find that the spicy notes become a distraction rather than a compliment.

M: medium-bodied, silky, moderate carbonation, the finish is somewhat chalky and mineral-like.

D: Distinctive, American, refreshing, and complex enough to spark your interest.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2011 03:07:54 | More by Erish
Photo of beerdown77

North Carolina

3.78/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sierra Nevada's Pale Ale is an old stand by. It's on-tap everywhere, so the "ace in the hole" factor is a plus. I like that it is well rounded, medium bodied, and easy to have a few of. This time around I poured it into a pint glass with two fingers of head. The retention isn't as good as Celebration, but still pretty good. The color is orange/copper. I smell hops, malt and citrus. The taste is a little on the sweet side, but there is a good amount of hop presence for a Pale Ale.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2011 02:21:06 | More by beerdown77
Photo of DrinkingDrake


4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Golden amber color with about a finger of head. Laces out quickly and leaves a solid ring.

Great bouquet of citrus spice and some floral peach notes. Some caramel malts hold down the base but this is all hop.

Comes right out with a fresh hop bite. The bitter Citrus/pine kick right up from is complemented perfectly by the full caramel middle and finishes with a clean bitterness.

Great body to this beer and the balance of hops and malts makes this is a great beer to enjoy all night paired with some great music.

Serving type: on-tap

01-08-2011 16:07:29 | More by DrinkingDrake
Photo of SteveoNY

New York

4.72/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

P - 25 Oz Bottle, day code stamped on front label.

A - Almost crystal clear golden honey color, huge off white frothy head with very sticky lacing.

S - Faint smell of malts & citrus to florals.

T - Theres nothing pale tasting about this ale! Instant rush of malty sweetness followed by a bitter finish.

M - smooth & creamy body with good balanced carbonation.

D - would create some mighty fine beer goggles..

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2011 05:20:19 | More by SteveoNY
Photo of leedorham


4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - poured into a pint glass. Orange in color with a good sized off-white head.

S - Bouquet of floral & piney hops. A bit of grassiness but not unpleasant.

T - Again with the hops. This certainly represents the west coast well. Fairly dry with a definite hop focus. Some citrus character.

M - A bit thin but overall nice. Strong carbonation level perhaps a tad high for my liking.

D - Very drinkable pale. I like that a beer like this is so incredibly popular.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2011 02:02:24 | More by leedorham
Photo of RugbyGreg

New Jersey

4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My go to beer when the pickings are not right. You can't go wrong with Sierra Nevada, they just don't make bad beers. Will find in most stores or bars, even places that typically just sell Bud or Coors. In my opinion, it's what all pale ales are judged against.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2011 18:29:23 | More by RugbyGreg
Photo of jizdepski


3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured into a english pint sized bass glass. nice looking ale, honey gold in color with a creamy textured tan collar. head retained well. floral hop bouquet with an earthy mustiness on the nose. tastes floral and herbal up front. not too hoppy, some graininess balances it out with a nice malt presense. not shy with hops, but not too hoppy especially if you are looking for them. feels oily slick going down (resiny, hoppy oil) and has a fullish, creamy medium body. just a little "bite" from carbonation but for the most part quite smooth. drinkability spot on. one of the better examples of an american pale.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2011 23:30:09 | More by jizdepski
Photo of WhiteOak


2.78/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Bright golden color, lacy white head.

S- Grains, floral/citric hops aroma.

T- Bitter citric hops over minerals and light malt flavors.

M, D- Light/medium body.

All credit is due for this old soldier who helped lead the initial charge, but in comparison to current competition, somewhat uninspiring.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2011 18:36:14 | More by WhiteOak
Photo of AdamBear


2.68/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-pale gold with a hint of orange. thin white head. there are some bubbles

S-very hoppy, but very bold and striking. its not that citrusy but i'm getting a hint of orange. there's a good strength to it.

T-starts with an oddly bitter mixture of hops and barley. there's a bitter after-taste of barley. this is quite the simple and unexciting beer.

M-medium to high carbonation which is creamy. finish is a tad dry

D-it doesn't get any worse than the initial taste but it doesn't get any better. i've heard a lot of good things about this beer but i was really let down. this is nothing special and doesn't beat the other commonly found beers.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2011 19:21:54 | More by AdamBear
Photo of BFrost


3.53/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured with two fingers of a dense, off-white head with a lace that sticks quite nicely. The color is a translucent amber that looks nice under light as the carbonation rises to the head.

