1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.

8,086 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,086
Reviews: 2,663
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 11.63%
Wants: 110
Gots: 591 | 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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 8,086 | Reviews: 2,663 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of morehoppps


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

On-Tap, Served in classic Bar Pint Glass.

A: Nice, thick, two-finger head. Red-Amber in color, with lots of carbonation. This beer looks magnificent in the light, even better in the sun.

S: Piney hops, and a tinge of some floral in there, pretty light aroma.

T: Piney and Citrus somewhat subtle hops with a nice malt balance. Very good balance of hop and malt.

M: Nice and carbonated. Just how a Pale Ale should be. Crisp Mouthfeel, Light to Medium Bodied. Drinkable? Yes.

O: Great craft beer that is readily available. Highly Recommended.

Serving type: on-tap

04-30-2011 18:12:45 | More by morehoppps
Photo of Duff27


3.75/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a one fingered head on top of a dark orange/light red beer. Below average head retention and no lacing.

S- Smell is of faint oranges

T- Follows the smell with floral hops added, Light on the palate but very flavorful.

M- Good carbonation, feels nice in my mouth.

D/O- Drinkability on this is awesome...right up there with the best flavor&drinkability ratio there is. A gateway drug is there ever was one.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2011 02:56:23 | More by Duff27
Photo of mikechance


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

With all the "new" releases, seasonal and special bottling this beer tends to be overlooked and underappreciated. It is still an outstanding beverage.

The color, smell and taste don't disappoint. This an American West Coast pale ale and it is wonderful. It is very bitter yet quite drinkable. It goes well with appetizers, a meal or as a session beer. It is perfect on a hot day to quench a big thirst. It has so much flavor, body and smoothness for a pale ale. It’s still one of the all time great craft beers!

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2011 22:01:40 | More by mikechance
Photo of bigwillystyle9


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

A - Amber gold with half centimeter of frothy head, leaves nice lace. Well carbonated with particulates.

S - Subtle smell, with hint of cedar wood.

T - Slightly bitter, stimulates the tip and front sides of the tongue. Leaves slight after taste of woody flavor.

M - Nicely smooth.

O - Enjoyable pale to heavy beer. Seems a little strong for a pale ale.

Summary: Reasonably priced with smooth and stimulating flavor and texture.

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2011 01:57:17 | More by bigwillystyle9
Photo of Jerone


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

A - Slightly hazy Golden color with a white head a medium carbonation.

S - Smells of floral pine with a hint of malt in there somewhere, smells very good.

T - Tastes like the smell of floral pine, some malt in the middle with a slight bitter ending that lingers of hops.

M - You feel the carbonation but not as much as a lager, just enough to get a small tingle, very drinkable beer. Light to medium body.

O - Great beer for spring summer or fall, not as hoppy as an IPA, but has good flavor and is very enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2011 21:37:10 | More by Jerone
Photo of Ochsenblut


3.58/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a hazy light copper with a bone white head that immediately dissipates to sticky lacing with big soapy bubbles.

Floral, aromatic and a spike of citrus peel come through.

This beer is dry and bitter to the end, allowing light grapefruit notes to peek in through a mineral-rich body. It's only slightly crackery as it fades to a brief sourness in the aftertaste.

The mouthfeel is medium with a medium to high amount of suspended carbonation.

I would suggest this beer to anyone as a stepping stone into pale ales.

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2011 00:20:53 | More by Ochsenblut
Photo of jman892


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

A - Hazy orange with a small but persistent head. Mild lacing

S - Mild citrus aroma, not picking up much on the nose

T - taste is light citrus flavor, not overwhelming, mild hop bitterness, a bit of honey balances it out

M - great level of carbonation here, nice easy drinker. alcohol well hidden

O - pretty straightforward brew, but definitley above average for the syle. A good one to always have on hand

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2011 17:17:36 | More by jman892
Photo of Ralphs66

New York

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

The only craft beer at the restaurant that is closest to my home...I usually go for the martinis at this place, but my resurrected love of beer caused me to ask what was available. Tender reaches into the recesses of the fridge and pulls this one out; buried behind the dismal and prolific adjuncts of the world. In all the years I've been drinking beer, I've never had this one before. And now I'm wondering what the hell took me so long. This is a damn fine beer. Highly drinkable and just tasty overall.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2011 17:17:35 | More by Ralphs66
Photo of Bendurgin


3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured this one into a pint glass. This one s a pale golden straw color with lots of visible carbonation about an inch of pillowy white head.

This one has a grainy malt aroma with a little bit of candied citrus in the aroma. This lacks a good hop aroma though, it's there and it's piney but it's not what I would expect. The hops are more present on the pallet. Start to finish it has a nice piney hop aroma with a nice grainy malt body. Really a solid brew.

Nice light and crisp body on this one. The carbonation is a bit sharp on this one though. Overall a solid brew that I've had countless times. Really a good brew that I'll continue to buy.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2011 00:45:46 | More by Bendurgin
Photo of StJamesGate

New York

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

Pours pale amber-gold with a thin sticky crust of white foam that leaves cathedral lace. Nose is honey grahams and pine resin. Toast, orange marmalade and light mango with snappy spruce and pink grapefruit hops. Fruity twinkle to end and assertively dry linger. Medium, good amounts of stick and chew.

Easy to forget how good this beer actually is. Superbly balanced, but hopped enough to shame some lesser IPAs. Glad this is in all 50 states and around the world.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2011 22:37:48 | More by StJamesGate
Photo of jerskine


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

A: nice golden color with thick foam and lots of lacing

S: the aroma of this beer wasn't anything special, but I wasn't expecting much for a pale ale that uses the basic ingredients

T: this beer claims to use the finest malted barley and hops to give it its crisp light hoppy flavor; it definitely proves its claim when the beer hits your taste buds

M: not sure if their "fresh seal cap" had anything to do with this, but the carbonation and freshness of this beer was excellent

O: Sierra Nevada is one of my go to beers when I'm not looking to spend too much. This beer doesn't try to be something it isn't... make sure to look at the date if you're buying a 12 or 24 pack; the fresher the better

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2011 01:23:44 | More by jerskine
Photo of chodinheaven


4.13/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pale, but slightly hazy, amber hue with a very healthy almost pure white head that sticks to the glass with the best of them throughout the drink and perfect head retention. Aromas of the kind of hops that got me into IPA's, but not as strong as many IPA's or APA's I've had since. Light hoppy aroma with a sweetness backing it.

This is the taste that got me into IPA's back in the day. It basically introduced the hop as a beer's main character to me. Like I said for the aroma, I've had better since, but as for the taste, this is one of the most solid beers out there. Very perfectly balanced for a beer that is known for its hoppy character. For an introductory beer to the world of craft, there isn't a much better beer to have. Bitter when it needs to be, and just sweet enough on the backside to balance it out perfectly. The mouthfeel is slightly creamy and smooth but not extremely.

One of the best all-around beers out there and one that I will always accept willingly when offered. One that apparently got a lot of people into craft beers, me included. Always have a soft spot in my heart for this one.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2011 04:01:30 | More by chodinheaven
Photo of rrski198


4.47/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Big fluffy white head with decent lacing. Huge round slow rising bubbles highlight the golden yellow colored ale. Looks delicious.

S: Bready malt and big time hops. Perfectly pair and balanced scent. mild alcohol rounds out the scent. Smells like its a hoppy pale ale but solid.

T: Wow, very nice. This is a hoppy pale ale and thet are definitely showcased here but the malt is PERFECTLY balanced. sweet, buttery, earthy, spicy; this beer hits on all cylinders.

M: Thick, full, oily, spicy, and the carbonation level makes it all really pop.

O: one of the best pale ales ive ever had. This is perfectly done and very well balanced. Might be too hoppy for some, but for me, this is a staple in my fridge and a perfect session beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2011 21:52:36 | More by rrski198
Photo of FrankWBurnsIII


4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It has been some time since Sierra Nevada's pale ale has graced by taste buds, but I wanted to be sure to give it a shout out on BA.

This was probably one of the first craft beers I ever had and my love for the whole category took off after that.

Among the pale ales I have had, I would say it's the best one. In fairness, I do not drink a lot of pale ale.