Aromas smell of citrus, grain, and hops with a fair amount of yeast. Those same aromas are present on the tongue as well as the carbonation which presents a cool fizzing sensation on the taste buds.

Pale Ales are not my preference, but from an objective point of view, I can say this is one of the better pale ales. It is not overly hoppy or bitter as many others tend to be. I wouldn't go out of my way for it, but I'd certainly have another!

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2011 07:45:34 | More by BFrost
Photo of welldigger888

South Carolina

3.83/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

OK poured from a 24 oz. bomber into an american shaker pint glass.Nice golden color for sure, white fluffy head and some lacing.
Smells of a well balanced beer,with an fruity yeast. Malty bread and a hint of hoppy bitterness.
Well balanced brew here,biscuity malt with a nice bite from the hop. The beer seems to meld the flavors into one nice even brew.
Just about right carbonation with a hint of creaminess.
Could drink this most of the night till I needed for flav.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2011 03:06:16 | More by welldigger888
Photo of flyingpig

United Kingdom (Scotland)

4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Golden orange with a nice sized frothy white head that lasts well & leaves some nice lacing with some very gentle carbonation.

Hops & grass/flower like smell. Fruity, almost orange like aroma as well for this ale.

Sort of sweet pine like to begin with along with some bitter flavours. Finishes with a bitter aftertaste blended with a citrus fruit/hop combination that lingers for a while.

Fairly light bodied an incredibly smooth yet not watery in the least. A slight tingling sensation on the tongue when held in the mouth.

A real flavourful pale ale that is very smooth & drinkable.


Serving type: bottle

01-01-2011 19:07:58 | More by flyingpig
Photo of bondjedi


3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap. This is my Dad's favorite beer.

Doesn't foam up on the initial pour. Nice - I won't half to waste half a keg getting the CO2 pressure right. Buying a keg of this is like getting a German shepherd that's already housebroken.

Well-laced, and a dainty light copper color. I think of a riverboat gambler who is a bit of a dandy.

Smooth pour down the throat. I would hope for a more gravelly note, that which usually accompanies a PA.

Great beer.

Serving type: on-tap

01-01-2011 02:29:59 | More by bondjedi
Photo of BB1313


3.7/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a honey color w/ great white head and sticky lacing.. very nice looking beer. Nice nose, but the aromas are faint. Slightly bready w/ bitter hops and some fruit notes. Tastes like somethings missing, not as bold as I'd like it to be; very subtle. The hops are not harsh, making it very drinkable. SNPA is a clean and refreshing beer.

SNPA is classic, I used to drink it all of the time, but there are still a number of Pale Ales I perfer. Still, this is a beer that EVERYONE must try at least once.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2010 20:21:46 | More by BB1313
Photo of wrb357


4.7/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

For awhile I had no idea that Sierra Nevada was regarded as such a wonderful brew. Being in Nor Cal, we get this beer EVERYWHERE. I have always enjoyed its pleasant taste and easy drinkability, but I guess I took it for granted because many are not as familiar.

I've drank this beer in every way imaginable, but best is out of a bottle into a pint glass.

A - Nice pale color to it, more orange than yellow. Always give a nice head.

S - Nice floral and citrus hop aroma. Doesn't smell bitter in the nose, just smells fresh.

T - Such a smooth, easy drinking beer. Some hints of pine, and some bitters, with a citrus hop finish. It has a taste that you will immediately enjoy, and it won't kick you in the mouth. However, the taste doesn't go away. It stays with you the whole time, very flavorful.

M - Easy in the mouth, doesn't taste watery or too bitter, has just the right amount of body to sip it slow or drink it very very fast.

D - It's everywhere for me, and it always pleases. It is so smooth yet flavorful, I can have one and be happy, or down a sixer and not fall flat on my face. Just a superb session drink, one of the best pales to drink a lot of.

To all my Nor Cal friends, be thankful for this amazingly cheap, satisfying beer! To everyone who has to stretch to find it, do it and enjoy.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2010 21:01:45 | More by wrb357
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 7,961 ratings.