Among my non-craft drinking friends, this seems to be a favorite just the same, so the beer is really offering something for everyone.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2011 15:28:20 | More by FrankWBurnsIII
Photo of drinkofczars


4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A- Very light copper color. One of the clearest Pale Ales I have ever seen. Great looking head on the pour, perfect amount.

S- Nice strong cascadian hop scent. Floral notes come through a lot on this brew.

T- I wish the hop flavor was a little more powerful. Perfect amount of citrus flavor. Though the scent had floral notes, i do not detect any in the taste of the beer.

M- Perfect. I wish more Pale Ales had this thinner type of feel. I find that IPA's and other Pale Ales seem too thick.

O- Perfect beer to start someone on who is not too fond of hops. The citrus flavor and the floral scents will please any type of preference.

Solid Beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2011 05:54:25 | More by drinkofczars
Photo of cocogan


3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Visual: copper in color with orange hues. Just a lsight layer of various sized bubbles left as a head. a smudgen of lacing.

Nose: Orange peel, slight citrus, buttered biscuit, and eggs (not sure about style.. maybe scrambled).

Taste: Clementine and orange peel flavors up front, followed by pineapple citrus,bit of bready chewiness, tin metallic flavor, and a crisp earthen finish that is dosed with a balanced hop bitterness.

Mouth: feels like beer thats for sure, mildly carbonated, left fairly dry but yo mouth waters for more.

Drunkability: solid american pale ale. it is a good stand by because it is pretty easy to get ahold of nation wide. However, i endorse drinkin local beer, so i must say that this would taste even better if i were sippin it fresh in Chico, Cali.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2011 03:32:23 | More by cocogan
Photo of Radome


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

Poured from 12 oz bottle into a wide glass.

A - Beer is a deep golden color and very clear. The head is not overly big or long lasting, but is made up of tiny white bubbles.

S - The aroma is big and sharp. Green, citrusy, fresh hops. There is just a hint of bready malt in the background, but it is certainly secondary.

T - The taste is dominated by fresh hops emphasizing citrus and grapefruit. There is just a bit of nutty, grainy malt in the background. Not much complexity.

M - The bitterness is sharp but not mouth-puckering. A bit of carbonation fizz. Body is moderate, as fits the strong hops flavor. No alcohol noticeable.

D - The beer is very drinkable and enjoyable. It holds up well despite being such an early example of craft brewing. My only complaint is a lack of complexity with the hops so dominant.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2011 06:06:01 | More by Radome
Photo of ColdPoncho


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

Lots of numbers and things printed on the bottle. Don't know what they mean, but I would suspect this beer is about 4 months old, based on the store.

A - A hazy but clear amber body with touches of rose around the light. Small white head lingers a bit

S - Mild citrusy hops, light sweet malt. Small nose.

T - Bitter citrus hops are the thing here, but that's not overpowering. It's also got a nice simple malty backbone and its a good balance.

M - Medium-thin body, fairly smooth. Decent

O (D) - This is a good tasting beer that is not mind blowing in any way, but it's very good and very drinkable, and I find it to be rather sessionable. A great beer year round for sure.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2011 23:08:32 | More by ColdPoncho
Photo of legalpete19340


4.47/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a nice bright orangish gold with a thick two finger head that stuck to the glass and laced perfectly.

S: Piney hops push forward with citrus notes in the back, dry herbal scent with crispy pale malt. Smells like a dry forest.

T: Bitterness hits upfront with loads of pine and herbal spiciness. A solid pale malt backbone holds everything up and swings into the mid swig with a crispness and caramel sweetness then backs off again and lets the hops finish things up with a slap of bitterness.

M: Medium and surprisingly foamy/creamy with perfect carbonation.

O: Just a great beer IMO. Perfect example of the APA style. I keep coming back to this beer and am impressed by how enjoyable and interesting it is. Made better because I can find it anywhere.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2011 02:38:08 | More by legalpete19340
Photo of pmlondrigan

New York

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

I can't believe it has taken me this long to review this beer, I've only been drinking it forever. Decent pour honey amber with a white head that actually creates lacing, surprising as I usually drink this out of the bottle. Aroma is kinda hoppy I guess, more bitter and grassy and vegitile. The flavor is of pale malt, and grassy whole leaf hops, some herbacious taste and a mite of floral woody hops. Regular body, nothing special, overall it is sierra nevada pale ale. Period.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2011 01:32:49 | More by pmlondrigan
Photo of Azurescens


3.63/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle with bottled on date 029121011, checked their website and code doesn't match with their formats for '09 or '11 so I assume this was bottled in late '10. Don't really see the point of bottling codes that change format every year, especially if you can't look up the formats for all previous years. Poured into Maudite stemmed glass, reviewed on 4/7/11

A: Pours a slightly hazed nice golden orange with dense fluffy head that I can already see sticking itself to the sides of my glass. Head hangs around for a while and leaves nice rings of lace around glass. So far so good.

S: Good combination of floral hops with some sweet malt aromas and a touch of alcohol and honey, nothing overpowering. Not too shabby.

T: A very noticeable crisp hop bitterness greets my taste buds up front that slowly fades to let the caramel malts and sweet hop resins come through briefly at the finish. Pretty standard taste for a pale ale, nothing special.

M: Plenty of carbonation and a medium-light body, slightly sharp up front with a smoother finish.

O: Pretty standard pale ale, the carbonation and hop bitterness that first greet your mouth hide the nice malt and hop flavors that come through towards the end of each sip. Decent pale ale, won't be grabbing six packs of this any time soon, but wouldn't turn one down either, especially on a hot summer day.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2011 06:28:27 | More by Azurescens
Photo of madvermin


4.13/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a crystal clear pale amber, with a good color that isn't too deep but also not too light. Head is ample, frothy, and leaves generous lace.

Some nice grapefruit citrus hits the nose along with a good deal of grainy malt beneath. Citrus is definitely better than I remember, and the malt is acts to make a well balanced aroma.

Taste is a great combination of full malt flavor, including a toffee character before the grainy finish, and soft citrus. Malt is more prevalent here than in the nose, but the citrus does just enough to keep everything a good strength and balanced. Finish is slightly bitter and dry - good stuff.

Mouthfeel is fuller than a lot of other pale ales and the finish is a good dry as mentioned earlier. Carbonation is at the right level as well. Drinkability is phenomenal, as the flavors aren't too strong, but aren't pushovers either, and the finish is easy and dry. Readily available and really good is an awesome combination.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2011 08:54:05 | More by madvermin
Photo of MattyG85


4.55/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into pint glass.

Appearance: Golden and cloudy with a big white bubbly head. Good head retention with a decent amount of lacing.

Smell: Strong citrus hop scent with pine and a hint of malt.

Taste: Starts with floral and pine hops followed by a hint of grapefruit and breadiness. Overall not very bitter.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and carbonation. Very crisp.

Overall: A very tasty ale with a very good balance between sweetness and bitterness.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2011 05:20:35 | More by MattyG85
Photo of cole2


4.4/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Gold and a little cloudy. Holds on to a one-finger head with spotty lacing the whole way down.

S: Hits the nose hoppy. There's some sweet maltiness here, too, as well as some citrus. A nice clean smell.

T: Pretty hop-heavy with plenty of fruity sweetness. Not a terribly complex flavor but that's not the point here. Very crisp and refreshing.

M: Medium-bodied with moderate carbonation. Easy to drink.

O: A great pale ale. Pretty dry and straightforward, this is definitely a favorite APA.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2011 05:00:30 | More by cole2
Photo of Jinholic


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

Appearance - Clear deep gold with off white head, no lacing and almost no carbonation. Head stayed for a bit and I could get it back a bit at the end.

Smell - Hops, hops and more hops with faint malts.

Taste - Straight sweet fruity hops with malts in the back (more of an after thought). Clean finish not dry at all.

Mouthfeel - Crisp clean and smooth, no dryness here. Medium body with almost zero carbonation.

Overall - Very hoppy pale but as a hophead I like it. I give this a thumbs up go grab one for yourself and give it a go.

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2011 08:23:56 | More by Jinholic
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 8,086 ratings.